Need confirmation that I did the right thing by breaking up with him

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 16
9718 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I agree with PP who said you shouldn’t have started dating in the first place. So, yes, of course breaking up with him was the right thing! 

Always be wary of men who move super fast at the start of a relationship. It’s a very common start to abusive relationships. Plus, so much about this was just a mess. He wasn’t actually divorced yet, he was still living with his wife and lied to you about it, then used you to hurt his ex. Just all of it is gross and makes him seem like a pretty horrible person.

Post # 17
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

clearbee :  You did the right thing breaking it off. You know that, but there are a few things I’d say, just for future reference.

I’m going to make a few declarative statements – which I try not to do a whole lot, but I feel is warranted in this case – a man who would 

  • Start openly dating while still cohabiting with his wife
  • Speak disrespectfully about her to a new potential partner
  • Introduce his children to said potential partner

is not an emotionally mature or available person, irrespective of how they present themselves.

The opposite of love is indifference. Someone who still has that much energy around being angry or resentful toward an ex isn’t over it. That doesn’t mean they want to BE with that person, just that they haven’t finished processing the emotional aftermath of the relationship. 

You aren’t a rebound – you’re a crowbar. He’s trying to, as they say, get over someone by getting under someone. Lots of people try to move on to new relationships WAY sooner than they should. People get lonely, bored, sad and vastly overestimate their emotional health. Happens all the time. And it happened in this case. 

It isn’t your fault you wanted to take him at face value. He presented himseld as though he was prepared to start dating, but for the future you’ll know that someone who is still living with their ex – for whatever reason – hasn’t spent sufficient time alone to really heal and prepare for a new relationship.  It’s entirely possible – LIKELY even – this wasn’t intentional. He probably believed he was ready. He probably came along with good intentions, or at least without conscious intent to harm you. But the fact he didn’t know better is just more evidence he lacks the self-awareness and emotional maturity to be a good partner right now. 

I’m sorry you ended up as collateral damage in the implosion of a relationship you weren’t even in. Personally, I think it’s really irresponsible and reckless to draw outsiders into that kind of mess, and think it just underscores his lack of good judgement. 

It’s really easy to fall into the habit of trying to see past circumstances to the person within. It’s a noble intention, but remember; those circumstances were created by the person in them. Anyone can have a run of bad luck, but don’t forget choices were involved. Do you respect those choices? If not, they probably aren’t a good prospect.

You did the hard right thing. His behavior signaled in all sorts of ways that he wasn’t ready. It’s always extra awful when you’ve gotten attached to someone, but just imagine how much worse it would feel if it had gone on 6 months, and then fallen apart. 

Ending this was an act of self love. All there is to do now, is learn from it and move forward.

Good Luck.

Post # 18
1147 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

Echoing other Bees saying you absolutely did the right thing.

I also want to say that I get it. Hindsight is 20/20 for sure, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve never gotten myself too far into situations that, looking back, were clearly a bad move on my part. Don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Instead, use it as a learning opportunity to listen to your gut going forward and give credit to those early warning signs that something isn’t quite right with a situation. We live and learn.

Hugs to you, Bee. I know it must have been a difficult thing to do, but it was the right thing. The right thing isn’t always easy, but you have saved yourself so much more grief in the long run.

Post # 21
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

You absolutely did the right thing. As someone who also got involved with a man whose divorce was not yet finalized (though they were at least living apart), I will tell you that you just saved yourself a lot of stress and grief. 

Post # 23
943 posts
Busy bee

Im gonna chime in and say regardless of the fact that you ignored several red flags, as a mother I would be livid if my soon to be ex husband introduced MY children to another woman while we were still married and still living together. 

You can choose to gloss over that fact, but you should have known better than to become involved with children while their parents are still living together. I can get over the rest of it. Getting involved too soon, dating while he is separated, but not divorced. 

It was entirely too soon to be meeting his children. You and he caused them harm regardless of the hugs and love they got from you. 


“I loved them, and they loved me. Honestly they seemed quite affection-starved because they were always coming to me for hugs and cuddles, and I think the whole situation with their parents being in the same house and not getting along was very difficult for them.”

So you thought the best course of action was to continue? Can you imagine what it must have felt like for them? Daddy and mommy are living in a house, they dont understand divorce, and here daddy has a new woman in his life.  You talk about second hand drama, but it wasnt second hand. You were right there with him causing it. You caused his wife extreme hurt where her children are concerned, and then you promptly defend him. 

 “As the weeks went on, there were a lot of emotions and drama. I heard about several different occasions where the wife flipped out and made things very difficult for him and the kids. Likewise, as I got to know him, I could see that he was struggling with depression and just battling emotionally. I started to feel that I had got myself involved in a big mess that I never wanted to be a part of. I started to feel like I didn’t want to abandon him and the kids, and I wanted to help and support them, but I didn’t know if I could handle the anxiety and the second-hand drama that it was bringing into my life.”

I can only guess what his wife was dealing with. She expects him to be a decent father and instead he is running around introducing his children to someone and they havent even officially separated. 

I get that people divorce and move on and you have to co-parent responsibly, but its truly irresponsible to introduce your children to your dates a couple of weeks in. 

He is a bad guy, but you arent an angel either. You may not be a parent, but most everyone knows that you dont meet someone’s children until a real relationship is established and moving forward. You were moving forward while ignoring major red flags. I hope that you take some lessons away from this experience. 

I feel sorry for the children. 

Post # 25
2238 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

Mrs.MilitaryBee : While I agree with some of what you said, I just wanted to add this;


As a mother, I find it APPALLING  he would have the bad judgement to introduce any romantic prospect to his children given the circumstances,. Having been a single parent who dated for over 10 years, I never introduced ANYONE to my daughter unless and until we had been dating long enough to contemplate marriage. 

That being said, it is not the responsibility of the OP to have made that call. A lot of people who don’t have children are legitimately unsure of what their role is or is not when it comes to dating a single parent. Most people have the default response of deferring in all cases to the way the parent says things should be handled. They feel it would be presumptuous or inappropriate to weigh in on those kinds of decisions. 

Now, she has had an experience that has taught her something about the implications of a parent acting the way he did. Before that, it’s unlikely she gave the matter much thought and once she was in the situation, she was flying by the seat of her pants and relying on what SHOULD have been the better judgement of the parent in the situation. 

No matter what, her only obligation here was to decide whether this relationship made sense for her. That she thought she might be able to make a positive impact on the children may have been niaive, but ultimately irrelevant. It was their father’s bad call that put all of them in that situation. Given how things went, she now has experience to tell her that it should not proceed that way in the future. 

I feel sorry for the children too. It sounds like things are a mess and everyone is really unhappy. Even still, that isn’t OPs fault. She did the best thing possible under the circumstances and doesn’t deserve a scolding. 

Post # 26
943 posts
Busy bee

clearbee :  I apologize for coming off as harsh, I will temper my tone. However the situation did hurt those children whether you agree that you personally had a part or not. Fundamentally they are changed because of what they shouldnt know, and 

teamroro :  is right. It was his responsibility to be a better father and keep his children out of his relationship until it was more established. You are right there. Perhaps I am unduly harsh about this issue. For that I am apologizing to the OP. 

I am in no way painting you as the other woman. I truly believe that you were lied to about the status of his divorce, however you ignored glaring red flags. Dont ignore red flags. I hope that now you understand the gravity of what happens when children are introduced when they shouldnt be. Its a horribly confusing situation for them. I apologize for the harshness. I hope you find someone who is deserving of your love and attention. Dont waste it on people like him. 

Post # 27
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I think you definitely did the right thing. You kept mentioning moving slow, but..there was nothing slow about your relationship. Weekends away? Meeting his kids and parents? That’s not moving slow, especially considering he’s still legally married.

He might get straightened out one day, but for now, you did the right thing.

Post # 30
10853 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

clearbee :  

Always use extreme caution with people who try to rush the relationship.  There are reasons, and none of them have anything to do with your best interests.

Typically, they’re afraid that if you find out who they really are, you’ll bolt.  So, they keep the mask on until they feel confident that they have you locked down.

Or, maybe he’s just using you to make his wife crazy.  We can’t know at this time.

I really feel badly for the wife in all of this as well as those poor kids.  I can’t imagine how a mother would feel having her husband bringing their kids around a new partner who is a virtual stranger to him.


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