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Mommies who met their current DH/Partner before they were divorced

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
I don't want to do a lot of explaining - but anybody have general advice for me? I'd really love to hear from mommy's who have experience with this. I need advice. :
post #2 of 60
My X and I had been seperated for almost four years when I met my love, but we were not divorced.
post #3 of 60
greenirene, you haven't even left your husband yet! PLEASE don't get involved with a new partner yet.
post #4 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenirene View Post
I don't want to do a lot of explaining - but anybody have general advice for me? I'd really love to hear from mommy's who have experience with this. I need advice. :
It's ironic that someone has brought this up today, since I was just thinking about it! I suppose I, too, "wear the scarlet letter": I met my husband and we started dating before his divorce was finalized. (Is that what you meant? Or did you mean you aren't divorced yet? Of course, both situations are essentially the same, it's just a matter of which party you identify with.)

Most of the time, I feel no sheepishness over this. I am 100% confident I did not cause the breakup of their marriage, nor did I distract them from a potential reconciliation. They filed for divorce and began living separately years before my husband and I met, and things went on between them that are hard or impossible to forgive, and certainly irreconcilable. (Of course, having read their entire case file, I feel like the worst behavior was on her part, but I'm sure she would tell you the opposite.) The fact that it took such an insanely long time for their divorce to be finalized is, IMO, a failing of the legal system that did not take decisive action to end some of the shenanigans, but instead scheduled hearing after hearing to revisit issues, as though my husband and his ex had money trees in their back yard and felt better if they donated it all to attorneys!!

HOWEVER, since their divorce did take so long, plenty of people in their lives met them after I entered the picture. Of course his ex took every opportunity to tell those who didn't know better that he had "abandoned" her and their son, for me! Although people felt comfortable gossiping about that, they seemed to feel it wouldn't be polite to actually bring it up with me and give me the chance to correct the misinformation. Quite frankly, if I HAD been given that chance, I would have just sounded like I was making excuses, or covering, or inappropriately sharing the details of their divorce, which really weren't any of my business. People are usually going to believe the 1st version of a story that they hear, anyway.

Last night at the grocery, I ran into one of the people who believed I broke up their marriage. She was surprisingly friendly and seemed genuinely happy to hear that things are going well for us. But it was really awkward and I found myself feeling like I had something to be ashamed of, just because I knew she thought I did. Silly, right?

Not knowing any details of your situation, I guess my advice based on my own experiences would be this:
- Try your best not to let other people make you feel guilty, if you really don't have a reason to.
- Try to be empathetic with your boyfriend's ex (or with your ex, if you're the one who's still married): Divorce is hard enough, without witnessing the fact that you can be replaced. Even if you've concluded the person you're divorcing is a jerk, it might soothe your ego to imagine that they will still pine for you. When they start dating someone new, that fantasy flies out the window.
- If you did break up someone's marriage, or distract another woman's husband when he might have reconciled with her, or if you broke up your own marriage for another man, it may be too late to reverse the damage, but it would still be awfully big of you to own the fact that you hurt people and did something you would not like to have done to you. Especially if there are kids involved, an honest, "I'm sorry. The way I went about things was not right," could go miles toward making communication and custody-sharing easier and less hostile, in the future. Admitting you were wrong doesn't make you a worthless, unforgiveable person. Everybody does things wrong. Apologizing takes more guts than a lot of people have.
post #5 of 60
Do you mean someone who eventually married someone they'd known while they were still with their ex? Or someone who got divorced because they met someone else? Or someone who had an affair while they were still married, and eventually married that person? I was friends with my current husband when I was married to my ex, but that is very different than having had an affair and deciding to get a divorce in order to marry him...

Are you looking for the perspective of a parent with a child, or the perspective of someone who became a step-parent?

Happy to help if I am the right person... feel free to PM me if you don't want to give out details "in public."
post #6 of 60
I started dating my current dh while I was still married to/living with my first. XDH was physically and otherwise abusive, we'd been living separate lives for several months, barely spoke, but hadn't really decided what to do as far as moving out, divorcing, etc.

Anyways I've known my dh now forever, since we were kids, but lost contact w/him while I was married, met up one night through mutual friends and I moved in with him about a week later

Not my proudest moments I suppose, but no regrets either. We've been together 5 yrs, married 2.5
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnowacinski View Post
I started dating my current dh while I was still married to/living with my first.
My former husband began dating his current wife while he was still married to and living with me (and it was the typical extramarital affair: a secret from me both that he was sleeping with others AND that he was no longer committed to our marriage - which was brand-new and happy). And he's still married to the affair, so yes, even though second marriages lead to divorce more often that first marriages, some DO last. I also know female acquaintances who started their second marriages as an affair on their first. It happens a lot. (Oh, and almost all of the affair participants say that the first marriage was "over even though we still live together," while we betrayed spouses often explain we thought our marriages were strong and there was no plan to separate. So somebody's not telling the truth...)
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmace View Post
My X and I had been seperated for almost four years when I met my love, but we were not divorced.
This is more my situation.

I was single (legally married, but separated) for several years before I dated. I highly recommend taking that time to get to know yourself as an individual before going into something else. It was invaluable and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
post #9 of 60
DH and I were both still married to our ex's when we became involved with each other. If you search for posts from me in this forum you will find longer version's about our situation. Think the most recent and most comprhensive is in the thread about dealing with a step-parent who is the one your ex had an affair with.
post #10 of 60
I tell men and women not to get involved until the divorce is final-- that is best. It helps you have time to "heal" and look back and learn what went wrong. Some things you might need to change about you.

Now reality this doesn't always work. Esspecially if you have been seperated a long time.

Also not all situation are cut and dry.
post #11 of 60
My advice is don't commit adultery. It rarely works out well for you and never for your kids. Have the respect for them, if not for your ex, to wait until you are divorced to start seeing someone else. This is their family you're rearranging and they'll feel better about it down the road if they believe it was a tough decision.
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
(Oh, and almost all of the affair participants say that the first marriage was "over even though we still live together," while we betrayed spouses often explain we thought our marriages were strong and there was no plan to separate. So somebody's not telling the truth...)
EXACTLY! My X has always been unrepentant about the affair and says it was "reasonable" and "expected" since our marriage was dead. It would have been nice if he had communicated that to me if that's the way he felt.
post #13 of 60
My partner and I were both still married when we started dating (somewhat casually).

He had lived separately from his wife for over a year, the divorce was in progress, and both had dated other people in the interim.

My husband and I were fairly newly physically separated, our marriage had long been dead. We'd gone back and forth about staying together for three years, and when we pulled the trigger, there was more relief than anything. (My ex-husband married the woman he moved in with right after he moved out of our house. We're all friendly, and our stepkids play together.)

We didn't move in together until my divorce was LONG final (over a year); his was *supposed* to be final before our move-in date but things kept getting pushed back. His ended up getting finalized about 6 months after we moved in together. His ex-wife was OK with this and it never came up in the divorce (and even if it had, WI doesn't care--their funds had been separated by that point, and the only way the "other woman" affects custody is if that other person is actually a harmful influence--think drug dealer, violent, etc.).

The only kid involved was my partner's then-toddler--she had no memory of her parents living together (they split before her first birthday); older kids, or kids of my own who were newly trying to process their parents' separation, may have changed things.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
I highly recommend taking that time to get to know yourself as an individual before going into something else. It was invaluable and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I totally agree. Here's another thing: I was asked out quite a few times in that four year time period, but it was important to me to not have men in and out of my children's lives. I wanted to wait until it was someone that mattered. Someone worthy of meeting my children and becoming a part of their lives. He was worth the wait - next week will mark the two year anniversary of our first date, and we've been in love with each other ever since.
post #15 of 60
DH and I met a matter of days after my ex moved out (my heart was out of the marriage for some years at that point, and I'd been celibate for over a year.) and were in a committed relationship shortly after. I'm not up for discussing it on a public forum, but feel free to PM me if you think I can help.
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Oh, and almost all of the affair participants say that the first marriage was "over even though we still live together," while we betrayed spouses often explain we thought our marriages were strong and there was no plan to separate.
So true! Apparently we were "seperated" long before I knew about it, and he "cheated" with me - that's how our third child was conceived, you know! <insert eye-rolling smilie here...>
post #17 of 60
Thread Starter 
well i'm stuck living with my current dh. don't want to be here. i asked him for a divorce. he wouldn't talk about it. there's been alcoholism, threats of violence, and in a decade i've never gotten the emotional support or anything I needed in the relationship. i finally figured out that it was because we were a real mismatch of people. he couldn't give me what i wanted because he didn't have it in him. I really want out but can't leave due to custody issues currently.

i met the person who is right for me. I really love him. i've known him for a while but it took a while for us to both be open with each other how we felt. i'm a sahm with no money. i won't explain publicly but i can't currently leave my dh for custody reasons. my state has some laws that make my life very difficult.
post #18 of 60
Thread Starter 
anybody gone through this with their kids? mommyto3girls i think your situation is a bit like mine but the other person doesn't have kids. i do.
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
(Oh, and almost all of the affair participants say that the first marriage was "over even though we still live together," while we betrayed spouses often explain we thought our marriages were strong and there was no plan to separate. So somebody's not telling the truth...)
I don't think it is "not telling the truth" so much as two very different truths.

I came within a breath of leaving my ex twice, then actually did leave and came back... We fought about some really big issues that neither of us were willing to budge on. Then he left for a while and I finally realized I could make it on my own, and I told him I wanted to get divorced... Yet it apparently came as a huge shock to him that I had been unhappy, that I didn't want to be with him, that there were issues in our marriage so big they weren't going to change, etc... I had definitely not hidden these things from him.

He would tell you it was totally out of the blue, that we'd been happy, and that we both planned to stay together. I don't think he's lying, I just think that's what his reality was. It's just not the same as my reality.
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
I don't think it is "not telling the truth" so much as two very different truths.

I came within a breath of leaving my ex twice, then actually did leave and came back... We fought about some really big issues that neither of us were willing to budge on. Then he left for a while and I finally realized I could make it on my own, and I told him I wanted to get divorced... Yet it apparently came as a huge shock to him that I had been unhappy, that I didn't want to be with him, that there were issues in our marriage so big they weren't going to change, etc... I had definitely not hidden these things from him.

He would tell you it was totally out of the blue, that we'd been happy, and that we both planned to stay together. I don't think he's lying, I just think that's what his reality was. It's just not the same as my reality.
i agree. both parties may be "telling the truth" -- that's the thing about truths. there is always more than one way to "see" it. and that's the thing about a marriage. it takes *two* people committed to making it work.
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