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Switch to Forum Live View Dating During Divorce is Unwise
8 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2009 - 8:43PM #1
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

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It is generally better to wait until the marriage is officially over - and then it is often recommended that a period of time, even up to a year or more, be taken before considering another relationship or dating.


So what are your experiences with this? Have you dated during a divorce? Have you waited? What would you recommend?

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2009 - 11:00PM #2
LunaSolaris
Posts: 41

Oh dear.  I started dating very quickly after the separation, and that was a mistake!  It's not something I would've done had the separation come about the way it did (third party involvement), and since I never dated before meeting my husband, I wanted to see what it was like.


I will say I learned some valuable lessons in the dating I did.  I also ended up in a relationship with someone else, and letting myself get lost in the relationship.  I quickly pushed away this relationship in an attempt to work it out with my husband, and that didn't work either.


After the second separation, I came realize what a huge disservice I'd done myself in dating.  I didn't let myself feel and experience all the emotions I needed to in order to get through the grieving process of divorce.  I distracted myself, and led myself to think I was over my husband, when I really wasn't.  All those feelings culminated in a big mess in the reconciliation, and I lost myself yet again.


Now that I'm out, I'm doing a lot of grieving.  I wish I would've done it the first time around, but the important part is I'm doing it.  I've also learned that most of the time, someone who's in the middle of a divorce is *not* going to attract the most healthy people.  You're a wounded animal when you're going through this, and wounded animals attract predators, as well as other wounded animals.

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2009 - 4:54PM #3
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

I'm sorry for the loss of your marriage, despite two attempts to make it work. I hope you are not too hard on yourself for having dated too soon after the separation. It's so hard to recognize why it is not such a good idea when it's happening, because emotions are so intense and raw. Separating from a spouse can be very traumatic, and it can feel so good to get the attention and excitement of a new relationship. As you discovered the hard way, however, those good feelings are just a band-aid over the deeper hurts and don't take them away or heal them - they are still there. It is also not reasonable to expect feelings for a spouse to go away quickly when they have been years forming.

The important thing is that you have gained the wisdom to work on the grieving before attempting another relationship. Better to have realized this and go through it now rather than not learn the lesson and try again with someone else tight away.

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2009 - 8:53PM #4
Resipsa
Posts: 41

I half-heartedly agree with this.  I say half-hearted because I think that, had I not had another love interest during my divorce, I might not have gotten through it with any semblance of sanity. 


I remember, shortly after it really sunk in that I was getting divorced and that I'd never see my (now ex) husband again (he moved out of state), I was so overcome with grief... I cried to the point of shaking, until my eyes swelled.  I was on the verge of hysteria for days.  My doctor put me on an anti-depressant, but it pretty much only stopped the constant sobbing.  The intense pain, guilt and fear lasted for weeks.  The only time I felt at least destracted was when I was with another love interest (the one that may very well have inspired the divorce, but that's another story).   I didn't get officially divorced until 8 months or so later.  When I had to go through the actual legal part of the divorce, I think that, again, had I not been involved with someone else, I might have gone into another depression (though not as bad). 


All that said, I do think the men I dated before I was officially and legally divorced suffered for it.  I was never really completely there with them... my heart still broken, etc.  Both the relationships I had during my divorce ended painfully (not so much for me, but for the men I was involved with).  I wish I hadn't done that to them.  One had been a good friend before we started dating and he's still too filled with anger and bitterness to even speak to me.


Well, sorry to ramble.  Again on the other side of the "argument," my ex-husband started dating a nice woman before we were officially divorced and she and my ex are still together and doing great (and she and I are actually something like friends).  So I guess it just depends on the people involved.  I think my ex got over the heartbreak of the end of the marriage a lot faster than I did.

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8 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2010 - 2:30PM #5
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Resipsa,

Welcome to the Divorce & Separation Forum, and thank you for sharing your experiences. There are many caring members here who are happy to share theirs as well and give thoughts and feedback. I hope you find your time here a valuable one.

Your experience is more the norm, with the relationships starting before the old one is mostly processed having difficulties. Surely it can be helpful to have someone to help give a sense of worth during a very painful time. As you may have discovered, however, shielding oneself from pain sometimes simply delays it until later.

It is certainly possible for such relationships to work out, as with your ex. I think the odds are against it however.

Blessings,
ArnieBeeGut
Beliefnet Community Host
Divorce & Separation 

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