by Larry O'Connor, MFT Men’s Challenges with Separation and Divorce “Women grieve the loss of a relationship before ending it, men grieve it after it has ended,” may say it best.Statistically, 65-70% of divorces are filed by women (90% in college-educated couples).I’ve recently met someone and we’ve fallen pretty hard for each other. Plus, she’s totally hung up on the fact that he said he was divorced on OKCupid. For reasons more pragmatic than principled, I am opposed to people dating before they are divorced. We both have two kids in middle school: a girl and a boy. So, for all intents and purposes, it's like they're divorced, they just haven't done the paperwork. She says dating him is wrong because he’s still a married man. Dear In Love, I realize this happens all the time, but I think misrepresenting one’s marital status on a dating site raises legitimate questions about a person’s veracity. The bigger issue here is not that Ben said he was divorced on OKCupid, it’s that he is in fact still married.And when that happens, it’s anything but smooth, simple, and unemotional. That’s wear and tear on your relationship that would never have happened if Ben had wrapped up his divorce before you two started dating.Even if that doesn’t happen, a divorce, no matter how civil, is nobody’s idea of a good time. So, yes, in a perfect world, people would conclude their previous relationships, paperwork and all, before entering into new ones. Ever since she left him, he's paid for his household expenses, she's paid for hers, and they coparent their kids without any drama.
I’m of a certain age so I need to prepare myself for turning a blind eye to any code amber / red actions and indications because people in this age group tend to be recently broken up / separated / divorced‘. There’s no easy answer to the question of what the ‘right time’ is for dating a separated or recently divorced person.
But much of this too is to avoid the complex array of losses and challenges divorce presents a man.
Many of these losses though, are a result men’s typical, if not default, role within marriage of being the financial provider.
Shutterstock A couple of days ago a friend and I were discussing another mutual friend–we’ll call her “Roslyn”–who was going through a divorce.
Although the divorce hadn’t been finalized, her and her no ex-husband went their separate ways nearly two years ago.