- Last Updated: 3:07 AM, December 25, 2011
- Posted: 11:02 PM, December 24, 2011
I recently started hanging out with a married guy who has a toddler that he loves. He is separated from his wife, and she lives out-of-state with their child. I know a divorce will take years to finalize, and actually think the best case scenario for him and his son is if he and his wife would stay together, but I can see myself falling for the guy and vice versa. Is it better to have lived and loved, or to avoid the whole impending disaster?
This is a very tricky situation. First of all, it’s his decision to make as to what’s best for him and his child — not yours. Second, who wanted the separation and how long have they been separated? Have they even mentioned divorce?
A lot hangs on whether or not he’s completely over her. If she wanted the separation, most likely he would go back if given the OK by her. But if he has emotionally moved on from the marriage, then I do believe that he is ready to start dating.
With that said, starting a relationship with someone who is going through the divorce process is very difficult. You need to find true intimacy with him in order to understand the emotions he and his child are feeling.
Statistically, the odds are not in your favor if you begin dating him now. Usually, a man who is getting divorced seeks some sort of fulfillment from a new partner, and that rarely lasts once the divorce is finalized. Emotionally, he’s going to have highs and lows, and if you’re not prepared to deal, then I would suggest you not get involved at the moment and wait until his divorce is signed and done.
One of my closest girlfriends is an alcoholic whose drinking always ruins her relationships with men. She’s been futilely trying to get sober for several years now. A couple of months ago, she started dating a bar owner, and for the first time in a long while, she says she’s happy, and she’s even considering settling down with him. I know it will be impossible for her to get sober with this guy in her life, but I don’t want to squash her happiness. She trusts me for my advice. Should I tell her she needs to break up with her new boyfriend, or watch as she continues drinking and ruining her health?
A good friend is someone who tells you when you are doing something wrong. So yes, tell her your concerns. But it’s her life at the end of the day, and she is going to have to be the one to take your concerns and make that final decision for herself. What if she really is happy, and what if maybe this guy is exactly what she emotionally needs in order to get sober? We don’t know. Perhaps the fact that he owns a bar could be bad, but maybe he doesn’t need to be there every night? You don’t know until you let things play out.
I would sit down and have a really big heart-to-heart with her because you love her and that’s what you do when you love someone. However, she is going to have to be the one who wants to get sober, not you. That’s what they teach you in family support meetings for NA and AA: They need to want it. Because if they don’t, then they won’t.