Can I Date During Separation?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Can I Date During Separation?

My wife and I are taking some time apart. Our marriage has been really rough for all 1.5 years. I need to do some serious sole searching and figure out what I want in life. Part of finding that answer I think will be if I hang out with another woman or two - hopefully get me to the answer of if I want to be with my wife or not. Sounds somewhat selfish, yes, but I've been neglecting my own happiness for such a long time that I've lost sight of what I need to be happy as a person - part of which I think I need is to move on from this marriage.

What happens if I do this or hook up with another woman while we are separated? What are the ramifications of this legally? I live in Virginia, if I do this and then we get a divorce am I screwing myself financially??
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

Thanks, it's so hard though, I mean I've looked at every possible way to save our marriage, but I just don't think I can be happy with someone I'm waiting to change. She treats me like **** and is convinced otherwise. I can only take so much damage, it's like I want to see how I'd feel single - happier or not.

Thanks for the advice tough. I can see how emotionally it's probably not going to help, but legally am I making it worse on myself? Also what is dating? If I meet a girl for dinner to hang out, that's not dating right? It's such a grey line.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

You really tick me off, you know that. its probably not you, its probably my own issues with my H, but still, do you have no respect for your vows at all???

I know you want to whine and say how mean your wife is, how sad it all is for you, you just want some happiness, blah, blah, blah. get a grip. life is tough. deal with it. have you no moral ground at all? when you arent happy you just do whatever feels good in the moment, you dont think for two seconds about what you promised when you got married?

This has nothing to do with your wife. This has to do with what kind of man you are. If you go out and date, you will prove to be a pathetic one.

If you want to date and meet other women, get a divorce first.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

Yeah, if I remember correctly, you have a similar situation to me. If that's correct, you shoudl know that its easy to criticize when you don't know the whole story.

"have you no moral ground at all?"
I do have a lot of morale ground, hence the reason I'm so torn. Also the reason I've been taking emotional and verbal abuse for over 2 years. It tears me apart to be so in love with someone who treats me so poorly. Says one thing, does another. Doesn't admit her own faults or do things to improve them. Marriage is supposed to make you a better person, and we are both worse people in our marriage.

"when you arent happy you just do whatever feels good in the moment, you dont think for two seconds about what you promised when you got married?"
That's a bold statement. I've been thinking hard about my vows, my morals for over a year and have sacrificed so much of myself as a person and so much of my own happiness to get this far - and nothing is improving.

"If you go out and date, you will prove to be a pathetic one." if you knew what I truly went through and feel, you would realize I'm not a pathetic man. I've struggled so much, you don't (or maybe you do) know what it feels like to feel like you are a fish in a tank in yoru wife's house and you are screaming to get her to listen to you and she doesn't hear a thing and you are trapped inside that tank with no where to go or fear if you "jump" out you will die, but there's no way of knowing if you'll die before doing it (divorcing).

"get a divorce first." you know it's not that easy.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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SeekingAdvice3:

Have you and your wife been to counseling? If not, I recommend trying it and/or reading and applying some knowledge from books/DVD's to help improve your relationship. If it doesn't work out, after a certain time period, then you know you at least tried.

My wife and I (married 21 years), have been separated for 11 months now. We went thru a lot of intense counseling a year, before we separated. We talk several times/week and try to work out our issues, but they are what they are and we may end up getting a divorce, if issues are not resolved. That said, it's been painful and lonesome for me (and I'm sure her also), during this time. More than once she's told me that she releases me from the marriage commitment. However, I will NOT date anyone (even if I wanted too), until, if and when we get divorced, because I'm still married to her...

You need the separation time to clear your head and find yourself and hopefully work on your marriage. Dating someone else will definitely make your situation more complicated.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Malibu,

We've been to 4 counselors, and I've been going to one myself (went for 10 weeks in a row before christmas) and just started up again. I've encouraged and asked my wife to go herself and she can't even muster up the energy to do that - which probably hurts me just as much as everything else. She tends to think because she went to counseling when she was like 16, that she knows everything and I'm the one that needs work - that mindset itself is what is driving many many issues.

I admire your commitment to your wife despite everything. Being that you're married about as long as I've been alive, you are probably much more mature than I am......I know I've regreted a lot of things in my life because I've always done what' best for everyone around me - sacrificing myself and I'm miserable for it. I'm not sure what to do, at this point I do think it's best to do what i feel is right, only I can know that, no matter how wrong it may be in someone elses eyes. If I date someone else and realize much sooner that this isn't working, I'm saving my wife from losing another year or her life where she could be moving on and be happier.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

It certainly sounds like you've tried, especially with the counseling route. You're at the point, that ONLY you can decide how much more you're willing to tolerate. If not any more, then you're ready to determine in your mind that the relationship is over (as much as you may love and/or care for her), and you (and her), need to make the difficult choice to possibly get a divorce and move on with your life.

I know from expereince how gut wrenching this is; especially in my case, when children are involved. I'm going to give our separation a full year (March 09), before filing, if that's what I choose to do. I told her the same thing.

I wish you the best in making the best choices for your life.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

It does sound like you have tried, but in some ways it also sounds like you're looking for an emotional fall back by wanting to try out dating others before deciding if you want to divorce.

May I ask if you have asked your wife how she would feel if you dated other people?

How would you feel about her dating others during the course of your seperation?

Have you ever spent much time as a single person living alone?

Last edited by Earthmother1970; 01-29-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

I am in the similar situation. After 14 years together my husband told me that he wants a divorce, because he was just not in love with me anymore. He refused to talk about it or do any counselling. Almost immediately he started going out to the bars every day and registered with march.com. Its been over 3 month since we separated. Because it happened so suddenly, I was completely in shock for the first 2 month . I just now got myself together and also registered on match.com. I guess I am also exploring the other way of life. To make the long story short, my ex got tired of going into bars where he "couldn't meet quality people"-his words. He is now trying match.com. Well, guess what? I ve met someone on mathch.com and I am the one who is very happy now, while he looks completely miserable and even jealous. I guess he can dish it up, but can't take it! I guess what I am trying to say is, if you want to see other women- that is fine. However, make sure that this is what you want to do, because by doing it, you are giving your wife an open invitation to do the same! What if she finds someone before you do? What if you don't like dating other women and want to go back, but she is already with someone else? Think about that!
Legally, it depends on your state's divorce law. Go to their website and check if its no fault state. My state is no fault state, so we can pretty much can date in the open and it will not affect the divorce, property or any other outcome. The only thing that matters is income, prenaps, finances. Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

Reverse situations what if your wife dated other men whilsts seperated how would you feel?
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks all.

First of all, honestly at this point, I wouldn't mind if my wife dated someone else. I honestly feel like I've given it just about my all and it's just never enough. I'd prefer to date 100 guys and realize I'm the right one and start treating me like that or find one better and at least be happy. If that were the case, and she found someone before me, it would probably hurt and crush my confidence/self-esteem, but eventually she'd be happy, which is good, and I'm sure I'd find someone too - I've actually never really taken much time to go out and hit on women and date girls after high school.

I personally spend like 3 years alone living, gaining responsibility and maturity for being an adult. She was hovered by her parents until we married and moved in together. She is very immature (but will scream (ironically) that she is very mature.

Ugh....well thanks for those sympathizing, it sucks but again I'm just looking for an answer and want to get there no matter what it takes because it'll be best for both of us in the long run.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

you need to take time just to be you, yes go out , but id stay clear of any relationship until you are sure in your mind what you want.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I married at 25 1/2, she was 24/ 1/2. I'm about to turn 27. So not SUPER young, but as I mentioned, I spent my entire high school and college focused on working hard for my future. now i'm realizing how much I missed out on dating and having fun and it's like this huge hole I can't fill.

That sounds like I married when I wasn't ready to, but i think that "hole" i feel has grown significantly because the marriage has been so damaging to me. I mean I was ready for the marriage I thought would be...... ya know?

also we dated for 2 years prior to engagement and got married 4 months after that.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

Dude.... adding another person into a chaotic situation shows very little regard for your wife, yourself, and the other person. Work on yourself, what you did to make the relationship stink and figure out what you can improve. The last thing you need to do is add another person into your chaos... Seriously dude... get a reality check and be a real man... Really easy: Ask yourself if this is how you would want a man to treat your daughter? I don't think soooo..
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can I Date During Separation?

A year ago I would have probably called you a pig. After what I've gone thru, much of my thinking has changed. Legally, I don't know what the laws are in your state. Check with an attorney. In my state none of that matters. Married people can do whatever and not suffer any consequences.

Before my husband moved out a year ago, he spent a couple of years cheating on me. Once the cheating began, he wasn't there for me. Many nights I sat up crying. He refused counseling. I begged and pleaded with him to "work on the marriage". All he could say was that he didn't know what he wanted. He refused to give up the mistresses. In the meantime, I went to individual counseling. The counselor and I gave him until January to make an effort to "work on the marriage". January came and still no interest in working on the marriage. So, in January I began dating again. It was awkward to start, but it has gotten easier. So far, the men I have dated have been in a similar situation and it has worked out well. Oh, and on the religious side of things, I'm at peace there too. In addition, I have my family's blessings. After trying everything in my power to "fix" this marriage, I decided it is about time I found some happiness. If my husband changes his mind and leaves his current residence in "Never Never Land", then he can become one of the suitors I guess. He can try to win me back or he can file for divorce. He was the one who left the marriage. There was no point in putting my life on hold while he aimlessly drifted around.

I don't know if this helps any, but this is my saga and I'm at peace with whatever. I guess you will have to do what feels right in your heart.
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