I have been seeing a married man for over a year now. He has been separated from his wife for four months and we see each other as much as possible. I have been separated from my husband for over a year and am in the process of filing for divorce.
My problem is that he is not ready to tell his wife he wants a divorce. I totally understand that, but he also says he doesn't want to lose me. He works a lot and hasn't taken his kids on vacation for the last two years. I just found out last night that he plans to take his family to Disney World while the kids are on Spring Break. His wife is going with him. He claims he just wants the kids to have a vacation, but I think it gives the wife the wrong idea. I also think he's doing it out of guilty feelings.
I am furious. I need some support. Help!
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
You are making two very big mistakes. One is moral the other is practical.
First of all, you are dating someone who has made a commitment of marriage to another person. By dating him you are assisting him in breaking that commitment.
The fact that they are separated does not mean that they are not married. First they have to get divorced. That means a civil divorce if they are not Jewish, and if they are Jewish they'll need a Jewish bill of divorce (a "get") as well.
You should insist that if he no longer wants to be married to his wife, then he should divorce her and then date you.
From a practical perspective you are making another mistake.
If he is serious about the divorce, then why doesn't he divorce her already?
If not, then why is he with you?
The problem is that he is not yet ready to make the move. Part of him may still hope his marriage can be saved. Part of him may want to ease the pain his wife and children will experience. Undoubtedly, there are other factors, too. No matter what his reason, the fact is that it may take some time for him to decide if and when to divorce, and right now you are caught in the middle.
In other words, you are letting him have the benefits of a physical relationship without a commitment.
It seems that you have two choices. Nagging him is not one of them, because that will be counter-productive.
However, it can help to discuss a timetable (we like that word better than "ultimatum," but that's really what it is). If he is not ready to discuss divorce with his wife by a reasonable point in time (perhaps a point that you both set), then you have to be prepared to move on without him.
I know of a case where a guy kept telling his girlfriend that he was getting divorced and it went on for years... until he finally just dumped her.
Alternatively, it could be the most effective way of dealing with this is to stop seeing him, and tell him to call you when/if he is divorced. After all, if he is still vacationing with his wife, then maybe their marriage is salvageable. Now looking at this objectively, wouldn't that be the most preferable situation? Perhaps your being in the picture is confusing to him, and leading him to break up a marriage?
I know this is a difficult period for you, and hope that you will soon have more clarity on this complex situation.