I have and will date someone who is separated. But what’s the definition of “separated”?
My definition of separated is he is not living with his wife and papers have been filed with the courts. I have compromised on this upon occasion, and I have always regretted it.
Here are some of the stories I’ve heard:
“We’re living together, but I’m sleeping in the basement, and we don’t have sex.” OK, very well then. Guess what? Married people have sex. Even if he’s sleeping on a cot in the storage shed, he’s still living with his wife. And guess what? Married people have sex! The reality is, and this is proven out by extensive studies on the subject, his wanting to have sex with you has little or nothing to do with the sex he’s having or supposedly not having with his wife. He wants to have sex with you because there are much deeper issues in his marriage, and sex seems like an easy respite from the mundane. Infidelity is never simple! Take my word for it! Encourage him to get therapy. Encourage him to DO THE WORK. Then cut off communication.
“We’re staying together for the children.” Cool. That’s very decent of you. However, if he has young kids, and he’s cheating, and they find out, that will majorly fuck them up. Not just maybe, I’ve seen it. It will absolutely fuck them up. Even if his adult children find out he’s cheating on mom, it’s incredibly hurtful. It’s damaging to the parent child relationship on every level. And I don’t want any part of that.
“My wife is disabled, and she can’t be physical with me anymore. I’m her caregiver, I love her, and I won’t leave her. But I’m incredibly lonely and desperate for female touch.” That’s very sad. What’s her ailment? Ingrown toenail? Pardon my cynicism! If that truly is the situation, the mature thing is for him to have the conversation with his wife, explain what he wants, and ask her permission. Many wives will agree to this, because they love their husbands, and they want their husbands to get their needs met.
“We’re staying together for financial reasons.” OK. So, that means you’re so worried about the money you’ll lose in a divorce, which you obviously see as “your money” to which your wife has no claim or right, you’re unwilling to leave the marriage. That means if we are together, it’s always going to be your money and my money and if you spend your money on me, you’re going to resent it. I don’t want your money; I don’t need your money. I want to be with someone who is generous, thoughtful, kind, and who doesn’t keep score on finances.
There are many more stories, usually elaborate variations on the above. By the way, the more elaborate the stories, the more obvious he’s lying.
*An excerpt from my book How To Do Single With Dignity & Grace, available on Amazon.