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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My boyfriend is still married.

Home Forums Advice & Chat My boyfriend is still married.

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  • #1110443 Reply
    Theo
    Guest

    I know i’m probably going to get some different views on this, but I would love the perspective. I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 4 years now, and he is still married to his ex wife. The back story is when we first started dating, I had already known of this because we naturally started off as friends, so we were very open to talk about each other personally and our lives. When talking about this, he mentioned the fact that he really didnt care or think much about being legally married since they were seperated for quite some time, 4 years I believe it was.

    Now hear me out, when I went forth with the relationship, I never gave much thought about it either because frankly I knew it was me who had him and its not like I was fixin to get married all of a sudden so I just thought that he would eventually do it on his terms. Trust me, I still hoped itd be done sooner than later, but then again I wanted to focus on the positive of our relationship, seeing as he is honestly one of the best human beings I have ever known. I can say that even if we were still only friends.

    Through the months with him, I started growing increasingly purturbed by the fact he was still married. It made me feel almost as I wasnt good enough for him to take the leap and get business taken care of. I mean, being married is a big deal, obviously not so much when your estranged, but what future do you have with someone else if you have that sorta baggage? It just made me think of how if it was me and he was upset by me still married, then you bet your a** I will make you happy and MYSELF happy by clearing out the past. But my anxiety looks at it like “oh well maybe he doesnt want to divorce her”….Yup my brain is wack sometimes.

    I will say this, I have seen messages he has sent her through her email and her facebook, and not much is said on her end. He’s put forth an effort, but it really never went anywhere. Its as if he hits a road block and then he just forgets about it. We’ve also gone through my bf’s sister to still see if she can get a hold of her(ex wife) mother, but no prevail. It’s as if I have cried and asked for this divorce so much, that I almost don’t care anymore. I know I should, seeing as i hate that I still have to admit to myself that he is still legally married. But also, is it a big deal? Should i really expect this when I decided to go forth with the relationship knowing this? Should I just love what we have and move on?

    Folks, I just don’t know what to do anymore. I love him and I know he loves me, but I need advice. I really dont know where to go from here. I’m not such a person who believes you must be married to proclaim your love, but its annoying that he is still connected to this woman but with me. I honestly think you should do what ever you want in this life, but I am growing and realizing I have good standards, and sometimes, this other marriage, is not on my list of things I want from a partner. I want to be able to show him how it affects me and us.

    What should I do? Thank you to all in advance.

    #1110444 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    I’m a little confused. He’s saying he’s still married because he can’t get a hold of his ex-wife? Because there are ways to divorce someone without their participation in the process. I had a friend do as much when her now ex-husband ignored all the paperwork. So to me it sounds like he doesn’t want to divorce her.

    Anyway, while I’m not sure I completely understood all the details here, I’d move on from this relationship. It’s been four years, you’re increasingly unhappy, and nothing has changed! You’re not unreasonable for wanting a partner who is single. You can have better than this.

    #1110445 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    YES, this is a big deal. You’re absolutely correct that if he wanted to get divorced, he would. If he was serious about a future with you, and wanted to be happy, he would get divorced.

    If you’ve been clear with him that you’d like him to get divorced, and why, and he’s not taking action to do it, then you need to move on. Have you talked to him? Are you snooping in his email and messages?

    #1110446 Reply
    Theo
    Guest

    I see what you mean, let me clarify. He was seperated from her when he was 23, so I guess they both just seperated rather then go through the divorce. I guess it was an out of mind out of site situation. I’m not really sure.

    #1110447 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    You’re not really sure? Have you had a serious conversation about why he’s still married and what’s preventing him from getting divorced? I got divorced in my 20s. It was pretty easy! And what pushed me to go ahead and do it was I was dating a new guy. He told me he was uncomfortable with me being married.

    #1110448 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Pretty weird to stay legally tethered to someone all these years for no real reason. (Or, at least, none mentioned here.) You don’t mention anything like kids or joint property that they owned together, so a divorce at 23 should’ve been relatively simple as far as those things go. It could’ve been over within months. Also weird that it doesn’t sound like you two have had basic conversations around this. But anyway, even if you went into the relationship thinking this was NBD and something you’d be fine with, it’s okay if your feelings have changed. Cause it is a big deal!

    #1110450 Reply
    Theo
    Guest

    We’ve had conversations about this, but ill be honest, with previous relationships and just my life in general, its hard for me to communicate my values and problems to the fullest sometimes. He knows that this divorce bothers me…but you guys are right, like why the hell is he still going on about it when its been years. It breaks my heart because I think about it almost everyday. But like does this really mean he doesnt give a s**t about me or our relationship, or do I just need to be more straightforward. I dont want to break up with him, our relationship besides this is wonderful. We have a great apartment, pets, awesome friends, the best chemistry…but do i really need to leave him to show him how this is affecting me? I guess I know how silly this all sounds, because why am i still here dealing with it. Maybe I know it would be worth it..ugh

    #1110452 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, I mean, you’re not at all okay with this. It makes you feel awful and it bothers you on a daily basis. You need to at least ask him where he sees this relationship going in the future and very clearly tell him you’re not comfortable with him still being married and ask him to get a divorce. Next step is an ultimatum that you will stick to.

    #1110453 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Also want to gently point out that the chemistry you have isn’t really real if you can’t express your feelings, avoid difficult conversations, don’t know what he’s thinking, and snoop in his messages (lack of trust, lack of communication).

    #1110454 Reply
    peggy
    Guest

    I was in this situation. He was a long time separated when we met. He eventually got divorced after 7 years. We did get married and were together for about 27 years total. I never felt he did “not care enough about me” to get divorced. Although, marriage was not an important goal for me then. What I will say, is it was a symptom of his overall laziness, failure to be “proactive” and take care of/get on with things. His procrastination presented itself in every area of his/our lives eventually and was a real problem.
    Since marriage is important to you and you want a fully involved partner, you should consider an ultimatum like Kate suggested. Plus think about whether or not his non action on this issue shows itself in other ways that could be no fun to live with in time.

    #1110455 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Right, the fact that he’s not divorced yet does not, in itself, mean he doesn’t care about you. But if you’re clear and direct with him about how much it bothers you and you want him to get a divorce, and he doesn’t do anything, then yeah, I think it does mean he doesn’t really care / doesn’t respect you. Or at the very least is such a mess that he could never be a good partner.

    #1110456 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    Yes, it means he doesn’t give a shit. And, it IS, in fact, a big fucking deal to be dating a married man, especially long term like 4 years. I’m sorry, I don’t normally care about the sanctity of marriage (although I am married) but in general it is a shitty thing to do, date a married person whose partner does not know about you, does she?? You have an apartment together, pets and friends, I mean…Do they know he’s married? Do they know his wife?

    I say this as someone who didn’t always behave the best in relationships, dating a married person is a taboo for a reason. You have no idea what he’s told you about his wife is true, do you? Have you pressed, asked for evidence? Asked him why he hasn’t yet gotten a divorce? They are very easy to come by. A lot of people get them very easily in most cases.

    And the fact that you don’t speak up and accepted whatever he told you (what did he tell you?) from the beginning is why you’re here today. If four years ago, you’d said, “well, I won’t date you until you get divorced,” He would have known it was a hard line for you. But you didn’t. You were fine with dating him, even though he was still married.

    He isn’t the best guy ever if you haven’t in four years, broken through whatever it is that makes you not speak up. Does he know you want him to be divorced? Or does he know you were at one point uncomfortable but you just tiptoe around him? I am flabbergasted a bit, I have to admit.

    Men are not wild animals that will startle and run if you express needs. I’m curious but also worried why you’ve let this go for so long. Four years is a really long time. Do they file taxes together? Own property? Does she live nearby? Have you checked up on what he has said to you is true?

    I do think you really need to take a step away from him, like completely leave him and see a therapist. Not being able to question, or express your needs is a sign you need more help than this forum can give you. I’m shocked. I’m not easily shocked.

    Or go off the script and propose. See where you stand really quickly.

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