My boyfriend is still married.

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  • June 18, 2022 at 12:41 pm #1110518

    Mine was a few hundred bucks.

    June 18, 2022 at 12:44 pm #1110519

    No lawyer needed, it was all online. One court visit after papers filed.

    June 18, 2022 at 5:26 pm #1110531

    So Theo, have you talked to him?

    June 20, 2022 at 6:08 am #1110549

    The wife might be putting up financial blocks – the OP alluded to taking a step to discuss divorce then getting grief and backing off. He could be still paying the mortgage, providing health insurance, yadda yadda yadda. Hell, the wife might be like “you have your fun and when you’re done, you know where I live.” We don’t know.

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    June 20, 2022 at 8:58 am #1110551

    The original letter read like the wife was ignoring him and his/his sister’s attempts to reach out. Even still, he can get the divorce, though at this point it may end up being a more costly/drawn out process than if he’d just moved forward with it years ago. He needs to stop “forgetting about it” and talk to a lawyer. If he’s “stuck” in this marriage, it’s by his own doing.

    June 20, 2022 at 10:39 am #1110552

    I dated my husband when he and his first wife was separated. Both had moved on. They were using family member for the divorce, because it was free. It took forever. I understand your frustrations. And it can be a big deal. If something happens to him. His legal wife has legal say so in EVERYTHING. And can choose to shut you completely out of any decisions.

    June 20, 2022 at 12:10 pm #1110555

    If something happened to him – accident, emergency etc SHE would be the one making decisions. She’s legally his spouse. They won’t even talk to you. Ask him if he really wants her to be making life changing decisions on his behalf.

    June 20, 2022 at 1:37 pm #1110556

    I have been in your situation before, waiting for a married man who SAID his marriage was over and he wanted to make a life with me. After waiting and waiting, I finally had to let him go because it was clear that he was never going to prioritize my needs.

    LW, you say your boyfriend is a great guy and your relationship is wonderful, but if you are afraid to have a serious conversation and state your needs to him, it doesn’t sound all that great. Any guy in the world can be a great guy when no one ever asks him to do something difficult or put someone else’s needs first. It’s how he handles conflict that determines if he’s a truly great partner.

    And as others have pointed out, even if he’s not emotionally involved with her, they have legal ties that could really mess up your life with him. If she decides to rack up a lot of debt and not pay it, they will come after him for the money. If he wins the lottery, half of it belongs to her. If you two buy a house together, legally she’s entitled to a portion of it. If he is in the hospital and can’t speak for himself, she will get to make all the decisions about his medical care, and she can forbid you to visit him. If he dies, she gets to decide what happens to his body and make funeral arrangements. Unless he has taken a lot of legal steps to protect himself (a legal separation agreement, a will, etc.), she’s entitled to a lot. And since he can’t even manage to file divorce papers, I seriously doubt he’s done all that.

    Anyway, you need to have this conversation or it will eat away at you forever. Let him know that you are no longer okay with dating a married man. Ask him if he plans to get divorced, and if so, why he isn’t moving forward with it yet (he does not need to get a response from his ex to serve her with divorce papers).

    You can share your reasons for wanting this with him, but don’t let him talk you out of feeling what you feel or needing what you need. My ex was a master of arguing me out of my own feelings, making me feel crazy if I didn’t want exactly the same things he wanted. It took me a long time to realize how manipulative and awful that was. It also made me really afraid to have serious conversations with him or ask for things that required any effort or sacrifice from him. It might be worth asking yourself if the reason you don’t like expressing your needs is because you feel like you’ll just get talked out of them or made to feel stupid for having them.

    I know you don’t want to end this relationship, but if you are thinking about this every day, you aren’t really happy. And you are denying yourself the opportunity to find someone who is willing — even HAPPY — to commit fully to you. It’s terrifying, I’ve been there. But I did find someone who treats me better, and if your boyfriend isn’t willing to prioritize you, you can find someone better too.

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My boyfriend is still married.

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