Dating Before Divorce

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Should I Be Dating Before a Divorce?

Dear Susan,

I am going to try to keep this simple, but it is such a complex issue. My husband and I are still married but have been separated for five years. The divorce is dragging out for too long because my husband simply won’t agree to anything the lawyers and me come up with. We have two children, ages 5 and 11 and the split has been very difficult on them, if I may say so. Recently, I began dating a very nice man and we want to move things to the next level. I know you say that we should be divorced before we date but this divorce is taking so long.

Should I date or not?


Dear Gayle,
You are right I don’t believe anyone should start to date unless they are legally divorced beginning with the fact that married people are not supposed to date other people. For some reason, when people get separated, they seem to think that gives them the ” Get out of marriage free” card. However, that is not true at all. It’s like saying just because you don’t want to see the stop sign down at the corner it doesn’t mean that it is not there.  Separated does not mean the marriage is not there.

Now back to your situation. I think, after five years, you should be able to date and move on with your life, but you are STILL married. My question is why ARE you still married after all these years? I know you claim that your husband is not being agreeable, but your attorney should move this process along. If your husband is not agreeable after five years do you really think he is going to wake up one day and want to be divorced?  I wonder if he has moved on with his life while your life is stagnated.

Gayle, if you are asking me if should date or not, I can’t answer that. Dating or not is up to you. I do think you need to get divorced and that your attorney needs to press the issues. Whether or not your husband is agreeable, your attorney needs to address each and every one of your husbands objections so that you move on, otherwise you will be separate ten years with you live on-hold.

Susan Shofer Divorce Consultant


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