Relationships are not easy. However, nowadays, they have become even more complex. People are marrying less and divorcing more. There are new forms of relationships. With these forms come new challenges. Dating a separated woman is a good example.
Separation is not the same as getting a divorce. A separated woman is still legally married to her husband. This connection will throw several potential issues your way. That is why you need to be careful before deciding to date a separated woman.
We are not saying, you should steer clear of separated women. However, there are a few things to consider:
1. It is not completely over yet
A separated woman is not really available. She is still going through the process of ending her marriage. In other words, she is still separating. She is not fully separated yet. Most probably, this will be a difficult time for her. At least on the emotional and psychological level. She might not be thinking straight to start a new relationship.
Divorce is also a complicated process. It can take a long time. Living in such uncertainty can take a toll on your relationship with her. This woman needs time to re-organize her life first. She needs to figure out her finances, legal situation, and social issues on her own. Otherwise, your relationship with her will be built on a fragile base.
2. Rebound trap
When it comes to relationships, emotions are the main drive. The reason usually takes a backseat, especially in the separation phase. In these cases, deciding to date or start a new relationship is usually not a decision taken rationally. It is more about revenge from the ex-husband, not love for you. That is why it can be extremely tempting to start dating once you get separated.
Do not be the rebound guy. A separated woman is probably looking for a fantasy that will help her escape the harsh reality. However, this is not fair to you. You are not her dream, getaway vacation. Never get involved with someone who chooses you out of desperation. This is only the start of a lot of trouble.
Usually, nothing good comes out of a rebound date. It is not the right way to start a healthy relationship. Both of you need to be emotionally stable, before getting involved with each other. A separated woman has probably been missing love and companionship for a long time. Longing for these things is completely normal. However, acting upon the feeling of urgency to find them can make the woman move too quickly into a new relationship.
3. She is not ready
Again, separation is a step towards getting divorced. It is not a finalized divorce. This small detail makes all the difference. Compared to real divorce, separation might not be as traumatic. However, getting separated still comes with its own issues. For the first time in a while, she will have to figure out the ins and outs of living on her own.
Before deciding to move on, a separated woman should take her time. She should have the space to mourn her previous marriage and make sure it is over. Jumping into a new relationship will only distract her from completing the journey. So, do not rush her and interrupt the process. Give her time to get emotionally and physically ready again.
Wanting a new partner does not necessarily mean she is ready. Let her process the complicated feelings separation brings. She might not realize it yet. But she needs time, after leaving a serious relationship. So, let her explore her new life as a separated woman. Spending time on her own will help her rediscover herself.
4. The odds might not be in your favor
There is no guarantee that any relationship will last. However, the odds are not in your favor, when you date a separated woman. This does not have anything to do with any of you. It is just the timing. Starting a new relationship, while being involved in an upcoming divorce is hard.
Like they say: “It takes two to tango!” The same goes for a failed marriage. That is why you need to give this woman time to reflect on what went wrong. She needs to figure out the essential lessons learned from her previous relationship. This will help her grow as a person and also as a partner, when she starts dating again.
Without time to reflect, you will be starting your relationship on the wrong foot with this woman. She will probably repeat the same mistakes from her previous marriage with you. The separation might also make her feel more insecure and less willing to trust people. All these factors will work against the success of your relationship.
5. Dating for the wrong reasons
Why is she dating you? This is the main question you should be asking yourself. Does she want to get back at her husband? Is she just avoiding being alone, after ending a long-term relationship? Does she still have feelings for her spouse?
Before dating a separated woman, you should first ask yourself if she is emotionally available. She might be physically separated from her husband. However, in most cases, there is still some sort of a connection between them.
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If they have children, they will still go to school events together. Both will participate in family occasions. Most probably, they still have many common friends. All this might create a space for reconciliation. She might reconsider getting back to her husband. If you have already developed feelings for her, you will get hurt.
6. Things could get messy
There might be a civilized separation right now. However, in divorce agreements, things could turn ugly fast. You need to know where she stands with her husband today. What sort of agreements have they reached, regarding the future?
If things got messy, you would get dragged with her. Even if you do not want to get involved. At least, you will get mixed up in an emotional rollercoaster. All this can take a toll on your relationship. What about her husband? Whether you like it or not, he will be a part of your relationship with her. If they are on bad terms, you might become a target for his outrage. He might try to sabotage your relationship or provoke you to start a fight.
The risks of dating a separated woman are not only emotional or physical. You might face some legal issues as well. That is why you need to abide by any legal agreements she has with her husband. You should also live apart from her. Otherwise, you might face some legal issues.
7. Committing a misdemeanor
In terms of law, adultery is defined as engaging in a sexual act with someone other than your spouse. Legally, separation does not officially terminate the marriage. So, you will be dating a married woman. According to adultery laws, having sex with her would be considered a crime.
Every state has its own adultery laws. Many states such as Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, and New York criminalize adultery. In most cases, they classify it as a misdemeanor only. To stay on the safe side, you need to keep your relationship with a separated woman PG-13. Otherwise, you might get in trouble with the law.
8. Hindering the divorce process
Dating a separated woman might not just affect your criminal records. It could also hinder her divorce process. The legal reasons provided for the divorce will impact its costs. They will also determine what each spouse will get. However, some states do not need spouses to cite a reason for ending the marriage.
The husband can use your relationship with his wife to prove adultery. This can hurt her position in the divorce agreements. The judge could decide to give her less marital property or order her to pay more in spousal support. If they have children, the custody decisions could get affected as well. So, if you really care about this woman, dating her could do her more harm than good. You can wait for her to finalize the divorce first.
We cannot control our feelings. However, if you really like a separated woman, you need to apply more reason than emotion. This is a decision you need to make rationally. Otherwise, you could hurt her or get your heart broken. Therefore, take your time and think about all the options.
A separated woman might be the perfect match for you. Unfortunately, you met her in a not-so-perfect circumstance. So, have an honest conversation with her, before you start dating. Get a clear idea about her current situation and divorce plan. It is not just about what you want from this relationship. Therefore, you need to make sure you are both on the same page.
Dating a separated woman comes with its own complications. But…who said relationships are meant to be simple!