SweetJester

Dating before divorce?

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I think I am posting in the right area. I didn't know whether to post in the Singles area, since I am not really..? A bit of background info:

I was baptized when I was 21 and left the church not long after. I married a non member and we ended up separating in Dec. 2007 after over 5 years of marriage (no kids).

I met a wonderful, active LDS man (I'll call him M) in Sept. 2008 when we were both on holidays in Europe. I truly believe we were meant to meet and he feels the same. We fell hard for each other and kept in touch ever since (we live 4000 km's apart and in different countries)! LOL We get together when we can, talk all the time and it is going great!

I returned to the church in Dec. 2008 and am feeling confident and happy about being back. I know that even without this amazing guy that I would stay a part of the church, I have my testimony back and am thankful.

My problem is this: I am still not technically divorced! Everything is in motion towards that (of course M knows about this). It could possibly take until summer until the divorce is finalized, possibly sooner. I have prayed about what to do regarding dating M while still technically married and I keep getting the feeling that I can proceed. M and I agree that once I am actually divorced we can plan a lot easier. Right now we are in the "exclusive to each other but lets keep it fairly quiet" stage. Our close friends know, and my family and they are all supportive. Are we doing the right thing? I know this is a silly question and I am not sure why its bothering me considering I have prayed about it and feel I am on the right path.

Thanks for your help!

~SJ

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My opinion. Absolutely not. Until you are officially divorced you are not available for dating. In fact when I was going through a divorce...a very close friend who was also a Stake President at the time said to me: Wait at least one year after divorce before dating. During that first year you are extremely vulnerable and can make decisions based on feelings that have nothing to do with the way you feel towards anyone.

Best advise I have ever received.

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No no, and more no. That's cheating. Period.

Right now you are in rebound mode, and you will be for a while after getting a divorce. Most rebound relationships end. You are on an emotional high from meeting someone so wonderful and nice of the opposite sex.

I don't know why you are getting divorced, but what if you end up not divorcing? What if something occurs and you and your husband have a change of heart and are actually able to work things out? If that were to happen what a complication your infidelity would be (just because sex isn't happening doesn't mean it's not infidelity). You may not think such a thing is possible, but that has been known to happen.

Even if it doesn't, do you really think that Heavenly Father would be happy with you, a married woman, dating someone other than your husband? Until you are divorced you are off limits. Or should be.

I know this is probably sounding really harsh, but I have seen first hand what happens when a divorce is in process, or even separation, and one spouse decides to cheat, excuse me, date, before the divorce is final. It is not worth inflicting that kind of pain on another human being. Even if you do not believe your husband deserves consideration, be a virtuous woman and wait until you are no longer married. If this man you want to date really is as wonderful as you say he is, he will respect you more for choosing to wait and he'll be waiting for you when you are no longer bound in matrimony.

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I would be really, really, really, really careful. It's possible that the feelings you're having are indeed from the Spirit--but then again, it's possible that they aren't.

One of the reasons God gave us bishops is so that we have a relatively impartial third party who can (as needed) receive revelation on our behalf on topics where our own desires may lead us to ignore or misinterpret the promptings of the Spirit. I suggest you talk to yours.

Best of luck.

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Ok, well thanks for the advice everyone. I wont go into details however I won't be reconciling with my ex. I will make an appointment with my bishop and go from there.

~SJ

Okay, that's fine. You don't need to go into details, and you don't have to reconcile with your husband.

However, he is not your ex, until you are divorced. He's your soon-to-be-ex.

I'm glad you are going to go see your Bishop. :)

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Hello, SJ,

Welcome to LDS Net. Glad to have you here! Congratulations on your decision to come back to church and on regaining/reclaiming your testimony. It is a happy feeling to have that testimony again after being away for so long....At least that's what I felt when I was first reactivated some years ago after being away.

It sounds like you've really made a connection with this new person, and that there is no hope of reconciling with your soon to be former husband. How do you feel about what's been posted so far? I hope you don't feel overwhelmed or that you haven't been heard?

I hear you when you say you haven't been with your husband for a year now, and that your in a location where you have to wait so long before you can get a divorce. While I agree with not entering into a romantic exchange while still married, I know this can be difficult, and that you feel this relationship was providential. It may be. Would you both be willing to wait until you are single? I believe by doing so you both will be blessed.

Here are some ideas~You mentioned that you just came back to church in Dec of 2008. That was just a month ago. Maybe you can look at this time as an opportunity to build yourself spiritually while waiting for your divorce to go through. Take time to become familiar with the gospel again and the scriptures......Read, ponder and pray, as is said in primary, I believe. Learn what it is to feel the promptings of the Spirit regularly, build a base of friends at church. I would like to offer my friendship to you here at LDS Net. Enjoy being single again. Not in the sense of dating so much as having fun at social activities in the church and with friends again.

This will help you become ready to marry this man whom you tell us is an active latter day saint. It will help him enjoy conversing with you more so if you have a greater knowledge of the gospel....besides inviting the Spirit into your home more so.

Best of Luck

Dove

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I was about to send a PM to SJ, but when I read this post I thought ... wow... that is exactly what I would have written in a PM. Dove, you set it out perfectly. I apologise for not putting more thought into my post above... I certainly didn't mean to sound judgemental or telling you what to do at all. So I do hope that you have not been judged here - gosh, being so new back at church you probably felt this was a bit of a barrage of what not to do.... sometimes that can put newly active people off. So I hope this isn't the case.

I'm also newly active again, doing better than I ever have and happy because of that. But I also know how hard it can be... but as Dove has summed it up perfectly, there is nothing more I need say ;)

I, also, wish you the best... you're on a great path right now... :)

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It's not silly and you're feeling funny over it because it is wrong.

If you are meant to be together, if you think you will spend eternity together, waiting till summer is not long at all. If you wait you will be starting this relationship RIGHT. You certainly don't want to start something wonderful in a way that is contrary to the way Heavenly Father wants you to do.

I have known people who didn't wait and ended up in a disasters' relationship. If this guy is as great as you say, he also will have more respect for you if you do what is right. You will also respect yourself more.

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You have been separated for over a year and not yet divorced?

Berry, I was separated three years before I filed for divorce. Ex kept 'promising' he would file, and like an idiot I believed him. :o

It was a traumatic thing for me - to file - I finally found a Paralegal who did all the paper work for me. Cost me $250.00 total, instead of $5,000 the lawyer wanted to charge me.

Sweet Jester - talk with your Bishop, he will advise you to NOT date until you are legally divorced. This is what my Home Teacher, Branch President and Stake President advised me. I was really hurt too when I was advised this.I had no intentions of becoming intimate in any way shape or form. I saw no harm in going out to dinner or lunch, or to a play/stage production or a movie. All three priesthood holders explained that we are to hold ourselves above reproach. To avoid being in a position of wrong doing. No matter how innocent the 'date' may be- it could be looked upon in a wrong light.

I didn't heed the advice, and I went on a dinner date with a gentleman. He turned out to be not quite a gentleman at that. He was living apart from his wife (different states even) and he was lonely. He also figured because we were adults, past childbearing age, we could go ahead and be intimate.

NOT!! The entire time I was with him - in the restaurant and on the drive home, I was extremely uncomfortable. He wanted to 'neck' in the car in my driveway when I wouldn't invite him into my house.

I called my Home Teacher the next day, told him what had happened and asked for a blessing so that I would have the Spirit with me when I told the gentleman that I had been wrong, and that until I was legally divorced, I would not see him again.

Several single men, and a few married but-who-fool-around jerks, saw me at dinner that night, and for the next 6 months I received calls from them asking me out. Not one would gracefully take no for an answer. I finally had my phone number changed, and I made sure I was never alone with a male.

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Thank you, I was feeling a bit...upset, overwhelmed with the abruptness of some opinions, although I can appreciate the kind intent beneath. I also am thankful for everyone's comments and am open to the advice (I have learned to not ask for it unless prepared to receive it)!

Right now I feel like I have a piece of paper that ties me to this man and now I am waiting for another piece of paper that tells me I am not. We were married by a JP and no sort of religious ceremony. By law I am still married and I will respect that, yet I look forward to the day I will (if it is in Heavenly Father's plan) be sealed to my eternal partner in a temple.

I choose not to be bitter about this and am able to talk to my ex without feeling any attachment beyond wishing him well as a fellow human. Time has brought me to that. Hopefully we can continue to sort out the details together and finish this as gracefully as possible, considering.

I entered into my marriage naively and am coming out of it with my eyes wide open and in NO rush. Thankfully M isn't in any rush either. Waiting will not be a problem and I know he will wait for my divorce to finalize. At least with the long distance we are forced to not see each other often regardless so that would make it easier to wait.

I feel very new in church and am relearning the basics. LOL :) I have a great non-LDS friend base with the same basic morals that are good for me to be around. My best friend even offered, and came with me, to church the first time I went back so I wouldn't have to go alone. Not a lot of people my age in my church, those few there are have a busy family and their own lives however I have met nice people that are friendly. Our two wards recently combined (as they were quite small on their own) so that should help! I will look into what activities there are offered.

Thanks for your thoughts.

~SJ

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I think you should def speed up the divorce. I spent about 4 years in that state of 'almost' because I was too poor to file and he was too lazy and cheap to do it himself lol, and it kept me from having a lot of meaningful fun. Of course I was raising a baby so I probably would have missed out on the fun anyways.

I do know however that once having felt the affection and closeness of marriage it is easy to fall into the same actions and patterns of behavior that you know will bring those feelings back. Has he been married before? If so then it's doubly dangerous and imperative you get all this legal stuff done. I would hate to see your testimony suffer because of something completely avoidable lol.

Welcome back to the fold. I hope you know we have your best interest at heart. You know those movies where the heroine is about to open the door that leads to where the psycho killer/rabid octopus/giant human-eating alien is? This is us yelling 'Don't do it!'

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I was in the same boat many years ago. I had to wait 20 months to get that paper! When it came it said the most wonderful words, "This marriage is as if it NEVER HAPPENED"! hahahahah That filled me with great joy! After waiting 14 months, i started seeing someone as a friend only. Someone I would never get interested in romantically. Guess what? Oh yeah! It happened! Fell BIG TIME and it was a big big mistake!

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My answer to simple question: Dating, going to dinner, hanging out together with someone of the opposite sex until marriage is final is NO. Easy not exceptions or little reasons that aren't dates. You are married. Once divorced, go for it.

Ben Raines

Edited by BenRaines

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I see this was posted in 2009 so I assume that this has resolved itself over time and I hope you've found happiness and peace.

For what it's worth here's my situation. My wife (now separated) and I are both returned missionaries and had a temple sealing and were married for 21 years. I was totally faithful during this time, however I discovered just over a year ago that someone from my wife's past re-entered her life supposedly innocently at first through social media but events spiralled and ultimately resulted in the break-up of our marriage. The other guy also a returned missionary from Utah served his mission here in New Zealand (where they met) which was well before my wife and I first knew each other. This in itself raises questions about what he was doing on his mission but I'm not passing any judgement on that, simply making an observation. The lesson thus far is if you are married then be very very careful about corresponding with people from your past.

The tragedy is that his actions resulted in the breakup of our marriage and family (which he can never make restitution for) and just as bad he divorced his wife in Utah over this with whom they have 5 children together. 

Now here's the problem. My wife and I are now legally separated but have to wait for two years until divorce is finalised before I can start dating because that is the law in New Zealand. On the other hand because divorce in the United States can happen so quickly the guy whose actions have broken up my family and discarded his own responsibilities as a husband and father by abandoning his own sealing covenants is now free to date and he has continued his liaison and correspondence with my wife (although she is not yet legally divorced) and she has travelled to the States to see him and I suspect he has also been here to New Zealand to see her. This is now in the hands of both their respective Stake Presidents who are in communication with each other.

I have discussed the issue with Church authorities, the issue being that apparently I am not meant to date yet he can and is free to do so, and although they acknowledge the discrepancy of the situation they also don't appear to know how to redress the difference in divorce law between 2 countries, 2 years in New Zealand and 2 months in Utah. It seems to be in the too hard basket. Or in the case of the guy in Utah, too easy for him.

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8 hours ago, Auckland NZ said:

I see this was posted in 2009 so I assume that this has resolved itself over time and I hope you've found happiness and peace.

For what it's worth here's my situation. My wife (now separated) and I are both returned missionaries and had a temple sealing and were married for 21 years. I was totally faithful during this time, however I discovered just over a year ago that someone from my wife's past re-entered her life supposedly innocently at first through social media but events spiralled and ultimately resulted in the break-up of our marriage. The other guy also a returned missionary from Utah served his mission here in New Zealand (where they met) which was well before my wife and I first knew each other. This in itself raises questions about what he was doing on his mission but I'm not passing any judgement on that, simply making an observation. The lesson thus far is if you are married then be very very careful about corresponding with people from your past.

The tragedy is that his actions resulted in the breakup of our marriage and family (which he can never make restitution for) and just as bad he divorced his wife in Utah over this with whom they have 5 children together. 

Now here's the problem. My wife and I are now legally separated but have to wait for two years until divorce is finalised before I can start dating because that is the law in New Zealand. On the other hand because divorce in the United States can happen so quickly the guy whose actions have broken up my family and discarded his own responsibilities as a husband and father by abandoning his own sealing covenants is now free to date and he has continued his liaison and correspondence with my wife (although she is not yet legally divorced) and she has travelled to the States to see him and I suspect he has also been here to New Zealand to see her. This is now in the hands of both their respective Stake Presidents who are in communication with each other.

I have discussed the issue with Church authorities, the issue being that apparently I am not meant to date yet he can and is free to do so, and although they acknowledge the discrepancy of the situation they also don't appear to know how to redress the difference in divorce law between 2 countries, 2 years in New Zealand and 2 months in Utah. It seems to be in the too hard basket. Or in the case of the guy in Utah, too easy for him.

I can't imagine the pain.  The only advice I can offer is to follow the rules.  In the long term, knowing you did things correctly may be the only solace you have, but it's a big one.  There is a lot to be said for taking the higher ground.  I'm sorry you have to endure this.

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Hi NZ, sorry to hear what you're going through.  But I don't understand your question.  Is this your question? 

"She's not waiting until divorce is final before dating, so it's not fair that I have to, so I wanna date too. Is that ok?"

If that's what you're asking, maybe looking in the mirror and watching yourself ask it out loud will help you find the answer.   

 

I'm sorry about what she's doing to you.  But yeah, a measure of character, is what someone will do when they feel they're justified by someone else.   As you walk this horrible road, what is the measure of your character?

Edited by NeuroTypical

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9 hours ago, Auckland NZ said:

I see this was posted in 2009 so I assume that this has resolved itself over time and I hope you've found happiness and peace.

For what it's worth here's my situation. My wife (now separated) and I are both returned missionaries and had a temple sealing and were married for 21 years. I was totally faithful during this time, however I discovered just over a year ago that someone from my wife's past re-entered her life supposedly innocently at first through social media but events spiralled and ultimately resulted in the break-up of our marriage. The other guy also a returned missionary from Utah served his mission here in New Zealand (where they met) which was well before my wife and I first knew each other. This in itself raises questions about what he was doing on his mission but I'm not passing any judgement on that, simply making an observation. The lesson thus far is if you are married then be very very careful about corresponding with people from your past.

The tragedy is that his actions resulted in the breakup of our marriage and family (which he can never make restitution for) and just as bad he divorced his wife in Utah over this with whom they have 5 children together. 

Now here's the problem. My wife and I are now legally separated but have to wait for two years until divorce is finalised before I can start dating because that is the law in New Zealand. On the other hand because divorce in the United States can happen so quickly the guy whose actions have broken up my family and discarded his own responsibilities as a husband and father by abandoning his own sealing covenants is now free to date and he has continued his liaison and correspondence with my wife (although she is not yet legally divorced) and she has travelled to the States to see him and I suspect he has also been here to New Zealand to see her. This is now in the hands of both their respective Stake Presidents who are in communication with each other.

I have discussed the issue with Church authorities, the issue being that apparently I am not meant to date yet he can and is free to do so, and although they acknowledge the discrepancy of the situation they also don't appear to know how to redress the difference in divorce law between 2 countries, 2 years in New Zealand and 2 months in Utah. It seems to be in the too hard basket. Or in the case of the guy in Utah, too easy for him.

This year will be my 25 anniversary.   Earlier this year I wondered if it would happen.  I found out that my wife had an online relationship with a guy from work over the course of 1.5 years.  Around a total of 15,000 messages between them.  I download and read everyone.  It was the hardest thing I ever did.  The didn't have any naughty talk, but you could tell she had a strong fondness for him and him for her.  It completely wrecked my heart.  Couldn't hardly eat, sleep or work for the better part of two months.   I bet you know exactly what I went through.  

In my case they broke off the relationship over a year ago.  I still felt completely betrayed.  On top of it all, she still thinks the guy is her Twin Flame.  It has been difficult but I have been able to forgive her and really start repairing our relationship.  

The reality of the situation was that both of us had become lax in our relationship with each other.  I felt like she was neglecting me and she felt like I was neglecting her.  And in fact we had been mutually neglecting each other.  We slept in the same bed, but did very little together.  

My prayers on what to do came back letting me know that I need to love her and forgive her.  I have worked very hard this year to transform myself into the person I would want to have as a husband, if I were a woman....  It has meant forgiving her many times, but things are turning around.  We talk far more than we have in years.  We do things together.  It is like we are courting again.  There is still this knowledge of her and him and the relationship that they had, but I am moving beyond that.  I focus on how I can love her, even when she wasn't loving me in return.

I knew when I started trying that she would not immediately react in a positive way.  It has now been four months since finding out.  During the first two months I got basically nothing from her.  She didn't think I was sincere and wanted to see how long my efforts lasted.   I told myself that I could go maybe a year without getting love in return.  I honestly don't think I would hold out a year and luckily after a couple of months she started to come around.  Things are still a little awkward, but going in the right direction.

The question is....  do you want her back?  Is she willing to take you back.  My guess is that you and her probably weren't too far from my wife's and my situation...  The love flame was probably burning pretty low.  Women don't pursue other men, if they are madly in love with their spouse..

If she is willing to try and you are willing to forgive, getting back together is probably the best way to go.  If you want to go that path, it won't be easy.  It hasn't been for me.  But I truly believe it is worth the effort.  I love my wife, but I certainly didn't act like I did....  which means I didn't love her enough.  I let other things come first.  Why? because it was easier at times.  Women can be as frustrating as can be..  (of course I am never frustrating ;-))  

Anyway, if you would like to know some of the things I have done to patch things up, let me know.  Perhaps you feel like you are just done and want to move on.  I can certainly see that as well.  I feel for ya.  

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