The Person I Am Dating Is Newly Divorced, What Should I Know?
Marriages sometimes end in divorce. While divorce is a legal process, the emotions that attach to it can range from anger and bitterness to sadness and grief. After all the dust settles and the judge signs the order, divorced people get back on the horse again. They start dating. They know at some point, questions about their divorce will come up.
If you are dating someone who was previously married, you may not know how to approach the subject. Here are three simple questions to ask a divorced person you are dating:
1. Are you comfortable talking about your divorce? This is a simple way to approach the subject. By asking the question this way, you leave open the possibility of not discussing the divorce. The divorced person may be open and willing to discuss their divorce. They may be willing to share some of the details with you. However, if they are uncomfortable about discussing the topic, they may not be as ready to date as they thought they were. They may have some unresolved feelings about the divorce. Either way they respond, you will have a better idea as to whether this conversation should go forward at this point or not.
2. Do you see yourself spending your life with someone? This question is designed not to ask the divorced person if they plan on getting married again, but to determine whether the divorced person believes they can be committed to someone for the long term. By approaching this topic as neutrally as possible, you can help assess how the divorced person feels about commitment, now that they have been through a divorce. If they do not want to get married ever again and that is a deal breaker for you, this may be a point to end the relationship. However, if they do not want to get married ever again and you could enjoy life with this person without being married, this could still be a good relationship for you. Determining boundaries and long term plans is a successful point for any relationship.
3. How do you feel about your ex? This question is not posed in order to get the dirt on their ex. It is a question which will help you understand on what terms the marriage ended. Many marriages end with two adults deciding they do not want to be together anymore. They sign papers and the judge finalizes the process. Other marriages end after years of court hearings with people who are very angry at one another. If they had children together, the relationship they have with each other will carry over into holidays, vacations, and school events. Their relationship can also affect your relationship.
The questions are not designed to help you decide if this relationship is going to work out or not. However, the questions should lead to open and honest communication between a divorced person and the person they are now dating. What end result comes from the questions above should be based on the answers provided and the conversation you had. But everyone deserves a second chance at love.
Kristina E. Feher lives in St. Petersburg, Florida and is an associate with the Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates. Kristina’s practice areas include family law and domestic violence petitions, in addition to bankruptcy, business litigation, and immigration.
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