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FWSM1964's picture

In a previous post, I have received a lot of flak for being in my situation.  My partner, as well, has been criticized in this online forum.  I have also received some excellent advice and suggestions which I am planning on taking.  However, I am interested in hearing more about similar experiences and how you handled your situation.

BM also told my partner that she will never accept his new partner, or the fact that he has a new partner.  Their children (SS32, SS29, SD24, and SD20) feel the same way as they are heavily manipulated by her. While my partner has been making concrete steps to process his divorce during the last several months, BM still pines for him in front of their adult children and has been doing so for 15 years.

On several occasions over the past few weeks, my partner also tried to discuss the reasons why SS32 no longer wants to visit his father and I together, and SS32 says he is not ready to talk about it.  He knows that his father is serious about no longer playing "happy family" over the holidays, and that BM knows it too and complains to her children about it.  My partner also knows that his birthday invitations for his children may not be accepted if they occur outside of the matrimonial home where BM still lives with SD24, SD20, and SD24's new husband.  This is the chance that he is willing to take.

While SD24 told her father to make sure not to take me to her 2019 wedding, SS32 (whom I've met twice and no longer wants to visit me again) has decided to follow suit regarding his 2020 wedding.  BM asked my partner to pick her up for SS32's wedding and he said, "no".  Then about a week later, SS32 ordered (not asked) my partner to pick up BM for his wedding, and my partner said, "no".  SS32 kept at and tried to bully my partner into saying yes.  My partner told SS32 to stop his s**t, and that his answer was final as BM is no longer his responsibility.  She can find her own ride.  

This wedding will be occuring in several days, and I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not be invited to any of my SK's weddings. I am working on emotionally disengaging myself and looking forward to not having a relationship with any of them.  I wish it was different, as my four BK's openly support my relationship with my partner and have a fondness for him based on his merits.

In a previous post, I have received a lot of flak for being in my situation.  My partner, as well, has been criticized in this online forum.  I have also received some excellent advice and suggestions which I am planning on taking.  However, I am interested in hearing more about similar experiences and how you handled your situation.

Winterglow's picture

I'm just glad for you that your partner has finally seen the light! 

Frankly, I wouldn't mourn the relationship that you'd have liked to have had with your skids - just let go and keep telling yoiurself that they are not your problem. Let them fade into the distance. If they can't be there to be nice to you, they can't be there to poison your life either.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, Winterglow.  That's a good way of looking at it. I would be avoiding all the SK drama, and from what I've heard can be pretty brutal.  

still learning's picture

What part of him still being legally married do you not understand???  Did you really expect to be invited to skids weddings while your "partner," their father is still married to their mother? Do people really think this way? 

tog redux's picture

They've been separated for FIFTEEN years. It's not like they are living together.  I'm not sure why people feel the need to be so insulting to the OP. 

still learning's picture

I'm being realistic here.  Please point out all the weddings where everyone is okay with a married father bringing his girlfriend.  The only example I can think of is some polygamist reality drama.  

Exjuliemccoy's picture

And I think a lot of the people commenting  just want the OP to have clarity on her current position.

No matter what the logistics of the man's life are, legally he's still in a partnership with his wife. That means that if something catastrophic happens and he's hospitalized, OP has zero rights or standing and his wife will make all medical decisions for him. OP has no claim to any pension or annuities, either. And I'm curious to know if he's updated his will. It only makes sense that the OP should look out for her own interests and insist on proof.

FWSM1964's picture

Good points, Exjuliemccoy.  This has been discussed and is being currently worked on.

FWSM1964's picture

I know of several weddings I attended where this was the case.  However, the BM in each case had moved on and also had brought her partner.

Sandybeaches's picture

"Please point out all the weddings where everyone is okay with a married father bringing his girlfriend."

I guess I will have to get the back story but, it sounds to me like they were separated living apart living separate lives but just hadn't''t finalized a divorce.  There are MANY situations that this happens in when you have a crazy BM who won't sign things and DH's or are non-confrontational.  Not that it is right but it happens.  Now I may eat my words but my guess is this situation is one of them.

It sounds to me like you are making OP's relationship into an affair and that simply doesn't sound like the case here.  Granted by DH giving into all of BM's whims these adult children are acting like they are 5 and also WAY to caught up in DH's life.  At their ages it is ridiculous to at this way.  

tog redux's picture

Because separated is not the same as "married".  Yes, they are legally married, but they are no longer living as husband and wife and haven't for 15 years. You are acting as if he lives with his wife and wants to bring his mistress and wife to the wedding.  You obviously don't approve of separated people dating, but honestly, few people at the wedding will even know they aren't legally divorced, other than the family. They've been separated so long, people probably assume they are divorced.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you for your comment, still learning.  Apparently, I think this way.  My BK's plan to invite my partner to their weddings, so I don't think it odd that any unpoisoned unmanipulated adult SK would do the same.  While it is true that my partner is still legally married, he is taking steps to divorce even in the face of BM's obstacles and shenanigans, the marriage has been dead for 17 years, and he has been living separately from BM for almost 15 years. Yes, it is unfortunate that BM doesn't want to move on but after 15 years, come on!!!

still learning's picture

I imagine your children would feel differently about inviting your boyfriend to their wedding if you were still married to their father.  The situation with your BK's and his kids is completely different.  You're making a lot of excuses for your "partner" and placing all the blame on BM and skids.  Where is your partners responsibility in all of this?  Why is it okay that he has led BM on all this time, stayed married, and had a life on the side?  What he's done to both of you women is rehensilble!  I'm sure she blames you and you blame her. What about this "poor blameless" man in the middle?  He's made promises and built a life with you for four years and you've accepted his crumbs. 

As a woman who has lived through and seen a lot of BS, I'm just saying open your eyes and lower your expectations if you plan on sticking it out with this guy.  

FWSM1964's picture

My partner is proceeding with the divorce and no longer attending "happy family" events at the matrimonial home.

Even when he was single and newly separated, my partner clearly stated to BM that he had no intention of being with her.

Over the past 15 years, my partner consistently stated that he is never going back to her and is no longer responsible for her happiness.

He may still be married to her, but that is because she has been blocking his attempts to divorce her. 

He didn't expect that and thought she would willingly go along with it.  BM said that she will not stand in his way, but she lied.

My partner is now proceeding with divorce without her help.  Hopefully, this sends the right message to BM.

tog redux's picture

Some people have strong feelings about people dating when they are separated, apparently. 

shamds's picture

He intends to attend all weddings while they explicitly ban you away.

reading previous posts i'm reading he isn't divorced from her yet but they have been separated 15 years?? Is that correct?? 

why oh why did this not ring warning bells he is still emotionally married to her. Real men would end it permanently... 

I don't intend to go to any of skids weddings and fake a pretend happy family (aka first family with their stepdad "bio mum's current husband") while me and my 2 kids with hubby are explicitly banned purely for existing... ridiculous thing is bio mum was cheating on current hubby whilst married to my husband, they hadn't separated but she suspected the signs were there and as usual needed her exit strategy timed well...

i'd have a big issue with hubby using the guilt trip "but its my kids and they'll cut me off!!" If hubby refused to attend wedding alone like we're the embarassment. I'd divorce hubby over this because i am not his dirty secret, i am his wife and we met 5.5 yrs after divorce was finalized, we didn't cheat and have nothing to be ashamed of..

futurobrillante99's picture

"reading previous posts i'm reading he isn't divorced from her yet but they have been separated 15 years?? Is that correct?? 

why oh why did this not ring warning bells he is still emotionally married to her. Real men would end it permanently... "

While I think it CAN be true that someone who drags their feet on a divorce MAY still be emotionally attached to their spouse while starting a new relationship, I have a good friend who has been separated from her husband for several years after he bankrupted them and had a nervous breakdown. He is an alcoholic and has bipolar disorder. She shipped him back to CA to be near his family, but she stays married to him to ensure he has good health insurance. She also subsidizes his living expenses as he's unable to work. She's had a relationship with a married man who stays married for convenience.

I know it's unorthodox, but people stay married for practical reasons, sometimes. And it's not because they are still emotionally connected to their spouse. Sometimes it's because they feel a duty or responsibility until they have a reason to no longer be married.


FWSM1964's picture

Thanks for sharing, shamds.  You are correct about my situation. At first I was upset that my SK's rejected me (or should I say what I represent as they truly do not know me). 

However, I am okay with my partner going alone as he has stood up for me in every other situation (ie.working on divorce regardless of BM's obstacles, no longer playing "happy family", inviting his children to birthday parties not located at the matrimonial home and being snubbed, etc.) 

He realizes his future is with me and that had my four children not moved back to my home during the five months of Coronavirus lockdown, I would have seen as little of them as he currently experiences with his children.  SK's are adults with their own lives and don't have to visit him if they don't want to do so. 

I'd prefer to stay at home than to be made uncomfortable at the wedding of a stranger, so I'm okay with this. Ideally, it would be great if his children behaved in the same manner as my children, but BM has poisoned and manipulated them against my partner for their entire lives (and now me for the last four years).

shamds's picture

The way i see it in eyes of the skids is they've been separated 15 yrs so there is hope mummy and daddy will reunite again or else they would have ended it... it just brings so many issues and no complete closure...

As long as he is still married to her, he can't move on with his life...

FWSM1964's picture

That makes sense, shamds. 

I know that BM still pines for my partner after all this time. 

However, he is proceeding with the divorce.  Hopefully, that sends the right message.

MissTexas's picture

all these years, including, but not limited to you. His wife, his kids, extended family members, friends etc.

He has been playing "happy family" and is apparently fine with excluding you from holidays, weddings and anything else that most "partners" participate in together, because they are "partners." 

All the while he has been playing  bachelor, being with you, free of his other responsibilities (family) while with you.

This SO has laid the foundation very solidly, showing his "kids" and BM where they rank in his life. He has not only been ok with attending many other significant functions without his "partner" to be with his wife and kids. Something is making him be separated for 15 years, never bothering to file for divorce, or move forward with it until recenlty.

I personally did not get married to share my husband with his ex-wife and adult kids, and be left to fend for myself on important holidays and occasions. We are a married couple at ALL TIMES. There is no such thing as a part-time spouse. When I said my vows I saw or heard no verbiage that included being a partial wife or husband. We have a responsibility to each other at all times because we are married. Scripture tells us that after God, spouses are first. Marriage is  contractual relationship, parenting and partnering are not. I am not a concubine that he can pull out of the box when he wants to be seen with me at all these functions we attend, then hide me away when he wants to be alone with others. I am married so that I can enjoy companionship at all times with my spouse.

I agree with some of the other would be in very poor taste for daddy to attend his child's wedding with his girlfriend while still being legally married to his wife.

Will both parents be walking their child down the aisle to give him/her away? 

As for receiving a lot of flak from people in this forum, it is what it is. We are all approaching the posts from various backgrounds, and emotions do come into play when reading the facts of a post.  If the shoe were on the other foot, and you were BM separated for 15 years, and your husband kept playing "happy family" then all of a sudden ( not really, 15 years) decided to finally move forward with the divorce, what might you feel like?

What advice would you give your best friend, daughter or any other woman you cared about, if they came to you with your situation? 

It is up to your "partner" to not give you lip service, and put YOU FIRST. Not his kids. Not his wife. He has set the precedent and laid this rock solid foundation to always attend "family functions" wtihout you. Trust me, you will not be ok with that as time marches on.

FWSM1964's picture

Miss Texas, your answer contains excellent points.My partner understands this now and is not playing to their tune (with the exception of attending SK's weddings without me).

He would prefer that I attend all events with him, and has stated this to his children.  They all stated that it would hurt poor victim-like BM who wants to play "happy family". 

This is why BM asked SS32 to ask/tell my partner to drive her to his wedding, even though my partner clearly said "no" to her a week earlier, she has a valid driver's license and a car, and could easily drive herself. 

I told him that excluding me is disrespectful of our relationship, although like many posters stated, we are not married. My partner believes that things will get better when his divorce is final, but I'm not so sure.  Disengaging for sure!

Harry's picture

No place makes you stay married,  your DH is causing all the problems by not divorcing his ex. You really want to go to a wedding being the affair partner?   The kids want the big happy family with BM & BF. With out the AF .   

Thumper's picture

Your boyfriend has decided to stay legally married. His kids are adults.

What do you expect. Your the girlfriend.

Do you really expect a place setting?

If I read "Partner" one more time, I might spit.  "Partners" work together.


DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

They don’t have to accept it - what is, is! Their denial doesn’t make you any less real. 

With regards to invitations outside the old matrimonial home - that’s obviously them trying to manipulate and if you both ‘give in’ to this manipulation it will just continue. 

He could offer to take them to a nice restaurant, or something. 

Have you seen any paperwork re the divorce so you know he’s not spinning you a line. 


FWSM1964's picture

Good advice, DHsfamilyfromhell.  There is a case number and legal documents being drawn up.

Thumper's picture

OP your acting like you are in your 20's no offence to that age group.

If he was going to divorce his wife, he would have. What did he say he is waiting for lol?


Actions dear, actions. NOT empty words. You deserve actions.


FWSM1964's picture

I am going to address a number of today's comments which I appreciate for their candor.

TBH, my partner is somewhat non-confrontational, not a good record keeper, and a little bit of a procrastinator.  He saw no reason to keep financial documents and trusted BM to share them at divorce time. BM is also not a good record keeper and these documents got "lost" in the best case, and "my pension is my business, but you can share yours" in the worst case.

He also saw no reason to start the divorce until the children moved out of the matrimonial home and until he found a partner with whom he saw a future (ie. to get married).  While two children are still there (one moved back actually after she got married last year), my partner and I saw a future at around the two year mark when we were dating. 

Because of all my legal experience with my litigious XH over, I told my partner that he could sever the divorce from the property settlement, and the lawyer confirmed it.  However, I thought it would be easier if my partner collected all the required documents from the matrimonial home to start calculating the family net property value.  So over the past two years, my partner has reminded BM to collect these documents for him with little result. I tried to stay out of it, only encouraging him to follow up every two months or so.

As the two years wore on, I realized that BM was stringing my partner along and would never give any documentation with the exception of the marriage certificate. I told him so, and here we are today.  So now, my partner has been working with a lawyer, and I've seen the documentation (eg. case number, etc).  He has to do this himself, albeit with my encouragement.  Just like he has to handle his own children's entitled attitudes and enmeshment with BM.  My children are fine, and accepted my dating prior to the divorce as they wanted me to be happy and they wanted to ensure longevity of the relationship before meeting my partner.

We started dating in the 11th year of his separation, so I'm definitely not an "affair partner".  I am however the obstacle between BM and him getting back together.  I guess that his telling BM for years that he is not interested in her as a wife fell on deaf ears. Also, he is the love of my life, and we call each other partners, not husband and wife because we are not legally married.

FWSM1964's picture

Divorce papers have been drawn up.  Taxes have been filed separately since 2006.

Picardy III's picture

A general observation: when someone refuses to acknowledge (after the normal "denial / bargaining" of the cycle of grief) that a relationship is over and dead, my first instinct is that the relationship isn't really dead: the former partner has been staying involved or stringing them along.

Obviously, there are truly crazy and delusional ex-wives out there (see: this site).  But, most people don't hang on without being fed some hope. I remember a friend whose ex-boyfriend would paint her as nuts, when she would cry upon hearing he was dating someone else. Truth was, he was secretly still meeting with my friend, telling her he always loved only her, and having sex with her -- whenever he was bored between other flings.

I guess I would be highly suspicious that your partner and his legal wife were really living separately these whole past 15 years. Might he have periodically returned to the home and family? And have been sleeping with her? Maybe she and their kids are just delusional and hopelessly bitter - but if you don't get the sense that she is crazy in other areas of life, my money would be on him having kept his options very, very open since "separating."

And perhaps that's irrelevant to your situation, so long as he's been faithful to you since you began dating. Fair enough. It might shed some light on the history and feet-dragging, though.


FWSM1964's picture

My partner has been faithful to me for the last four years in which we have been dating. As far as I know, he has not returned to the marital bed for over fifteen years, despite multiple requests during years 1 to 7. 

A decade ago, SS32 told my partner to stop visiting him and his siblings so much at the matrimonial home to prevent the wrong impression being given. My partner naively thought that if he told BM he was there only for the children, that she would believe him.

When I met my partner, it had been over a year since he broke up with a long-term girlfriend whom he met during year 5 of his separation. BM didn't accept her either.  His girlfriend did get to meet the children and hung out with the older two. 

BM is delusional and bitter, and her chidren heavily manipulated.  BM's lifelong sociopathic tendencies actually led to the marriage collapse.  My partner could tolerate it no longer, and unfortunately, the children only feel pity for their mother for the past 15 years.

Even though they are 20-32 yo, some of them tell my partner that if they are socializing with me, it's not fair to BM.  His children also tell my partner that they are afraid of getting to know me because they might like me and so it's better to pretend that I don't exist.  They just "couldn't do that to her"; her being BM.

I understand what she is doing to the SK's because my narcissistic XH tried to pull the same stunt with my children.  They felt that way too during the ages of 12-19.  My partner's children are 20-32, and they feel the same way as teenagers.  What happened?


tog redux's picture

Maybe he never saw a reason to, if he wasn't dating someone? Are you implying that people never make changes after time has passed? People are never unhealthy for years and then get healthy? People never leave jobs after years and years?

This is totally inaccurate to say that he never will if he hasn't yet.

FWSM1964's picture

You are on point, tog redux.  That's exactly our situation.

tog redux's picture

I'm sorry people are being rude to you. Some people feel great glee at telling someone they are dating a married man if the SO is separated. DH and I dated when he was separated and we have been together over 10 years, happily.

Your guy needs to make some serious changes and he's definitely done his kids a disservice by stringing this out while BM carried a torch for him.  But you are clearly not his side piece or mistress just because he's not divorced.

Sandybeaches's picture

I to feel bad that people are being nasty to you.  He is not and was not married when you were dating.  While he should have taken care for this for many reasons that is on him not you!!!   

Separated typically means the end of a marriage.  And legally is just that waiting period that is required before a divorce.  To say you are with a married man or suggest you are a "side piece" is beyond rude!!  There are statuses and they do not overlap and mean something else. 

There are 5 legal martial statuses


No where do I see that any overlap.  You are only 1 status and separated is one of them!!  You can be separated legally or not legally and it is still your status!!!  Nowhere does it say that if you are separated you are married.  If that were the case it would not be a legal status.  While it does have 1 requirement, you can not marry someone else.  But the other statuses have requirements to so that means nothing!  You still ARE NOT MARRIED IF YOU ARE SEPARATED!

Rags's picture

It depends.  In some states Legal Separation does result in a "not married" condition even if there is no divorce filed for.

A legal separation, is a court order that mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are still married, but living apart; in a divorce, the spouses are no longer married. Mar 15, 2019Legal Separation vs. Divorce - FindLaw

The important difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that when you divorce, your marriage is formally ended. You are no longer married to each other. You are free to remarry. You live your life moving forward as a single person.

When you get a legal separation, however, you remain legally married to each other. You must continue to mark that you are married on forms. You cannot remarry. You still have the right to inherit from each other. A child born to a married woman is legally the child of the other spouse unless proven otherwise.

Here is the most comprehensive article I found on separation.

Different Types of Separation: Trial, Permanent, and Legal Separation

What does it mean to be separated? Learn the difference between trial, permanent, and legal separation.

By Emily Doskow, Attorney

Considering Divorce? We've helped 85 clients find attorneys today.

A separation isn't the same as a divorce. Separation means that you are living apart from your spouse, but you’re still legally married until you get a judgment of divorce from a court (even if you already have a judgment of separation). However, generally a separation does affect the financial responsibilities between you and your spouse before the divorce is final. There are three different types of separation. In most states, only one (legal separation) changes your legal status—but all three of them have the potential to affect your legal rights.

Trial Separation

If you and your spouse need a break from the relationship, you may choose to live apart while you decide between divorce or reconciliation. While you’re separated, the same legal rules apply as when you are married, in terms of ownership of property. For example, money you earn and property you buy are likely to still be considered jointly owned by you and your spouse, depending on your state’s rules about property ownership.

If you and your spouse are hoping to reconcile, it’s a good idea to write an informal agreement about some issues that will surely come up. For example, you will need to decide whether or not you will continue to share a joint bank account or credit cards and how you’ll budget your spending, which of you will stay in the family home, how expenses will be shared, and the like. If you have kids, you’ll need to decide how and when each of you will spend time with them. If you both decide there’s no going back, your trial separation turns into a permanent one. That’s discussed next.

Permanent Separation

When you live apart from your spouse without intending to reconcile but you are not divorced, you are considered permanently separated. In some states, living apart can change property rights between spouses—if you don’t intend to get back together, then assets and debts acquired during the separation belong only to the spouse who acquires them. Once you are permanently separated, you are no longer responsible for any debts that your spouse incurs. Similarly, you’re no longer entitled to any share of property or income that your spouse acquires or earns. Because it can significantly affect how your property and money are divided, the date of permanent separation is sometimes hotly contested in a divorce. For example, if your spouse left in a huff and spent a month sleeping on a friend’s couch, but you didn’t discuss divorce until the month had passed, and neither of you intended to divorce before then, the date of separation is somewhat questionable. If during that month your spouse received a big bonus at work, who it belongs to is also arguable.

If you move out of the house and don’t expect any long-term reconciliation with your spouse, there may be consequences to going out or spending the night together just for old times’ sake. If you do briefly reconcile, you risk changing the date of separation and becoming responsible for your spouse’s financial actions during a period when you thought you were responsible only for yourself. Once you’re separated and have made basic agreements about your joint assets and debts, you don’t have to divorce right away. Some people stay married because of insurance—and inertia can be a factor, too.

Legal Separation

In some (not all) states, you can get a legal separation by filing a request in family court. Being legally separated is a different legal status from being divorced or married—you’re no longer married, but you’re not divorced either, and you can’t remarry. But the court’s order granting the legal separation includes orders about property division, alimony, and child custody and support, just as a divorce would.

People choose legal separation instead of divorce because of religious beliefs, a desire to keep the family together legally for the sake of children, the need for one spouse to keep the health insurance benefits that would be lost with a divorce, or simple aversion to divorcing despite the desire to live separate lives. Some people live very happily in a state of legal separation for many years. (If you’re considering a legal separation instead of divorce so that you can keep insurance benefits, check the insurance plan before making the decision. Some consider a legal separation the same as a divorce for purposes of terminating health benefits.)

Excerpted from Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, by Emily Doskow.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you for the legal research, Rags.  I appreciate it.  My partner has been legally separated since 2006.  Both he and BM agreed on a date which is being used for net family property calculations.  Inertia played a factor, to be sure, and the lack of knowledge that one is able to sever the divorce from the property settlement.  We're on track now.  Thanks again!

Sandybeaches's picture

You are siting legal zoom, divorcenet and private lawyer websites.  My information is coming from the United States Government which represents all 50 states. 

The IRS recognizes legal separation as a status and to be recognized as NOT MARRIED.  The Department of Education, also the Federal Government recognizes legal separation as a status and to be recognized as NOT MARRIED. 

Since the IRS and the Department of Education both branches of the Federal Government recognize legal separation as a status and that status IS recognized as NOT MARRIED, therefore the Federal Government which is representing all 50 states has determined it is a status therefore recognized in all 50 states.  

Just like that famous old Christmas movie when Santa is on trial for being delusional because he thinks he is Santa Claus... and the judge wants proof that he is the one and only Santa Claus... And I quote......

"Fred Gailey: Your Honor, every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes this man Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus. JUDGE: Since the Untied States Government declares this man to be Santa Claus this court will not dispute it.. Case dismissed!" 

Yeah I know next your going to say this is a movie.  I only added that part for humor the fact remains,  quite frankly even in that movie that the United States Government recognizes for all 50 states, sets rules for all 50 states.  

Now with all of that colorful story said I only went to such great lengths to make my point BECAUSE we all know you and others are not just stating what you think the laws are for married vs. legal separation, you are all using it to say the OP is conducting a relationship with a "married " man and you are using married to suite your needs to back up the theory to shame her. 

While you personally may not have taken it to that extreme, you are defending their theory that he is "married".  So if you side with that then this is for you as well.  She has been called a "side piece" she has been told she is with someone else' husband, he's  a married man etc... and that term married is being used incorrectly and the posters know that.  He is not married under any circumstances to the definition of what married really is and I know everyone knows that.  

Now we have gotten way off track in this definition war and have totally gotten away from giving OP helpful advice which is what she came here for.  

tog redux's picture

Because people want to moralize about the "he's a married man" nonsense.

Rags's picture

Actually, separated is still married except in a few States. The Federal government has no jurisdiction over marriage or divorce. This includes the IRS.  The IRS deals with taxes, they do not govern marriage. That is the purview of the States.  I have no moral issue with a separated person pursuing a relationship other than with their spouse.  I did it myself. I was separated and ... still married. 

The only element of marriage that I am aware of that is governed federally is Polygamy. 

If your referencing of the IRS and the Department of Education  were accurate regarding whether or not a separated person was still married, that separated person could freely marry someone else while separated and not violate the law.  If they were to marry another person while separated and not divorced... they would be a criminal.  Subject to fine, imprisonment, or both. Depending on the laws of the State. 

Marriage ends with either divorce or death.  Neither of which falls under any of the definitions of separation.

My perspective is solely focused on the wellbeing of the OP.  A person who has been separated for more than a decade needs to shit or get off of the pot. Particularly if they are claiming to have an exclusive relationship with a future spouse.

Sandybeaches's picture

It is a recognized status by the Federal Government and you can only be one status. While you can't remarry while legally separated your status is still legally separated not married.  

I also think you know why there is this great debate of statues and that those that are defining OP's BF as married are doing it to shame her.  

In using the IRS and the Dept of Ed in my example I was using them to show that legally separated is a legal status and recognized as not married. Your also not exactly right on the IRS.  Even when parents decide to put language in their divorces and family court custody battles about who claims the children, IRS law supersedes any divorce or family court law.  Look it up.  

We to are looking out for OP and while we don't necessarily think her BF has handled his situation properly we truly do not think that shaming her as dating a married man or calling her a side piece is looking out for her well being.  Since you are choosing to defend their point on status, and you do know why we are having this debate on status, you are really not looking out for her well being either. You also have helped run this train off the track by joining in with them and going on this debate war when we all could have been helping OP instead of judging her.  

FWSM1964's picture

Right on, Sandybeaches! The judgemental inference that I was sneaking around with a "married man" was not helpful to me. 

Yes, I know I can't marry him in his current situation. Yes, his status is legally separated.

Both of these facts were clearly stated by me many posts ago, and yet the train ran off the tracks.

It was more exciting for some people to find erroneous reasons for my predicament than to listen to the details and offer advice.

People are entitled to their opinions, but this was a little loopy.

Picardy III's picture

Do you have any background on why dating his former long-term GF didn't prompt divorce proceedings?

FWSM1964's picture

Picardy III, his long-term GF didn't press him to get a divorce as I believe they were waiting for the children to move out of the matrimonial home.  Neither of them realized that one can sever the divorce from the family property settlement in court.

Movingonisbest's picture

This man being married for this long is a red flag. Him being with the original poster 4+ years and still married to his wife (or should I say not divorced) is another red flag. The fact he had another long-term girlfriend prior the original poster but again was still married (or should I  say not divorced) is a 3rd red flag. My standpoint about him isn't necessarily based on him being a cheater. I  don't know whether he is, was, or has ever been one of those. However, he is very disrespectful. If you don't require respect from him, then it is unlikely you will ever receive it from his adult kids either.

FWSM1964's picture

He had been waiting for the youngest child to leave the matrimonial home Thumper.  Sad, but true.  

However, now my partner is proceeding with the divorce without BM's help.

Movingonisbest's picture

We all go through things, but when looking for advice, you have to be willing to hear the bad, the good, and the ugly. Original poster, seems incapable or unwilling to do that.  She also seems to not like to hear the truth. She doesn't seem to realize her partner is the cause of the majority of these problems. He has been with her more than enough time to get this situation straightened out if he really wanted to. Sounds like he is full of excuses

Don't get mad or offended because alot of women on this message board don't agree with women dating married men. It's bad enough that single men will string a woman along, but you are seriously letting a married man do this to you?  And yet you are mad at or offended by what the people who commented have said? Your problems sound much bigger than stepkid problems. Sounds like you are experiencing a lot of frustration and having a lot of heartache. I think that's because you know this man is not as great as you try to pretend like he is. While I know it doesn't always hold true, have you ever heard the old saying that God will never bless a woman with another woman's husband? 15 years is a mighty long time to be married to someone he claims to no longer want to be married to. On the flipside, 4+ years is a mighty long time for a man who truly wants you to not have cleaned up his mess. A mess he never should have brought you into in the first place.

FWSM1964's picture

Movingonisbest, I believe that the mess not being cleaned up is the main problem.  

Unfortunately, my partner naively believed BM when she said she agreed with the divorce. He also naively believed that his children would accept me in the same way that my children accepted him.

This problem only came to head about a year ago when BM still didn't provide financial documentation and SD24 told my partner not to invite me to her wedding.  Up to that point, he was living mostly parallel lives with his children. I did hang out with him and his eldest son a couple of times and it was nice.  

He told me everything would be better once he was divorced, and I let him work on it over the past two years.  We will see what the future holds now that he actually has a lawyer.

Movingonisbest's picture

All I am saying is that the people here may want you to open your eyes a bit more to get you to see the red flags in this man you are with. I believe I am one of the newest members compared to the ones who commented. Several of them have so much wisdom that they shared with me about my now ex. They were very blunt when giving their take on the situation I was in when I found this board. They helped me see that without a doubt my ex was the problem and that he was not going to change. They were absolutely correct.

When they say something you don't like, don't automatically get defensive. Sit back and really absorb what they are saying. A lot of times you will find truth in their statements. I know alot of us have been there, but don't let love blind you and make you settle. The hard truth is there is nothing great about a man staying married to his wife for 15 years while he plays house with you for 4+ of those years. If you think his adult kids are disrespectful, then what is he?

FWSM1964's picture

Movingonisbest, there is a difference between being blunt and being rude. I am not easily offended and rarely defensive, but I am not appreciative of judgement, disrespect, and negativity.

I am grateful for everyone's comments for they have taken the time to provide me with advice, share their experiences, and offer encouragement.  Everyone offers a slightly different perspective which I appreciate.

What you collectively have done is give me the confidence to have those hard discussions with my partner about his procrastination and his role in allowing disrespect from his children and BM.

I can see the shock and pain in his eyes when his children and BM first stated that they did not want to meet me and/or acknowledge my existence.  He thought it would be a great idea to invite me to his matrimonial home or neutral place to hang out with his children, and if BM was there, so be it. 

He did not realize that she still carried a torch for him as it had been 15 years since he moved out, and he told her every time he visited, it was for the children and not her.  She also stopped delivering baked goods to his work about a year ago, so he thought she was letting go.

Up to about two months ago, his two oldest children were okay with meeting me and hanging out, but then BM visited SS32 at his house around that time, and everything changed.

I don't think that my partner is being intentionally disrespectful; however, you are right in the fact that I deserve better treatment.  This is why I am thinking of disengaging. 


Winterglow's picture

I'm kind of stunned that he was naive enough to think he could invite you (or anyone else, for that matter) into a home that was no longer is and had not been for 15 years! He wanted to invite you into bm's lair?! WTF was he thinking?! Especially when he knew that she refused to acknowledge/accept the gf he had before you. He needs a good Gibbs-slap to set his ideas straight.

FWSM1964's picture

Winterglow, I am stunned too. 

Maybe my partner is an idealist whose dream is that all 4 SK's and all 4 BK's hang out together. He truly believed that BM had moved on, because she told him so, and even wanted to include her in the above scenario.  

I had to point out to him that if she can't even accept my existence, it's highly unlikely that she is over him.  She even threatened to stop being "his friend" if he brought up my name again.  He said, "okay; the kids are grown up, and FWSM1964 is my future".

The reason she refused to acknowledge/accept the GF before me was because she had "some defect", but now, the idea of me is being rejected by BM (not the actual me as BM doesn't know if I have "some defect" or not).

Winterglow's picture

That's an easy one - you both have exactly the same "defect" in that you are not and can never be her (bm). She feels that gives her superiority.

Picardy III's picture

It's very surprising he'd believe his children would accept you, when they never accepted his GF of five years. Did he say it was due to her personal shortcomings, or just the mother interference?

Picardy III's picture

Ah, I misread above, sorry.
The site cuts off the right side of text in long indented threads, on my phone at least.

Sandybeaches's picture

"Don't get mad or offended because alot of women on this message board don't agree with women dating married men."

For love of God he is NOT a married man. Plain and simple that is not and opinion his status is separated, separated is not married!! While you may have fault with how he handled things to say that he is a married man is very inaccurate and simply not his status.

still learning's picture

Legally if you are separated then you are still legally married. He has to mark MARRIED but filing separately if they indeed file separate taxes. He still has to mark "Married" on any legal documents.  If OP's "Partner" died today then it would be his wife who would make all the arrangements for him. It would be his wife who inherited his pension/social secuirty, etc. If OP's "partner" were hospitalized it would be his WIFE who would make any medical decisions he could not make.  Yes this happens even during separation.  Facebook status and legal status are two different things.  

I am in no way condemning OP moralisticly. My viewpoint is strictly legal POV. Op's boyfriend and his wife have an arrangement and it sounds like the man can do whatever he wants as long as they stay married on paper.  She's obviously not some secret mistress since her bf is openly living with her, but i imagine there are secrets that married bf is keeping from OP.  Also the fact that boyfriend has set up a completley separate home with marital funds can hurt him during asset division during his divorce, well if he ever gets one.  Then OP could be dragged into their proceedings and all of her finances examined since they have already set up joint funds with her boyfriends marital property. 

We need to remember that this man has been in this situation for his own comfort. Does anyone really think he'll do much to shake things up? Especially now with his kids getting married?  I don't see it.  Good luck OP. I hope you have your own lawyer for when the legal wife wants to recoup her assets that your boyfriend has combined with you.  

Sandybeaches's picture

"Facebook status and legal status are two different things.”  


Hahaha right Facebook Status sure that is what I meant… Is that even a thing? I don’t have Facebook so I wouldn’t know.


I was referring to “legal statuses” there are 5 as I stated.  File a FAFSA ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and be sure to look at the statues there.  That is a legal Federal Government form that determines aid for college. This is one of many places that uses all 5 statuses. 


First, I am speaking of OP’s BF’s status and the fact the you and several other posters are “considering him a married man” and considering him married like OP is cheating with him.  Should he handle his life and clean this up and not put OP in this situation? Of course but I was only speaking of his status as legally separated and pointing out the inaccurate information that is being posted about it. 


Ok let’s take this step by step…


Your first point

Your tax filing information is in accurate. 


“Legally if you are separated then you are still legally married. He has to mark MARRIED but filing separately if they indeed file separate taxes. He still has to mark "Married" on any legal documents. “


That is not accurate.  While he could file married if wanted to, he does not have to. 

IRS Tax Law states as follows.


“taxpayers who are legally separated and have lived apart for at least 6 months, or tax payers who are divorced or widowed, can files taxes using single or head of household filing status. “


What are the requirements for each filing status?


Who is considered Single?


Taxpayers can use the Single filing status if, on the last day of the tax year, they were:

 • Not married

• Legally separated or divorced, or

• Widowed before the beginning of the tax year and did not remarry


My friend that I spoke of who was legally separated for 10 or 15 years.  One tax season about 10 years into her separation she mentioned that she filed married separately I said what? Does your tax preparer know that you are legally separated? Well low and behold she went back to her preparer and it turned out I was right, once they knew she was legally separated, they changed her taxes and amended them for her.  However, they only could go back 5 0r 6 years but she got more money back and took me to dinner!


It seems many don’t know this look it up or call a preparer. 


Your next several points…


“If OP's "Partner" died today then it would be his wife who would make all the arrangements for him. It would be his wife who inherited his pension/social secuirty, etc. If OP's "partner" were hospitalized it would be his WIFE who would make any medical decisions he could not make. “


Again, this is also inaccurate.  OP’s BF could make a Will and OP could be designated to do all of that.  Medical decisions could also be OP if he signs her as his health proxy. 


Now as far as his Pension or Social Security is considered, he could be married to OP and maybe through terms of their divorce the ex-wife might get “part” of his Pension when he dies.  He can designate anyone he wants to be the beneficiary of his part of his Pension, even if he was legally married. 


As far as Social Security is concerned, again even if he married OP as long as his ex does not remarry, she could draw off his Social Security without it effecting what OP’s BF would get.  I also want to point out that if he married OP both OP and ex-wife could draw off his Social Security without it effecting the amount OP would get. 

So again, your point here is also not accurate. 


While you state your position is strictly legal it is not legal or accurate.  Refer to the IRS website and Social Security, Wills and health proxies.  While OP’s BF would need to do some paperwork, he could tidy up that situation in about 2 hours of paperwork. 


“I am in no way condemning OP moralisticly. My viewpoint is strictly legal POV. Op's boyfriend and his wife have an arrangement and it sounds like the man can do whatever he wants as long as they stay married on paper. “


And while you say are not condemning OP you keep emphasizing his WIFE and made this statement about an arrangement he and the ex have that was never described by OP and made up by you. 

She is not his wife!  They are legally separated.  It is a legal status and not just on Facebook cute joke but it didn’t land in an accurate statement. 

tog redux's picture

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  They are totally making a moral judgment. "He's a married man. You are dating a married man."

The man is separated, which is not the same as being married.  Yes, they have some legal ties, but that's it, it's not the same, period.

When DH was still separated, BM called his doctor saying she was his wife and tried to get information on his medical status. DENIED. You can make someone other than your spouse your health care proxy, and we did.

Picardy III's picture

But are they *legally* separated? That isn't necessarily established by simply living apart - it depends on the state/province's laws. OP said only that divorce papers were drawn up.

tog redux's picture

He may not be, that's a good question.

But either way, he's not a married man "cheating" on his wife as his others have implied, making her the "mistress". 

still learning's picture

Bottom line is that in the eyes of the court they are married until their divorce is final.  The IRS and Social Secuity cannot grant OP's bf a divorce. Every day that passes is another day that BM can count that she is married to OP's bf.  Until the divorce is final said boyfriend has a fiduciary responsibility to his wife. If bf won the lottery, half would legally be BM's. OP has no rights or legal protections in this relationship. Four years and no credit towards social security with him, pension, etc.  Married BF willing medical decisions to OP, that would be hotly contested and BM would likely win.  The man can't bother to file papers to get a divorce, how ever will her muster up the money and energy to file legal documents to protect OP's interests?  

Yes you can be married and separated at the same time. You're married until you're divorced and that's why you can't marry someone else because it would be considered bigamy.  Anyone who has been through the grueling and expensive process of legal disentanglement knows this.  


Sandybeaches's picture

First I only picked Social Security and IRS because YOU used those as the example of why he was considered  married.. 

You are wrong again!!  The court see's someone as legally separated when they go to court to get a legal separation.  

Now let's talk about the next part of your misinformation.  

"Until the divorce is final said boyfriend has a fiduciary responsibility to his wife. If bf won the lottery, half would legally be BM's."

Wrong again on both counts.  Legal separation was created just for that reason to separate finances and financial responsibilities for that 1 year waiting period until a divorce can be granted.  If he won the lottery she would have no claim provided he had a legal separation.  If he incurred a large debt or a law suit the ex wife would not be responsible and so on... 

Actually I truly believe it would the other way around if he had a Will naming OP executor and BM, who he has not lived with for 15 years tried to contest it. And I never said you use a Will for medical decisions I said a health proxy and he could most certainly name anyone he wanted even if he was married.  It doesn't legally become a spouse unless there isn't a health proxy on file  at all.  

I did go through both a legal separation and later a divorce and I was considered legally separated and it even stated to be married to my former spouse ever again we would have to remarry. You are wrong on the status.  

I am not speaking of whether OP's BF did or would file any of this type of paperwork,  I am still only speaking of your misinformation on the status of a court ordered legal separation.  


still learning's picture

I did go through both a legal separation and later a divorce and I was considered legally separated and it even stated to be married to my former spouse ever again we would have to remarry. 

The couple can file a motion to end the separation without having to legally remarry. Separations also expire. I imagine that if bf had actually filed for legal separation it would have expired 14 years ago. The only time they would have to remarry is if the divorce was final. Also a separation is nullified if the partners have sex.  The lottery situation happened in the state I was living in. The couple was in process of divorce, she won the lottery, moved and bought a home in another state. Her still legal but separated husband was awarded half.  We can speculate all we want but it is specific to state laws, community property status, and discression of the judge.  Personally I would not play Russian roulette with my future by living with a legally married person.  OP can build her life with her separated but legally married boyfriend, but she should consult a lawyer and know what she is currently signed up for.  

Sandybeaches's picture

"The couple can file a motion to end the separation without having to legally remarry. Separations also expire.

 so in your words if the couple has to file for a motion that would mean that they were legally something or they could just remain married without filing anything if they are married as you think they still are.

I have never heard of a Separation in any state expiring.  It would also have to state that in the decree somewhere if someone wanted it there but it is not typical or standard language in a separation agreement.  

As far as the lottery was concerned I would be very interested in that case and if there truly was a legal separation and if the lottery was won before or after the separation was signed.  I did see a case about the lottery on the news a few years back, however the person won the lottery before they filed for divorce or separation and therefore had to split it.  Again I would be interested in the exact details on that one.  

As far as the having sex thing ... well I am not quite sure who is keeping tabs on that nor would I want the job :) 

I am in no way disputing that OP's BF is definitely causing the issue here for OP and needs to clean up his mess.  As I have mentioned in other posts my issue is with you and other posters throwing around the term "married" to shame OP like she is doing something wrong.  We all know that OP's BF is not "married" in way that we all define married.  It would be better to offer her helpful advice.  

Movingonisbest's picture

Since you think he is not married, what would be the unquestionable factor of why he couldn't marry the original poster tomorrow, next week, or even next month if he wanted to?  Drumroll..... He already has a wife because he iIS still married. Smh

Sandybeaches's picture

"Since you think he is not married, what would be the unquestionable factor of why he couldn't marry the original poster tomorrow, next week, or even next month if he wanted to?  Drumroll..... He already has a wife because he iIS still married. Smh" 

You and other some posters are getting caught up in terms and trying to make OP's BF sound like he is married living a life with his ex-wife and cheating on her.  You are also stating that he is married when his status is legally separated.  You also are not acting as though legal separation is not a license to go on with your life.  Some states used to and some still do require a 1 year separation before you can get a divorce.  It is a legal status and you are considered legally seperated not married.  


tog redux's picture

I agree. Yes, he still has legal ties to her. He is not still living with her.

And he couldn't marry OP next week because he's only legally separated and not divorced - but he's NOT MARRIED.

Sandybeaches's picture

And courts would not have wasted their time creating this status if it didn't mean anything.  It does mean NOT MARRIED when you are legally separated!!

still learning's picture

Legal separation, if he actually filed for it, and I bet there are no actual documents, merely means that he doesn't have to terminate his marital status.  

trying to make OP's BF sound like he is married living a life with his ex-wife and cheating on her. 

As much as OP would like BM to be his ex-wife, he is still married to her.  He is still married until his divorce is fnal. Yes he may be physically separated since he's sleeping in another womans bed but legally he is tied to his wife. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, that's true, no one is disputing that. I too dated DH when he was only separated, lots of us on here have done so.  Worked out fine for me in the end, and for others who did the same.

I would not have stayed with him if he were doing what OP's SO is doing and had been separated for four years with no action taken towards divorce.  But just because he's separated and not divorced doesn't mean she's the "side piece" and shouldn't go to the wedding.

Movingonisbest's picture

You said "I would not have stayed with him if he were doing what OP's SO is doing and had been separated for four years with no action taken towards divorce.  But just because he's separated and not divorced doesn't mean she's the "side piece" and shouldn't go to the wedding." 

You don't know what religion these people are or what their beliefs are. I attended a church many years ago and the pastor would tell people if they were living in sin they had to leave his church. He called people out who were shacking up, committing adultery and other things. So if they have the same belief as this pastor, it's fine for them not to want her at their wedding. They don't owe her an invitation to anything. 


FWSM1964's picture

You make a valid and interesting point, but I don't believe that religion plays a part here.

If that were the case, then my partner would not be invited nor would SS32,  his live-in-fiancee, SS29, and his live-in-girlfriend.

To be clear, one wedding was non-denominational and the other wedding will be in City Hall.  

I attended a church in my youth where women were kicked out of the church for wearing pants and not wearing head coverings, let alone living in sin!

I like the fact that you think outside the box, Movingonisbest, but this is not the case here.


Movingonisbest's picture

Ok. Then I'm not sure what's going on with his adult kids. You said you were married to a narcissist, which I can only imagine had to be dreadful. Just want you to be happy. As far as his kids are concerned just disengage if you have to. I disengaged from my ex's kids at the very beginning and had know clue what disengaging actually meant. It made it easier for me to walk away when I found out what a mess they were.

FWSM1964's picture

Movingonisbest, thank you for your encouraging words.

I think my partner's children have been unduly influenced and manipulated by BM.  When my partner left the matrimonial home 15 years ago, all four children were still living at home.  BM cried on the shoulders of SS29 regularly until he told her to stop.

Because BM was the custodial parent, they lived with her day in day out and became very sympathetic to her "plight".  Although she painted my partner as the source of the marital collapse, it was in fact the opposite.  I think the children believe her version of the events.  She is miserable and alone, and blames my partner for that.  The children feel bad for her pain.

Since my partner's children are trying to pretend that I don't exist, I don't think disengagement will be too difficult.  They don't visit their father at his apartment with the exception of SS32, so it's unlikely that I will run into them.

In regards to disengagement, what things did you do? Any advice you can provide is appreciated.

tog redux's picture

Is that the only sin people have to leave for? Your judging others didn't get you kicked out? People's drinking, smoking, dancing, adultery, lying, stealing, etc, didn't get them the boot?

FWSM1964's picture

Very good point, tog.  Some people laser focus into one issue and beat it like a dead horse. Thanks again for your insight.

Movingonisbest's picture

Legally separated and separated do not equate to divorce. A one year waiting period is ok because divorce is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. It can give the married couple time to figure out whether they really want to terminate the marriage or not. During that period people should take that time to readjust to a new way of life (including helping their kids adjust too if they have any), not jumping into a new relationship.

But back to the topic at hand,  as I said before  my standpoint about him isn't necessarily based on him being a cheater. Like I said before, I don't know whether he is, was, or has ever been a cheater. However, he has a lot of red flags. So he has been in at least 2 relationships (including the one with the original poster) that have both been for 4+ years all while not being divorced? 15 years of separation? That is beyond ridiculous. Original poster knew about the relationship he had prior to her, knew it had gone on at least 5 years, and knew he still wasn't divorced. That relationship ended. Now it seems like he has put her in the same position as the woman he was with prior to her. After being with him 1 year she didn't question this? What about year 2? What about years 3 and 4? She's blaming his kids and his ex wife? HE seems to be the main problem. He can't respect her because he doesn't even respect himself. 

He set the stage for her to be disrespected, and she, for whatever went along with it. She has to forgive herself, and value herself. Rags, gave her some good advice below on how to do that. And that's advice coming from a man. However, something tells me she isn't going to make any changes because she fears he is going to move on to the next woman who will put up with his crap, and when he can no longer do that he may even go back to his wife. If nothing else, she could consider seeing a counselor who can help her deal with whatever issues she has that  allowed her to end up in this situation but more so remain in it.

tog redux's picture

I disagree with Rags' advice. I wouldn't go to any event with people who hated me and didn't want me there, just to prove a point that he's mine. I'd tell him to go by himself.

I do agree that she should push him to get divorced, but she doesn't seem quite as concerned about that as many of you do.

FWSM1964's picture

You're on point again, tog redux.  I do not want to attend a wedding of a virtual stranger and open myself up to disrespect. 

I accept full responsibility for not getting involved earlier in my partner's divorce.  He told me that BM had agreed to it and was providing him the financial documents for the net property settlement calculations, and I believed him. I thought they were two adults who WANT to be divorced and they will work it out. This is on me.

As time went on and I still hadn't met the children at the two year mark and the divorce stil had not materialized, I think that my partner wanted to believe that BM was on-side as he couldn't understand that she would stand in the way of his happiness.  Despite my protests to the contrary, he kept saying that she is a good fine Christian woman who is selfless enough to let him go until she proved time and time again that she wasn't. 

It's hard for a leopard to change its spots, but sometimes that occurs.  My partner couldn't see that her spite, vindictiveness, and manipulation would also affect the children.  BM is the "poor cast-aside wife" who told lies to the children about the separation and continues to do so as she feels my partner slipping from her grasp as the children grow up and move away. 

I told my partner to be ready for the divorce from hell.  At least, my litigious narcissistic XH had the common sense not to throw himself at me as many times as BM tried to do with my partner.  Although, after seven years of litigation and one final attempt in court to woo me back, my XH has crawled back into the woodwork.  Sure hope BM does the same sooner rather than later; though I'm not holding my breath.

Movingonisbest's picture

Well the opposite could occur and neither one of them will go.  My father used to always say that if people are trying to come between a couple then that should push the couple closer together. However, if it pulls them apart, then they weren't meant to be together to begin with.

tog redux's picture

I'm pretty sure the FIFTEEN YEARS of separation has already come between them, just sayin'.

Movingonisbest's picture

That statement was in reference to the original poster and her married boyfriend. Not the married man and his wife. Truth is it sounds ridiculous to say married boyfriend. I don't know where others are from, but if a woman is with a man who hasn't dissolved his marriage with his wife then he is still married. Noone really gets into that legally separated crap. Other than possibly the one trying to defend a position deep down she is shameful about.

FWSM1964's picture

Ok, Movingonisbest.  We discussed this already.

He is legally separated since 2006; not married.

There is no shame in dating a person who is separated.

I started dating when I was separated and now I am divorced.

tog redux's picture

Or people who are focused on, you know, reality - where the man has not lived with her as husband and wife for 15 years, so who cares what the legal status is, separation or divorced. Why should she be ashamed? Because pearl clutchers like you think it's "wrong"?

Movingonisbest's picture

Why do you think its right? Cause you have actually been in her shoes? Too many single men in the world for a woman to choose a married or legally separated man.

DPW's picture

The world has changed.... evolve, already. Things take time. Divorces are complicated. Family law crawls. Do you seriously think one should be celibate and alone for years because he/she is not divorced in the eyes of the law? Absurd. 

Sandybeaches's picture

Thank you for putting that into perspective!!!

Sandybeaches's picture

"Tpo many single men in the world for a woman to choose a married or legally separated man"

You are judging OP as if she is having an affair with a married man.  This man has been legally not married for 15 years whether you choose to see that or not.  You are also assuming and speculating things about Tog that you have no idea about and doing so  because you are being challenged on your misinformed opinion.  

FWSM1964's picture

Right on, Tog and Sandybeaches! 

I think we can discuss this with the "pearl-clutchers" until we are blue in the face. Their opinions will not change and they will continue to spew their judgemental vitriol.

While I was separated, I met a number of men; some divorced, some separated, some single; some with children and some not. Out of all of them, my partner was the best match for me on so many levels.

I'm sure that the fact that he had been separated for 11 years without being divorced could have been a "red flag" as it is for some of the "pearl-clutchers", but it wasn't for me.  We thought that BM and SK's would want to meet me in the future.

The fact that my partner is separated is a situation, not an inherent personality trait.  To think that men are interchangeable seems naive at best and insulting at worst. I met some "fully free" men with dubious personality traits.

I was separated when we started dating and my partner supported me during the last couple of years of legal wranglings. It was a hard road with my children at that time, but it all worked out.  I assumed I'd do the same for him.  And here we are.


Movingonisbest's picture

No, actually Tog said she dated her now husband when he was separated. So I didn't assume anything. That's her choice. As far as the original poster, Tog said something like there are some things in original posters situation that she would not tolerate or something like that.

I  know a few men who have dated women separated but not divorced. They all indicated they were just looking to have some fun. Only one later admitted he actually fell in love with the woman. He said she went back to her husband. The guy who said this also admitted while he was kind of hurt, he couldn't really be mad because the woman was never truly his but still her husband's and he knew he should have never been involved with her to begin with.

I didn't judge original poster as if she is having an affair. Although some could view it that way. Personally I would never have dated him, and I know a ton of other women who wouldn't have either. But 15 years separated and not divorced is a bloody red flag. Him having 2 relationships of 4+ years (including the one with original poster) is beyond pathetic. Her first mistake was being with him period. She is foolish to blame everything on Bm and Sks. 

As far as my view? Not only would I never knowingly date a married or separated man, I'm not even dating a man who is in a relationship with another woman. It's called self-respect.

FWSM1964's picture

Ok, so you know my partner is not in a 'relationship' with BM.  They barely speak now that the children are adults.

He has tried his best with his children visiting them as much as he could. They have even told him that they are grateful for his constant and loving influence in their lives that has led them to bettering themselves in their careers and in their relationship with their partners. 

However, their mother is a hate-filled, spiteful, vindictive soul, with sociopathic tendencies.  While they pity her as she wallows in misery, they also are extremely afraid of upsetting her should she unleash her wrath, especially with the two youngest SK's who live with her.  So yeah, I blame the BM and her adult SK's.  Especially the two eldest who do not live at home.

I have lived with a hate-filled, spiteful, vindictive soul, with sociopathic tendencies for 25 years.  I know how they can weave their tapestry of lies, manipulation, gaslighting, and projection upon their confused children's psyches.  And even me. I had wanted to leave for 7 years before I had the strength and the courage to do so. 

I know how warped my children's thinking was when I first separated, and through love, honesty, and acceptance, I was able to turn things around.  It took several years.  But with the help of my partner, who is an excellent role model for my children, all has worked out. 

I do have self-respect, but it is inclusionary.  Your self-respect is exclusionary, and that's fine too.  There are many types of people in the world. I am sorry that the people you knew who dated separated individuals did not have good experiences, and this may have contributed to your POV. Good luck to you.


Movingonisbest's picture

I didn't say they didn't have good experiences. I said they said they were just looking for some fun. Only one actually fell for the woman. Their experiences that they shared with me came way later in life. I had already felt this way.

As I said before, sometimes men are truly able to give a woman a better insight on a situation she is going through with a man. Men know men better than a woman ever could. Generally, a man who is related to you or a good friend is willing to tell you the truth. They are also generally able to give you the insight you need to call a man out on his bs. You say a lot of stuff about this man, like you have known him forever. You can't believe everything he tells you and defend him like he's a king. I get the feeling you already know if you call him out, he's going to be gone.

tog redux's picture

OP, give my DH a call! He will tell you about dating when he was separated. Since she thinks men give better advice, lol. 

FWSM1964's picture

Movingonisbest, you used your friends' experiences as evidence that dating a separated person is not a good idea. One fell for the woman who went back to her husband.  The other didn't want a long-term relationship.  These are not good outcomes when one is looking for one's future life partner. These situations also verified your previous belief that dating a separated person is not ideal.

However, in tog's situation, it worked out for her and her husband.  Instead of being happy for her and congratulating her, you use this experience as a way to make assumptions and propogate your agenda.

In regards to men giving advice, I listen to advice from both genders equally.  I am comfortable to call out erroneous assumptions and conflicting opinions stated by both genders. I am also comfortable to thank both genders for their insight.

I have known my partner for over four years, and I believe that it is long enough to know a person.  I do not defend him like he's a king, and have mentioned in a previous post, that despite his wonderful qualities, he is not perfect.  Nor am I. 

Also, I have called him out as this forum has given me the confidence to have hard conversations with him.  Instead of being gone, he is working on our future together. 

I realize that there are many posts on this forum topic, and perhaps you missed those particular ones.

Sandybeaches's picture

"As far as my view? Not only would I never knowingly date a married or separated man, I'm not even dating a man who is in a relationship with another woman. It's called self-respect."

OP is not dating a man that is with another woman either.  I don't think anyone on here ever said they would date a man that was in a relationship with another woman.  

"I didn't judge original poster as if she is having an affair. Although some could view it that way. "

You think he is considered married, you think he is in a relationship with his BM if that is not saying you think it is an affair I am not sure how you would define an affair.  

"No, actually Tog said she dated her now husband when he was separated. "

and because she said that you "assumed" to know Tog's situation and also "assumed" that was the reason she was responding and giving her view of OP's situation.  

I will give you that OP's BF has issues and should have cleaned up his mess, I don't think anyone will dispute that, what we are talking about is the fact that you and some other posters are judging OP saying she is dating a married man and then refusing to own that is what you are saying.  And further not being able to back up your point with any legitimate information to prove your point.  

Movingonisbest's picture

Sandybeaches, let this woman go get some advice from a man. This is an issue men likely wouldn't even argue. A father, grandfather, uncle, brother etc. aren't going to hear separated, they will see married. You know why??? Him being married is the first bloody red flag. I don't care who on this board disagrees with me. My views and standards won't be changing on this issue.

tog redux's picture

Why a man? We are women who dated separated men and it worked out great. Yet you discount that in favor of stories from two men for whom it didn't work out great. Why does she need to talk to a man? That's really sexist and makes no sense. 

Sandybeaches's picture

"Him being married is the first bloody red flag. I don't care who on this board disagrees with me. My views and standards won't be changing on this issue."

At least you are finally owning your judgemental opinion!! Well sort of anyway ...

Now judgemental sexiest opinion. Why ask a man? Obviously not all men would agree and what are saying a woman's opinion is not valid enough? 

tog redux's picture

Wow, judgy much? DH and I have been together for  10 years happily. Guess you don't have to be divorced to know you are ready to move on.

Winterglow's picture

"They all indicated they were just looking to have some fun. "

Which says a lot more about their characters (or lack therof) than the women they were dating ... They probably still believed the myth that divorced/separated women are easy and desperate. 

tog redux's picture

What DPW said. Why do you think it's wrong? It's not 1950 anymore. Don't impose your antiquated belief system on others. 

Sandybeaches's picture

"Legally separated and separated do not equate to divorce."  No one said they did ...

HOWEVER Legally separated and separated do not equate to MARRIED EITHER.  They are a status all on their own! Created by the legal system for that limbo period while you are neither married or divorced.  

No one also disputed the one year waiting period it was used as the definition of why legal separation was created.  

I also disagree with Rags advice. I would never knowingly go anywhere that people hated me just to prove a point.  I would never put myself in that situation!!

Movingonisbest's picture

Well on some issues, a man can give better advice on things. Perhaps, if she had taken a man's advice from the start, she would have never ended up in a situation like this to begin with. The reality is that this man is someone else's husband, and can never be fully in with her while he is still married to someone else.

Rags's picture

A separated person is still married.  Except in a few states where Legal Separation is considered a state of non-marriage. In all other states if a person is separated they are still married.

FWSM1964's picture

I think you hit the nail on the head, Movingonisbest.  My partner allowed himself to be manipulated by BM and in turn, the children, because of his enormous guilt in leaving the matrimonial home 15 years ago. 

If he tried to visit the kids, this was too much; BM might get the wrong impression.  If he tried to stay away, "look kids, your dad doesn't care about our family; he's out partying with his friends." Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

This was twisted around to his detriment although it was BM who did some despicable things that caused the collapse of the marriage.  However, she has "now found religion", so "it can't be her fault". "Look how miserable she is."  "Poor pitiful mom who is alone."

It's hard to respect oneself when one has become a puppet.  I was the puppet of my narcissistic XH for 25 years and now I am the puppet of BM and it makes me sick.

I have been in counselling for the past 10 years, and it helped me to leave my manipulative XH.  However, with respect to BM and her enmeshed and entitled brood, I am told that there is nothing I can do.  So now, I vent on StepTalk.

FWSM1964's picture

I am perfectly fine to listen to opposing opinions as long as they are stated in a respectful manner.  Disrespect is uncalled for.

If you want to understand how things are in someone's life, then ask.  Please don't jump to conclusions. Everyone's different.

Please do not criticize me if I do not like being judged, insulted, and disrespected. I will call out this behaviour.

I joined this forum to get courteous advice, hear people's stories, and share mine. Thank you.


Rags's picture

If he allows his failed family breeding experiments to control his relationship with you at all, he is not worthy of being your partner.

SO needs to let them know that you will be on his arm at all family events and that their mother is not his problem any longer.  If he goes to any of these events without you, you have your answer on what his priority is. And it isn't you or the relationship he shares with you.

Give him clarity.  If he goes without you, the relationship ends at the moment he makes that choice.

Keep it simple.

Rags's picture

Under no circumstance would I go to a social event that my wife was excluded from. She would not go to one I was excluded from.   Actually, we would both go to any event that one or the other of us was invited to regardless of if the other was specifically excluded or not.

The only exception would be professional events that excluded spouses.  There have been a few of those over the course of our marriage.  Company celebrations, etc... There have also been many professional and work events that we attended together.  It depends on the event.

Weddings, funerals, family reunions, graduations, etc, etc, etc.... We would be together whether one or the other of us was asked to not attend.  If someone were to take exception to that, it is on them.  We would be radiating happiness together, enjoying ourselves, engaging with respectable well behaved people.  Anyone who might confront either of us on that would find themselves dealt with by the two of us. As united front.

Even the concept of a family situation where a father's or mother's spouse would not be included in a family event is foreign to my stand on an equity life partnership, respectful children, etc is and foreign to my life paradigm...

As for being welcome or not, idiots are entertaining and I am fine with stepping up to bare their asses when they get shitty in public.  Had I polluted my gene pool with my adulterous whore of an XW I would have my bride on my arm for every significant life celebration for my kids regardless of what the XW and XILs or even my child(ren) had to say about it. She would want to be there.  They would all know damned good and well that one peep would result in consequences that they would not want to risk facing.

Fortunately, I dodged that bullet. 

In our real life, the SpermClan never once attended any celebratory event for my SS. Ever. They never even called to congradulate him and never even sent a card.   The got announcements for all of his graduations, promotion ceremonies and celebrations, etc... but have never once participated or said a word of congratulations to him.  We will see how it rolls out for a wedding or GKs if they show up. I am expecting that their past behavior will be an extremely accurate predictor of their participation in any of those events. They won't participate.

Oddly, my XILs invited my DW, my SS and I to their ranch for holidays many times over the years.  We never attended.  Since I had no connection with my XILs after the divorce, I had no interest in a relationship with them. I avoided a life of connection with that shallow, polluted and criminal gene pool.  


DPW's picture

I can't believe people are pulling the "he's still married" card. Get off your pedestals and get over yourselves. 

FWSM1964's picture

"He's still married card" is right, DPW.  Quite a large number of responses are of that ilk. While people are entitled to their opinions, this specific POV is not particularly helpful. Particularly, because that is not the reason that BM and SK's are entitled and enmeshed.

Sure, it didn't help matters any and it is getting addressed now, but BM's manipulation, gaslighting, and recreation of reality has been going on since before the children were born. Her behaviour against my partner has been despicable throughout the marriage, and somehow she has twisted it around that she is the "victim". 

I've got to hand it to her though because my counsellor stated that my XH is a "skilled master manipulator" and my children finally saw through him in their late teens. BM must be even more skilled if her children who are 20-32 don't see it.  Even two of them were content to meet me and hang out with me a mere two months ago, but no longer.

I have a feeling that even though BM told her XIL's in 2018 that she wants my partner back, I don't believe she really does.  I believe that she just doesn't want anyone else to have him.  She couldn't treat him properly when she had him; he was just a puppet for her just like their enmeshed and entitled children who dance to BM's tune.  And as some posters point out, he is still the family puppet.

tog redux's picture

Yes, the pearl clutchers always come out when someone is dating a man who is separated. Be grateful you weren't called a "slut" like some of us were in a previous thread.

Anyway - him not divorcing her probably did play into her feeling that they were still a couple, not to mention his jumping to her and the kids' demands that he do things in their home.  He didn't set a clear boundary right from the start, though honestly, he could have divorced her and then continued to jump when she said to do so, and the same dynamic would be happening.

Mothers generally are much, much better at playing the victim and getting their kids hooked into feeling sorry for them than fathers are. 

FWSM1964's picture

I knew the pearl-clutchers thought I was a "slut" even though they called me  "arm candy", "affair partner", and "mistress". That's why I posted that I started dating at the 11th year of separation.  No matter to them; I'm dating a "married" man.

He and I agree that it may have been better if he did divorce sooner.  However, you are correct in that the same dynamic could have played out due to my partner's guilt over leaving the matrimonial home.  He might still have had to jump to the "matrimonial tunes".

In the case of BM, you are correct about mothers garnering more sympathy.  However, in my case it was my litigious and narcissistic XH who garnered all the sympathy.  Over several years, I was told both by the domestic violence staff and police that I was "not victimlike enough" and that my XH who behaved more "pathetically" would be a more sympathetic character. And for years my BKs believed his twisted stories and manipulative actions. 

My partner was instrumental in giving me the confidence to stand up to my XH's bullying through the legal system.  My partner helped me set appropriate boundaries with my children and over time, my XH lost his power to use my children as weapons against me. 

I went through 7 years of legal hell not to mention the previous 25 years of hell before my XH and I were separated.  My partner took me from a place of deep despair and despondency and helped me create a harmonious household with my adult children.  It is so wonderful that I feel badly that he has not created such a situation for himself with his own children.

So when posters insult his character and my judgement without knowing the full situation, it does not sit well with me.  Here is a kind, loving, and honourable man who got taken advantage of. He is not perfect and his inertia, procrastination, and poor record keeping did not help things. But he is the best thing that happened to me in 34 years, and I am hopeful for the future.

Besides, it's not like his children are malicious to me.  They just pretend like I don't exist and I do pretty much the same. I could pretend that he has no children and that would work for me.  It's not like they see him very often anyway.  The oldest son goes out with him to a pub occasionally, and my partner has refused to visit SS32's house unless I'm with him. Thoughts?

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, 1dad4kids. 

Your words are very validating and encouraging.

Some people are easy to delude, want to be deluded, or have their own personal agenda.

Yes, my partner would prefer that I'm by his side in every event to which he is invited, but it is what it is.

I appreciate your kind words about my children; yes, they are on the right path.

I wish you all the best too.

tog redux's picture

It makes them feel superior to judge others. Some of them are probably in unhappy marriages but at least they didn't date a separated man! That puts them above all of us who have "no self-respect". 

Movingonisbest's picture

Like I mentioned the other day, it could be people's religion. Why knock anyone else's standards because you feel like yours are less than? Women can choose not to be with a man who has unfinished business with another woman. A man who is married but not divorced falls into that category. It can actually be a quite selfless act too. Like I said, too many men in the world to be with a married or legally separated man. True??

tog redux's picture

You are the one in this thread judging the OP, Movingonisbest, and knocking other people for not agreeing with your beliefs.

From your blogs, you chose a divorced man who treated you like dirt. I chose a separated man who treats me like gold. 

I'll let the others decide what their standards are and who doesn't have "self-respect" in that scenario.

Movingonisbest's picture

Togs go get yourself some professional help. My ex didn't treat me like dirt. His lack of parenting and enabling of adult kids is why I  left him. Your husband was married before right? If he is so good to you how did you end up on this message board? Knowing that she has been with a married man must still be getting to her. After how many years of marriage?

tog redux's picture

Interesting, my DH is a great parent who never enables my SS20. I'm here because of BM and you will not find one bad word written on here about my DH, because we have a great relationship.  If I had seen any red flags of poor parenting, I would not have continued dating him.  Guess being divorced isn't the recipe for a healthy marriage, and whether or not they are divorced shouldn't be the only red flag you look for.

I apologize if I misinterpreted what I read in your blogs. But you really do need to get off of your high horse and stop accusing others of not having self-respect when you made a poor choice yourself.


Sandybeaches's picture

Crazy intrusive BM's and unappreciative trouble making step-children.  That is why a lot of us are here!!!  Sometimes DH problems but only related to BM's and Step-Kids!!

tog redux's picture

Mine really was just BM - overall, DH handled her well and handled SS well. It was the family court, crazy BM nonsense that brought me here.

Sandybeaches's picture

Mine is definitely a BM thing  In that she is crazy and a horrible parent  but it trickled down to SK's and has made SK's dependent.  

My DH is much better at handling it now then he ever was before.  His way was just to ignore it but unfortunately  that made BM crazier. He never gave into her he just thought it was better to stand his ground and then ignore her.  

Movingonisbest's picture

Tog you are just defensive because deep down you know dating a married man is wrong. Yeah blame BM. Remember BM is someone your dh actually loved, married, had a kid or kids by and shared a life with so how bad could she really be? Karma comes in different ways, sometimes even in the form of a HCBM.

As far as being on a high horse, not at all. Do you see me criticizing my ex's prior partner? Did you see me get defensive when people told me my ex was the problem, that his motives could have been financial because his daughter could run him dry and he might need my help, or that things wouldn't change? How about when I was told there were red flags or to simply run? Sometimes the hard truth is the best, and I have told people on this board how much I appreciated the hard truth that actually helped me a ton. The people who told me men value their comfort the most, don't date men with daughters because of mini-wife syndome, and other statements were so very useful.

I  generally think you have some good advice for people on this board. However, I don't think that the original poster has benefited from your usual good advice or good advice from others because this thread took a turn to arguing about legally separated or married status when a person is not divorced. We are all at different ages, come from different backgrounds, and are at different stages in our lives. If someone says never date a man with a daughter, or never date a man with kids do people really get that offended? Then why get offended when people say don't date a married man? Or to make a statement about people's marriages probably being unhappy, or to claim my blogs indicated my ex treated me like dirt when that wasn't even our issue?  It may be right or it may be wrong, but a lot of people frown on it. Not sure if it is still the case, but In the case of the military it used to be punishable where a man could lose rank, be incarcerated, or even be kicked out of the military. So is the military on a high horse too?



tog redux's picture

See, that kind of "deep down you know it's wrong" stuff is why this turned into an argument. You are welcome to have your own opinion. Stop judging others for having theirs.

I don't think it's wrong at all. YOU do, and you are projecting that onto me.

As for BM, yep, she's nuts. Are you implying that people never make a mistake and marry the wrong person, like my DH did? Like you did?  That people you thought were going to be one way when you married them start acting another way after you married them? Isn't that what happened to you? Why are you criticizing your ex on the Internet? How is that better than me criticizing BM?

Deep down, you are just jealous that other people have happy marriages, whereas yours failed, so you turn to judging others to make yourself feel better.  Oh, and insulting people if they dare to disagree with you.

We'll ask the OP if she thinks my advice benefited her.

Movingonisbest's picture

Togs you don't act like a happily married woman. You are the one questioning other people's marriages and relationships because they don't agree with your view. I even asked you if you felt like the military is on a high horse too especially since they punish their troops for the very thing we have been going back and forth on. Or like I said they used too.

You are so childish it makes no sense. Other women have admitted to me how unhappy they are and told me I did the right thing by ending the relationship with my ex. Some said if they hadn't been invested in their marriages or relationships so long they would have left too. You are no better off than anyone else here. The way you behave it's clear you are unhappy. Again I am the only one here who recommended the op try to get another point of view.

tog redux's picture

I don't act like a happily married person because I argue with religious zealot pearl-clutchers who insult others who don't live by their values? Huh?

Yes, you recommended another point of view from a MAN. Which is typical for women who hate other women, they think men know best.

But carry on, but be aware that judging others is a "sin" as well.

I'm quite happy with DH - but not with people who hold beliefs like yours.  You hang onto the idea that I'm not happy if it makes you feel better about your life.  I AM tired of this debate, so I'll move on.

Movingonisbest's picture

So you never answered my question. Do you hate our service members too? Unless things changed, they get demoted, lose rank, can be incarcerated, or even disharged dishonorably for this very thing. Funny you won't acknowledge that.

You are happy? Sounds like you look down on hcbm like she's the whole problem. What did she accuse you of being with her husband before they got divorced? Whether the hcbm already had issues before you came into the picture I don't know. But  if I had to guess,  you dating her husband before they got divorced could be part of the reason she caused or is still causing so much trouble. You set yourself up for that one, not me. I'm not a HCBM, I've never dealt with a hcbm, and never will deal with one.

You said "Yes, you recommended another point of view from a MAN. Which is typical for women who hate other women, they think men know best." You sound ridiculous. Men generally know men better because they are men like women generally know women better because they are women. Where Im from it's normal for a man to give a woman relationship advice. Sometimes they can see when a man is full of crap whereas a woman could miss this.

As an adult woman do you really need to resort to calling people names?  Calling someone you don't know sexist, and telling them they hate women?  

If this topic is so dear to your heart, why not go get some signs made up with your view on it, go protest outside military installations across the country (if this is legal), have petitions signed, or whatever else and promote change? Do those things if you are so passionate about it and truly make a difference. Smh

Sandybeaches's picture

"So you never answered my question. Do you hate our service members too? Unless things changed, they get demoted, lose rank, "can be incarcerated, or even discharged dishonorably for this very thing. Funny you won't acknowledge that."

I personally would like some clarity here on what "that very thing" is???  Are you saying you can get demoted or lose rank or be incarcerated if you are LEGALLY SEPARATED and you date or start a new relationship before you are legally divorced? I would just like some clarity on what you are saying.  

Sandybeaches's picture

"Tog you are just defensive because deep down you know dating a married man is wrong. Yeah blame BM. Remember BM is someone your dh actually loved, married, had a kid or kids by and shared a life with so how bad could she really be? Karma comes in different ways, sometimes even in the form of a HCBM."

Now that is laughable.  Just because someone marries someone and had kids with them doesn't exclude them from being a bad person.  I have never seen that as criteria for a good person.  And let's not forget that some men got married because they were trapped into it or felt trapped because BM was pregnant.  

"I don't think that the original poster has benefited from your usual good advice or good advice from others because this thread took a turn to arguing about legally separated or married status when a person is not divorced"

You are still quite confused about why this thread took a turn and became a war of statuses.  Because you and some other posters were saying and continue to say that OP is with a married man.  That is the only reason it came up.  Do you really think that you saying to OP that she is dating a married man has in any way benefited OP? It is judgmental , hurtful and most importantly INACCURATE!!!

"Then why get offended when people say don't date a married man?"

BECAUSE OP IS NOT DATING A MARRIED MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and you seem to stick with it and not understand that it is inaccurate and not a matter of opinion.  You know that OP's BF is not in a marriage relationship with BM yet you just keep on and on with your judgmental comments.  But worst of all you don't seem to understand why people keep pointing out your inaccurate comments to you.   I don't see that as helpful to OP at all.  

FWSM1964's picture

Okay, so we all have different opinions.  And that's great.  The world would be a boring place without diversity.

I came here for advice, to hear people's stories, and to share my own. 

Tog and Sandybeaches have shared their experiences.

Movingonisbest shared her male friends' experiences, and her deep-seated beliefs.

However being insulted because my man isn't yet separated is not helpful.


Movingonisbest's picture

Im not the only one who commented a view opposite of them FWSM1964. I am the only one who actually even recommended to you that you get a man's view on it, one you know loves you like a brother, father, grandfather, uncle, good friend. On something like this a man should be able to give you their honest opinion. I think two men did give you their opinion on here so hope you saw those.

Movingonisbest's picture

FWSM, Im not the one who actually called you a side piece. Try to go back and re-read what someone said about you being invited to the wedding or into the matrimonial hime. Didn't you post a lot of people were saying things you obviously didn't like? And that was before I started commenting right? 

FWSM1964's picture

I'm not sure if you said "side piece", "affair partner", or what have you, Movingonisbest.

All I know is that others have shared your opinion, but have said their piece and moved on.

While your moniker is Movingonisbest, it appears that you cannot let this go.

I appreciate what you have to say, and while I respectfully disagree, I don't think we will ever change each other's minds.

And it's okay.  Let's agree to disagree.

Movingonisbest's picture

I can definitely let it go. But if someone wants to keep responding to what I said then I will continue to keep responding until I get tired. So don't act like I was going back and forth alone.

And yes we can most definitely agree to disagree because I won't be changing my view on this either. Good luck!

Sandybeaches's picture

Everyone is entitled to YOUR opinion. 

As I see it no one was trying to change your opinion, we were just explaining that your opinion was not accurate.   AND certainly if you want to keep that misinformed opinion you are certainly entitled to do so HOWEVER,  you are inflicting it on OP and shaming her by judging her by your inaccurate opinion.   Therefore myself and others are sticking up for OP in her thread she asked advice in and pointing it out to you!!!

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, Sandybeaches and Tog, for sticking up for me.  I can see that both of you "get me", understand my situation very clearly, and have offered helpful advice. I also saw that you were very tactful and courteous in explaining your point of view.

While you wanted to show a perspective that differed from some of the "pearl-clutchers" (sorry, I love this term), I am dismayed to find that they were so high up on their high horses that they could not see it.  In fact, they kept expounding the fact that "married in name" equals "married in deed". 

When I explained that my partner filed his taxes separately since 2006 (and in fact, is categorized by the Canadian government as "legally separated"), this was disregarded even though it was brought up by the "pearl-clutchers" as one of the criteria of "not married".

I was made out to be a skank, stealing poor BM's "weak, lazy, and irresponsible" husband even though I met him 11 years after he left the matrimonial home, and he's anything but weak, lazy, and irresponsible.  That was insulting.  And to add insult to injury, some posters felt that my partner would run back to BM at a moment's notice, which is so untrue it's almost funny.

And above that, the "pearl-clutchers" continue to insult Tog and I because they have no justification for their position besides a long-held irrational belief.  I believe that this has struck an emotional chord with many of us because it is so close to our heart.

tog redux's picture

I dated a separated man and we have been happily together for 10.5 years. So I don't care what the divorced moralizers say, it has nothing to do with anything.

I think if he was divorced, his kids would hate you anyway. So figure out how to go from there.

FWSM1964's picture

I agree with you, Tog.

After thinking about all of this, I am no longer interested in meeting the SK's and will never trust them.

Thank you for sharing your personal experience and for providing sage advice.

Sandybeaches's picture

So sorry that you have been treated so unfairly.  Differences of opinions are one thing this is well beyond that.  So sorry you had to endure that!!  Some of us understand! 

FWSM1964's picture

I saw a bunch of opinions from men and women alike and thanked everyone for their input, whether or not I agree with it.

However, what some of us do not appreciate is judgement, disrespect, negativity, and moral grandstanding.

I appreciate those posters who "get me", my experience, and what I am trying to say.

I do realize that most, if not all, are speaking from experience and our own point of view. 

I just hope that tact, courtesy, and civility can be used in helping each other on this forum, whether or not we agree.

Thumper's picture

Blah blah blah OP

You wrote: However, what some of us do not appreciate is judgement, disrespect, negativity, and moral grandstanding.


I dont care how YOU decide to live your life one way or another. But let us get back to your topic shall we,  "ADVICE NEEDED ON UPDATE REGARDING SS32'S UPCOMING WEDDING"

It doesnt matter what any of us suggest because it is not your wedding. I am honestly not sure what you expect his family to do.


FWSM1964's picture

So true, Thumper.  It is not my wedding or my partner's wedding. 

It is SS32's wedding and if he fears BM's wrath, then so be it.

Gimlet's picture

I'm not interested in the semantics of separated or married or whatnot, so I won't comment on that here.

What I will say is that this situation really has nothing to do with you as a human being.  You could be anyone and this would play out the same and I don't mean that rudely.

Your SO had a role in his first family as did BM.  When he left, those roles did not change.  In order to avoid upsetting his kids, he continued to fill his role much as he did when they were intact.  BM also doubled down on her role and became the protector of the integrity of the first family and a martyr in the process.   It seems like everyone and everything revolved around keeping her happy or placated.  I see this because my mom did this too, but in an intact family.  She is the emotional ruler.

It's really a shame that your SO couldn't seem to make a clean break and unfortunate he waited until he was dating someone.  What that has done is set you up for being the catalyst for this change.  Again, you could be anyone, it wouldn't matter.  But now he's rocking the boat and resisting his role and since BM has taken the emotional leadership of the family, and the kids buy into it, I really don't see this changing.  They are too invested in this model now.  She is the martyr to be protected, she wants the intact family back, and now because of you, your SO is f*cking it all up.

Personally, I think he had two roads he can choose.   He can choose you and draw strong boundaries, and he will probably end up with very little relationship with his kids.  I doubt they will ever want one with you either.  He needs to know this and accept this going in, or it's going to end your relationship.  Remember, the kids want their dad and they want him back in his role, so blaming you allows them to forgive him if he just makes things go back to normal.

His other choice is to remain in his role and accept that his happiness won't matter to the kids.  This way he can "keep" them, but he will have to lose you, and he will remain in this faux family. 

I hope I am wrong and there is a middle path, but with this going on as long as it has, I doubt it.  I would recommend some counseling to help him sort through this, and for you too.

Best of luck.

Sandybeaches's picture

Gimlet this is sound relatable and well thought out advice.  I too can relate to a lot of what you have written.  

I to have a non confrontational DH and let me tell you it has caused it's share of problems with Toxic BM and my step children.  

I also agree that it is not OP it is whomever was in OP's role.  

Step life can be a very hard life under the best of circumstances... 

FWSM1964's picture

Gimlet and Sandybeaches, you hit the nail on the head.  

My partner originally stated that he would divorce BM when the youngest child finished school, which is next year. 

He didn't start talking in earnest about divorce until he was dating me, so you both are correct that it is the person in my role (whether it be me or another woman) whom BM and the SK's are resenting. Also, to add weight to that theory is the fact that the SK's do not want to get to know me, so it is not me they dislike personally but my position in their father's life.

The dynamic which Gimlet set forth also explains a lot of the BM's behaviour and motivations. Thank you both for providing a relatable perspective.  While the situation as it stands doesn't make me jump for joy, it does help me understand.


MissTexas's picture

Uphill climb. 4 adult kids already poisoned against you by BM, but you've said he is non-confrontational, so his silence is affirmation. I am also married to a non-confrontational person, and that has caused us much grief where adult "kids" and BM are concerned. I have "been there, done that" and wiped my ass with the t-shirt, as I want nothing for posterity....and do not doubt me on is a relationship intrusion like no other. Just when you think you've conquered one area, another springs up. It's like trying to bail water on The Titanic as it's going down. Like your SO, mine would rather straddle both sides of the fence (not good for the balls...and claimed to be "caught in the middle") in an effort to please everyone, but let me tell you something, this dynamic blew up big time in DH's face. So he pleased NOBODY, quite the contrary.  He had all of us pissed off at him, you know why? HE WAS THE IMPETUS. The ring leader of this circus, and we ALL FINALLY SAW WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE. HIM! The end result is, one adult SK doesn't even talk to him, another only does because of inheritance, and we have had several very rocky years since all of the deception and collusion came to a head and erupted like a volcano.

Why am I telling you all this? Because past behavior is the best indicatior of future behavior. My husband has been non-con all his life. He is NOT going to all of a sudden sprout a new pair of balls and get confrontational. I seriously doubt yours will either. Decades long patterns are difficult if not impossible to change. I am concerned your SO had a long-term relationship and it did not pan out. Do you know the logistics of that? Have you just taken him at face value and accepted his reason(s) why? Have you heard her side of the story? It's easy to believe whatever these men tell us about the other person. I did, until I sought her out and heard HER SIDE, which sounds VERY MUCH LIKE THE LIFE I AM NOW LIVING!  It just seems like if he wasn't willing to go to bat for that person and file for divorce, he has created a pattern here. Now you have invested/sunk 4 years into this man and this relationship, that seemingly has all the cards stacked against you. This sounds like it has been difficult. From one to another who has walked through a similar hell, it will not get better. He may even (with the persuasion of his "kids" and their mother) come to resent you for changing his dynamic and "alienating" him from his "kids." I have seen that happen as well. Even though you will not be the reason, the SM is always he scape goat. Everything gets blamed on her, especially when nobody wants to face their role in any of this.

On the note of the kids being poisoned against you, I went back onto that thread to refresh myself on some other pieces of information. In your response you acknowledge your partner is still "legally married, with joint assets and debts." This is a very precarious situation for you  to be in, especially since you have disclosed you and he have an account together, and have purchased items together. I'm just concerned that once the full effect of your SO kicks in for BM that she will have zero mercy, especially since she still has hopes they will reconcile. Anger is pain's first cousin, and once she unleashes all that onto both of you, she will go for whatever assets you all have acquired jointly.

Only you can sort through all of the , at times,  didactic advice. But remember, you will also ultimately live with the results of your decisions, as we all have. Be careful. Proceed with caution.

With regard to the wedding, I would say that is the least of your concerns. 

Submitted by FWSM1964 on Tue, 09/01/2020 - 9:48am

Thank you for your insight, still learning.

In my more heated discussions with my partner, I have told him that exact same thing! 

They have been separated for almost 15 years, legally married, with joint assets and debts.  True.

FWSM1964's picture

It is undoubtedly an uphill climb, Miss Texas.  Thank you for your sage and well-written advice.  I will proceed with caution as so much is at stake.

Picardy III's picture

Separation seems to be the Schroedinger's cat of marital status, lol. 

If the final result is divorce, then the marriage was over from the instant of separation. But if no divorce at the end, apparently the marriage never died.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yep. A way to avoid doing the brave thing, which is making a decision and either making it work with the first family or starting a new life with new traditions all your own. I also agree with the poster who said that this situation sets up OP to be the "bad guy." My SO was in this type of arrangement too, except it was him still living in the marital home and BM coming over all the time. Here i come, unwilling to just keep my mouth shut and play along as a "sister wife." But I will not be made to feel bad for not accepting that status. The half-assed happy family but also with a new wife/gf to sleep with is so unfair. I hope OP demands her place in his life. Whatever the kids decide to do is her SO's problem, not hers. He should have fully separated and started a new life years ago. She should demand full status in her relationship and demand that he do what it takes to give her that. This mess is not hers to clean up. All she "owes" him is to be a good partner to him. I personally would not be ok with not being allowed to accompany my partner to the things a partner normally goes to. Being banned from this type of thing means she does not have full partner status. 

FWSM1964's picture

Rumpelstiltskin, I hear you and you have made some excellent points. 

I am not interested in attending any events that involve the SK's and told my partner today that he can go alone. 

I attend all other events to which he is invited that involve other family members and friends.

Luckily, the SK's are not interested in attending my partner's siblings' events, so I do not run into them there. I'm sure if they did, I would still be invited as it is not the SK's hosting the events in question.

FWSM1964's picture

Time will tell. Thanks, Miss T.  I hope that changes will be underfoot.  I will definitely post one year from now. 

Hesitant to try's picture

I'll keep quiet about all the history and the 15 years. But OP, are you happy with the future plans? Assuming he gets his divorce, will you two get married? If not, who is in charge if something serious happens to SO? Do you have durable power of attorney? Are you his medical proxy? Are you the beneficiary on anything financial of his? If not, then all the power and money is currently with his wife, and will switch to his kids if something happens to him after he divorces BM, but before he marries you or makes other arrangements. It sounds like you love him and think you can be happy together, but unless I missed something above (totally possible), you are far from being his point person when life gets tough. And it will. I would find that to be an unacceptable situation to put myself in. This hasn't bothered you for the last 4 years? 

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you for your helpful comments, Hesistant to try. I have been discussing the requirement for my partner to create a will and to change the beneficiaries on his investments. 

He has been working with a divorce lawyer and is in the process of finding an estate lawyer.  I had a really good estate lawyer who did all the legal work for my real estate transactions and prepared my will and powers of attorney after I first separated.  Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years ago.

I will need to get my will changed as well and hope to do it at the same time as my partner. Thanks for the reminder.  Hope all is well with you.

Rags's picture

I applaud your focus on setting yourself and your SO up for success once he is free of his failed family baggage and the two of you are free of that shit show and making your life together.  A Will is critical for each of you to demonstrate your commitment to each other and critical to establish your marriage as a bastion against any crap from his past.  His investments, assets, and medical POA should establish you clearly to be his beneficiary as yours should stipulate for him.

My DW and I do not have separate Wills. We have a joint Will. Each is the heir and beneficiary for the other and in the event of our co-demise it all goes into trust for my SS until he either completes a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution or turns 40.  If we were to a new Will now, we would drop the degree requirement to inherit directly rather than go with a trust.  He is chipping away at his degree and thriving in his 9+ year USAF career.

We are fortunate not to have any toxic spawn to deal with, nor do we have a hell spawend X to deal with. We both have an X, they are just not a presence or influence on our 26+ year marriage.  When my divorce was final and the marital home was finally sold my adulterous whore of an X was put permanently in my past. The Spermidiot really was never a presence in our family after DW and I married. SpermGrandHag was our particular toxic burden to bear though once SS aged out from under the CS/Visitation CO neither she nor that shallow and polluted gene pool ever raised their nasty heads again... mainly because our son had long learned how to keep them in their place.

Good luck in your future with this man.

Be good to you.

FWSM1964's picture

Thank you, Rags, for your words of encouragement.  I always enjoy reading your posts.

I am glad that things worked out for you.  I hope for the same success in my relationship with my SO.

Rags's picture

Thank you.

Anyone can have an amazing marriage.  If they and their spouse hold their marriage sacrosanct, are equity life partners, and make each other and the marriage the sole top priority.  Nothing comes before the partners and their relationship. Not an X, not ILs, not children begardless of kid biology, and for damned sure not adult children.

Minor children are the top adult responsibility but even young ones are not the priority.

At least not in viable long term marriages.

IMHO of course.

Good luck. I hope that everything works out for you as you desire.