Since When Is Separated Equivalent to Divorce?

Updated on July 18, 2012
F.O. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
26 answers

This dating thing is slow to nothing. I haven't put much energy into it.
Anyway an old flame resurfaced.

He is separated from his wife.
His wife is having a fling with an ex.

The flame is trying to convince me he's done with his marriage. No pressure from me. LOL, but the question from me was why are you still in married status if she's running wild with the love of her life? What are you waiting for, him to dump her? He insists that is not the case

Yet, he can't seem to convince me to give him the time of day beyond text messages.

He complains about his lack of intimacy. One reason the wife left him was because he slept with her cousin.

So when I asked him why the cousin was no longer at his disposal he got an attitude and said I act like all he wants is sex. Well, that's what his conversations have led me to conclude.

Anyway when I asked him why he's not filing for divorce, he said she left him so she should file. I said in the mean time you're waiting for her to change her mind and while you get layed as much as you can until it happens?

I have no intentions of advancing beyond texting, but I was curious to see how far he thought he could get with me. Too bad, he forgot I'm going through my divorce, or maybe he is too selfish to care.

He said he's been separated for almost a year, so he might as well be divorce. Really? What's your take on separation vs. divorce and getting involved.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Why some of you are talking about marriage where this question is concerned, is puzzling. I had no intention to connect with the guy again. He looked me up, we started texting, but that was it. He had a lot of issues going on and I have my own divorce to deal with so it wouldn't make sense to involve myself with a train wreck of a cheater.

My daughter is my #1 priority. I know better than to bring men around her, especially casual friends. I don't even talk to men in her presence.

So, thanks to all for responding, but especially to those who answered the question.

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answers from Norfolk on

Separated is not divorced no matter how much he wants to pretend it is.
I'd have difficulty believing anything he says.
He's too into playing a spite game with his wife.
His separated status could go on for decades.
Considering he's willing to admit he cheated and with a cousin, even if he were officially divorced, he's still no prize I'd be wanting to win.
This dude is a dud.
Just take a break from men.
When you don't need one, a good one who wants to be only with you will come along
and you won't have to worry what STDs he's picked up from hopping from one bed to the next.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why in the world are you even texting him? He slept with his wifes cousin, what great character he has.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Separated isn't even legally separated, let alone being divorced!

Man, this guy sounds like he not only has his cake and eats it too, he wants a sample of all other delectable desserts that are around!

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Charlotte on

He thinks you are an easy target, or at least he hopes you are. He is full of sh*t. If you fall for his sh*t, you will be a fool. Don't let him play you for a fool.

The reason he isn't in a hurry to get divorced is because it is financially in his interests right now not to be.

And, not every guy ends up divorcing his wife. Just ask the multitude of "the other women" out there whose separated boyfriends keep promising, just a few more months, just a few more months...

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You know... I had no idea how much separated isnt divorced until my own.

Now... Granted... There are many KINDS of separation.

Some are 'just' married people taking a year 'off' to sample/date/screw around/ NOT date but live on their own/ NOT date but not have to deal with person A going through treatments/counseling/rtc Al's getting their life put back together... With the intent of MAYBE getting back together if xyz is met.

Others are separation pending divorce (where I've been stuck for 7 months)

Others are court mandated 6-24 months of separation before you can file.

Others are legal separations

Others are avoiding the costs of divorce (mine is 17k and counting, and we haven't even gotten to mediation yet!).

Others are avoiding the religious issue.

Others person A is majorly elsewhere (different state or country).

I'm sure there are more kinds I'm forgetting.

Point being, though... My marriage is NOT going to reconcile. We ARE getting divorced. It's been 7 months. And I/we are a bloody mess. There is no way on EARTH I would start dating any time in the next few years, and damn straight, if/when I did? Those papers had better be final on my end AND theirs in nearly all cases (majorly elsewhere is one 'excuse'... Some people have been TRYING to divorce for years and years, but their spouse keeps ducking the issue by moving).

Am I judging others bases off myself? Yup. Do I usually try to avoid that? Double yep.

But it still stands. As a general rule: Separation to ME is as off limits (aka indication of 'crazy town'), as marriage is (indication of douchbaggery... Anyone who would cheat on their spouse with me is a gross disgusting oath breaker with no shred of honor).

Just my opinion. And as I said, totally biased, and I'm certainly not going to try and say EVERYONE should abide by my personal feelings on the subject. Just because it's right for Me doesn't mean it's right for everyone!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would never date someone who is separated. The whole point of a separation is to give the couple time to decide what they want to do, and others should not be getting in the mix of that. If he is truly done with her he would file for divorce.
as for this specific guy, run, far and fast.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

oh boy big difference in this situation. you are smart but be safe too. I would stay away from him all together. it was the sleepign with the cousin thing at really pushed it over the edge for me.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Sounds like a jerk.

And a lazy jerk. She left so she should file? Yeah, meaning he can't be bothered to do the work necessary to move on with his life.

And he's a cheater.

Stop playing the texting game and move on. IMO, by keeping the lines of communication open, you are waiting for him to say something that makes it ok for you in your mind to get together with him and ignore all the blaring bells, whistles and eye blinding red lights.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Well, they may be having financial problems, too... divorce isn't cheap.

To me, being "separated" is the same as being married... but I'm kind of a prude with that kind of stuff, anyway.

I would stay far away from him, personally.... he sleeps with his wife's cousin? How tacky! What's to say he wouldn't do that to you, also? (I see you don't plan to let it go any farther... good idea...... he's just looking for sex at this point.)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Oh F. - what an ugh he is.
Laughable, but an ugh.

Separated = married in my book.
I don't date separated men.
Heck, I don't really like to date men that have only been divorced for less than a year. And in my age bracket, most datable men have been divorced.

Oh, what a tool.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

To M. this is like judging a whole group of people. it's impossible. everyone has diferent reasons.
to answer your question
My seperation was almost 3 years and I dated during it and lived seperately. My ex cheated for 10 years, and did a bunch more and I was done, and he was done. We got hit by a drunk driver and the lawyer said we couldn't divorce until the case was done, even though we were seperated when it happened (on our way to get a second car that could fit a car seat since we were divorcing)
Also in this economy its not possible with upside down mortages, debt and so on...It is very common to have extended seperations, live together when divorced or seperated for these reasons (i lived with my ex over a year, splitting the house, -whoever had my daughter got the house)
for each person its diferent. my intentions were never to get back together and also I told my ex exactly what I was doing as he told M.. there was no hope for reconciliation

Now for this guy!
STAY AWAY--he slept with his wifes cousin...thats disgusting! I wouldnt want that for a friend let alone a potential "F**K buddy" or a relationship...he screams immoral and std if you are thinking of casual.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Because Separated is FREE or nearly free.

And divorce costs a freakin' fortune.

If you are Husband Shopping, I agree, probably not a good buy.

However if you just want a friendship, spend a little time, enjoy each other's company for what it's worth, why not?

Must EVERY date be a potential MARRIAGE?


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

If I were you I would send one last text "Lose my number" and then I would thank my lucky stars or whoever is watching over you he gave you the crazy story he has given you cause that is the flashing neon sign for you to run for the hills. Don't look back either.
He has cheated on his wife, he is attempting to cheat on her with you, and supposedly she has cheated on him. He is waiting for her to file cause she is the one that left...yeah right. The man is fishing with some awful stinky bait.
Many many cheaters will say they are separated or waiting on the divorce so they look "available" when in fact they aren't and odds are wife is sitting at home unaware of the cheating.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

I have heard quotes that one should take a 'year' for themselves for every 3 years of marriage before pursuing another relationship.

This gives one time (and perspective...IMO) to really review...process...and deal with ' what ' went wrong...from BOTH sides.

I say...firmly...fix yourself.

In the LONG run...that is all you have control of in any case.

best luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Separated is still married. It's not "as good as divorced."

If you have no intention of dating this guy, then I wouldn't continue texting him. That's leading him on and he thinks he has a chance with you. I would cut off all contact, personally. You're better than this whole game of "being curious to see how far he thinks he can get." You KNOW how far he thinks he can get. He's probably sleeping with anything that walks while he works on trying to get you to sleep with him. He's not dating material. He's not someone you can ever bring around your children. So I don't see the point in leading him on or continuing any sort of contact at all.

Games are immature anyway. Cut him off. Don't date until your divorce is final, and don't bring the guys around the kids until you're engaged.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

To me, if he's "separated" but refuses to file for divorce, he's not done with the marriage yet and I would keep my distance.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When men tell me that they're separated, I usually reply, "separated as in she's in the kitchen while you're in the living room or separated as in your final court date for the divorce is next Tuesday?" There are a lot of men out there who will say that they are separated but whose wives would be very surprised to learn about that. It's a way to get you involved with them.

In my book, divorced means a decree signed by the court. Divorced equals not married. Separated means a legal separation with divorce pending...kind of like the on-deck circle...they can be preparing to date but are not available to do so. Anything other than a legal separation is a bit suspect.

For me, I don't date separated men. Period. I am also cautious about dating newly divorced men, as there is often unfinished business from the previous marriage and some time needed to settle into being single.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Well, there is separated (taking a break, seeing what your next step is, hopefully trying to work it out) and then there is separated (waiting for divorce). When my ex and I first separated, we were on different pages...I knew I was done but he thought he'd leave for a few days, have no responsibility and then come back when he felt like it (he was free to do as he pleased but expected me to be sitting home or checking in with him for my every move). We couldn't file for divorce because here you have to be separated (living separately or at least in separate rooms) for a minimum of 6 months. He moved back in (not mutually agreed) just before the 6 month mark but only for a week. Then I had to wait for another 6 months to file....I convinced them to let me file at about 4 months but we couldn't get a court date until 6 months after that. In DE, there is no legal status of separated either.

While separated is not the same as a divorce, I can see where some people move on quickly (especially if their separation was long and drawn out etc. and/or the marriage was long over before the separation).

So your recently resurfaced ex is separated from his wife. Both of them are or have cheated and he not making a move to divorce but is pushing to get something started with you (who is also going through a divorce)...sounds like TROUBLE with a capital T.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wanted it signed, sealed and done. I did not date a guy before DH because he wasn't divorced yet. My SIL was not dating and did not divorce before her estranged husband died. They'd been apart for years, but she still had his papers, etc. to wade through when he passed because they hadn't finished the proceedings.

Everyone has their personal line in the sand, but that was mine. Ink has to be dry or no date. My DH's ex was dating practically before the bed was cold. I just shake my head. I know she couldn't have been divorced when she and her BF moved in together due to state laws. I was just glad the kids were mostly living with us.

No, divorce isn't cheap. But even my mom managed to scrape off her exhusband on a budget when he refused to show up for mediation or court (you can post the intention to divorce in the paper for x months and if there is no response, the court can proceed without the other party).

He sounds like a "whiner" more than a "winner".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Everyone I know who got separated eventually got divorced. So I have come to think of it as the denial phase of divorce. If I were in your situation I'd run for the hills! This guy does not sound like he's ready for a relationship.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We were not "separated" at all. I kicked his a$$ out of the house and immediately divorced him. You can't really generalize this situation, everyone is different. My ex was with someone IMMEDIATELY (probably before I kicked him out) whereas I didn't even start to date until a year later. The easy answer to your situation is to stay away from the drama. If you want to date, find someone who is single or already divorced. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Honestly, he sounds like added stress in your life! I'd just back away, hands clasped together behind your back looking upward and looking side to side, slightly swaying back and forth as you walk backwards while whistling... then turning around after a few yards and take a mad dash!

Divorce and separation ARE two different things, but there ARE many different types of separation. Riley explains this well :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Ha ha ha! At least he provided you with some entertainment, huh?

What a doofus.

And to answer your question - since NEVER! : )

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm so with you. Unless someone has filed for divorce and they're just waiting for it to be final, they're married. I have an old friend whose wife left him a little more than a year ago. She moved out and a few months later her boyfriend (who is "separated" from his wife) moved into her new place. So my friend started sleeping with the first drunk psycho he met at a bar and 6 months ago, she and her kids moved in with him. She's "separated" from her husband as well. I know that my friend and his wife never moved past their first mediation appointment in terms of dissolving their marriage and that his girlfriend hasn't even bothered to do that. I don't get it. Especially with kids involved, end one relationship, reflect, heal and slowly move on when ready.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

They are two different breeds of cat, in my opinion--divorce and separation.

I'm not judging here. Both myself and my husband were separated when we started dating. (We didn't leave our marriages for each other-- they were done already, over 9 months before.) This required a lot of discussion, believe me. His ex had moved out and they were already working out an equitable settlement with each other. He was happier, she was happier, they both were done. I'd already filed papers but they weren't yet finalized. They finalized around a month after we got together. He and his ex filed about two weeks after he and I had started dating. He was insistent, even after she had some second thoughts when they filed...but they were hers alone.

(She's not a bad person, I have to say. I don't think he'd ever have chosen a bad person to marry.And I'd done my 'homework' on my own end of 'what went wrong' in counseling, so I wasn't going into another relationship without knowing what not to do again-- instead, I'd learned how to do better.)

I think there are some people who decide since they are "done", they are free to pursue other relationships. I think this is a dicey situation. I know for sure my ex would have stayed 'separated' forever if I hadn't taken action and had him served. I wouldn't have dated my husband if he hadn't already been so far down the line of working out the divorce settlement. However, I think it speaks to the character of the person in question when they will not actively pursue divorce but will actively pursue a new romance. Yes, they are technically married.

And I don't know how CA is, but here in OR, I was able to have my husband served and make him pay for the divorce. Don't think me cruel-- he owed me money and the divorce was far less than what he owed me. I felt it was better for him to owe the state-- and he could have contested it if he chose to--than to owe me for eternity. Perhaps your friend needs to empower himself if he's really interested in dating. I wouldn't personally want to date someone so apathetic that they can't wrap up one affair before moving on to the next. Too many loose ends and No Thanks to that sort of drama!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

haha Married is married. A man like this would be good for a fling if you're not interested in more. BUT women tend to fall for a guy when intimacy happens. i.e., many guys can walk away after sex, but most women cannot. I knew a friend who's went through a sad break-up with a guy that said "Can't wait to get divorced as soon as the kids leave" -- his kids left for college and she was still waiting a year later. A man who wants to have a real relationship will be single - so separated guys lead to a broken heart. Let him come for you when he's no longer married, or tell him it's just friendship until then.

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