SOMETIMES, in our desperate attempt to find love, we end up looking for love in hopeless places. In many instances, one of those places is landing in the arms of a man who is separated or married. But outside of the fact that your love interest is still legally married on paper, there are a host of other challenges that could come with this type of arrangement.
Below All Woman readers who have gone down this road share why this is a tricky proposition.
The possibility of him rebounding
Georgette, 39, teacher:
Wait until all ties are severed. You will thank me later. I was dating a guy, he was separated, and at first he was hurrying along his divorce. Then his wife migrated and the haste lessened... then silence came. I had mentally prepared myself when I heard them speaking more frequently and he became less hostile, and on occasions things between them were so sweet he needed to have his conversations outside. Then about eight days after being together for two years, this man told me he was going back to his wife. Was I surprised? No. Disappointed that I had not told him to go sooner? Yes.
You may feel like an attachment
Penelope, 34, nurse:
Even though he is separated he is still married! His wife might still be a constant in his life, especially if they have children together as was the case with my mister man. After a while it became overwhelming because I felt like a third wheel. They talked every day, she called him to discuss any and everything basically, and it's almost like he looked forward to it. They didn't get back together, they still went through with the divorce, but based on what I see they still remain uncomfortably close.
You may feel like you're competing
Terry-Ann, 34, real estate agent:
When you are with someone who is separated, especially if things are amicable between them, you might feel like you are competing. They can complete each other's sentences, they know each other really well, and if you are not careful you may feel like you don't have a chance.
You might get caught in a toxic relationship
Donna, 44, contractor:
My boyfriend was living apart from his wife while they sorted out their divorce. This woman threatened me, was constantly hunting him and me down, and harassed us at work. She tried to sabotage him at work — his connections and so on. She was emotionally abusive and I basically had to be there helping him to pick up the pieces. If you can't deal with these kinds of crazy wives/exes then just don't go there.
Your relationship may be a secret
Tiffany, marketing manager, 41:
Out of “respect” for his separated wife, a man I was dating told me to hide one of the days when his wife came by to drop off some paperwork. He didn't want her to feel bad because he had “moved on so quickly”. He said he also didn't want her to think that we were in a relationship before their separation. The truth is, he had every right to hide me — in reality we weren't legal and she was still his wife. I had no place there.
He/she might be emotionally unavailable.
Evelyn, 43, field supervisor:
Making a commitment to a separated person is not a good idea. For one, they are still married, and most of the times emotionally unavailable. In my case my guy needed time by himself to recalibrate — to find himself, etcetera. He was emotionally unstable, a wreck really. I wish I had encouraged him to take some alone time as he really wasn't in a position for a relationship and he didn't know what he wanted moving forward. So unless you are looking for a temporary fling, run as fast as you can in the next direction because all you will get is grief.