He Said, She Said: Can Divorced + Never Been Married = Happily Ever After?

He Said, She SaidThe Question

Dear Daniel & Mandy: I’ve been talking to this guy for just a week now. I’m in my early 20′s and he’s almost 30. Things have been going well and we enjoy each other’s company. Recently he let me know that he’s divorced. The divorce was finalized a couple of years ago. Basically he got married in his early 20′s and realized it was a mistake (the divorce was his choice). We didn’t get a chance to really talk more about it. I was just in shock. I don’t know what to do… I’m not sure if this is a deal breaker for me. Being young, I didn’t ever picture myself getting with someone with has already been married. I’m not sure if I should just continue seeing him. I’m just so torn because I do like him as a person but I’m worried that I may get insecure later or that he just won’t be committed. My parents have always told me to stick it out with one person, like they have. And I don’t think they’ll approve either. There are just so many thoughts going through my head. Help!

Mandy Hale: Okay…as a guy, I’m wondering if you caught this: if you read her very first line, it says “I’ve been talking to this guy for just a week…” I know that men and women are so vastly different in that a woman meets a man and we immediately start planning the wedding in our heads, we try out their last name with our name, etc. and meanwhile the guy is probably thinking “This is a cool girl that I just started dating.”  I think this is a perfect example of how women get ahead of ourselves.

Daniel Goddard: I agree 100% with that. I think, as you’re saying, that a lot of single women in particular  start to plan everything out, which inhibits their ability to adapt to the situation as it presents itself to them. And that closes you off as a person, because you don’t become susceptible to the signals and the environment that you’re in. You become too rigid and you lose that ability to be in the flow of the moment. And that’s why a lot of people say “What went wrong?” Half the time, things break down because of a lack of communication, where you’re too busy or concerned about “Am I sounding interesting? Am I sounding like someone that they would want to have a second date with?” As you said, they’re putting the cart before the horse.  So I agree with what you’re saying. It’s like she’s putting too much pressure on herself, and she’s trying to create this relationship before the relationship even has a chance to create itself.

MH: Exactly! I definitely think for women, it’s so hard for us just to kinda slow down and enjoy the dating process and not take it so seriously and not feel like there’s so much pressure and stress and “Oh, well he’s been divorced, so if we ever want to get married…” You know, she might date this guy for another couple of weeks and decide she doesn’t even want to be with him or he might decide the same thing, so I feel like the concern one week in is a little premature. You can’t really give a relationship the chance to get off the ground if you’re stressing over “Do I want to be married to this person or not?” (Laughs) I think the better question is “Do I want to be dating this person or not?”

DG: She’s placing an enormous amount of stress on herself – and it is quite possible that she does this with every relationship that she goes into. If this is the case, and there is a pattern here, I feel that this needs to be addressed, so that “if” this relationship doesn’t work out then moving forward she will be more flexible to just “relax into the experience,” thus not putting so much pressure on either herself or the man. Remember, every journey begins with just a single step!

MH: I definitely understand, as a single woman who’s never been married, wanting to find a single man who’s never been married. So I do get that element to it. However, while I know there can be a lot of drama that comes along with ex-wives, ex-relationships, ex-situations…this guy’s situation doesn’t even really sound like a dramatic situation. He got married too young, he realized it was a mistake, the divorce was finalized a couple of years ago – it doesn’t sound like it’s a very chaotic, messy divorce. So I think taking even though she wants to find someone who’s single  and experience all the exciting firsts that come along with being married, I also think I would have a lot less hesitation about someone who seems to have recognized pretty quickly: “Okay, I got married too young, this was a mistake, we need to part ways, and it wasn’t the right situation for me,” as opposed to someone who just got divorced a month ago and there are all sorts of legal battles and drama and chaos and crazy stuff happening. So I think in her situation,  it definitely sounds like a best case scenario, and that would cause me to have a lot less hesitation than if it were otherwise.

DG: I also think she’s actually probably in a better situation than most, because she actually says here that she might get insecure later, or that she’s afraid that he just won’t be committed; I think she’s actually dealing with a man that understand commitment more than others.

MH: Interesting perspective…why do you say that?

DG: Because he was committed to someone. He understands commitment. He understands that he’s not going to settle. He’s not going to settle for someone that doesn’t make him happy, and he’s not going to have a family with someone who might not have been the right partner for him to have children with. I think that that’s a great sign for this girl, and for her to take from this other than “he’s divorced” and “he’s not good at commitment,” because if he was not good at commitment, he would have stayed in the first relationship. He would have stayed in that marriage and he would likely be miserable. But the fact that he understands that he doesn’t want to settle… that’s what you and I have been talking about before, is that single women shouldn’t settle for the first date that takes them out, because if there’s no chemistry there, or there’s no potential for a relationship because you have nothing in common, don’t settle for the first guy that asks you out. Don’t even settle for the second guy that asks you out. You shouldn’t have to settle, and it seems like this guy hasn’t settled. So if anything, that should be something that she finds encouraging about the relationship.

MH: As single women, sometimes we can allow the pressures and the expectations and all the things we put into meeting a guy to literally destroy the relationship, because we’re already planning the wedding while the man is still planning the first date. So I definitely think that she just needs try and  just relax and enjoy this new relationship and live in the moment and see how things go and how they progress, and only THEN start thinking about the divorce issue.

DG: If he’s a good person, and he treats her well, and he is someone who has respect for her and her family, my advice to her is don’t label this, and don’t judge this. And that’s my advice to anyone reading this. Don’t go into things with preconceived notions of how they should play out.

MH: Yes!

DG: Go into it, and as you say in your book, I was reading your book the other day, and you had that story about how when you got lost toward the border of Alabama…

(Laughter from Mandy)

DG: What I thought was interesting about that is that it’s applicable to this girl here because her way may have been so structured, where she has her directions already laid out. You know: She meets the guy. She plans the wedding in her head. She plans the family. She plans the house with the white picket fence. And she’s got her GPS already laid out. But the problem is, she’s never allowed herself to just get lost in someone. She’s found some guy that she’s already, as you say, laid out in her mind how it should work out, but she’s not allowing herself to get lost in the moment and to discover something about herself that she didn’t know existed.

MH: That’s really good! And I love the plug for my book, too! (laughs) Now before we move on from this question, I am curious: How do you think men view the whole divorce thing? Like if a single man who’s never been married meets a woman who’s been through a divorce, do you think his perspective is kind of the same as this girl’s is? Do you think he would back away like “Oh, this divorce scares me”?

DG: No, not at all. You could use the analogy that if two people get dropped off in the jungle somewhere, you hope one of them has been in the jungle before and has survival skills. Otherwise you’re going to be two novices, like “Oops, can we eat that fruit?” Or “Oops, will that snake bite us and kill us?” So it’s kind of like there are “Been there, done that” benefits of meeting someone who’s gone through a divorce. Someone who has the experience of knowing where it broke down. I have a very good friend who got divorced. He has a daughter who’s now 20 years old and I met him when his daughter was about 8. And I said to him “What happened? How did you get divorced?” And he said “My wife and I realized one day that the most important thing in our family was our daughter, and we had completely lost each other because we put her first.” And that’s always stayed with me because one of the things that my wife and I have is that we love our children greater and with more love than for anything else that has ever been manifested on this planet. However, at the vortex of our family, we hold our relationship above and beyond everything else, because if we don’t allow our relationship to be paramount, eventually you end up like my friend who said: “I just realized that my wife and I just started drifting apart because we really didn’t know each other anymore. All we did was focus on our child.” So if you meet someone who’s been divorced, there’s a lot to learn from that. You can learn from them what works and doesn’t work in a relationship and they’ll know what they’re prepared to commit to or not commit to. So when you meet them, straightaway – you’re going to at least know what the rules of engagement are, cause they’ll say: “I was in a relationship and I was miserable because I couldn’t go out on the weekends and hang out with my buddies and watch sports all day Saturday and all day Sunday.” So at least now you know for a fact… that’s who that person is, and if you are prepared to live with that. If you are, fine, move forward and keep dating. If you’re not, right there and then, you realize – that’s the end of that. You have to find someone who if they’ve been divorced, has put their baggage down and left it at the bus station and walked away. You can’t have the person that’s still sitting at the bus station with their bags waiting for the next bus to come along (which is metaphorically ‘you’) and take them to a happy place. You don’t want to be that bus. You’re not that bus.

MH: I would also add that if this guy is a really great guy, and he treats her with respect, and once they’ve been together a little longer, he turns out to be someone who loves her and honors her and wants the best for her, I can’t imagine throwing something like that away just because he has a divorce in his history. We all have things in our history that we’re not proud of, and honestly, she could find a dozen guys who have never been married who won’t treat her as good this guy may.

 

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28 Responses to “ He Said, She Said: Can Divorced + Never Been Married = Happily Ever After? ”

  1. Emily Coblentz
    January 17, 2014

    I must say I found this conversation very intriguing and insightful. I’ve dated divorced men and I’ve never been married so all those fears are real but I agree that we females put the cart before the horse and guys get so turned off by that. The great thing about dating a divorced guy is they now how to treat a women. They are usually family oriented. Also they are must times settled and established. It may not have worked out for me bc of non-negotiables but I would definitely date another divorced guy again.

  2. mignon
    January 17, 2014

    I particularly love your last comments, Daniel. I have been divorced more than once. A few years back, I became involved with a man who had never been married and who was from a somewhat rigid religious background. He, however, loved me for me, honored me, treasured me regardless of what I had experienced in my past. Sadly, other factors kept us from getting married. It is vitally important for people to not judge those of use who have been divorced. You just don’t know what we have experienced that led to the divorce. Many of us who have been divorced will be the ones most committed in a new relationship, determined now to do whatever is necessary to not go through that again. Judging someone simply on a history of divorce just heaps more pain on top of what may already be there. Judge the person based on what he/she is like with you today, not on what is in the past. Otherwise, you just might miss out of a wonderful relationship with someone who truly has a great desire for a life-long marriage.

  3. January 17, 2014

    I loved this dialogue and it dose present an interesting scenario. As someone never been married the first thing that comes to my mind is grace. For various reasons people make choices, sometimes poor ones. I have never made the choice to engage in marriage, but I have made countless other poor choices that I would be heartbroken for someone to hold against me.
    Every situation and person is unique, so I agree whole heartedly to live in the moment, enjoy getting to know the person and have grace with them. You never know how they might surprise you, what you might learn about them & yourself.

  4. Char
    January 18, 2014

    For me, I am not opposed to dating a man that IS divorced. My issue has been meeting men who are just separated, which is a whole other issue!
    I recently dated a man that was divorced. Initially HE was to intense. I felt like I barely knew him and he believed we were in a relationship. After a few weeks I discovered he had
    a complete authoritative personality, alpha male x100! He wanted control and in my opinion, NO compromise. We eventually discontinued dating over a disagreement about who was coming to whose house, no joke! In hindsight the ex dealt with that for 12 yrs. Thankfully, I only invested 6 weeks! For me dating, a divorced man is not a deal breaker – just ask questions and listen to what they feel led to the divorce but more importantly LOOK for cues and clues and then decide if has potential.

  5. Britt
    January 18, 2014

    I struggle with this everytime I meet a new man, being a woman in my early 20s who has been divorced. The part I struggle with is the question I ask myself of “when is the right time to tell him, I’ve been married and divorced?” I am so afraid of meeting a wonderful man who has never been married and scaring him away, when I tell him about having been married and divorced. The past is I’m the pssh for a reason so I just keep pushing forward in my life. I refuse to let my past define me. 🙂 I know what I deserve and I refuse to settle and make the same mistake twice. With that been said, I feel I find something wrong with every potential suitor. And yes, sometimes being the only single woman you know, sucks. But I would prefer to be single and relatively happy then to be with someone just to be with someone and settle and compromise everything I’ve worked so hard for, by removing myself from the unhappy and unhealthy marriage I was in. So I will continue to be positive and live my life for me, and then just maybe a wonderful man will present himself to me! 🙂

    P.S. I am IN LOVE with Mandy’s book “The Single Woman” Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass! If you have not yet read this REAL, yet adorably fun and inspiring book…you are missing out! I promise you it is worth the read! 🙂 Thank You, Mandy for writing such a wonderful book! And to both Mandy and Daniel did this informative post! 🙂

  6. Britt
    January 18, 2014

    I struggle with this everytime I meet a new man, being a woman in my early 20s who has been divorced. The part I struggle with is the question I ask myself of “when is the right time to tell him, I’ve been married and divorced?” I am so afraid of meeting a wonderful man who has never been married and scaring him away, when I tell him about having been married and divorced. The past is I’m the pssh for a reason so I just keep pushing forward in my life. I refuse to let my past define me. 🙂 I know what I deserve and I refuse to settle and make the same mistake twice. With that been said, I feel I find something wrong with every potential suitor. And yes, sometimes being the only single woman you know, sucks. But I would prefer to be single and relatively happy then to be with someone just to be with someone and settle and compromise everything I’ve worked so hard for, by removing myself from the unhappy and unhealthy marriage I was in. So I will continue to be positive and live my life for me, and then just maybe a wonderful man will present himself to me! 🙂

    P.S. I am IN LOVE with Mandy’s book “The Single Woman” Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass! If you have not yet read this REAL, yet adorably fun and inspiring book…you are missing out! I promise you it is worth the read! 🙂 Thank You, Mandy for writing such a wonderful book! And to both Mandy and Daniel for this informative post! 🙂

  7. Danielle
    January 18, 2014

    Hi Mandy and Daniel, this was a very interesting discussion. Gave me some views on this issue I never thought of. But I definitely agree with the fact that women think ahead too far, which can break the relationship even before it starts…

    I on the other hand am in a very difficult situation with a man.
    I’m from the Netherlands and am 24 years old, he is from England and is 46 years old. We met during my internship in England, where I was for 4,5 months, in which we dates for the last 4 weeks. These weeks were amazing, we had fun and it only gave my good memories.
    The problem is, he’s divorced for about 10 years now and got 4 kids. He separated from his wife because they had too much issues and problems. His last girlfriend broke up with him because she was jealous of him spending time with the kids instead of her. I think it’s very important that he spends time with his kids, to be a father. So I don’t see a problem in that, but I think he’s afraid to commit himself to anyone. Scared to be hurt again.
    The other thing is that he is afraid to mess up my life because of the age difference. Scared that I might get pregnant, which in his eyes is a problem. I can’t see how, because I know the consequences of us being together and I’m definitely not after his money.
    I already wanted to move to England before I met him, so that can’t be a problem either. With a bit of luck I’m qualified in April, so that’s not too far away.
    From November till now I’ve seen him three times, twice in the Netherlands once in England. He told me that this last Sunday would be the last time we would met (because of all these issues I mentioned before). The conversation we had before he went back to England showed his doubts more than anything. Because I know he wants to be with me, because we make each other happy and love each other. But since then we’re still texting and Skyping and he even said he loved me… I just don’t dare to ask him if he wants to see me again.
    I know I can’t persuade him to be with me, but I’m curious what you think about this relationship and if you think it could work out.

    Thanks in advance!
    Danielle

  8. Jenna
    January 18, 2014

    What is wrong with young women? Why do we think each man has to always be marriage material? Can’t you just enjoy his company and not decide whether this is THE one? I don’t know, I’m a woman, but at 55 I’ve learned that all people that come into your life are for a reason. Enjoy his company, listen to HIS journey, be a friend. If you stop trying to make every guy fit your current idea/likes/desires and NEEDS, you will allow THE one to come into your life. And you’ll both know.

    • Sarah
      January 21, 2014

      ABSOLUTELY. I spent about 6-8 weeks as a friend of a man who IS NOT marriage material in SO MANY ways but did teach me about something I didn’t expect in a friendship – sharing our faith and talking about God. Sounds like it would be a no-brainer but NOW I know that THE RIGHT man will include that in our relationship because I don’t want to settle without it – but I’m not interesting in marrying the man who showed me that (for other reasons).

    • Rebekah
      May 9, 2014

      ha ha! I love what you said Jenna. Us girls just need to slow down. It all starts with friendship. and if it blossoms into love great! if not oh well.

  9. Jodi
    January 18, 2014

    Loved everything about this conversation. I’ve realized at nearly 42 years old and having been married before, I’ve never allowed myself to fully just enjoy a relationship or a partner for that matter. I’ve been so busy managing any possible disappointments and protecting my heart that I’ve not allowed myself to just experience the beauty of having that person in my life. I am not fully showing up. So thank you both for your insight and heart felt advice. Ready to throw the GPS out the window and get lost!
    J~

    • Maria
      January 28, 2014

      Jodi, Jodi, Jodi…… reading your comments is like seeing myself….”managing any possible disappointments and protecting my heart” wow!!! just that describe me to the T!!! Don’t know if I’m ready to “get lost” like you said so many things to learn still!!! Doing my best… learning as i go!!

  10. Jillian
    January 18, 2014

    Here’s an interesting topic: If you’re like me, most women enjoy a good conversation even if it’s through a text message and if you’re not busy you tend to reply just as if you were talking to that person face to face. There’s always that feeling of excitement when a guy you’re talking to texts you first to start a conversation and it’s going and going and going….then nothing. Dead silence from the other end. So you put your phone away, think “Ok he got busy, blah blah blah, I’ll hear from him sometime.” Three hours later- nothing. Eight hours later- nothing. So my question I’d be interested to get a guy’s perspective on is “Why do guys initiate a conversation and keep it going no matter the wait time between texts but then disappear, or so it seems, and you never get a response to that last text in the middle of a conversation he started?”

  11. Niki
    January 18, 2014

    Like this guy I married at 25 and divorced at 27. I tell people I’m divorced but I do not tell them why because “My husband confessed to oral sex with three other women, three months into our marriage” doesn’t make good conversation. I say things like ” I realised I deserved better” or”It just didn’t work”

    I tried really hard to make it work, but nine counsellors later it just didn’t. I had walked around in pain ever since I heard that.

    This does not mean that I am not good at commitment or do not deserve to be loved by some-one fabulous. It just means I chose wrong.

    And yeah, I don’t believe in divorce, and I wanted my first marriage to be my only marriage, but I was put in a place where I had to choose between my husband, and basic human dignity and sanity. What with there being seven billion people in the world, I chose a bad one and wasted my wedding day too…

    So judge me. Judge this guy. Write him off girl…

    But you don’t know what he’s been through and you may just shoot yourself in the foot.

  12. […] Getting Ahead Of Yourself […]

  13. Hope
    January 18, 2014

    Happy New Year Mandy and Daniel! I have to admit, when I first read this, I thought…”Early 20’s? Divorced man? Why is she being boggled down with the weight of a romantic relationship at such a young age? She has plenty of time to get married and have children”. Now, I can say that to some level, her thought process regarding divorced men isn’t far from my thoughts. In fact, as a woman who has never been married, but wants very much to get married and have children, one of my requirements is that “the one” never has been married or have children. I wanted to be “the one” he loved enough to make his wife. I wanted to be the one who gave him the gift of his first child. Part of me still feels that way, but I can honestly say that even though I don’t want to be involved with baby mama drama or whack job exes, 2014 has been the year that I’ve resolved to ask God for my needs vs. my wants. It’s possible that the one for me is right in front of me, but because I’m looking for what I want, I could be overlooking him. I share that to help every woman to realize that it’s not about settling, but rather loosing the GPS and enjoying the date(s). I especially liked what Daniel said about the advantages of dating and possibly marrying someone who is divorced. I NEVER looked at it that way and it makes perfect sense. Reading Mandy’s comments reminded me of how much we as women really do think alike, no matter how unique and dynamic we are. I love that you and Daniel are answering together; offering a perspective that is both confirming our beliefs and also offering an alternative that doesn’t minimize us, but rather uplift us and help to see things from a man’s perspective and not just any man, but a man who is happily married with children, a man who plays a man in an interracial marriage, with children on the #1 daytime soap! We are blessed to have you both taking the time to care enough to want to offer advice to help us strengthen ourselves and our relationships:-)

  14. January 18, 2014

    Hi Mandy and Daniel

    I am glad that I took the time to subscribe to your website. I loved every insight you both discussed on relationships between a man and woman. I am a 47 year old woman who has never been married. I have two beautiful and amazing daughters and one beautiful and amazing granddaughter whom I truly love and adore with my whole heart. I had given birth to both my daughters out of wedlock. When I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter; I had asked her father about getting married. Well, after I had asked that question…he turned his back to me and you can say more likely; He shrugged me off. So I never again asked or even bothered to asking him again when I discovered I was pregnant with my second daughter three years later. I was 26 years old when I gave birth to my first daughter and to me, I felt that was a good age to want to get married. But I guess I was wrong. So years later, I had gotten myself a computer and started experiencing and discovering all kinds of things we can do on a computer. I thought to myself about finding dating sites. I had met some men locally here in my home state and within distance. There were not that many men I met…I would say about maybe at least 5 or 6 men I had met. It was October 2010 I had met a man, he was a widower, He and I had met and started to see each and in due time, we started to spend more and more quality time together. My problem is that I am and have been scared of not allowing myself to learn to have more trust, faith, and confidence in him when he told me that I was the only one but I ended up pushing him away. Two years ago I started doing the dating sites again but discovered some men who had been married and gotten divorced only wanted women like me for sex only. But it was not for me because I did not want the one night stands. This last man I had met two years ago who was married and now divorced since last year was always telling me how he loved me and wanted me and be his wife. He had came around to see me only once a month or when he wanted to have sex with me. The day after this past Christmas he showed up to see me. Because he told me he had something special for me; He did show up here at my home. I was taken by surprise that he gotten down on his one knee and placed a ring on my left ring finger and then asked me if I would marry him. I had shook my head as in a yes. Of course we had sex and he had left for home to be with his 2 kids (son and daughter). What was really devastating to me was…within a day or two later; He leaves me a message on my yahoo messenger saying these words “I am done keep the ring”. This guy was always hurting me by say words like that on and off for 2 years. Well…I told and explained to my soon to be 18 year old daughter what was going on. I have no idea what her words were to him by text message but I know she gave him a piece of her mind not to ever bother contacting me again because my daughter is also protective over me like I am protective of her and her sister and my granddaughter. I know I should not have these feelings of being lonely and wanting to meet a new man but I am feeling skeptical. I do not know which way to go no more other than focusing on continuing to do Bible study courses and to grow closer to God. And also focusing on my 2 beautiful and amazing daughters and granddaughter whom God blessed me with. I sometimes ask myself ” If God wants me to remain single”. But I do know that in Jeremiah 29:11 it says ( God has a plan, a hope, and a future for me ). I keep telling myself that I need to allow God to intercede in my life and He will reveal to me in His ( God’s ) timing by bringing that one special man into my life. Or whatever his will is for me. I have to admit that I can be impatience with God and try to do things my way. But I know I can’t and I have no idea what to do other than what I had mention seconds ago to stick it out with doing Bible study courses and my three adorable girls. God knows that I never once had a real date with a man…like going somewhere nice to have something to eat, and seeing a movie at a movie theatre, and etc. I want a man who will have respect and morals and values. Well, I do understand that you knows what I am saying. Help!

  15. erin
    January 19, 2014

    I have never been married so this definitely answers a lot of questions on relationships and people who have been in serious relationships and so forth .. the past few guys i have dated have been divorced .. so this helps with that .. thanks soo much

  16. Sarah
    January 21, 2014

    I’m 35, was married from for 11 yeas from 20-31 years old. I was my husband’s 2nd wife and in retrospect, I should have realized he needed WAY more time to heal from his divorce than I gave him. While I wouldn’t mind getting married again someday, the selection process and time getting to know each other will be MUCH LONGER. I am actually afraid to marry someone who hasn’t been married before because I feel so much better equipped for “next time” if there is one. I hate to be the one someone else has to figure it out with the first time around. Crazy. I’d rather meet a man who has been there, done that and knows how painful divorce is and wants to receive God’s grace and start over. That being said, I’m determined not to put God in a box and so I’m just enjoying being single (2014 is the year of “me”) and will see what/who God brings into my life. I don’t write anyone off due to marital status, but I’m not picturing every man as a potential husband, either.

  17. January 21, 2014

    As a divorced Christian woman, I worry about being written off by Christian men purely because I’m divorced. It’s reassuring to be reminded that some aren’t scared off by that. Thanks for this post!

  18. Sarah Ortega
    January 21, 2014

    I was previously married for 19 years and had 3 teenage children. Suddenly became divorced at age 41 (long story). A year later, met a wonderful man, 13 years my junior. Yikes! I know! Started out as friends of course. Things started to become serious after 4 months of friendship. Decided to break off our relationship because I wanted him to find someone his own age that he could start a family with, as he had never been married and had no children of his own. He called me back the same day as the break up and stated that he thought about it and realized that he was happy in our relationship and didn’t want to look further to loose what we had. Here we are, 9 years later (married for 5 1/2). Happier than ever. It was really tough for him in the beginning, becoming a step dad and taking on a ready-made family (my kids certainly didn’t make things easy). I can’t have any more children, and he is fine with that. I informed him that I would be open to adopting a child or even a surrogate pregnancy. He said he was perfectly fine with the family that we have. We have an amazing relationship. It took a little while, but my kids and family love him dearly. I thank God every day that he put him in my life.

    • May
      February 4, 2014

      Wow, that’s very encouraging and congratulations.

      I’m 33 years old and I got divorced in February 2013 from a 14 year relationship (was married for 10 years) and have 2 children from the ex-hubby. We got married young and I guess we grew apart over the years. Also wanted to note that the divorce was.the ex’s idea and that I made every attempt to try and save the marriage for our children. But in the end, I’m so glad that we divorced as we both seem happier.

      In September 2013, I met a man who has never been married and we have been in constant communication (mostly text messages). When my friend introduced us, I told my friend that I didn’t mind making a new friend. I had this idea that before I get into any relationship, i want it to be built on friendship first. Although it started as a friendship, I think I want more but don’t know how to tell him or am afraid that he doesn’t feel the same… My friends seem to think that he’s interested in me, and they constantly point out that he does make an effort when he can like walking over to where my friends and I are during our workout to make small talk. I want to hear it from him, though. However, due to our busy schedules, we hardly get to spend time together like just the two of us. We have gone on several lunch dates, but we seem to avoid the relationship topic… We seem to enjoy each other’s company and when we are together, the conversations are free flowing.

      I don’t want to bring it up via text and would rather have a face to face discussion. The thing is, I get mixed signals from him- some days he seems to care and other days he just seems like a typical guy going about his business. I saw one of the other posts related to this article regarding text messages where the guy continues to reply and then disappears all of a sudden. I get that with this guy too and it gets frustrating!

      I don’t know what to do and I guess I don’t want to be hurt again… Any advice?

  19. Emily
    January 21, 2014

    First and foremost, I want to say that I agree with you both, Mandy and Daniel. Of course, this young woman is putting way too much pressure on herself and on the relationship (if there is one). Yes, she is putting the cart before the horse. She should relax and let this man’s actions speak for themselves. Time will tell! However, I think it’s very important for women to NOT beat ourselves up over our instincts and intuition that cause us to ask these early-on questions. It happens to females a lot, when we meet a man, and yes, it seems ridiculous and silly! We start with all the silly thoughts and questions (and planning) right away. But honestly, studies in the fields of sociology and psychology suggest that in forming romantic relationships; men are more romantic, women are more practical. Why?? I’m not sure, but my theory is that from a historical, or traditional, or even anthropological point of view, women NEED to be practical in choosing a mate. After all, we’re the ones to get pregnant, give birth and breastfeed the babies. Quite frankly, the men can cut and run at any point. Plus, up until recent times, men were the sole financial providers in a family. Women have always basically needed to make some determinations early on about their love interests. Our livelihoods and futures were at risk; likely to be determined almost entirely by our choice of a partner. So, I think these tendencies for “putting the cart before the horse” are somewhat natural and normal for women – even young, single women who “should be” footloose and fancy-free. I don’t think this tendency is only a quirky artifact from the year 1600, either. I think that young women are still under plenty of pressure to do the “right” things, and make the “right” decisions – whether that be about careers, fertility, health, or long-term plans. Sure, men are under the same pressures, but we all know that society perceives men and women differently, that men tend to make more money than women, and that a man’s fertility lasts longer, on average.
    I don’t mean to sound depressing! Lol. I only mean to point out that a woman’s “instinct” is important and that it may be a bit harder for us ladies to suspend all that and “lose ourselves in the moment.” In this young lady’s case, it sounds like the guy in question mentioned his divorce, but without much detail. Absolutely he could be a great guy! And I agree with Daniel that, if anything, he has a strong idea of commitment. HOWEVER, questions are natural: Are there children from the relationship? Why did the marriage end? Was abuse or finances an issue??
    My parents divorced when I was around 8 or 9 and both remarried when I was 10 years old. In my Dad’s case, he remarried a woman who had never been married. So, she married into an insta-family with me and my two sisters (3 young girls). At the time, my Dad was in his mid-thirties and my Dad’s wife was in her late twenties. Their marriage lasted about 10 years and they had two children of their own. My dad has confided in me that one of the major problems in their marriage/reasons for their divorce was that his wife (my stepmother) could never quite accept all that was involved financially, emotionally, and time-wise with his 3 children. It was all very painful for everyone involved. However, I can forgive my stepmother (and yes, I still call her my stepmother although my Dad has married for a 3rd time), because it was a growing, life-changing experience for her. That was her journey. And now that I am married with one child, and one on the way, I understand more about that journey.
    So yes, it’s a journey, and I wish this young lady all the best! Live your journey, embrace what this man may have to offer, but never be afraid to listen to your instincts. 🙂

    • Daniel Goddar.
      January 22, 2014

      Hey! It’s Daniel… You guys have so many interesting observations and opinions and stories! I really enjoy reading them!

  20. Dawn
    January 22, 2014

    Enjoyed reading your opinions and experiences. I have married a divorced man. And it was very difficult. As his children were young. The son did not accept me. He was 11 at the time. My husband thought of divorcing. As he felt that he should keep his son happy. Now he is in his late 20 ‘s and lives abroad. So, there is not a problem anymore. Things change as they grow up. And we just have to make the best of things.

  21. Chiquita
    March 16, 2014

    I have enjoyed reading the ideas expressed by others and I honestly feel that women date to marry. And I feel that the most important part of marriage is staying committed to your commitment. A person who stays committed to their commitment has a deeper awareness and understanding of commitment. Yes I completely agree that as women we can be quick to run away with our emotions, but at the same time I feel that through the process of prayerfully evaluating our emotions we can become more aware of what we desire in our relationships and properly determine if we are settling in those areas for the sake of the particular relationship. If she is a woman of faith I would suggest that she prayerfully consider God’s direction not only in this relationship with this particular man, but with any. I believe the desire of our hearts concerning our future spouse are very valid. And I believe that it’s important to trust God with them in our pursuit. I noticed that she mentioned she wasn’t certain if that was a “deal breaker” for her. I feel that she is very concerned with standing by her convictions and her standards with regards to who she decides to emotionally invest in. It’s so important to realize these things in the early stages as she is now, because I don’t see the point in continuing to invest more time in a person that you are having reservations about in the first place. I feel that this is not in the best interest of the heart of the man or woman. Intentions and non-negotiable s need to be clear and laid out. Not settling means exactly that.

  22. AnnaR
    February 28, 2015

    DG – I was struck by your comment: “Because he was committed to someone. He understands commitment.” He’s divorced so a commitment was broken and he admitted that was young and entered into that commitment unprepared. Being previously married does NOT show that he understands commitment. It doesn’t necessarily show that he doesn’t, either. I don’t think his divorce is a reason to not date him, but I do think you stretched too far in your comments. Also, addressing your comments about the wisdom of “not settling,” people who are unmarried in long-term relationships can also make a decision not to settle and they can end those relationships. The only time someone’s marital status suggests anything about commitment is if the person is actually in a marriage, and particularly if the marriage is a longstanding one. There was recently an article about a couple who has been married for 82 years. THEY know something about commitment.

  23. Ngoni
    February 19, 2018

    Divorced or soon to be divorced people: Get back or remain with your spouses. Please don’t seek new relationships!

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