7 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Suspect You Might Be a Homewrecker

Dating a man who lies about getting a divorce can make you look bad. Here's how to avoid the drama.

Dear Monica, I have been dating a man who says he is getting a divorce—but there doesn’t seem to be any real movement toward a legal separation from his wife. When do I call it quits? —H.H., Philadelphia


Dating a man who is separated is difficult because you risk being the rebound. Nine times out of 10, rebound dates don’t end up going to the altar. Being involved with a man who is “getting a divorce” but has not made a move toward finalizing that process is a no-win situation. All you are at this point is the “other woman” who is dating a married man. If you are wondering if he is really getting a divorce here are some points to consider:
  • Has he  given a retainer to a divorce attorney and either he or she has filed? If so, he is well on the way to a divorce.
  • Has he moved out of the house? Is there a custody agreement if children are involved? If so, he’s definitely getting a divorce. If he is living in the basement and still having meals with the wife and family this does not constitute “getting a divorce.”
  • Does he say things like: “I love you, but I need to wait until I am emotionally available to be with you”? That is a total crock. If he is living in the house, part of his heart is living there too.
  • Is he available late at night for texting, sexting and phone sex, but has limited time for face-to-face intimacy? This spells guilty with a capital G. It is not breaking the vows of marriage if there is nothing physical, right?
  • Whenever you bring up finalizing the split with his wife, can he only talk about “the kids”? Divorce is a major decision and breaks a family apart forever. He is right to be putting the kids first, but he should not be in the dating world simultaneously.
  • Does conversation always drift toward his wife and her feelings? A true gentleman would not hurt someone he loves. Isn’t he hurting you by dragging you along in a scenario that leaves you the odd man out?
  • Is he in therapy with the wife? That is fine if the goal of therapy is how to deal with telling the kids and agreeing on matters of child rearing. If it is about the two of them, then they are still working on their marriage and he is not ready to leave.
If you see some of these warning signs and no movement toward a true split, the man you are dating is not getting a divorce for a long time—if ever. He will be dragging you along while he is at the movies, dining, and vacationing with his wife. Break off the relationship now. If you love him and don’t want to have a broken heart, send him the following text: “When you have moved out of your house, hired an attorney and filed for divorce, give me a call. Otherwise, don’t contact me because you are a married man and I don’t date married men.” Or, you can  quote Bruce Springsteen:


We’re runnin’ now but darlin’ we will stand in time
To face the ties that bind
The ties that bind
Now you can’t break the ties that bind
You can’t forsake the ties that bind