So, you’ve started dating a new guy and he seems perfect, except for one thing…
You find out you’re dating a divorced man still living with his ex-wife.
It’s not ideal, and it adds an extra dynamic to your relationship, but it doesn’t have to get in the way.
However, there are a few things you need to know/should expect – here are 9 things you need to think about!
9 Things to Know When Dating a Divorced Man Still Living With Their Ex-Wife
1. He Might Not Be 100% Over Her
If your partner is still living with his ex-wife, there is a chance it’s because he’s not completely over her.
It’s not always that a guy doesn’t want to move on, it’s usually more so that they haven’t faced up to or found the closure they need in order to do so.
This means that you might have to deal with him still having feelings for her, and seeing her on a regular basis is only going to further complicate that.
The only way to really challenge this and see where his head is at is for him to move out and get a clean break from his ex.
Related – Tips for dating a guy in his 50s.
2. His Ex-wife Might Still Have Some Control Over Him
Just because he’s divorced, it doesn’t mean his ex doesn’t still have some control or influence over him.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for the ex-wife to be the one who is really calling the shots – and it gives you some insight into what their relationship was like.
If you’re the kind of person who wants their man to take control and not rely on you for direction and decision-making, this should be something you talk to your boyfriend about.
3. It’s a Sign That He Might Not Be in a Hurry to Move Out
This is especially true if he’s been divorced for a while.
It takes time to get over a divorce, and men usually want to take some time living on their own before they commit to another relationship.
So, if your boyfriend is still living with his ex-wife, it might be a sign that he’s not in a frame of mind to move out and move on yet.
It’s something to bring up when talking to him about what his future plans are and where the two of you stand with your relationship.
4. He Might Still Be Financially Tied to His Ex-wife
Finances can get really messy through the course of a divorce. Seeing a guy still living with his ex suggests he might not be in a great position financially.
This shouldn’t have a huge impact on what you think of him as a person or change your feelings for him, but it’s something to consider.
It might be a sign that he’s financially irresponsible, or even that he was taken advantage of by his ex.
Either way, don’t feel bad about bringing this up in conversation and seeing what he says.
5. Do They Have Kids Together?
If they have kids and are still co-parenting, then chances are he’s not going to be moving out any time soon.
For some women, that’s totally fine, at least for the immediate future. But for how long you’ll be OK with it, only you can answer.
If he has kids, you can’t blame him if his priority is on them and making sure they have a stable home life.
This does mean, however, that you need to be comfortable with the fact that his ex is going to be a big part of his life while you’re together.
6. He Lacking Life Skills And/Or Confidence
There are a lot of guys who have been in long-term relationships where they’ve been taken care of by their partner.
When they get divorced and are suddenly on their own, they end up lacking the confidence or life skills to fend for themselves.
This is one reason why some men end up moving back in with their ex, or worse, moving back in with their mothers!
Dating a guy who struggles to look after himself and acts more like a big kid than an equal partner can be incredibly frustrating.
I’d explore if this is the reason before committing to living with this guy for sure, just so you know what you’re getting into.
7. His Attitude Might Change When He Does Finally Move Out
Something else to keep in mind is that when your partner does finally move out, it could have a huge impact on his mood.
Most guys feel a huge weight being lifted when they break free from their ex, and it’s hard to say how he’s going to feel when that happens.
Whether he moves in with you or gets his own place first, that kind of drastic change of lifestyle has to have an impact.
8. Is He Only Recently Divorced?
Something else you need to find out is how long ago they got divorced, and how long ago they split up.
If it was very recent, you might be someone he’s found on the rebound or he might be trying to make his wife jealous.
Either way, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that dating a very recently divorced man is not a good decision.
9. You Need to See for Yourself What He’s Like Around His Ex-wife
I’m not suggesting you go round for dinner, as that is obviously going to be awkward.
However, if you can see how he’s acting around his ex-wife, it’s going to tell you a lot about how he feels about her and where his head is.
I’m not suggesting he’s not being truthful, either, but what he thinks about his current situation and what it looks like from the outside might be two different things.
Either way, I’d be more comfortable seeing and knowing what his living arrangement is like.
It’s a big deal dating a guy who is still living with his ex-wife.
It’s far from a normal situation, but it’s normal for you to feel like you’re the one on the outside as they have so much more history than the two of you.
Should You Date a Guy Who Just Got Divorced?
Dating a divorced man can be an incredibly challenging and frustrating experience, but if you’re prepared for it then you’re more likely to have a successful relationship.
Be sure to ask him these key questions before you get too serious, so that you know what you’re getting into!
- Do You Need Space?
- Are you living separate lives under the same roof?
- Am I just a rebound relationship?
- Are you sure you’re 100% over your ex?
- Do you have plans to move out soon?
It’s uncomfortable dating a guy who you know will be going home and sleeping under the same roof as a woman he was married to.
You’re going to have to trust him and communication is going to be key to making your relationship work.
Make sure you speak openly about anything you’re not comfortable with and don’t accept anything less than honest, pressuring answers from him.
Related – Interested if guys really get nervous on first dates? Read this!
How Long Should You Wait to Date a Divorced Man?
If you’re not comfortable dating a guy who was recently divorced or is still living under the same roof as his ex, the question is; how long should you wait to date a divorced man?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it’s different for everyone.
Personally, I would recommend waiting until he’s at least moved out of the house and is living independently before you get too serious.
This gives him time to deal with the divorce emotionally and means he won’t be bringing as much baggage into your relationship.
Dating a divorced man can come with its own set of challenges, but if you’re prepared for them then you’re more likely to have a successful relationship.
Just be sure to ask him key questions about his divorce and past relationship, so that you know what you’re getting into!
Image credits – Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.