He Lives With Me, But Hasn't Filed For Divorce

Long story short - I am the other woman...but not really. After the first 6 months of our affair, my MM left his wife and moved back in with his parents (he'd been married just shy of 2 years - no children). 8 months after that he told his parents and he told his wife about his relationship with me. 3 months after that (i.e. a year after he separated from his wife and 7 months ago now), he moved in with me. A few months after that, he introduced me to his family as his girlfriend. However, it is seriously bothering me that it has been a year and 8 months since he moved out and he has not filed the divorce papers. All he needed in this state was a year of separation to have grounds for the divorce. Their decision to separate was mutual, I think. They knew it just wasn't going to work (and probably should have (or maybe did) even before the wedding) - I met her a couple times and could see they were having problems even then. However, I do think she was still in love with him when he left - I heard her say it on the phone when she called while he was at my house about 2 months prior to him leaving. I think he feels guilt and is trying to be helpful and friendly to her - he feels sorry for her and doesn't want to hurt her more and thus, he says, that is why he hasn't filed yet. Our life together as a couple is normal and what I'd hoped for outside of the fact that he is still legally married and hasn't put the legal process into motion yet. I know he will do it - everything he's said he was going to do he's done, but it all took longer than I'd hoped or thought it should. So, the question here is when...I have gotten upset about it numerous times saying that he was disrespecting me and not being fully open about why he doesn't take the steps to get it done - is it laziness? is it fear? is it just 'easier' not to? I have gotten angry about that and about the fact that he still talks with his wife sometimes - I see texts from her about her car breaking down and about sports -i.e. nothing to make me think that theirs is any more than a friendship (and I understand it as I am friends with nearly all my ex-boyfriends), but, I think he is stringing her along and perhaps stringing me along too by continually putting off the divorce filing. He says he "will take care of it." I am impatient and friends of mine agree that I have a right to be. Do any of you have experience with this or thoughts about what might be going through his mind and whether I should be as bothered by it as I am at this point? Thanks.

PS - I would not suggest an affair to anyone - I will say from personal experience that they are very emotionally difficult - before this, I would never have considered an affair - we became friends at work and before I knew it, we were falling for each other and then - opps - it was a complicated mess. The fact that we've made it as far as we have (almost to normal) makes me feel like the struggle and difficulty was worth it, but, overall, these last 2 years haven't been easy - I tried to remove myself from it many times and found myself unable to because I love him. I just want this last piece to be finished so we can move forward together without the shadow of him being married holding us back.
tornadowatch tornadowatch
31-35, F
5 Responses Sep 18, 2012

I feel like this post is my life. I met this married guy a few months ago, and we completely hit it off. He told me then he was separated and going thru a divorce. He was living outside of their home together and had gotten his own place. The paper work is all filled out and ready to go. They want to do this without lawyers, understandable. But, every time he makes a meeting with her to sit down and split the things they have together. Theres a reason why it doesnt happen. They dont talk very offen to one another, when they do she begs for him to come home. and Ive see the message he tells her no way in hell. I guess my problem is hes making plans for our future together and tells me he wants this but, he wont just go file. I dont know? Maybe its just a mental thing for me?

Your message could very well have been written by me; our situations are incredibly similar and I feel precisely as you do. I really struggle to forget that on paper he has a wife and he is someone's husband.
I do feel, though, that everything that happens is for a reason so I am trying to put aside my own insecurities and listen to my other half when he tells me that he is mine and no on else's. I hope you can do the same :-)

Thanks for the response. Time has helped me understand that it isn't as big a deal as I make it. Yes, on paper, even after a year living with me and two years apart from her, he is still married and technically, she is still his wife, however, I am completely accepted by his family and there is no doubt in my mind that it's only paper. It is still difficult for me, but I have found that fighting it only hurts me. I am much more secure than I was when I first wrote this post, but, it does still bother me that he has not taken the steps to be single on paper...especially since he knows it matters to me (even if not so much to him)... Good luck to you and yours - thanks for sharing :)

My parents were married but not to each other. My mother divorced when I was 10 months old, my father not until I was 18 years old. I think my mother would have liked to marry him, but that never happened. He moved on to my step-mother when I was around 4 years old and they are still together (and married) now. If it isn't an issue for either party, then I think it can work. However, I know myself well enough to know that I do not want to be with someone who is married to someone else. The fact that you are not comfortable with his legally married status should be important to him. Even if you two have no intentions of getting married soon or ever, if he loves you, he should respect how you feel and either offer up a plausible explanation that expels your discomfort with it or take the inevitable steps of dissolving the marriage.

firstly, let me congratulate you - you are one lucky other woman turned NOT..lol
Relationships between two people are complex enough without adding another relationship to it.
The only time it becomes important to file for divorce is when you want to legalize yours. Your boyfriend is obviously not there yet WITH YOU.
I think that is important for you to know, he is communicating that to you.
Maybe you are giving off vibes of expecting him to do the right thing, and he is nervous.
Look what happened to his previous marriage.
I would tread carefully with your planning and nagging.
Instead I would become a little more independent and start doing things that will bring back the "chase" in him. I think that only if he realizes how much he wants to be with you exclusively, will he forget about the hurt feelings of his wife and care more about yours. The ball is in YOUR court, not his. What do you think?

True - he is definitely not ready to be married again. I understand that and I'd say I am not ready either given that it hasn't been very long that we have lived together and I want both of us to feel sure that our marriage is going to last. He probably is nervous about marrying again given that, in his mind, he 'failed' in his first marriage. He has said though that likes the thought of being married again to the 'right woman' - he has communicated his feeling that that woman is me. He would agree with you that the only reason he would 'need to' file for divorce is when he wishes to be married again. However, the way I see it is that we are still having an affair until the divorce process is set in motion. I do not want to be in an affair anymore. I don't want him to have a wife anymore - as long as he has a wife, I still feel like the other woman regardless of their physical separation. Perhaps that's naive, but that is how I feel about it. I don't, however, think the ball is my court or even that it should be. I should not have to make him chase in order for him to care enough about my opinion on this to move forward with the divorce - my opinion is that he should file the papers and let her move on with her life regardless of whether he wants to marry me in the near future or not so that he is no longer, as I said in my other responses, "someone else's husband'. I will say that these comments are helpful and I see that I will have to be patient and just enjoy the fact that I am a 'lucky other woman turned not" - although, I still feel like I am since she's still his wife...perhaps I have inflated the 'wife' concept a little too much - I'd certainly rather be the girlfriend (i.e. me) in the situation as it now stands. Again, thank you for your thoughts - I very much appreciate them.

Are you 2 planning on getting married? Like why must he absolutly divorce...just to ease your mind? Shouldn't you be able to move on with your life cause he's there with you and not her? Doesn't that make you happy? I just don't understand why the need for him to be divorced. He lives with you...your his girlfriend be happy and look forward to a future with him. Maybe for now leave it and give him a deadline.

Thanks Medu5a - I appreciate your comment - I think he sees it as you do. As for me, in all honesty, I can't seriously think about marrying him (although of course I have) until he's not 'someone else's husband'. I have a difficult time even telling people that he's my boyfriend because in my mind I'm thinking 'well, in truth, he's actually some other woman's husband and hasn't even started the process of changing that...'. I wish he felt as I do that, at this point, being my girlfriend and her husband at the same time is not okay. Of course, I am very, very happy that he is with me. Your advice, i.e. to leave it and create a deadline, was my thinking also, though I'm unsure what a reasonable one would be.