What this means for is that you have a rebounder on your hands; a rebounder with some major inner work and big responsibilities in tow. But if your separated man is bitching and complaining about it, it’s a big red flag flapping in your face.
For the number of men who claim to be destitute and “victims of an unfair legal system”, you’d think there’d be a line-up of trucks parked by the Bow River with separated dads living out of them.
Throwing himself into dating or another relationship may temporarily make him feel better – but it only postpones the inevitable inner work that needs to be done. It symbolizes the completion of an old life – a finished chapter – as well as the freedom and independence to create a new future (ahem, a new relationship, possibly with you! Ask him this: If, in fact, the divorce decree isn’t a big deal (like he says), then why doesn’t he just get it done? Then ask him if he thinks it’s fair and reasonable to expect you to continue dating Hmmm… You know it’s possibly because he’s still emotionally “holding onto her”, too, right? If you pay attention, you’ll see flashes of it — in his eyes, his periods of silence or in his body language.
The real reason his divorce hasn’t been finalized could be because of unfinished legal business. Often, his anger will be directed towards his wife – not necessarily through long rants but through small jabs, backhanded remarks and seething sarcasm disguised as humour.
When a man has truly processed his divorce and moved on, he should be able to speak to it with compassion, kindness, and wisdom.
When he minimizes or avoids the topic, however, it suggests that either he has not yet worked through all the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance); or, he hasn’t yet hashed through the legalities (or possibly even begun). He can’t just flick it off his shoulder as he would a bug. Anger is a normal and healthy phase for your separated man to go through.
I would be gravely concerned about a man’s character if he did not want to fulfill those commitments. Whether he was the perpetrator of infidelity or the victim, the tailwinds of cheating bring an ugly stench to the divorce process.