How to Help a Boyfriend Through a Divorce

Updated April 17, 2017

Society generally takes a dim view of a woman dating a married man, but one exception can be when the man is separated and going through a divorce. Re-connecting with the love of your life or meeting a man you are compatible with while he is no longer in a relationship with his wife is possible, although both scenarios make for a sticky relationship situation. If you are certain that your boyfriend has severed ties with his wife and is dedicated to pursuing a life with you, taking steps to help him through the divorce will benefit your relationship with him for the long haul.

Stay informed as to your boyfriend and his wife's legal status at all times. Ask questions about the state of the divorce at the beginning of your relationship with him. Have your boyfriend brief you on the legal procedures that must take place in order for the divorce to commence and become finalised. Find out if your boyfriend is legally separated from his wife and why he has or has not taken this step. Find out if divorce papers have been served or if there are additional steps that must be taken beforehand. Different states have different rules, so make sure you know what you're going up against. Perform your own research if necessary.

Gain a clear understanding about the relationship that exists between your boyfriend and his wife so that there are no sudden surprises. If your boyfriend still lives with his wife, this is a red flag. If he constantly gushes about her or visits with her often, you may want to rethink pursuing a relationship with this man. If he is honest about his intent to divorce and proves that he has no feelings for her, proceed with caution. Keep dialogue open that would reveal how he truly feels about you versus his wife. Make sure that he is living on his own and refrains from seeing her unless absolutely necessary. Also, keep in mind that he is still legally married: Supporting his wife financially to some extent is normal.

Set clear boundaries initially. If you are uncomfortable with moving in together prior to his divorce, for example, make this known. Staying honest about what you are comfortable with will keep your relationship healthy and encourage respect for one another despite the circumstances.

Don't intervene. Avoid contact with your boyfriend's wife as much as possible, whether she is aware of your relationship with her husband or not. You should not feel a need to involve yourself with the issues between your boyfriend and his wife: If you can't trust him to be true to you then you should not pursue a relationship with him. Do not play counsellor and do not ask about the problems between them, as this will only bring unnecessary baggage into your relationship and drive a wedge between the two of you. Be supportive but do not pry.

Have patience and understanding. Realise that you willingly involved yourself with a man who is not entirely free and that it is not going to be an easy ride. Try not to get angry or overreact to new information until you have had time to assess the situation rationally. Stand by your man in the face of opposition, such as disapproving friends and family members. Be kind to your man while you are going through this trying time and your relationship will be that much stronger once the divorce is finalised.

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About the Author

Jessica Conner broke into the online writing field in 2010 when she published articles for a local news website covering art-related topics. She now writes full time for various websites. She resides in South Louisiana and attended the University of Louisiana for visual arts.