My Husband And I Are Separated And He Is Dating Someone Else: Is It Cheating?
Not all marriages are meant to be. While some weather the rough tides of life and its challenges, many marriages end in the partners falling apart. There are numerous outcomes of such a fallout. You and your partner can apply for a divorce, in which case you might be advised to live separately for a period to give each partner a bit of space. Sometimes, partners choose to consensually separate without a court’s order to figure out things on their own. And there are times when partners choose to compromise and carry on with the marriage.
When separated, you both remain to be legally married. Some choose to stay in different houses and start a new life, while some live under the same roof but have separate lives. Whatever the condition, separation is not a very happy affair. It brings with it emotional turmoil in varying degrees. Each of the partners has its own way of dealing with this upheaval when separated.
One such scenario is when your husband starts to date during the period you are living away from one another. Whether you discover his clandestine affair yourself or he informs you upfront about the same, it can hurt. Knowing that the person you love and have been in a relationship with for so many years has now moved on to welcome another lady in his life is not easy to digest. You are bound to feel cheated. You will experience a myriad of emotions, starting from anger to indifference.
The question, however, is whether your husband’s affair with another person during this time can be categorized as cheating or not.
The risks of dating when separated
Based on the above, you need to know the following:
- Depending on which state you are living, you are allowed to sue your ex-husband if he is dating already when separated. So, you need to speak to a legal professional and find out if you can sue your husband for adultery or not.
- When your man ignores you and dates another person during separation, you can obtain further information about his date or new partner if you have custody of the kids.
- It is a matter of concern for you if your husband dates during the separation period because he may stop contributing towards the expenses of the kids or your household.
Why is my husband dating after separation?
It is natural to feel hurt when you see your estranged partner walk hand-in-hand with another woman. You feel the pangs of jealously, you experience resentment at his happiness, and you are hurt that he has moved on so fast in life. One question that keeps bothering you is why he is dating after separation. Let’s first understand the reasons why your husband started to date during the separation period.
He is in love
However hard it sounds, this could be true. Your ex-husband, your man, has moved on and given his heart to someone else. You may not want to accept it, but this could be the truth.
It is possible that they met after you both separated. Or, they could have known each other from before. It is also possible that they fell in love while you were still living with your husband, and maybe she was the reason why he wanted a divorce.
There's nothing much that you can do in this situation. You need to accept it, of course. And, if this is the reason behind the separation, then there are hardly any chances of you both getting back again and reviving your marriage.
The best is to let go and focus on yourself. It’s time to heal your feelings, the pain, and your heart and not think about your ex.
He wants to make you jealous
This could be the foremost reason for your ex-hubby (separated) to start a fling almost as soon as you both start to live apart from each other. The point is; he is hurt, pained, and he still loves you. Probably you decided to let go of the marriage, and he is getting back at you by having this affair.
On the other hand, it could be his pent-up antagonism towards you, especially if the marriage has been going through a rough patch in the last few years. He could be heaving a sigh of relief that it was finally over and the separation was his call. Having an affair almost immediately is an indication that he wants to get over the past as soon as possible and, at the same time, get back to you as revenge.
He knows you pretty well. He knows you will be mad about the new lady in his life. Thus, by getting involved with another woman, he wants to make your life difficult. He wants you to know that he has moved on in his life and trying to make you feel miserable about it.
He needs a shoulder to cry on
One of the possibilities is that he misses having a partner and feels lonely. That is why he is dating so that he can have a special one around. It happens all the time and very likely happened with your ex too. Maybe he didn’t want to reach out to you because of the status of the relationship.
You can find solace in the fact that he must be hurting as much as you are, and he needs someone to share his emotions and feelings. He wanted someone to comfort him and empathize with his situation and the pain that he was experiencing.
His self-esteem is low, and he needs to boost it
Another reason why your husband rushes into an affair, literally, is because he needs to feel loved. His self-esteem and male ego have taken a severe plunge with you leaving him. You were the center of his being till the time you two were together. All his energies and focus were on you.
But, now that you have left him and opted for a separation, he is lost. Maybe you have taken the kids too with you. In this case, he doesn’t know how to collect the pieces together and move on.
He desperately needs someone to tell him that he is right and validates his point of view. He needs confirmation that he still has his charm with women. That is why, in all possibilities, he has hastily started this new relationship. In all probability, this was the first woman he met who showed some interest in him.
He started dating on the rebound
This is also quite common. People sometimes start seeing other people when they are hurt in love. Rebound happens when there are still some feelings for the other person. The distance or the prospect that you two cannot be together can be making him really unhappy. To forget the pain, he might have jumped into the relationship with the first person available.
Rebound relationships usually do not last long. These are not quite serious. These become an outlet for the person so that they can recover and move on.
Is dating while separated cheating?
It is not easy to answer this question. Yes, of course, you can feel cheated and hurt that he has moved on so fast but can that really make this all a case of infidelity?
There are two scenarios to understand this situation.
The separation was a temporary stage before you two got back
If this is the case, then your husband’s affair can be termed wrong, especially if you two have mutually agreed to part ways for a while. Many times, couples choose to live separately when they need therapy or need to give each other space. In such cases, there is a subtle agreement that both of them will get back.
During this period, if your husband has fallen in love or started the affair to hurt you further, then he is for sure cheating on you.
The separation was the initial step with divorce being the final
If the relationship was so bad that it was best for you to separate and go your different ways leading to divorce, then his affair is nothing wrong. When you know that you will ultimately get legally separated, then there is no reason why his new love should bother you, or you should feel cheated.
He has a right to move on with his life, and that is exactly what he has chosen to do. Your marriage is anyways over. So, why even get into the emotional tussle about it? In this case, he is officially not required to take your consent or keep you informed about his dating scene. The truth is that even you are free to date or follow your heart’s calling. It is not cheating whatsoever.
To put things into perspective, it is cheating when you both are still emotionally tied up and are keen to get back together to give your marriage one last try. But, if things are too bad and there is no scope of the relationship reviving again, then it is not cheating if your husband is wooing someone else other than you. Of course, the legal hassles are still there, and you need to find out more about them before deciding the way forward.
Accepting that your hubby has moved on to date another person is not easy. But, take it that it is in your best interest, especially if there are no chances of your marriage reviving again. Instead of focusing on making him think about you, it's time for you to move on too. Accept that your marriage failed, that it was not meant to be, and that you need to find peace and happiness now. Indulge yourself in your work, kids, and hobbies, and catch up with friends and family members to start the journey of moving on. And, who knows, very soon, you’ll meet someone interesting, sparking romantic feelings in you once again!