You just learned that your ex is dating and you’re not even divorced yet. Perhaps your spouse told you in-person while he or she was dropping off the kids and they were out of earshot. Perhaps you found out as you were scrolling through your ex’s Facebook or Instagram feed. Or, perhaps a friend or acquaintance heard about it through the rumor mill and they just told you.
Regardless of how you heard the news, your heart may have sunk when you heard it. Maybe you were shocked, disgusted, angry, or not surprised at all – maybe you even expected it. If you weren’t planning on dating until after the divorce was final or if dating hadn’t even crossed your mind because you have been so stressed by the breakup, news of your spouse dating someone new may have been unwelcomed on your end. So, what do you do?
- Do you call your ex out?
- Do you get angry and burn all of their clothes on the front lawn?
- Do you empty the joint bank account and go on a spending spree?
- Do you start dating and partying and post every shenanigan on social media to make your ex jealous?
- Do you switch your no-fault divorce to a fault-divorce and point the finger citing he or she is adulterous?
- Do you beg your ex to take you back?
Our advice is not to do any of the above. If you want to confront your ex about it, the best way to do it is in a calm and non-accusatory manner. You may even say, “Good for you, I want to date too, but let’s be discreet about it and let’s not introduce anyone to the kids.”
What We Suggest
All the time our clients tell us that their ex is dating. As long as they are physically separated and no longer sleeping together as husband and wife, dating does not have to interfere with a no-fault divorce. If you were to approach us and tell us that your ex is now dating, this would be our advice to you:
- Keep communications respectful and polite between each other
- Don’t drag the kids into it
- Talk to your spouse about dating do’s and don’ts out of respect for your divorce
- Agree not to introduce “dates” to your children
- If your spouse’s dating upsets you, realize you may not be able to control it
- Agree to keep all extramarital dating off social media during the divorce
Regardless of how you feel about your spouse’s dating, the best thing you can do is focus on you. Often, this means eating right, getting extra rest to help you cope with the stress of the divorce, exploring old and new hobbies, reading, spending quality time with friends and family, and getting in the best shape of your life. When you’re happy with yourself, it’s a lot easier to accept that your ex has moved on, and this allows you to focus on doing the same.