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Dating a separated man with young kids

Sienna wrote:

I have been divorced for four years and have two children, eleven and six. I have been dating, and last year was in a serious relationship with a man who I finally realized had significant drug and alcohol problems. As I began the long process of breaking up, I bumped into someone I have known socially who I always liked. He was only separated for four months at that time, and has two young children, six and seven. We talked a bit as friends, and I left it at that.

He began to call and ask me out. About two months later we went to dinner once, and had a nice time. I told him not to call me, however, I felt he was too fresh out of a relationship and frankly I was still dealing with the old-guy.

We went out once again, a few months later.

In the spring, we finally did end up spending more time together, and really hit it off. We have basically been inseparable, and very happy. We enjoy a lot of the same activities and each other’s company.

It has now been about seven months of dating, and he recently brought up things like marriage, living together, having babies, the whole thing. Part of me gets very excited and happy, as that is something I would like again for myself and my kids. However, he is also still going through what now seems to be a more acrimonious divorce that what I had originally thought. They are not able to communicate, and my friends think he is a good year to year and a half away from being divorced. When I ask him he just seems overwhelmed and has no idea about anything, and last night asked me to “trust” him.

Am I just being used? I am scared that per my friends it would take a lot for us to make it through his final divorce, that most men at that time decide to move on. I am 41 and think if I would be to remarry or find another partner the next few years are a good time for me to be dating ... men who are available.

What do you think?

Dear Sienna

I think he's a nice fella!

But he's going through a messy divorce, and it may drag on for another year and a half!

If that doesn't ring enough alarm bells, he's honest enough to admit he's confused, and silly enough to say "trust me".

And if that isn't enough, he has young children - children who are already involved in the divorce, and may be caught in a custody, access or support battle. And if he's half the man you think he is, he will put those children before you. And before your kids.

And so he should!

Be clear - he's not using you; he's simply doing his best to survive. But you are likely to be hurt, and if you are, whether he did it on purpose or not won't make much difference.

Of course there's a chnace it will all work out. but there's a bigger chance that it won't. Your call.

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