Married, but separated…should you date?

Marriage Mondays

worriedA few years ago, when I was still separated I had to contend with this issue. It occurred to me that during my focus on marriage on Mondays, that perhaps it would be helpful to someone if I shared my thoughts and experiences during this difficult time in my life.

As always, the people who love and support you will give you their advice and opinions on this, with the best intentions, but for the most part the advice they give may not be exactly what you need for your situation. I had many people who wondered why it was taking us so long to get divorced and others who were waiting hopefully for us to reconcile.

While we were separated most people encouraged me to date and enjoy my freedom, but one very dear friend of mine told me truthfully, that I should wait until we divorced before making any moves towards dating. Her advice was wise and loving. She said there were just too many physical and emotional complications that could occur and most importantly, it was spiritually wrong.

She was right, but I didn’t listen. I started dating a guy and things started getting serious. I enjoyed his company, but I wasn’t falling for him as quickly as he was falling for me. There were many reasons why, but the main reason and the turning point came, when, totally out of the blue, my husband decided that he finally wanted to talk. He apologized and expressed his wishes to reconcile.

Suddenly my emotions were conflicted – I had one foot in the workings of a new relationship and my heart in my separated marriage. On one hand, I felt a sense of relief and elation that there was hope for my marriage and the other I felt a total confusion about this new life I had been working on. I realized at that moment that I did, indeed, still loved my husband very much, and that meant there was no hope for the person I had been dating.

With all these emotions swirling through my head I knew I had to make a decision, and that brought on a heaviness – a dreadful feeling. I had dragged someone into a situation that was going nowhere. Even crazier, at the same time there were no guarantees that my husband and I would even be able to work out our differences, after all we’d tried to reconcile before and it had ended in disaster. Even if I was able to let the friend I was dating down easy, it didn’t mean that I would instantly be able to save my marriage. Especially if he knew I was dating someone else – things like that are often deal breakers.

So, I was in a whirlwind of confusion – most of which was the unnecessary turmoil I had brought upon myself and unfortunately had extended to the poor guy who didn’t have a chance. Telling him that was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do. I never wanted to be in a position where I was the one who caused someone else’s pain – I knew all too well what that felt like. Yet, there I was causing someone grief over a relationship that should never have happened in the first place because although I was separated, I was still married.

My friend was right, I should have waited. But I was stubborn and hard-headed. I don’t know why so many times I’ve had to learn things the hard way. So, if you or someone you know is in this weird limbo-of-a-place called “married but separated” I encourage you to hold on and wait before making any decisions to date. It really isn’t worth the potential pain and heartache.

If either you or your spouse are not at a point where you’re ready to sign divorce papers this very moment – for whatever reason – finance, emotional or otherwise, there’s still a chance that the love you have for each other can resurface. There’s still hope that you can work things out, but if there’s a third party involved, it only makes things more complicated. Life is complicated enough. If you’re separated, wait until things are final before you start dating someone else.

If there’s a chance at all that you still love your spouse, do yourself a favor and wait it out – you never know when your “out-of-the-blue” moment may come.

I thank God for the miracle He was able to work in my marriage in spite of all the chaos. For those of you who may be joining us for the first time, my husband and I were separated for three years. We’ve been reconciled for two years now – and it’s been two of the best years we’ve had together. If there’s hope for us, there really is hope for everybody.

In addition to the moral and emotional reasons why people should wait to date while separated – why else is it wise to wait before jumping back into the dating scene? What other issues or potential complications should people consider?

Note: If you’re at a point where you think you might like to begin working on your marriage again, whether you’re the only one who wants to fix it or not, there is hope – you might want to read, Save Your Christian Marriage for steps to take towards reconciliation.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy these other Marriage Monday posts:

What does the Bible say about marriage?

You don’t have to have a perfect marriage to have a happy marriage

Let go of anger and let God heal your marriage

You don’t have to pluck your own eye out, but…

Focus on the good in your spouse

Should you leave your unbelieving spouse?

The ultimate divorce buster

What does Jesus say about marriage?

If you have a marriage related post you’d like to share, feel free to post your link below:

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  1. great tips on christian dating thanks!


  2. Keisha, this is great advice and I’m glad that you can look back and admit that you were being stubborn.
    This situation is a perfect example of why the law makes people wait before a divorce can be granted. Hey – I’ve never even been married so I’m not trying to preach.

    It’s truly a blessing that you and your husband reunited. God bless your marriage.
    .-= Ileane´s last blog ..Plugin to WordPress at Blogging Wire! =-.


    Kiesha Reply:

    @Ileane Thanks for your blessings! It definitely wasn’t easy. I hope my experiences will help someone.


  3. Kiesha, very solid and honest advice. Introducing another person into a chapter of your life in a book that’s unfinished usually doesn’t work out the way we want.

    Keeping yourself emotionally and physically unattached definitely makes those life changing decisions a little bit easier.

    There’s no crystal ball or seeing into the future. But doing what 1) you know is right and 2) what your heart/mind are telling you are usually the right course of action
    .-= Roschelle´s last blog ..So What Do You Want to Be Called? Hurry Up and Make Up Your Mind!!! =-.


    Kiesha Reply:

    @Roschelle That book analogy is a great way to look at it. Although, at that particular time, I thought the book was closed – I just hadn’t returned it to the library yet :)


  4. I feel a little awkward weighing in here but I came to visit and so it is.

    It is ladies like you that deserve the highest levels of respect for standing by their beliefs and being totally honest. I commend you for that, it is what the world needs more of. This is not just a blog post, but a wonderful story!

    I got a surprising post upon my arrival and enjoyed it very much.
    This old dog has been married for 28 years and is well house broken. LOL
    This is a very inspiring story and I thank you for sharing and wish you all the best!
    .-= Jimi Jones´s last blog ..Should a Blogger Outsource? =-.


    Kiesha Reply:

    @Jimi – You really are fearless! Thanks for commenting on my post in spite of your comfort zone. You could have very easily kept on pushing on to the next blog, but you chose not to – and for that I’m grateful! I’m so glad you found some value in it. You compliments are humbly appreciated.


  5. I am blessed that I came across this especially since “I am married but separated” – going on 2 years now. I feel like my whole world has been turn upside down. He has dated and had other relationships but has never mention us getting a divorce. I have also , dated but I never felt right by doing it I was still married and his wife I just felt like dating someone was a sin also , what man really wants to date a woman who is married to another man … certainly not that many. We have tried getting back together but it always ended up in a huge disaster. We also , have a child together so I feel not only has my marriage failed but also , my family. I have mention counseling he agreed that we needed it but I am not quite sure if he is really going to go with me but then again he has yet divorce me so maybe that’s a sign of hope we shall see.


  6. I think it is not lawful to date when you are still married =) Just wait for the divorce first. But for me , I would do all I can to reconcile with my wife first. I may date someone too but that would be someday. Cuz it’s not that easy to move on. Hey I love that book called Save Your Christian Marriage =)

    An article about Christian Marriage Counseling I think is worth sharing is here: Christian Marriage Counseling – Marriage Repair Magic in 5 Secret Steps
    .-= Rambo Ruiz´s last blog ..Four Christian Marriage Counseling Success Secrets =-.


  7. Going on 3 years separated, physically, emotionall,y spiritually. A single mom for 3 yrs. I don’t know if I should keep hanging in there. He went to jail for molesting our daughter. I did not initially divorce because I felt had a bigger plan. But now its harder to believe in that plan when I don’t think my husband will ever become the man I need or want. He hasn’t seen our children in 3 years. I am fully ready to divorce but I don’t love him nor feel anything will ever change. I am lonely for companionship. He can’t even go out without getting permission from everyone due probation. Hald the time he has never even said thank you, i love you or I ”m glad you’re still here. What to do?


  8. Your story has inspired me. My husband and I have been separated for almost four months. I want very much to save my marriage, but he refuses to talk about what he wants to do. I know he is seeking out females for friendship or dating. I have tried to tell him that dating now will only make things uglier. I can’t imagine being in this limbo status for THREE years, but as a Christian I know I have to be patient and let God do the work.


  9. Chantelle says:

    thanks for the inspiring post. it helps to hear stories like yours. is your email available?


  10. My husband and I have been separated for a year, he cheated on me and left me and the kids for the other woman whom he is still with. I do not want to reconcile and yes I do date and I must say that it is not wise. Dating has caused me to fall further and further away from God, I have been trapped in the cycle of fornication and find it hard to stop. I am on the road to freedom but just to warn others its best to just be single and celibate because dating can be a slippery slope. Love and blessings to all :)



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