I have been dating a wonderful Christian man for almost one year. I adore him and feel we have great potential for a future together. However, he is still legally married. His wife of 25 years stopped being his partner in every way at least two years ago, and she filed for divorce one year ago. He was heartbroken and is still mourning her loss but realizes they could never be together again and that they both need to move on. The problem is she will not follow through with anything regarding this divorce. 

I have been dating a wonderful Christian man for almost one year. I adore him and feel we have great potential for a future together. However, he is still legally married. His wife of 25 years stopped being his partner in every way at least two years ago, and she filed for divorce one year ago. He was heartbroken and is still mourning her loss but realizes they could never be together again and that they both need to move on. The problem is she will not follow through with anything regarding this divorce. He hired an attorney as soon as she filed and completed all the necessary paperwork and has officially made his offer — a fair and extremely generous offer — but she refuses to follow up on anything. There is quite a lot of money involved in this settlement and his wife would be wealthy after this divorce so we don't understand what her problem is and why she won't settle. She refuses to talk to him whenever he brings up the subject. I feel he should be more aggressive and insist his lawyer do something to move this along with or without her support. Question: Am I wasting my time with him or should I hang in longer? I think he is worth waiting for.

Alison

Dear Alison,

Thanks for your question. He sounds like a great guy who cares about you very much. I definitely think you need to hold on longer. Let’s walk through this together.

He and his wife have a 25-year history together. Maybe the relationship has run its course and they’ve both accepted that it’s time to move on, but that doesn’t mean they’ve separated emotionally. He has told you he still has feelings for her, and it’s pretty clear that his wife still has strong feelings for him. It makes sense. Like I said, 25 years is a long time to be connected to someone. You don’t mention what happened to dissolve their marriage — irreconcilable differences, infidelity, falling out of love — but clearly she’s not ready to let go. And he doesn’t want to push the issue yet.

I did some research on how long divorces typically take. There is quite a range. What I found was, divorces take much longer when people are having trouble with the emotional breakup. If one spouse is still angry, resentful, or still grieving over the dissolution of the marriage, this can delay the process quite a bit. In these types of situations the final paperwork might take as long as two years to finally get signed. The grieving process is different for everyone; it takes time to piece your life back together and move on.

My suggestion, Alison, is to hang on until then if you can. Be as supportive as possible even though it may be difficult. If the divorce process continues to drag on after a few years, then at that point you might want to reconsider your position, especially if it becomes clear that Jack is also dragging his feet.

In the meantime, try to enjoy your time with him. Don’t let this situation define your relationship, otherwise it won’t matter if and when they get divorced.

All the best,

Saelen 

Saelen Ghose is the head writer for The Guy’s Perspective, a popular relationship blog and website. Over the course of his tenure he has responded to thousands of relationship questions, and while he hasn’t solved every problem, he has provided a thoughtful perspective on every question received. If you have a relationship question of your own, please email tgpadvice@gmail.com. Saelen will do his best to answer your question. Please limit your question to 200 words or less. For more from The Guy’s Perspective, visit www.theguysperspective.com.