Single Mom and Dating Again


Hello. I have been separated from my husband for 6 months. We have started the divorce process. I am Catholic and I believe in the sacrament of Marriage. MANY things went wrong with my marriage. It was awful. We tried counseling and just can’t get on the same page. Abuse – etc. Not good.

In the process of going through with the separation, I turned to a very close male friend. He has been my rock through everything. He recently expressed that he loves me. He wants us to be together. I have told him that I can’t be intimate with him because I’m still a married woman. I have TRIED many, many times to end all communication with him - but we both end up crying …wanting to talk to each other again.

Here’s my question. Is it ok for him to be in my life, if i’m not intimate with him? He tells me he will wait for me…because “i’m the one for him”. He says he believes God wouldn’t have brought us together …if it was not right.

I do love him – but I’m scared. He has been there for me through thick and thin and really has proven he loves me. But, what if I give in – I have already kissed him. It’s been awhile – but, the vulnerability is there.

I have pushed him away so many times. Sometimes – just with a text message (not nice) but I explained that it was best for him to stay away because I’m too vulnerable. He just keeps telling me that he loves me and that he can’t take me pushing him away anymore.

He tells me that he believes our relationship is like the movie the notebook. I just don’t know what to do. So far, I have kept him away from my children. He met them when we were truly just friends… but I am very confused.

Can someone help me? Please don’t indict me – I truly just want help.

All the best.


Trust in God and He will give you the answers. The amazing thing about the anullment process is that it gives us the time on our own that we need to heal if our anullment is going to be granted and we are going to enter into a healthy relationship. I would highly recommend your Parishes divorce support group as well as talking to your Priest about starting the anullment process. You need this time to heal. However, your actions, feelings, and wants are understandable as you have not been on your own for a while and it is a new feeling. You will need to be on your own for a bit before you can seperate the the feelings of comfortably of relationship and the feelings of love for another person. Good luck and God Bless you.


If you cannot trust this man to honor your convictions, what can you trust him with?


What do I tell this man? I truly love him and pushing him away – while going through this divorce – is going to tear me apart. I don’t know how to handle it…I know I need to pray about it – and I have.

I have told him a million times that he needs to keep his distance. Like I said in the previous post, he has not been able to abide by those wishes. I KNOW that if I push him away again, he will never speak to me again. I have hurt him something terrible.

He just doesn’t see this process the way I do…he thinks that once I file divorce, i’m free to be with him. IN EVERY way… He tells me that he respects my beliefs and will not push me to be intimate “for awhile”.

I’m just so confused…how do I get through this and let him know I still love him - but need my space – without pushing him away forever?


This is a difficult situation to be sure. A real test for both of you.
I find it troubling that this man is not Catholic. It only complicates matters.

My suggestion is this - That you write him a heartfelt and honest letter telling him that for now you cannot communicate with him. Explain why. Even send him links to Catholic Documents explaining the annulment process. Explain to him that, until you receive an annulment, if you do, you are still a married woman in the eyes of God. As such you would be committing adultery by continuing or pursuing a relationship with him at this time.
Finally - explain to him that, if he truly does love you, then he will recognize and honor this and not wish to endanger your soul by being a “temptation” to you. If he is willing to risk your eternal soul then his love is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Pray -Pray - Pray.



If he truly loves you, ask him to follow the model of St.Joseph. Ask St.Joseph to intercede - for our Lord to send to him the graces necessary to remain chaste. This is not ‘pushing him away’ but rather pushing him closer to God. :thumbsup:

  1. You are not free to date. You are not divorced, and you do not have a decree of nullity. You will have a long process to go through regarding having your marriaged declared null. And, the one thing many people forget is that the marriage might NOT be declared null. The marriage may be found VALID. In that case you are not free to date or marry until the death of your spouse. Do NOT get emotionally involved with anyone until you know your canonical status to marry.

  2. You stated you cannot be “intimate” with him because you are not divorced. I hope you meant you cannot be “intimate” with him until the day you are married to him. Which might be NEVER.

  3. You are way too vulnerable to consider dating, even if you were free to do so. You sound hurt and confused. It seems to me you are confusing love and the help he gave you in a troubled time. You are not seeing clearly. You are not coming to a relationship as an equal partner, discerning clearly whether this man is right for you. You are relying on how ‘nice’ he’s been to you and feelings of owing him something. You need to get away from ALL men and get your head clear and focus on your CHILDREN.

  4. He actually sounds like he has some serious issues. He “knows” you are meant to be together. He won’t give you space. He won’t discontinue communication with you when you have asked. He sounds like a stalker to me. He sounds controlling, emotionally immature, and frankly-- scary. He’s trying to wear you down. The last thing a REAL friend would do. He sounds very emotionally needy himself and he’s bet everything on you. That’s not a good place to be when you’ve just come out of an abusive relationship. And, your relationship is like the movie “the Notebook”… give me a BREAK! This man sounds off.

Regarding God bringing you together-- many saints have been fooled by the devil and by their own emotions. This man is WRONG to ascribe to God the bringing together of a woman who is not free to date and a man who is obsessed with dating her. Ain’t nothing Godly in that scenario.

I think you should look deeply at the type of men you are attracted to and see if any of the signs you should have seen with your spouse are in this other man too. The attention is flattering right now, the emotional support is nice, but honestly… long term the controling, manipulative, emotionally needy behavior will not be very attractive.

I say get far away from him. Change your phone and email if you need to. Get emotional space and focus on you and the children. Get counseling. Get healthy.


I am not saying he does not love you, but true love respects boundaries. This man doesn’t. You are vulnerable so it’s very hard to separate from him, because you want to be with him, also. Everything you’re going through and feeling is understandable, but the best way to drive home your point, is to tell this man to truly leave you alone until you are at a place where you can pursue something with him. Until then, you are still married in God’s eyes…and it doesn’t sound like he respects that. He says he loves you,but again, true love respects boundaries. I hope that things get better, and I’m very sorry your marriage did not work out…praying for you through this! :gopray:


*Yep, agree with this, too. *


I agree with some of the above posters - if he cannot respect your Faith or your morals then what is left to respect. Because of your history of being an abuse victim you will not see this behavior in the same way that some others may look at it. It is not healthy. If he is not willing to wait until marriage- then he is not worthy of you as a child of God.


*Agree with joan, also.

OP–Another thing to consider…let’s say you were ‘‘free and clear’’ to date…just from a secular perspective, you are not ready. Secular counselors tell people who have been through divorces to wait at least two years before pursuing a serious relationship. Because of the vulnerability aspect, and because you need to heal from your marriage. It would be best to not jump from your marriage into something else so quickly…especially with someone who is going at 95 mph to get you to commit to him. He’s moving way too fast…you need TIME. Time to heal, time to find yourself, time to be with God, time to just be in this life, without a man…to get back on your own two feet. I will pray that you will not succomb to this man’s pressure, albeit as ‘‘notebook-ish’’ as it might seem…and be true to your faith, and yourself, first. God bless. :console:*


One other thing too - you will need to conserve much energy to help your children heal from this as well as any psychological and spiritual scars they have from witnessing the abuse. Even if you think they didn’t see anything - children always know - they are the innocent and nothing really ever gets past them because of it.


I agree with the posts so far, particularly Whatevergirl and 1ke.

But, I want to add something that might be helpful (or not):

Let’s say you are you, but you’re NOT Catholic. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you’re an agnostic with no particular set-in-stone moral code.

If you were going to therapy right now, a therapist would tell you, a mother, that a mere six months of seperation is far too soon for you to even consider another relationship, even if it is platonic…that it is time to make sure you are in touch with your feelings, that your heart has mourned the divorce, and you are not being “sidetracked” from your grief by relying on another man who has a belief that you were meant to be a romantic couple.

I assure you, if you continue to rely on this “rock” (who seems kinda opportunistic to me) several years down the road you will see the depth of your mistake. You need to mourn your failed marriage now; lean on you priest, your parish, utilize DivorceCare, see a private therapist, etc. But for your long-term mental health, this man needs to exit your life completely for at least a little while.


Whatevergirl has some great points.

OP, you mentioned that there were abuse issues in your marriage. This new guy seems to have some control issues. I am not saying that this is your case, but many people who are have been in abusive relationships have conscious or unconscious emotional connections between control and love. You owe it to yourself and your children to get yourself emotionally healthy before embarking on any serious relationship. Trying to heal from the broken marriage is going to take a lot of emotional energy which might distract you from recognizing the true character of a new man in your life. I don’t mean to play amatuer psychologist but taking your time is always a good plan. :slight_smile:


annnnnnd I just realized while I was typing, Whatevergirl beat me to it. :o


Great advise everyone.

The OP must be careful in the extreme not to get caught up in the emotions of this time. there is a thing known as “rebound” that she could be experiencing. Also the fact that abuse is involved can be another factor increasing her vulnerability.

Draw Close to Our Lord in His Church and in the Sacraments, particularly Confession and the Eucharist.

Wait patiently on the Lord to resolve the currnet issues and then to heal you, before moving on to new relationships.



Is it ok to still go places with him and talk with him, even tell each other that we love each other? If we aren’t physical? That’s what I’m torn about…


so sorry! I just saw all these wonderful posts on page 1! Sorry, using my phone! Thank you for the wonderful feedback!
Yes this man has been terribly pushy with me. He showed up at my door demanding to talk with me or wait in my drive… Once… When I told him I as not yet ready to be talking with him… You are right. I’ve ignored the signs. I will tell him to back off and block all contact. It will be very tough…:


You need to contact your priest and talk this over with him. We cannot know enough of the situation properly adivse you on this.

PLEASE contact your priest!!!



That would not be a good idea.

Hon, you need time........and it's not going to be an innocent "I love you." You know how you feel about him and how he feels about you.

You need time away from him. Focus on healing and on your children...and getting through your divorce.....You need to regain strength.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit