Should I wait for him to divorce his ex-wife before we marry?

Worried woman.

Worried woman.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Dear Pastor Kitoto

Thank you for the good job you are doing.

I am a 25-year-old mum of one. We split ways with my father’s child about eight years ago. From that time, I chose to lead a celibate life and focus on raising my child.

However, last year I met this man and we became very good friends. I enjoy his company, he is well-mannered and kind. He is much older than me, before separating with his ex-wife, they had been married for 20 years. He has three daughters and is involved in their lives. Like I said, he is a good man and a responsible father.

At the beginning of our friendship, I encouraged him to work things out with his ex-wife. He insisted that ship has sailed. Recently, he opened up about his affection for me. Some of his friends and relatives have been persuading me to settle down with him. Several times he has offered financial help to me but I always decline. I can see he really wants to marry me but I am confused. Should I say yes?


Thanks you for the compliments. Our desire has been to provide a space of exchange of ideas and learn from each other. I trust that as we apply these principles, our relationships will change. The trouble comes when people read for the sake of entertainment. Did you know that some can choose to be entertained by what other peoples have passed through while other take is a life lesson?

As I read through your predicament, several things popped out of my mind.

First, although this gentleman is no longer in his marriage, he still has issues to deal with that concern his relationship with his wife and children. From the interaction he has with the children, it is clear the kids love him. You will agree that your being in his life is a distraction for him.

There is no way he will give his marriage the best shot if you are still active in his life. Although you have said that you have given him advise to sort his relationship out, it is clear that the two of you are actively together.

He definitely enjoys your company. As long as your door is still open, the emotional support he gets from you will continue to create a hope that may be one day you will say yes. As a result, his efforts towards reconnection with his family will be minimal.

Second, his relatives and friends see you as a great alternative to the wife. As such, you have complicated issues for the relatives because they seem to have already taken sides. They are seeing you as the answer to this man’s happiness. Sadly, since he has unresolved issues at home with the wife, he will paint the picture of being happy with you and failing to confront the unresolved issues. Or maybe you are the distraction he needs.

Third, both of you need uninterrupted time to determine what your future should look like. The best gift you can give him is by distancing yourself and cutting communication totally with him so that he can fix attention to his wife and children.

Inner reflection and focus will be essential for both of you. Don’t open a door for his unresolved issues to become the baggage and weight you are going to carry along.

The fourth issue is the need to be aware that wounded and hurting people are capable of carrying their wounds with them into future relationships. Just as much as your inner healing is essential for you and your child, his is also important.

How did you deal with what appeared to look like a veiled resentment towards men because your first experience? The two of you should not be connected just because of your past baggage. You need more than this to make a marriage happen.

Since this man has children and a wife who are still actively connected to him, giving each other space would be better. In fact, for your information, managing a blended family is not only challenging but at times exhausting if baggage has not been handled and resolved well.

Many studies show that a large percentage of married people who get divorced still harbour good or bad feelings for their former spouse many years after the separation. It is these, at times, powerful feelings toward their former lover that need to be processed freely and fully.

 At times, it may need the help of a counsellor so as to limit transference of the same to any new relationships. If they are not well handled, they can be problematic to well-intended future connections.

On a positive note, I must congratulate you for your stand on finances and intimacy issues. Many who get compromised here find themselves locked in a prison. It is always better to let such entanglements come after the relationship has solidified.

I urge you to take some time off and consider these issues I have shared. How healed are you to move into another relationship? Are you ready for a relationship? What kind of a relationship would you like to see? These are just cut a few of the questions you may need to figure out.

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