In new relationships, everyone is always a bit nervous. They do not yet fully know what is and is not acceptable to share. The comfort level of a partner you have been with for a long time is not quite there yet, and you can often feel like you are back in school again, taking an important test.
This goes double if you are someone who has anything in their past that they would prefer to downplay. Whether it is something as simple as teenage acne in past school pictures or something more serious, like a past divorce, things will come up and force you to confront your past.
It can be a difficult decision knowing when to tell your brand new significant other about a past marriage, and you may feel that the present may not be the right time. The thing is, there is never going to be a right time.
Past divorce a deal-breaker?
Many put off telling their new significant others about their past marriage or marriages, because they are afraid of the prospect of losing a new relationship. They fear that being in a relationship with a divorcé may cause them to want to run from the burgeoning relationship.
Most people who face these fears do not necessarily consider the possibilities, as to what your new partner may find to be a deal-breaker in relationships.
For many, it is a different political view. For others, it may be something relating to their body. Whatever someone’s deal-breaker may be related to, it’s personal to them specifically, and so assuming that your divorce may be a deal-breaker is not valid, until you find out for yourself whether or not that is actually the case.
You also have to determine what type of situation you may be facing with your new significant other, which means asking yourself hard questions. Is this something that would truly bother them? How well do I know them to know how my divorce would affect them? What exposure have they had to others who have gone through a divorce?
You also need to assess your own feelings about your divorce and what you went through during the challenging experience. Did you and your ex-spouse compromise on things, or was every aspect of it hard-fought? How much of your assets are left, and how would this affect a stranger’s perception of you?
Factors in your divorce
For some, money can be a factor in dating life, and for people exiting a marriage, the debt or lack of assets that one may have, due to the divorce, has the potential of swaying opinion.
For others, the events of the divorce may directly affect the status of your new relationship, especially if infidelity was involved. Part of the positives you may have going for you, as a divorced individual, is that you are not afraid to commit. You believe in love, and you are not afraid of marriage.
However, if you cheated on your ex-spouse and that was the cause of the divorce, it may be a deal-breaker out of fear of being cheated on also.
They also may take issue with the idea that you were cheated on, if that is the case. This is due to the fact that many who get cheated on develop trust issues and can experience difficulties in post-divorce relationships.
There also is a factor if your ex-spouse still has a presence in your life. You may be dealing with phone calls, emails, legal hearings, etc. involving your ex-spouse, and it can take a toll on your current relationship. This is especially true if there are children involved.
For some, heading into a relationship with children in tow already is a deal-breaker. According to Men’s Fitness, 12 percent of women and 14 percent of men do not want a partner who already has children.
If you already have children, they are a nonnegotiable aspect of entering a relationship with you. You do not have any business entertaining those who cannot accept that part of your life.
Your children cannot be a deal-breaker for anyone whom you may take a romantic interest in, and if your children are not comfortable with the person that you are dating, that needs to be taken into consider for you, as one of your deal-breakers.
Knowing all of what you may be facing, it is important to remember that your new significant other chose you over countless other single individuals out there, and on some level, you share a special and significant connection. If you know for a fact that they like you on a level that allows them to trust in that special connection with you, you have to be honest and upfront with your experiences in your past marriage and trust them enough not to run away at the first sign of trouble.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.