A neighbor and I were chatting over some coffee the other day when my husband walked into the room and told us about his coworker.
"Joe" is having a hard time with his divorce because he's still living with his wife and her children from a previous marriage. He can't afford to get his own place right now. He lives in the basement and they're navigating through the process of making the divorce final. I've heard of a lot of couples having to do this with tough economic times and I can't imagine it's an easy thing to do.
My husband tells us that isn't the worst of Joe's problems. He paused for effect and then told us that she was cheating on Joe while he was still living in the house. My neighbor and I were both confused and I replied, "She isn't cheating...they're divorcing."
My husband then got a shocked look on his face and quickly replied with, "They are still legally married, and therefore she is cheating on him." I think he was a little disgusted that both my neighbor and I didn't consider this cheating, but her and I both are of the frame of mind that when you actually file for divorce, that's that. The marriage is pretty much over, and finalizing the paperwork just makes it a legal divorce.
Is it cheating if you date while navigating through divorce? When I was single I briefly dated a man who was separated from his wife but it didn't last long at all because I couldn't get over the fact that he hadn't yet filed for divorce. If he had already filed for divorce, though, I doubt I would have felt that way.
Filing for divorce says to me, "This marriage is over and now we're just waiting for the state to recognize that it's over." So does that mean that it's okay to date, or is it technically cheating on your spouse because legally you're still married until everything is finalized?