Know where the divorce stands

While widowhood and divorce both involve grieving, we may be comparing apples to oranges when we begin to look more closely. For example, someone initiates divorce because one or both parties no longer wish to be married. This certainly isn't the case with the death of a spouse.

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Moreover, termination of a marriage by divorce is frequently accompanied by argument, acrimony, and alienation of friends or family. Again, death is a whole other ballgame. In addition, one or both spouses in divorcing couples may face dramatic financial losses. Again, this is typically not so in the case of a deceased spouse, though medical expenses can alter any such assumption.

Naturally, when legal proceedings are raging, some of us may ask ourselves which is worse for the one left behind — death or divorce. These may be inevitable comparisons, but the bottom line is this: All losses are not created equal, and that holds true for both divorce and widowhood.

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It would be easy to assume that all widows and widowers had happy marriages. It would be easy to assume that the widowed dad has a more challenging path than the divorced dad, dealing with his grief, the kids' grief, and handling it on his own. Just because someone is widowed, that doesn't mean they had a good marriage. Just because a man's spouse dies, that doesn't mean he can't take care of his children. Situations differ just as people do, and depend on: As for divorce, circumstances loom large here as well: Cooperative co-parenting and an absence of financial hardship make dating a relative breeze, whereas a vengeful ex or decimated bank account results in anything but Are these the only factors?

Accept that he has an ex-wife

Emotions, logistics, kids, legal issues They may sort themselves out more quickly than we think or take years to untangle. Having dated both divorced men and widowers, I've noted some differences. Here are several advantages to dating a widower: If sufficient time to mourn has passed and if he was happy in his marriage, you know he is capable of a solid, committed relationship. You won't be caught in the crossfire with his jealous or difficult ex: Those who have lived through painful experiences may bring greater compassion and empathy to their relationships.

Is he still going through the divorce process? Has he been divorced for a week?

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Dating a man who is going through a divorce or is newly divorced can be a tough challenge. In most relationships when you break up with someone, you can easily move them out of your lives. The two may still be in contact, especially if kids are involved. During the relationship he may run into old friends who ask about his divorce and his ex-wife, so mentally prepare yourself for that.

Keeping tabs on a woman he no longer desires to be with only makes things harder for you. African couple hugging outdoors. A divorced man who has already been through the hoops of a marriage may be a bit more hesitant to rush through things.

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Before getting into anything serious with a divorced man, first be sure that he is over his ex-wife. Couple lying on autumn leaves in park.

Shot of a young woman looking upset while her boyfriend tries to comfort her. Though some men are against marriage, you may find that a divorced man is probably not looking or planning to get married again, or at least not anytime soon.