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Question
Posted by: | 2019/07/19

dating a recently seperated man

I recently met and started dating a man. He's going through a divorce. His wife had an affair for years and then simply upped and left him and the kids. It's been over between them for years. So he said. He's a wonderful man. We see each other 2 to 3 times a week. He treats me incredibly well. Except, I think he's emotionally unavailable. He keeps me a secret from everyone. Because he's still legally married he doesn't want people to think he's having an affair. So he wont even introduce me to anyone as a friend. I tried to speak to him about it. That he tells me he's my boyfriend, that even the guard calls him my boyfriend, but he keeps me a secret to everyone in his life. he said it's a secret because at this time that is what it is to him. and that he's sorry he complicates my life. i know how he feels, having been there myself. so my question is, do i give him time and support him, or do i walk away?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/07/20

You end your question by assuming only two options : plunge totally into this possible relationship, or flee from it.  You might also cool it, be a bit more cautious ( he is being extremely cautious about this ) and proceed slowly and cautiously.
One should always be cautious when forming a possible relationship with someone going through a divorce.  At the best, they will be in an emotionally fraught and vulnerable situation, needy, and may want to quickly enter a new relationship to bolster their confidence, and with very mixed motivations and emotions towards you. 
At worst, they may be a more troublesome partner than you are assuming. You have only heard his version of whatever happened between him and his wife, which may be totally true, or wholly false, and is often a mixture.
It also sounds, from your message, as though you also have been through an unpleasant divorce, and though this may have given you some insight into such situations,  you may be over-identifying with his situation.
He's "emotionally unavailable" and keeps all of your relationship secret from everyone else, which is not encouraging. If, as it sounds, he will eventually ( you know how long some divorces can take ) he may end up single and eligible again, but perhaps with custody of "the kids", a situation you will both, with the kids, need to explore.
If indeed his wife has been having an affair for years ( could she, perhaps, also have found him "emotionally unavailable" ?) it's likely that their friends would know about this : if they have been understanding and tolerant of this, why is he so concerned that they should not know that now, that wife having walked out on him, he himself has found a friend ?
It sounds as though there are really good reasons for caution and for you both to take your time about this.

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