HE’S PER­FECT... BUT DI­VORCED

SHOULD GO YOU THERE KNOW­ING THAT HE’S FAILED HIS VOWS ONCE BE­FORE? BY JESSICA MARTIN

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Should you date him?

Be­fore he met you, he put a ring on some­one else.

But dat­ing a di­vorced dude doesn’t have to mean bad news.

Pic­ture this: You’re look­ing ok­ing through an al­bum fulll of stun­ning wwed­ding pho­tos hotos fea­tur­ing yoyour man ass the hand­some groom. His Hi gaze, aimed med squarely at his beau­ti­ful beaut bride, is full of love and ado­ra­tion. It’s It the sortt of bliss you’ve dreamed of. But B there’s a plot twist, lady – the bride ain’t you.. See, your man has been mar­ried mar­rie be­fore. Yep, for bet­ter or worse, you are ro­man­ti­cally tically in­volved with a man who w pub­liclycly agreed to spend the rest of his h life withh some­one else. So, what to do? Run for

metaphor­i­cal hills scream­ing, “Holy bag­gage, Bat­man!”, or pop a chill pill and look at the bright side?

BAG CHECK

Un­less you’re a re­la­tion­ship vir­gin or a highly evolved spir­i­tual be­ing who doesn’t be­lieve in anger, bit­ter­ness or exlover voodoo dolls, chances are pretty high that you and your new boy are bring­ing some past bag­gage along for the ride called Your New Re­la­tion­ship. But just be­cause your di­vorced dude is likely to be cart­ing around a cou­ple more suit­cases than a guy who has never walked down the aisle doesn’t mean he’s bet­ter left in the “too hard” bas­ket. “Ev­ery­one comes to the ta­ble with some bag­gage,” con­cedes psy­chol­o­gist and re­la­tion­ship ex­pert John Aiken (johnaiken.com.au). “The key is how they’ve dealt with it. If a di­vorcee has learnt from his mis­takes and got through his split in a healthy way, he’s ac­tu­ally a very good prospect be­cause he’d have some re­la­tion­ship skills un­der his belt. He’s likely to un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is to pri­ori­tise his part­ner, and lis­ten to her needs and be ca­pa­ble of do­ing some of the key things that hold re­la­tion­ships to­gether.” Sounds like dream-man ma­te­rial, right? And it can be, if the tim­ing’s right.

BE­WARE THE RE­BOUND

Made­line* thought she had hit the dat­ing jackpot when she met Tim*. He was at­ten­tive, gen­er­ous and funny. He took her out for a few ca­sual cof­fees and swanky din­ners, and a cou­ple of weeks later he took her home to his place. “Ev­ery­thing was go­ing well,” Made­line says. “Un­til we slept to­gether. He was aloof the next morn­ing and didn’t try to get in touch with me un­til days af­ter­wards. When he fi­nally re­turned my texts, he told me he didn’t want any­thing se­ri­ous right now and al­luded to the fact that he was still re­cov­er­ing from a break-up.”

What Made­line didn’t know at the time was Tim had re­cently sep­a­rated from his wife and was still wait­ing for his di­vorce to be fi­nalised. This, Aiken says, is a red flag. “You don’t want to go near some­one who is re­cently di­vorced. It takes at least 12 months to get through a break-up, so if you’re meet­ing some­one within that pe­riod of time there are prob­a­bly lots of things go­ing on for them that will make it hard to com­mit to a re­la­tion­ship.”

Al­though dis­ap­pointed, Made­line ul­ti­mately thinks she dodged a bul­let with Tim; her only wish be­ing that he’d told her about his sit­u­a­tion from the start. While Aiken says it’s best to keep things light, ca­sual and fun in the be­gin­ning and not get into the nitty gritty of past re­la­tion­ships, you also have a right to know if he’s re­cently sep­a­rated. “Men should be up­front about the fact they’ve been mar­ried be­fore; if you want a straight an­swer, ask for one.”

AH, WHAT ABOUT THE EX-WIFE?

Nav­i­gat­ing the be­gin­ning of a re­la­tion­ship is tricky enough, but be­comes even more so when there’s an ex-wife and chil­dren in the pic­ture. While Dani’s* di­vorcee boyfriend Josh* doesn’t have chil­dren, his ex-wife still man­ages to in­ter­fere with his new re­la­tion­ship. “She’ll find any ex­cuse to get in touch with him, no mat­ter the time or day,” says Dani. “I know Josh is com­mit­ted to me, but he still bows to his ex’s ev­ery de­mand. It’s in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing.”

When it comes to a clingy ex, Aiken says you have to be flex­i­ble, but at some stage he also needs to pri­ori­tise you over his ex. “If he can cre­ate bound­aries with his ex-wife there shouldn’t be any prob­lems, but if he can’t, it will prob­a­bly be­come a ma­jor is­sue.”

It’s some­thing Dani knows too well. “Af­ter four months of be­ing wo­ken up by text mes­sages at 2am from his ex-wife when she was feel­ing down and wanted his at­ten­tion, I told Josh he had to put a stop to it.” Dani adds, “I don’t mind if they talk ev­ery now and again – ev­ery­one has a past – but it shouldn’t come be­tween me and him. He un­der­stood and has slowly started en­forc­ing more bound­aries when it comes to her.”

*Names have been changed.

AN­GELINA JOLIE AND BRAD PITT ARE STILL TO­GETHER IN SICK­NESS AND IN HEALTH.

BLAKE LIVELY AND RYAN REYNOLDS CEL­E­BRATE THEIR FIRST WED­DING AN­NIVER­SARY THIS MONTH.

LET’S HOPE MILA KU­NIS FINDS MAR­I­TAL BLISS IN THE NOW WISER ASH­TON KUTCHER.

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