When are you cheating on your spouse?

Obviously, if the two of you are in some kind of relationship acting like you are married – you are cheating.    For example, the two of you are living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed and neither of you have talked about or taken steps towards separating.  This is a no-brainer.
But what about if the two of you are living in separate houses and signed a separation agreement?  Obviously, there is no intention to have a relationship between the two of you.  Are you cheating if you start a new relationship and the divorce is not final?
I had someone tell me that if you didn’t have the signed divorce papers in your hand that you were still married and cheating on your spouse.  I disagree.  I believe that divorce papers are simply papers that legally recognize what is already recognized between the couple – it is over.
In Canada, a separation agreement signals the end of a relationship.  I never had anyone tell me that I was still married to my first husband nor did anyone tell me that our relationship wasn’t over just because we didn’t have a divorce.  It took us several years to get a divorce.  This was mainly because neither of us had an overwhelming desire to spend the money to get an official divorce.   It was clear to us that the relationship was over and we were moving on.  We didn’t need a piece of paper to tell us what we already knew. We finally got a divorce because one of us was thinking about getting married.
I also don’t think that my second husband and I felt like we were still married after we signed a separation agreement and we were living in different houses.  Both of us dated (and had intimate relationships) before our divorce was finalized.  I don’t think either of us felt like this was cheating on each other.
But since my last separation, I have had several men tell me that they wouldn’t get involved with a woman that was separated because they were still attached to their previous spouse.  Legally, I suppose you are but that was not the kind of attachment that I believe they were talking about.  They seemed to think there was still some kind of emotional attachment.  And now,  I am being told that dating/having intimate relationships between the separation and the divorce is tantamount to cheating on your spouse.
True or false?

3 responses to “When are you cheating on your spouse?

  1. It depends on how literal you would like to get.  Technically, you ARE committing adultery if you (or the other party) are still married to other people.  Weirder yet, if you are Catholic, get divorced,  and then remarry, unless you’re prior marriage was annulled by the Church, you are committing adultery when you sleep with your new husband.
    I really don’t consider it cheating.  I’m making a big assumption here (based on your prior posts), but a lot of the problems you had in that regard may be due to the cultural background of your potential suitors (Hispanic or Latin American) due to the heavy Catholic influence.

  2. I agree…if you’re separated from your spouse and there is an agreement between the both of you that it is really adn truly over, then dating outside of that relationship (which is ultimately over emotionally even if not on paper) is okay.  I’m with you 100%. ~rey

  3. I agree with you if the couple recognizes that the marriage is over then it’s over. If there is a seperation then I don’t see how that can be cheating (speaking in the emotional/relationship category of the sense).
    Hugs,~ FC

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