It’s been five years since my ex-husband left our marriage of almost 23 years, and I’m still trying to find and fit together pieces of the puzzle as to why it didn’t work.
Is there a book that you'd recommend for me to read?
How can I answer my children’s questions when I’m still trying to find them for myself?
Children do best with honesty, so the first step is to be honest with yourself.
When a break-up leaves behind confusion, rather than conviction, it’s wise to discuss the situation and your feelings with a trained therapist. Be prepared to allow several sessions to help you see what part of the puzzle was your contribution, what part your partner’s, and what part was a combination of circumstances, timing, and unpredictable factors. Once you understand all of this, you’ll be better able to explain some of it to your children.
While I advise honesty, it must be selective honesty. Even grown children do NOT need graphic details of affairs, nor heavy statements about betrayal. Their father still has an important role in their development of healthy maturity (even if he’s absent, his behaviour and your interpretations provides that role). So allow them to come to their own conclusions on his character, not yours.
One book I recommend is, Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust by Nicholas Long and Rex Forehand (2002), Contemporary Books. It provides practical, effective advice for parents about talking to children about divorce, managing stress, communicating with the child’s other parent, single parenting, and building a support network.
My husband of 25 years recently met up with his ex of 35 years ago at an event. They’d remained friends when they broke up. She’s recently divorced.
Since then, he’s called and emailed her. I knew and didn’t mind because I thought my marriage was solid (we have teenage children). We don’t have any problems.
He’d told me he was over her a long time ago, but I felt him become emotionally distant. I discovered he’d emailed her that he missed her. She responded that she’d like to get back together with him.
He says there’s been no physical contact between them, and his comment meant nothing, but I have trouble believing him. Why would he tell another woman that he missed her?
We’ve reconnected, he treats me well and it seems we’re back to our happy marriage, but this is always in the back of my mind.
He said they’re just friends. He still talks to her even though he knows how hurt I was. Should I believe that there’s nothing going on between him and his ex?
I’m an emotional mess, but would like to save my marriage.
The only sure way there’s nothing going on, is for there to be nothing – no contact, no calls, no emails. A partner of 25 years owes this peace of mind to you.
If he thought his renewed friendship with her was purely platonic, he was naïve, and also guilty of misleading her when he wrote he “missed” her. The proof is in her statement that she wants him as a mate.
He needs to put your hurt feelings first, before his right to stay in touch with a woman who’s made her own interest clear.
She’s delivered an unspoken ultimatum: Choose her, or drop this thinly-disguised flirtation. Tell him.
My friend recently revealed he had sex with his former professor (the relationship’s over).
I consider this totally unethical on his part, but I’m conflicted on what I should do about it. I value the friendship, and don’t want to destroy his academic career (or that of his professor), yet I’m repulsed.
Should I discuss it with him, and/or report it to the university (I have no proof)?
Is betraying my friend's confidence justified?
When a friend’s actions repulse you, say so and clarify what happened… or re-examine why you’re friends.
No matter who initiated it, the professor abused her/his position of power by participating, and your friend should consider reporting this to the university for the sake of other students.
If he refuses, and insists it was mutual, you have little to back up your charge.
But ask yourself what you “value,” if this friend’s ethics are so opposed to yours.
Tip of the day:
Explaining divorce to children is a process that requires a parent to try to form their own understanding too.