After 13 years married, I’ve been divorced for 32 years. My ex-husband cheated on me and I left.
He’d grown from a very unattractive teenager into a very good-looking man. Women threw themselves at him and he couldn’t resist.
I’ve forgiven him because I realize I needed to be alone these past 30+ years to use my personal abilities and achieve a grand lifestyle which we’d never have reached as a couple.
My ex-husband, remarried for 25 years, is now widowed.
I’d like to invite him back into our family. It’s no fun to have everything and no one to share it with. And I want our family reunited.
We’re 75 and retired but I’m uncertain if his cheating days are over.
I’m indifferent about a sex life between us. But I don’t want to risk him embarrassing me in my community, where I’ve worked hard to become a leading citizen, by him sneaking around and cheating.
He’s still a handsome, distinguished-looking older gentleman. Women will naturally assume it’s his wealth he enjoys.
I’d ask one of my kids to invite their dad for a visit, then I’d assess whether there’s any potential for a future for us.
I can envision a good older life with him and our family but I can also envision a disaster.
Risk My Money on a Cheater?
Would you bet on the same horse that didn’t have the goods to stay the course when you last went to the race track?
It’d be a foolhardy bet for which you later wouldn’t forgive yourself nor the horse.
I get it that you currently feel fond and forgiving of him.
BUT, he’s still attractive in looks, and in what you think will reflect presumed affluence by gold-diggers.
Also, he still has the ingrained painful memory of being a rejected teenager when females found him unattractive.
So, No, he can’t be trusted on that front.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t invite him to participate with the family, after you speak to a very good lawyer.
Maybe he signs a clearly worded contract - whether pre-nuptial or a business one - that separates your holdings from his. Or the lawyer may suggest other considerations.
However, even without a penny, he can still cheat if he’s so inclined.
This is no time to rush into contact. Keep to the physical distance rules ordered during the pandemic.
When these rules ease, don’t depend on just one meeting with him and your children to make your decision.
Watch for his practiced charm offensive. Proceed slowly, and avoid potential emotional peril.
Even during a dangerous virus pandemic, a once-close female friend is repeating competitive tactics that caused me to distance from her.
Walking dogs in the same area recently, she immediately launched into a “poor-me” story that’s actually meant to show how much better off she is than me.
Example: My public-school children started classes online after March break. Her private-school children had high-level online teaching even before the break, but she twisted her account to, “My poor sons were glued to their computers for weeks before your girls!”
She complains about difficulty getting lobsters and steaks on grocery delivery, when me and everyone else I know are lining up at a distance to get basic ingredients to last, from hamburger meat to soup ingredients.
How do I politely shut her up?
Smile. Walk away. If you show that she upsets/annoys you, she’s won that round.
End the game by not caring. Focus on staying safe.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who ended her engagement (April 6):
Reader – “Her fiancé’s refusal to leave their vacation for home during the pandemic, shows his unwillingness to ease a supposed loved one’s fear/anxiety.
“She felt strongly enough that she was willing to cut short her vacation - not something she’d otherwise want to do.
“Better to learn now, not after marriage, that in a crunch he’ll put his needs first.
“A loving committed relationship means doing things you might not agree with if it helps your partner.
“Especially if he or she is highly sensitive/anxious about the issue.”
Reader #2 – “Would your advice be the same if their trip was an elopement and he wanted to return because of concern for his parents, and postpone the wedding?
“If the “bride-to-be” resisted his request, I don’t think you’d be so critical of her decision.”
Ellie - You’d be wrong. It’s about relationships, not genders.
Tip of the day:
Former cheaters may change when older… or not.