My ex-wife and I first became friends in primary school and we’ve always stayed in touch, even after we split up.
We had no children together but had raised and buried two dogs we’d both loved over our ten-year marriage. I sometimes think our growing apart was because, after the intense romance we shared in our 20s, we’d become more like best friends.
At work, I was pursued by another woman and felt flattered. My ex discovered the affair, she insisted I leave, we sold the house and divided the money.
My girlfriend was determined that we marry, but I wasn’t ready. She became angry, met and married someone else.
By this time my ex was in a relationship and I started dating someone pretty steadily.
Another five years passed and my ex-wife and I had both become single and became closer again.
It seemed we were meant to be together, but had needed to grow more mature and understanding of each other.
But even though we’ve now bought a new house and are living together and plan to remarry, she’s been phoned and emailed by her former boyfriend, who insists she’s making a mistake.
He tells her that I can’t be trusted, that I cheated on her before and will again. He’s tried to make a case that I abandoned her.
So far, she’s told him bluntly that he’s wrong. I’ve said if he contacts her again, she should block him on all platforms.
Do you think we have a chance at a happy remarriage?
Second Time Lucky?
Constant happiness is an elusive goal. If that’s what you missed in your first go-around, you were chasing a young-lover’s dream.
Now you’ve matured and lived a life that’s brought wider experience and deeper understanding. It seems the very same things can be said of your partner.
Of course, many young lovers stay together in long-lasting marriages.
But in the case of you two, the emotional connection started so young that phrases such as, “be supportive,” “compromising,” and the like, must have sounded like a foreign language to be ignored.
You’re both way beyond that now - other relationships, disappointments, missing each other have put the hopes for your remarriage on a positive track.
Reader’s Commentary In response to the women and men who’ve said that first dates expect too much (in several columns):
“I’ve found this to be so, and it’s one reason I’ve been celibate and single for 28 years, after four bad marriages: I do not trust my judgment.
“I’ve used artificial means to help survive the lack of intimacy, but it just doesn't replace a real live man - his smell, warmth, strength, aura.
“A companion/friend with benefits would be wonderful, for example, a single man who enjoys some things that I enjoy, especially sex, and who doesn't want immediate commitment.
“I’m not looking for the immediate. By senior age, meaning over 65, we need easing into trust and experience. Other women my age feel the same way.
“We find that men in this age group want to be looked after, to jump into sex rather than eased into it with mutual respect and affection.
“I think they’re trying to live a fantasy life after long years of monogamy, then divorce or widowhood.
“I believe women are more realistic by 65 and don’t want to totally surrender their independence, but still have needs only a man can fill, part-time!”
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband resisting his wife’s interest in dining on patios and visiting with friends (Aug. 29): Reader – “I disagree with your conclusion that he’s "anxious." His state of mind is not abnormal in a pandemic. He’s comfortably worked at home for years, he’s used to not eating at restaurants. This isn’t an aberration.
“Perhaps his wife misses living her usual social life. But all of us are being restrained/prevented from living our normal lives. She suggested an overnight at a friend's cottage. Will the friends be there, too? Does he trust they’ll provide a Covid protected space?
“She’s furthering his nervousness by threatening to leave him if he doesn’t do the socializing. She’s making demands, while he has the innate instinct to protect his own life and that of his family.
“He’s a healthy model for his teenagers and she’s the one who should be calling a mental-health hotline.”
Tip of the day:
When a divorced couple decide to remarry each other, they’ve hopefully grown into a wiser, matured, loving partnership.