Dear Ellie: My ex-wife and I have been divorced for 10 years. She was married to someone else during our time apart. They have now separated and my ex and I have reconnected. Currently, we are considering remarrying each other again. Our children are thrilled because they didn’t like her second husband at all.
Do you think this is a good idea?
It all sounds pretty quick. Remarrying the person you previously divorced a decade ago can only be a good idea when you both feel that you’re committed to it. Do you feel that you have put enough time in to your relationship to make it work?
My answer is also based on all that you learned about yourselves and what you feel realistically as well as romantically about the other, during the time you’ve lived apart.
It’s not enough for either of you to consider that the main reason for reconnecting is that your kids dislike their stepfather.
That’s a common response from children — whether adults or younger — to think that they know better than the parents who upset their previous life. And most children want nothing more than to see their parents back together again.
But, do you both know better now? Have you discussed together and given full honest consideration to what caused your divorce?
Hopefully, while “considering” marrying each other again you’ve also both realized that you need objective professional guidance as to the reasons the original marriage broke down.
It’s too simplistic to assume it was an “age thing,” or to blame some of each other’s perceived faults or, commonly, each other’s families.
You are marriage-tested adults now, needing to take responsibility for whatever made you come apart. Make an appointment either in person or online with a recommended marriage counsellor, psychologist, social work therapist, etc.
There’s a much-needed industry of such people during these complicated times, and while only some are part of a free mental-health service, good advice is worth the charge if you are both serious about creating a second marriage that works.
Mine comes free to you: a response of encouragement that you now both get prepared to create a better life together, for and with your children.
Dear Ellie: We have been married for 26 years but my wife, 65, has had no interest in sexual activity for 15 years.
I feel my life is passing me by as I’m also 65 and enjoyed our sex life prior. Help!
Sexless Since 50
There’s no explanation here from you or your wife as to why she is no longer interested in sex. Did she suffer a very difficult perimenopause and menopause? Did you two discuss what she was experiencing, or talk to her doctor together?
Her decision seems set, but is that simply based on how much time has passed? But without any explanations or understanding of how you are affected, you’ve hit a wall of silence.
Tell her you don’t want to live this way. Ask what she expects long-term.
Your life isn’t passing you by, but the standoff requires you to discuss and decide where it’s going. Your own family doctor may have some thoughts to share. Some may suggest a sex therapist who’s had experience with this kind of arbitrary cut-off.
It’s worth a try to understand your choices.
Dear Ellie: I have an adopted great-grandson, 16 years old. Every occasion, including Christmas or his birthday, he’s never acknowledged my generous gift.
I’ll get a note from the mother saying the envelope arrived, but no thank you from her, though I’ve been personally and financially helpful to them both as she’s a single mom.
His birthday’s soon and I’d like to send him a card without a financial inclusion because he doesn’t know how to say thank you, or “thanks for your gift of money and this is what I bought myself.”
It’s an important lesson to learn.
Write him that you’ve always cared about him and that’s why, you’re gifting him a life lesson:
You regularly sent him financial gifts so he could buy something he then needed or wanted. He never acknowledged this so now, you’re sending him knowledge:
Those who don’t show gift appreciation are commonly dropped from caring donors’ lists.
Ellie’s tip of the day
If the marriage you shared with your first spouse didn’t become “happily ever after,” think long and hard about what will make you two better at it now. You need to be sure, for everyone’s sake.
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