DEAR AMY: I am recently divorced after a tumultuous marriage.
I was recently contacted by an old boyfriend, whom I have not seen for many years. He has learned through friends that I am divorced.
He is married with children. Over the past year he has contacted me a few times, wanting to get together. Until now I had not responded, but recently he caught me off guard and I agreed to meet him for coffee.
On the one hand I really do NOT want to meet him, because he was my first love. Our relationship was difficult. On the other hand I want to act like an adult and see if I can handle this.
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I am going through a very difficult time and feel very emotionally raw. What could he possibly want and why is he contacting me now, knowing that I am going through a horrible time in my life?
Will the coffee go something like this?:
Him: I am happily married with kids, a great job and a blessed life.
Me: I am miserable, everything has fallen apart and I’m going through one of the most difficult periods of my life.
How could any good come out of this?
DEAR NEED ADVICE: I love a good script. So let me take a pass at yours:
He: I’m miserable. My wife doesn’t understand me. I think about you all the time.
You: Check, please.
And … scene.
It would be easy for you to glean more details by simply asking why he is so eager to see you. You could respond that you are no longer interested in getting together, or you could simply catch up in the way that high school friends do, by skimming along the surface. Do NOT confide in him.
You are vulnerable. You should be cautious while you gain your equilibrium. Do not allow anyone else to pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do.
DEAR AMY: I got married six months ago to a man I have been dating for four years. He has been divorced for many years and has three college-age kids.
His daughter plays a sport in college. My stepdaughter and I have always had a decent relationship. I have never gone to any of her games, because that has always been her mother’s domain.
Now that we are married I think this is ridiculous. I asked if I could attend a game that her mom cannot attend and was told that I cannot because it might mess up my stepdaughter’s mojo and it might be weird for the softball parents that are friends with her mother.
I have been trying to tag along on the road trips (which are every weekend), but I have to find something to do while my husband goes to the games – and they are all-day events.
My husband recently told me he wants to go to New York for a weekend tournament, but I am not invited to go.
This is really hurtful. I should at least be able to go to the games that her mom can’t attend. Your advice?
DEAR LEFT OUT: I agree that this exclusion is hurtful – and ridiculous. When you two married, you formed a family together. Your husband’s actions are cowardly and alienating – and not good for your relationship. Let your stepdaughter know you would love to see her play.
There is no reason on this Earth why you should not be “allowed” to attend a game where the ex-wife isn’t even present. You should be completely honest about how sad this exclusion makes you. If your husband won’t budge, you should make other fun plans during these sporting weekends (don’t accompany him with your nose pressed against the fence) and train yourself not to care.
DEAR AMY: I totally identified with “No Christmas Spirit,” who was dreading the holiday after losing her Christmas ornaments (and everything else) through her divorce.
I’ve been through this. I thought your advice was great and I hope she can find positive ways to rebuild her spirit.
DEAR BEEN THERE: I’ve been there too. Thank you.
Write Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.