A reader’s comment below prompted this blog post. I’m not sure if he is thinking of getting back together with his ex-wife or if he is asking how to let her down gently. I don’t think he would have written to me if he knew what he wanted, so here is my advice for him, which includes 20 questions he should ask himself if he is thinking of getting back together.
I filed for divorce as my wife and I have been apart for years. Now she wants to work things out. I think she just wants the help. But her new presence is affecting my current relationship.
It’s such a shame that it took your filing for divorce for your wife to wake up and realize that the marriage is really over and that you are trying to move on. Did she think you were going to live in limbo (apart but not divorced) forever? I’m glad you are finding happiness with someone else.
But, is that someone else the one? More importantly, is your wife still the one? Or, maybe you want to be an unmarried man right now-not be married to either woman, and you asking me how to break up with your wife for good? Or, maybe you are unsure of what you want or think is right for you.
This might help. Here are 20 questions you should ask yourself, which I hope lead you to the answer of whether or not you should consider giving your marriage another try.
- Do you still feel love for her?
- Have either one of you done anything that is so damaging that it can never be forgotten?
- Do you respect her?
- Do you fondly remember the times you were happy? Or do those memories not do much for you?
- Do you have young children?
- Is your wife still the love of your life?
- Do you LIKE her?
- Do you think with help, you could learn to trust each other again?
- What is the real reason the marriage went south? (be honest with yourself)
- If you get back together, is there potential for history to repeat itself?
- Do you enjoy being single? Living alone?
- Did you enjoy living with your wife?
- Would you consider counseling (again?)
- Do you think you really know your wife?
- Think she has a mean streak? Is she a good person?
- Do you think you could get the spark back?
- Did you ever enjoy spending time with her alone?
- Do the two of you have a lot in common?
- Is she a good mother?
- Would she stand by you if you got sick or had some other really bad thing happen to you?
It’s important to dig deep and think about the honest answers to these questions. Because in effect, if you get back together you are starting over. So, the same questions should come into play that were there when you were considering marrying her the first time.
The other thing that has to be done is, you need to have a heart-to-heart with your wife and ask her point blank why she is suddenly interested in you again. Is she jealous of your new girlfriend? Does she just want help with the kids? Is she afraid to be alone? Or, does she still love you and want to work it out for all the right reasons?
You have some tough decisions in front of you. Be honest with yourself and in making decisions, remember to go with your gut. It really is never wrong. You should never have to convince yourself of anything.