Fa­ther is frus­trated by ret­i­cent ex-wife

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - Ask Amy ©2017 by Amy Dick­in­son dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

Dear Amy: My for­mer wife and I di­vorced af­ter 26 years of mar­riage. She has re­fused to com­mu­ni­cate with me.

We have twins in their late 20s — a daugh­ter and a son. Al­though nei­ther is mar­ried, each wants to even­tu­ally get mar­ried, and so I an­tic­i­pate wed­dings.

Our son grad­u­ates from law school this spring. He may feel awk­ward about hav­ing both his par­ents at­tend his grad­u­a­tion. Last year, he went through a ter­ri­ble cri­sis — the death of one of his best friends. It was ter­ri­bly hard on him, yet his mom never talked to me about how we might help him.

Such oc­ca­sions — a grief­stricken child and a grown child’s life event — call for par­ents to come to­gether. I want to talk with my for­mer wife about the upcoming grad­u­a­tion. What do you sug­gest?

Loves His Twins Loves His Twins: Ide­ally, you and your ex-wife would be able to dis­cuss not just the huge events in your twins’ lives, but you would also be ca­pa­ble of sim­ply check­ing in from time to time. How­ever, your for­mer wife is not will­ing to com­mu­ni­cate with you, and so your twins are con­signed to do the eter­nal dance of chil­dren of di­vorce, deal­ing with their par­ents sep­a­rately and dis­creetly, as these young adults come to dread the ten­sion ini­ti­ated by big events.

If you want to try to com­mu­ni­cate with your ex, you could send her an email ti­tled “Grad­u­a­tion” in the sub­ject line. Keep your email short, neu­tral and fac­tual: Tell her what your plans are and ask her if she wants to co­or­di­nate.

She may not an­swer. I hope you’ll make a choice to sim­ply be the easy, ac­com­mo­dat­ing, warm and lov­ing par­ent, re­gard­less of your ex’s be­hav­ior. Al­ways act cor­dially to­ward and about your ex. Never crit­i­cize her to your chil­dren. Take the high road. It’s not the eas­i­est road, but it of­fers the best view. Dear Amy: In re­sponse to “Wor­ried” and her boyfriend’s fre­quent white lies, I can re­late.

I grew up in a fam­ily where “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!” was prac­ti­cally our motto. My mom told lit­tle lies in front of us kids con­stantly, es­pe­cially on the phone to her friends and work. My hus­band called me out on it when we first got mar­ried. I didn’t even re­al­ize I was do­ing it. It was learned be­hav­ior from my up­bring­ing. I am grate­ful that he brought it to my at­ten­tion. Per­haps “Wor­ried” should do the same with her boyfriend.

For­mer Liar

For­mer Liar: Good ad­vice!

Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at wash­ing­ton­post.com/ad­vice. Write to askamy@amy­dick­in­son.com or Amy Dick­in­son, Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, Tex. 75001.  You can also fol­low her @ask­ingamy.

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