Daily Press (Sunday)

Ex wants her back at the holidays

My suggestion is don’t do anything until about February. By then ... you will be able to better assess your choices.


My ex cheated and broke up our family, which we worked hard to blend for more than 20 years. By the time I left, I was pretty disgusted with his antics. My ex was awful during the breakup and made our adult children choose with whom they would spend Christmas. This holiday is different. He is texting me things like, “I want you in my life so I will do what I have to do to make that happen.” I don’t know what that means, and my kids are putting pressure on me to take him seriously. What’s good ex-etiquette?

Dear Dr. Blackstone:

Around the holidays I always get questions about spending time as a family even though there has been a breakup. It’s like people watch the Sci-Fi Channel all year long and then around the holidays switch to Hallmark.

You said, “I don’t know what that all means.” Yes you do. Could be that your ex is now seeing the error of his ways. But the reality is, even if that is so, it sounds like you don’t want to entertain his antics.

I’m not surprised your kids want you to consider his offer. No matter what has happened in the past, kids of any age want their parents to reconcile. Unfortunat­ely, they don’t look at cheating the same way you do.

If you fear your ex is playing games and you want to nip this in the bud, good ex-etiquette is to respond accordingl­y — to both him and the kids. Your children are adults and since they already know the whole story, they can handle a discussion. I would not suggest this if they were younger.

So, let’s say, you are having second thoughts. You miss your old life, and

Dear Reader:

you secretly feel you can forgive your ex. That’s actually quite a normal response around the holidays and it sounds like your ex may be feeling the same way.

My suggestion is don’t do anything until about February. By then the Hallmark holiday feeling will have subsided and you will be able to better assess your choices. You wouldn’t be the first person to let some time go by and then feel you acted too quickly.

But remember, you had 20 years with your ex.

It’s doubtful his current actions are out of character. Did he play both sides of the coin previously? And, in the big picture of a reconcilia­tion, does that make any difference? If you are expecting a changed man, you may be disappoint­ed once again. He’s telling you he misses you and wants you back, not that he will change his ways.

Ex-etiquette rule No. 8 is “Be honest and straightfo­rward.” I didn’t specify with whom. In your case it may mean, “Be honest and straightfo­rward … with yourself.” The holidays do crazy things to people. Write me again in February and we will see where we stand. That’s good ex-etiquette.

Dr. Jann Blackstone is the author of “Ex-Etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After Divorce or Separation.” drjannblac­kstone@gmail. com

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