Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘Should I Give My Cheating Ex Husband Another Chance At Our Family?’

A reader who has been divorced for six years is contemplating reuniting with her husband despite his sketchy past. Should bringing her family back together come first? Dr. Sherry weighs in!

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

My ex husband and I divorced about six years ago. Prior to the divorce, we were separated for four years. For these years, I've mostly been a single mom successfully raising our two daughters, now ages 20 and 24. Our 24-year-old received her B.S. degree in Electronic Media and Journalism in 2012 and now works for an ABC News affiliate TV station. Our youngest is a sophomore in college studying to be a nurse. For years my ex has asked me to reunite but my answer has always been “no” because I didn't want to deal with/relive all the infidelity, lies, his unemployment, and his lack of support. However, after going through dating woes with other males, I'm now finding myself wanting to reunite with my ex, and he still wants this too. Do you think we should put our family back together? Have you seen other couples remarry after long separations and live happily ever after? Please note: My husband and I come from single parent homes and we are now realizing at the ages of 49 (me) and 52 (him) what family is about. He never remarried and I haven't either but we want to get back together. Any feedback you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Anonymous


Dear Sis,

Congratulations for successfully raising your two daughters as a single mother. Now that your daughters have a life of their own, and are on their way to independence, it is time for you to get your own life. After being without your ex-husband for 10 years, what makes you think things will be different? During those 10 years, you have acknowledged that you did not reunite because "I didn't want to deal with/relive all the infidelity, lies, his unemployment, and lack of support." If you choose to reunite, be prepared to deal with/relive all those things again.

I am hearing that you are willing to settle for something you really don't want in fear of searching and waiting for something you do want. It seems as if you are afraid of being alone. So, you are willing to settle in order to have someone. Sometimes having someone is not better than no one. You are justifying the possibility of reuniting with your ex husband as putting your family back together. Don't fool yourself. You would not be "putting" your family back together. You would be attempting to put your marriage back together. It would be unrealistic to expect something different than what you had before in your marriage if you do not do something different before you remarry. Think long and hard before you make a final decision. I also recommend that you seek therapy to process and clearly understand your feelings. If you want something more, do not settle for less!  -- Dr. Sherry

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