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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
My ex husband and I divorced about six years ago. Prior to our 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 a major TV station. Our youngest is a sophomore in college studying to be a nurse.
For years my ex has asked me if we can 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 now I’m 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 age 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.
Unsure Ex Wife
If you want to reunite with you ex, reunite! You do not have to have an excuse. Just make sure you are honest with yourself about why you are considering getting back together. Remember that a zebra does not change it's stripes! You are fooling yourself if you think you are getting your family back and things are going to be great and wonderful just because you reunite. You can not turn back time. Even if you could, I am sure you would not want to relive the things that resulted in your separation and divorce. Your children are adults and hopefully have a life of their own. They probably really do not care one way or the other if you reunite. So the issue is really not about getting your family back. It is likely that after being single and experiencing the "dating woes" without finding someone to be with, you are willing to just settle for your ex-husband. Despite his previous behaviors that have kept you apart for 10 years, you are willing to give the relationship another chance. Unfortunately, I have not heard you say that you love him or that he is willing to give up his old behavior. Do not assume that he or anything will change just because time has gone by. It is very important to be wise and smart and both of you get tested for STD in general and HIV in particular. You have no idea who or how many partners he has been with. I recommend that you have a long talk with you ex and discuss your expectations and needs. I also recommend that you and your ex participate in couples therapy before you make a final decision. Settling just to have a relationship is not necessarily better than no relationship at all! — Dr Sherry