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         Ex-Husband, Ex-Wife Trouble

      The Ex - Main Page

Thorny Consequences

What do you think about a woman who has children, remarries, and still keeps her ex-husband's name while married to a new man?  Is it for the sake of the children?  I don't see that is the case with my fiancé's ex because she has no problem abusing him or me or both of us in front of the children.  She's even driven down the road in a fit of rage screaming profanity about us with the children in the car.  How do we know that?  Because we heard it over the cell phone. 


Giovanna, her decision about her name is neither here nor there.  It is a decision totally within her control and totally beyond yours.  If she wants to call herself Elvis Presley, Mother Goose, or Punxsutawney Phil, she can.  Since this is something you can do nothing about, let it go. 

You are faced with more serious problems.  Your life is about to be linked with a woman whose behavior is out of control.  How are you going to deal with her?  How are you going to protect the children from her rage?  These are the questions you need to answer.  Once again, we recommend Susan Forward's book Emotional Blackmail.

Wayne & Tamara
(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


Adult Obligations

My 12-year-old son recently asked me why his father needs to pay child support.  He continued by saying his dad was struggling with paying his own bills and supporting his new family.  His dad tells him the fact that he never sees his son is reason enough not to pay.

I am disgusted this topic is being discussed with my son in the first place.  I don't know how to respond to this question.  Any ideas?


Ivory, just as a person testifying in court promises to tell the truth, your former husband made a promise.  In front of a clergyman or judge, in front of witnesses and guests, he promised to bear the financial obligations of creating a new life.  That promise was so important it was recorded in a government record.

When he started his new family, it was with the knowledge of a promise he already made.  It has nothing to do with how often he sees his son.  Even if you two never married, the child support you receive means the government recognizes his obligation.

At 12, your son doesn't want his father to pull away, but your son thinks unless he can make his father's wish happen, he will lose his dad.  Your son thinks appeasing his father will gain his father's love.  He is not mature enough to understand this is not another tie made, but another tie broken. 

As tactfully and gently as you can, tell your son this matter has been settled in court and is not open to discussion.  Child support is no less than what his father's new wife would expect if he left that family.  At 12, your son will understand it isn't fair to go back on a promise. 

If your son continues to plead his dad's case, let him understand he already has had his answer.  This matter was settled by a judge in a court of law.

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


Jumping The Gun

My husband and I used to work for the same company, which is how we met.  A group of us from work played on a dart league.  I had no interest in him other than friendship.  My relationship eventually ended, and his marriage was ending.  I was not the cause of his divorce.  A year before I came along, he told his wife all he was to her was a paycheck.

This woman tells their children I am the tart who broke up their marriage.  Will she ever take responsibility for the problems in their marriage that caused the breakup?  It takes two, and I wasn't one of them.


Bianca, when the police fail to read a suspect his rights, the verdict may be thrown out on this technicality.  Your husband got involved with you before his divorce was final.  That allows his ex-wife to say, "It was the other woman."  Your husband committed a procedural error, and she's decided to argue the technicality.

If you had waited until his divorce was final, things would be different for all involved.  History can't be undone.  That's the problem.

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


Three Amigos

I feel rather foolish writing this letter, but I need help.  I am a 67-year-old man living on social security.  My wife and I divorced, but I never lost my love for her.  One day we ran into each other and realized the magic is still there.

I did not hesitate to go back to her.  She told me, however, she was dating a widowed doctor, and because she is unable to find employment, he is giving her a $500 weekly allowance.  They see each other every Saturday evening.  He takes her out to dinner, then they return to his home. 

They have a sexual relationship, though she doesn't love him.  She feels compelled to sleep with him because of the help he gives her.  I asked if she loved me.  She said without question she still did.  I've been back four months now, and I want her to find employment and break off this relationship.

She's tried to get employment but failed.  I asked, if nothing else, please give me some idea when you will end this affair.  She said she couldn't do that.  I asked how she could love me and do what she is doing.  She couldn't reply. 

As I write this on Saturday evening, she is out with him for dinner and the sexual romp which follows.


Wyatt, your ex-wife has found a way of blending the world's two oldest professions, medicine and  prostitution.  This "affair" is her employment, and you have no power here.  You can't give her a job, you are not supporting her, and you are not her husband.  In addition, your emotional support may make it easier for her to do what she does. 

Now that you live together, you are benefiting from what she does.  Perhaps circumstances led her into this.  Perhaps time will change it.  But the only power you have is to accept or not accept the situation.  The second definition of her act is "devoting one's talents to an unworthy use."  Until she believes that, things will continue as they are.

Wayne & Tamara
(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


A Rock In Her Shoe

For the last six years I have been married to the most wonderful man.  I was married before and have two children.  He was married twice before and has two children by his first wife.

Now, my problem.  The second wife is 15 years older than my husband, and they were married 14 months before she packed up and moved away.  After he filed for divorce, she moved back here.

We married a year later, and she won't leave us alone.  She sends us mail, and two years ago she moved two blocks away.  She ruined his credit to the extent we had a hard time purchasing a new home we built on the other side of town just so we wouldn't run into her.

Every time I go grocery shopping, get gas, or rent a video, she's there because this is a small town.  I honestly want to plunge a meat cleaver into her chest several times, but I know that would be a colossal mistake on my part.

No one like that is worth going to jail for.  I'd never do that, but it seems the only way to get her out of my life.  I need to grow up and get over it, but I am not sure where to start.

My husband and I don't argue about anything.  We are having the time of our lives.  We love each other.  I couldn't ask for a better husband.  What the heck is my problem?


Sheila, a friend of ours went bicycling in Germany with his mother.  When he saw a large rock on the path, he hollered to his mother to watch out.  She focused on the rock and smashed right into it. 

It's so easy to focus on the wrong thing.  Focus on your husband, your children, and your lives together.  That is what is most important.  Any time you have a negative thought, think about what fulfills your life.  When you are totally engulfed in what matters to you, this other woman will fade from your thoughts.

Wayne & Tamara
(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


Too Much Detail

I am recently separated from my husband of 10 years.  He left me for a woman he worked with, and she is currently out of the country.  They carry on a long-distance romance.  In the meantime, I have gone on with my life and am happy with my new independence. 

My husband and I have remained friends.  In fact, Ron often calls to talk about his new love, and I help out with whatever problems they’re having.  Unfortunately he also talks about their sex life to me!  This is something I am not comfortable hearing.

I don’t want to say this to him because he would take it to mean I still pine for him.  I would rather die than have him think that!  What can I do to get him to stop telling me what goes on between the sheets?


Annette, the old saying is “gentlemen never tell.”  Since Ron is no gentleman, you must be more direct.  Next time he is in the middle of describing things in the bedroom, interrupt him.  Say, “Ron, listening to this is like being forced to listen to my dad discuss his sex life with mom.  It makes my skin crawl.”

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)


Premature Eviction

My boyfriend is in the middle of a divorce which will be final next month.  He was married 20 years, with no children.

We have a very solid relationship.  In fact, it is the best relationship I ever had with a man.  My boyfriend wants to remain friendly with his ex-wife, but not the kind of friend you hang out with.  He says he has no intention of getting back together with her, nor she with him.

Two months ago, his father was hospitalized.  My boyfriend often picked up his wife to visit his dad in the hospital.  His ex-wife was like a daughter to him.  When his father died three days ago, I was the first person my boyfriend called.  Since I am a writer by profession, he asked if I would write the eulogy for the family-only memorial service.

Over breakfast I met his mom and "interviewed" her about her husband.  I loved meeting her, and she opened up to me.  I wrote the eulogy later in the afternoon.  My boyfriend read it and cried.  He said it was perfect.

I wasn't invited to the memorial, but his soon-to-be ex was there along with members of the immediate family.  His wife is still very close to his mother.  I want her to get lost.  How can I keep her from hanging around in the future?


Naomi, people come not only with a personality, but with a whole set of past relationships.  Your boyfriend's wife had a long relationship with his parents.   

You are not grieving for his father, she is, and he is still married to her.  That doesn't put you in the front seat yet; it means you are still in the back seat.

The writing of the eulogy was something you did out of love for your boyfriend.  It was not a ticket to the funeral.  Don't try to evict his wife before her lease is up, and realize that some of her relationships, and his, will endure into the future. 

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)

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