Has Feelings for His Ex
Q: I'm in my second marriage, and my current wife and I split once because the feelings that a husband should have for a wife just aren't there. I do still have all those feelings for my ex. I suspect my ex-wife left because after 13 years things started getting a little old. Recently my current wife's father passed away and I know I shouldn't leave now, not when it's one of the times she needs me most. But I honestly don't know how to leave when the time is right. Last time I left, she was starving herself . I don't know if I want my ex back even though the feelings are there, because I don't know if she would just leave again. -- Vern
Dr. Susan: You're unhappy so you dream of what used to be with your first wife. You may be romanticizing those "feelings" you still have for her. If things were getting old and she left, what would make things better now? What would be different? Honestly, I think you have a better shot at happiness with your current wife if you would only take the time and make the effort to work with her on the relationship. It sounds like you're ready to give up because the lustful early feelings have worn off. But that's when it's time to get busy making a real marriage. There is no right time to go, without giving her a chance to help you work on this, so both of you can have your needs met. Talk to her when she's past grieving her father. Get some counseling. Be aware that if you leave, you have nowhere to "go back" to. You'll probably marry a third time, and divorce a third time, and so on and so on, if you don't learn how to be with someone over the long term. I understand that you miss the high of early love, but that always changes. You and your current wife can revive your sex life and, often, those "feelings a husband should have" will revive at the same time. Give it a chance.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.