Question: I’m 39 and I’m in love with my ex. I’m married now, and have been for years, but it’s not working. He’s an amazing father but a shitty husband and while I love how present he is for our children I hate how absent he is for me. I grew up in foster care, so the thought of  my parents growing up without their father tears me apart. But, my ex is everything I’ve been missing in my marriage. I couldn’t deal with some of his issues before but now I’m seriously thinking about leaving my husband for him. I want to enjoy marriage not suffer through it!

Answer: Here is where you are absolutely right, marriage is not a prison sentence. It shouldn’t be something you have to suffer through. There will be ups and downs. There will be times when you don’t even like your husband, forget loving his ass! There will be pockets of pure frustration and days, even weeks, when you wonder why you ever accepted that fool’s proposal in the first place. And you will be completely justified in each and every feeling.

Here is where I disagree with you, you should never leave your marriage for someone else. Are there probably beautiful stories out there about  women who left their loveless marriages, after reconnecting with an old flame , and lived happily ever after? I’m sure but they are the exception NOT the rule.

  1. He is your ex for a reason. Whatever his issues were, they were bad enough that you dumped him and kept it moving. The mind tends to block out the bad memories and we, as humans, have a habit of only remembering the good about people. Make a list, and BE HONEST, about what those issues were. All of them! Take a look at that list and see what still exists in him today. Unless you dated him in Elementary School, I bet most of this issues are still around.
  2. Ever heard of the 80/ 20 rule? It’s explained as this: You’re with someone whose 80% (give or take) and you meet someone whose the missing 20. Together you have the perfect relationship and it causes you to believe that the “20” is what completes you. So you leave your “80” for your “20” and what do you find out?? You’re stuck with less than a quarter of what you deserve. No one is 100%. Not even you honey. But you need to figure out if your ex is closer to 80 or 20 before you start making life changes that include him.

As a child of divorce, let me give you a little piece of advice… There is nothing worse than growing up in a home where your parents don’t get along. Ambivalence, “tolerating” each other, all out wars, whatever your dynamic is it’s teaching your children about relationships. We tend to pick partners, whether they are right or wrong for us, based on what is comfortable and familiar. It’s a mistake parents make to stay together for the sake of their children. If he’s an amazing father, then he’s going to be one inside or outside of living in your home. And if you are both able to remain civil and co-parent effectively then THAT is an incredible lesson to teach your children. Teach them that settling for less than what you deserve is doing a disservice to yourself. Show them what a happy and independent woman looks like so that they become one or pick one as a partner in life. Prove to them that they have two parents that are perfect at loving them so that they themselves become loving people in this world.

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be better than just happy. Life is so short and it should be lived to its absolute fullest. If you have exhausted all ways to make your marriage work and you want out then sit down with your husband and figure out a plan that allows you to part with love and respect.

Leaving for your ex could wind up being a HUGE disappointment. Start the next chapter of your life on your own terms, not tied to a new man. If he’s meant to be yours, let him prove that to you while you’re single. Everyone is exciting in a hotel room. You may not find him so amazing when you’re washing his underwear and cooking for him every day 🙂

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