Dear John,

I am trying to understand what is going on with my ex-husband. We are both in our late-20s now. We were together for 6 years but only married for 10 months. We divorced because he slept with someone else while we were married. We have been divorced for 15 months. We are on friendly terms.  He often drinks and calls me to tell me he loves me and needs to see me to work things out. I have not forgiven him for what he did and repeatedly deny him. The next day he calls me to apologize. I try to encourage counseling but he claims he doesn’t want to get back together. He has done this 4 times in the past 4 months. Why is he doing this?

–Kathleen

 

Hi Kathleen,

It sounds like he doesn’t have someone to love and he remembers loving you. In times of weakness, when he is drinking, he feels lonely and he calls you to return to that loving place. You need to completely let go of this and not put up with it any longer.  At the same time, you need to forgive him. Until you forgive him, you will not feel closure on the relationship. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to go back and marry him again. It is only punishing you to hold this resentment towards him. So you want to release that feeling and find closure.
This may sound crazy, but I don’t think adultery should cause a divorce. Particularly if that person promises to not do it again and he or she has moved past the feelings that led them to the affair. The simple fact is people make mistakes in relationships. They can either move on together or move on separately. But they should find forgiveness in their hearts so that they can move on to find a greater love in the future.  So I would suggest you focus on you and stop answering his calls. The key to beginning a good relationship, whether it’s with your ex-husband or not, is a good ending with him. Good endings come from forgiveness. Often times, while you process the forgiveness, you will gain more clarity and realzie he really isn’t the one for you or he really is the one for you.
You are responsible for making yourself happy. You are not responsible for his happiness.

Grow in love,

John Gray