“I Hung Out With My Ex for a Whole Day. Should We Move in Together Now?”

I’m recently separated from my husband of 11 years. We still live together because we have two kids, aged five and three. We get along ok. We basically grew apart. He wants to make it work, but I don’t. Over the years I’ve been wondering about my first love, “Eric.” I told Eric that I’m in love with him. He lives in another country, so I went on vacation there and we hung out for an entire day and realized that we still have feelings for each other. He currently has a girlfriend and a three-year-old son. He wants to leave the country to come live with me, so we can build on a future together.

I’m in love with him and I want us to be a couple, but I’m a lil hesitant because I feel like we don’t fully know each other well enough for him to be around my kids 24/7 and I don’t want to be the reason why his son won’t have his dad around. So many years have passed. We talk all the time though.

I’m struggling with the choice of either going forward and building a new life together or leaving him alone. I’m trying to distance myself from him but it only makes me want him more. What should I do? — Wanting My First Love

You aren’t in love with this guy; you’re in love with the idea of moving backward to a time when life was simpler. You’re in love with the idea of being with someone who isn’t your husband and doesn’t carry the same baggage that he does. You’re in love with the idea of building a future with someone else — someone who makes you feel young and carefree again. But that’s not reality.

Leaving your husband to live with a man you’ve spent one day with out of the last many, many years — a man who would have to leave his country and his son and the mother of his child to live with you and your kids whom he’s never met — I’m assuming — would be a mis-guided. And it doesn’t sound like you’ve put any thought into the complicated logistics. How would he even live in your country? How would he get a visa? Where would he work? When would he see his son?

You know what, forget all that. You don’t know this man. You’ve spent ONE DAY with him as an adult. You don’t know what life is like with him on a daily basis. You have two young children! How are you going to take them away from their father and move them in with someone you hardly know?

You say you get along with your husband OK. You say he wants to try to make things work out. That and the fact that you have TWO KIDS TOGETHER is enough reason to work on things. I mean, come on. This isn’t some fantasy world where you get to run off with guy you’ve decided is your Prince Charming and live happily ever after. This is real life. There aren’t any Prince Charmings. There are men who are good and decent people, but have flaws like the rest of us. There’s a man you’re married to who is the father of your two children, who loves you and wants a future with you, and you don’t want to at least TRY to make that work?

Think about the kind of future you want to give your kids. Think about the man you at least loved enough at one time to marry and commit your life to. Don’t throw that all away on some fantasy of a man you’ve created in your imagination based on adolescent memories and one lost day you spent together when you were trying to escape your reality.

Be better than that. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids. They deserve all the stability you can give them.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. As soon as Wendy started with Oh honey, I knew she was going to speak the truth. She said what I was thinking, this woman wants to be however old she was when she met her first love and forget the issues she and her husband have. But like Wendy said, it doesn’t work that way. For the sake of the kids, she needs to at least try and work this out.

  2. No.

    Now it’s time to actually read the letter!

    1. WWS.

      LW- Wendy is right. You’re not in love with this guy. You’re in love with the idea of this guy, and trust me, reality probably not anything close to the fun, romantic feeling that lives on in your mind. It’s just not. We all romanticize our first loves. They were something special and unique, but here’s the newsflash– The only thing special about most first loves is that they were your first. That’s all. He’s not your soulmate. He’s not going to complete you. He’s not going to fix your problems. MOA.

      You are a mother. You have 2 children who depend on you and NEED you. You chose to bring them into this world, now you need to step up and be an adult and care for them, guide them and nurture them. The way to do that isn’t to move to another country or move your “boyfriend” to your country. When you have children, you need to understand that for a while (at least), you need to put their welfare over your own. It’s as simple as that. It really is. You can’t act on your every whim and impulse, because you need to think about how it’s going to impact your kids.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Now see, I live in a world where reality *is* the fun, romantic feeling that lives on in your mind (*and* in your pants). LW, these haters are trying to complicate life. Life’s not complicated. See, all that matters is that you love. Know why? Because soon we all die. Don’t you want to spend your life loving before you die? Go forth and make love!

        My wisdom is growing exponentially – it has no limits!

      2. Haaaaa! I wanna live in your world for just ONE day AP. 🙂

  3. kerrycontrary says:

    I try not to be too judgemental on the LWs because they all have their own issues and we never really know what someones life is like…but this woman is the most selfish mother I’ve ever heard of. This is ridiculous. You would rip your own and another persons family apart because you are “in love”? Well guess what, life and marriage take a lot more than just being in love. Idiotic. People need a license to breed. And if you grew apart from your husband than grow the eff back together again for the sake of your children. Your life is going to suck if you get divorced. Do you know how much money you will lose? And the inconvenience of being a single mother (um, because your beau on another continent is not actually going to move and marry you, I can guarantee that)? Your life is not a romantic comedy. This is real life, wake the hell up.

  4. SixtyFour says:

    WWS. Serisously.

    Also question – can you be legally separated from someone and still actually be living together?

    1. Yeah, I wondered the same thing. Maybe it’s possible? but I feel as if this LW is just throwing the word “separation” around to further her fantasy.

    2. Something More says:

      Nope. You have to be living seperately.

    3. lindsaybob says:

      In the UK you can be living in the same house and the court will still consider you “separated” for the purpose of divorce proceedings etc. if you are living separate lives but within the same accommodation e.g. your finances are separate, you split the bills, you don’t cook/eat your meals together, you sleep in separate rooms… At that point you are essentially housemates rather than partners and the court will recognise that. It may well be different in the US though.

      There is no such thing in the UK as “legally separated” though – you’re either married or you’re divorced, there’s nothing in between – the issue of separation only arises when you’re getting divorced and the amount of time you’ve been separated can be relevant to your divorce petition.

      1. Yeah in the US in some states I think you have to be “separated” for a certain amount of time before filing for divorce.

    4. Yes. My SIL and BIL did this for a time. I believe in a lot of places the laws are allowing it due to the recession and the difficulty some are having with moving out right away.

      1. SixtyFour says:

        Gotcha. Thanks for the info!

    5. Depends where she lives. I know in my province in Canada, you can be legally separated and not live apart as long as you can prove you are living separate lives (not sharing the same bed, not eating together, each doing your own laundry etc). It sounds like a bitch to prove but it’s possible.

  5. Yikes. Those poor kids. And that poor husband.
    LW, sorry, but you sound terribly immature. The whole letter just… words fail me.
    And the fact that you would take your children away from their father, and encourage or let your ex to abandon his son (and GF) to go to ANOTHER COUNTRY to be with you, someone he has spent one day with in however many years… why would you even want to be with a person that would do that??
    And sorry, but “we just grew apart” isn´t a good enough excuse to throw away a marriage, especially when there are young children involved. Marriage is tough. You have to work on it, not just throw it away to chase after your ex.

    Finally, if you really are decided to separate/divorce, do everyone a favour, and physically separate, as well. You say you´re together for the sake of the kids, but you´d sure forget about that if your ex moved to you, no? Kids realize when something is off, and especially when mommy and daddy are upset/arguing/ whatever. It will be better for them to have parents living apart happily, than together (but not really together).

  6. What. The. Fuck. LW, first of all, you don’t mention one thing wrong with your 11-year marriage except “we basically grew apart.” Um, I’m pretty sure the reason for that is mostly because you’re lusting after your “first love.” You allowed yourself to “wonder” about that man, get in contact with him, tell him you still love him(???), & then go on vacation to see him ALL WHILE still being technically married (and with two little children).

    You’ve already wronged your husband & your family by doing all of those things, & you want to further your bad decision-making by moving in with a guy you hardly know (seriously– you have the right idea– you DON’T KNOW him well enough to “to be around my kids 24/7”). Just stop. Distance yourself (FOR REAL) & stop getting carried away by the “I only want him more!” Focus on everything you have right in front of you– a husband who’s trying to work things out, & your two children.

  7. Is this letter for real?

    1. My first thought was “you are kidding, right?”

    2. When I first saw the title I thought it might be a letter for Miles

  8. artsygirl says:

    LW – As Wendy said, when our lives are chaotic we suddenly start romanticising our past relationships (we ignore the fact that they were in fact childishly angst ridden with all the pitfalls of adult relationships). You have the added bonus of not only rekindling an old flame, but having a man tell you that he is willing to toss away all his obligations for you after only one day. Perhaps you are disinterested in your marriage because you were not getting the attention you needed and now here is a blast from the past wanting a life with you. It might work in Holywood but you have to live in the real world. You have children (and so does he) so you cannot be irresponsible.

    Follow Wendy’s advice. Look into marriage counseling and trying to make things work with your husband. If therapy does not work then you need to start divorce proceedings and seperating your life him his – at least you will know that you gave it your best shot. Finally, after all these steps are complete you should start looking into other relationships. If I were you, take it slow (especially with international guy). Take time to meet people and decide what you want in a relationship rather than jumping the first man out the gate. Hell since you are not divorced you should still be back in the holding pen, nowhere near the gate. Also, I am happy that you felt something was amiss over the fact that your ex BF was so dismissive of his life that he was willing to abandon his child and the mother of his child after only one date with you. To me that speaks volumes. Would you be willing to move to his country, leaving your two children behind for an undeterminable period of time? I wish all the best of luck to you.

  9. Your ex sounds like a real winner. Girlfriend of three years, baby – that don’t matter you spent a whole day together!

  10. Yeah you should definitely have this guy come move in with you and your kids, because guys who are willing to just get up and leave their 3 year old child, and girlfriend are really really good upstanding guys. Though I’m guessing your husband would have custody of your kids if this happened (or hope he would) and you really wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    1. This times 1000.

      How blind is this LW that she doesn’t see that a man that would chuck his girlfriend and child so easily is not someone worthy of basic respect, much less introducing to your children?? Ridiculous.

  11. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Follow your heart, LW. Your heart will never ever lead you astray. I’m 8 weeks into the best relationship ever so I know what I’m talking about. [Disclaimer: I am not allowed to give relationship advice until I come down from my love high. And even then it’ll be iffy.]

    p.s. BOOM! BOO-YAH BIATCHES! I’M IN THE NEWSLETTER – BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! HI-YA! BOOM! BEST. DAY. EVER. See? New rule: kiss ass and buy mugs and you’ll go far in life!

    1. AP, I am in the gooey first stages of a relationship, too (a couple weeks ahead of you at 10 weeks)….let’s gush about it all day to each other. I think my friends are getting sick of hearing me, but that’s not making me want to stop.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Oh oh oh I’ll gush with you, Lianne! I’ll go first. Want to know what my Charming Fucker and I did this weekend? Lots of naked canoodling, we got shit-canned together (so cute, right?), then we laid out in the sun in the park and talked about our likes and dislikes and we made fun of a young couple taking cheesy engagement pictures. Then know what else? Yesterday my Charming Fucker asked if I wanted to meet him early before this thing he has to do so we can go for a walk – yes, please! ARE THOSE NOT THE CUTEST THINGS YOU’VE EVER HEARD?!

        Ok, your turn, Lianne.

      2. SO CUTE!

        OK, this weekend my roommate and I had a housewarming party. I called to ask my Dreamsicle if he could get a few things I had forgotten. So, he shows up, saving the day with some much needed staples (tostitos and chips) AND two bouquets of flowers – one for me and one for my roommate. He walked into a room full of people with all this and my heart literally burst out of my chest. But my eyes said, back off bitches, he’s all mine.

        And this Saturday night, he’s meeting my Dad. I haven’t introduced someone to my Dad in, like 12 years.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        *gasp* – that is the sweetest thing ever! have you had a talk about labels? have you dropped the L bomb? we’ve established that we are exclusive and he’s called me his girlfriend but this weekend when i was introducing him to friends at a wedding I felt really weird introducing him as my “boyfriend” so i just said “my friend [Charming Fucker]” – I apologized and said “boyfriend” just feels like something I shouldn’t say until I feel absolutely comfortable assaulting him whenever I want. Then he let me assault him in the handicapped bathroom. (How cute is that?!) No one has dropped the love bomb but he has said that he “like likes” me. And I have said “I love [insert everything but “you” – e.g. I love this, I love that, I love when you do X, I love drinking wine with you, I love taking the trash out with you, I love ordering 2 entres and splitting them with you, I love when you get drunk, I love your accent, I love your calves, I love your shoulders, etc.]” … I need to watch it b/c an “I love you” is going to fall out and I’m going to feel really shitty if he doesn’t say it back.

      4. We’re exclusive, and I called him my boyfriend to a co-worker yesterday and it felt sooooo weird. No L-bombs, but I was thinking it over and over when we were lounging in bed Sunday morning. I really don’t want to say it first. My last relationship totally fucked me up – I almost sabotaged this one because of it – so I am hesitant to give too much away before he does. And I wonder why guys think chicks are cray.

        I love the “I love X about you” lines…it’s kind of like cheating! You’re saying so much more than you are. He’s called me “Baby” a couple times and it took all of my restraint not to jump on him (we weren’t in a place where it would have been acceptable to jump on one another).

      5. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My problem is I’ve been thinking “I love you” since our second date. Which is per se crazy so I can’t trust myself. Besides, I don’t want to scare him. I say “I love you” a lot – to friends, family, my wine. But for some people it’s this huge thing to say. So, yes, he has to say it first. I’m not in a rush to hear it from him. Remember that thing Wendy posted awhile back – I think it was a study about “firsts” – when couples on average first have sex, first say “I love you,” etc.? We need to find it to make sure we are on schedule, ha.

        Also, confession: I called him “baby” a lot this weekend. I NEVER call people “baby” – it’s one of my huge pet peeves – up there with “hubby” and “wifey” – so I’m not sure what is happening to me. I also called him “pookie” once but he put the kibosh on that one. I’m not sure why b/c “pookie’ is so cute and adorable – just like him. I want to spread him on toast and eat him for breakfast. I say those things too. Seriously, the fact that he has not RUN FAR FAR FAR AWAY is proof we will probably get married and be together forever and ever. 🙂

      6. Yeah I am in no rush either. Except to see him again. He lives 40 miles south of me. I know that is SO not a big deal (I am thinking of you, Wendy!), but when you want to see each other ALL. THE. TIME. it’s kind of a pain in the ass.

        I haven’t tried any pet names on him yet. I feel like it will happen organically. Just like everything else has been. Have I mentioned he’s my best friend’s cousin? So I have literally known him (not well) for YEARS. He had a crush on me before I finally gave him the green light in July. And he’s been effectively sweeping off my feet ever since. And I have NO PROBLEM saying exactly what I am thinking and being myself 150%. When people say, it’s supposed to be easy, I finally know what they mean. This is the easiest thing that’s ever happened to me.

      7. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        It’s been a little more complicated for us. On account of my charming fucker being a bit complicated. But it’s working out very well and for the first time in FOREVER like you I am actually myself around him, we talk so so so well, we are so so so open, and we seem to want the same things.

        NOT TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS BUT: guess what my babycakes and I are doing this weekend? We’re going to take a walk around my undergraduate college campus and I’m going to show him my old dorms and the math building and where I used to hang out. SO FUCKING CUTE, RIGHT??!!!!!!???!!!!! It’s like no one in the world has ever done things as cute as us. Sigh. Then we are having dinner with his family. SERIOUSLY I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE FUN.

      8. That is totally cute! I would be jealous, but I am going to do my own cute things. Like bottle beer with him on Sunday after we lounge all morning in bed and giggle and have silly conversations about nothing and everything.

        Why is it only Tuesday?!

      9. Wendy's Dad says:

        Which reminds me, when I was an undergrad (close to Chicago, but in NW Indiana), Evanston was a dry town. People had to go to the next town to buy a drink. Was that the case when you were there? I remember going to a game in McGaw Hall when our school played Northwestern in basketball. OMG, what a huge place. I kept looking around to see if there was a 747 also housed in there. Also, AP, do you know that you are beginning to sound a bit syrupy? But maybe that’s a good thing. And in your case, does the “”L” Word” stand for “Litigator”?

      10. Addie Pray says:

        @Lianne – that is really cute – honestly I have no idea why it’s only Tuesday – it’s not fair at all and personally i think it’s a terrible terrible tragedy! It’s not fair at all that the weekends take forever to get here. Pure torture, really.

        @WD – Evanston was not dry when I was there, but there were only a couple of bars and a couple of liquor stores in the whole town. One of the liquor stores delivered, which was pretty cool. Someone I knew had a fake id from Oregon and would order alcohol for delivery (to the dorms – which only houses Freshman and Sophomores, more or less) and the fake id worked! Until one time the delivery boy said “that’s not you in this picture!” and then this someone I know said “excuse me?! the picture is me and it’s the only thing real on that id!” (oops). the delivery boy let that someone i know have the alcohol but then that someone was too scared to ever order using her fake id again. Two years later she was held up at knife point in France and had to fork over her wallet, which for some reason had the fake id in it. She was so sad to part with the fake id because she had wanted to keep it forever and show it to her grandkids one day.

        p.s. syrupy? I hate syrupy people. (and drinks – that’s why i hate white wine – it always tastes syrupy.) so, starting now, i am going to tone it down. Well, I don’t want to start now. I’ll start in one month. I want just one more month of gooey love gushing on DW. I have no place else to gush. My friends are COMPLETELY SICK OF ME.

      11. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:


      12. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        you love it. you love love love love it.

      13. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

        I’m gagging on the cutesy-relationshippy-awwiddlebaby-ness i’m hearing come out of your.. computer?

        So are you still on for the condo?

      14. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        still on.

      15. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        P.S. What do you mean “first” stages of a relationship? I’m pretty sure this “stage” is going to last forever.

      16. If it does, I am in so much fucking trouble, because I am about to quit my job so I can spend all day, every day with him. Shit.

      17. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Shit is right. I’m about to get fired.

      18. Y’all are hilarious and this brings back my point about how early relationships are like early pregnancy. They’re both discussed by number of weeks. Both are hush-hush and revealed only to the inner circle in the first weeks. As the weeks roll by, you feel more confident and tell more people. By 12 weeks, it’s a full blown thing and you announce it to the public.

        (I haven’t worked out the correlation to giving birth at 9 months. I’ll get back to you)

      19. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I’m not sure how giving birth will fit in *but* I can definitely see how you get fatter and fatter with each passing month because you eat out all the time and you feel so secure in your relationship that you stop pretending to watch what you eat. Also, maybe at 9 months we will be so close that I can poop in front of him without fear that he’ll break up with me, and HEY! that happens when you give birth so there’s the correlation for ya!

      20. For at least some LWs at 9 months of the r/ship they´re also giving birth. Or so it would seem. 🙂

      21. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. I was waiting for you newsletter shout out. I liked that one. Funny. As usual.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        you’re too sweet!

    3. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      I love that now I can catch up on all of your relationship that I miss because I’m never at my computer anymore

  12. This letter is definitely fake. No adult without mental illness can be this selfish and crazy, especially a mother. Nope, it’s fake and the LW is a troll. FU LW

  13. I am curious how a “separation” from your husband = you still live together. Where does the separation come in? Is it when you travel to your former flame’s country and talk about destroying your families’ lives to be together? Cause that makes sense.

    I hope this letter is fake.

  14. i didnt even read the letter.


    1. confession: i actually did read the letter, because i wanted to see what Wendy said.

  15. Sue Jones says:

    WWS!!! Once you have kids with someone, you do not get to a) blow up 2 families to fill a selfish need, b)Have the guy basically abandon his young son to fill a selfish need. Life isn’t all about you anymore and you have to place the kids first or you will end up paying for it in SPADES later – think kids in rehab!!!!! If the thought of yours or his kids ending up total train wrecks and confused adults isn’t enough for you to rethink your stance then I am not sure what will…

    1. Sue Jones says:

      And FUCK FACEBOOK!!!!! How many marriages has FB blown up because people are now easily able to get ahold of their first loves??? Seriously! Can we say “midlife crisis”??????

      1. eh, facebook is just an excuse. facebook doesnt cause divorces- people who should not have gotten married or who cannot adequately navigate a marriage cause divorces

      2. Sue Jones says:

        Well… sometimes everything is going along just fine, or at least calmly, and then BLAMMO, there’s a friend request from an old flame… and they start to message each other and then they plan to meet up and then one thing leads to another…. I don’t think FB is very helpful here… I agree that it is how they manage their marriage, but still, I have seen more problems with the option to explore the “what ifs”. Back in the not so distant past you just lost touch with someone and that was that. No chance to IM someone…

      3. Still peoples fault, not Facebook’s. If you really want your marriage to work you wouldn’t go around messaging ‘old flames’ to see what happens.

  16. Sorry, LW, but you need a serious reality check. You aren’t even moved out of the family home yet and you want to jump into the arms of another man you hung out with once that you used to date in high school? I hope when you read it (put that way) that you think to yourself, “Holy cow! What a horrible idea!”

    The truth of the matter is, if you ARE getting a divorce, (which, honestly, living with a man you have been married to for 11 years doesn’t scream “I’m leaving!”) then you need time to adjust. I agree with Wendy fully that you sound like you are desiring someone who isn’t your husband and you are looking in the wrong places.

    Take a deep breath, get yourself a therapist and think about your children. You aren’t obligated to stay with someone you don’t love anymore, but you should at least take it slow and really take these decisions to heart. There are KIDS involved.

  17. rangerchic says:

    I think you are in denial about everything and wanting to run away to make things better. Newsflash….running away from problems only makes them worse – never better. You are in denial about your kids, your marriage and all the problems it has. Your marriage has probably grown apart because of being in denial about things you didn’t want to face. If there is any hope left try therapy. If not, you need to separate and help and support your kids through the transition because it will be hard for them. And don’t move forward with your former first love – it will not be all rosy as you seem to think.

  18. Why would you want to be with a man who is willing abandon his son like that?

  19. Okay, unpopular opinion time: I do not believe in staying together for the kids. I agree that this LW has some serious issues, and that it would be stupid to even think that this fantasy relationship with the first love can work out. (He sounds like a real winner, too.) But, people can and do drift apart and if she really wants out, she should get out. The best gift parents can give to their kids is to be happy and satisfied in their lives. Every adult of divorced parents that I know has said that their parents’ divorce was the best thing they did. Much better than living with parents who were clearly unhappy, and in some cases, hated each other. She should not get out to be with this other guy, but I’m saying it’s an option. She should only try to work it out if she wants to, but if she’s doesn’t and wants to get out, then she should.

    1. In the real world marriages have there ups and downs. It’s oh so easy to walk away,,isn’t it? About 8 years into my marriage I could barely look at my husband I was so sick of him. You know what? I didn’t give in to the instant gratification I would have gotten by walking away. I stuck it out and rediscovered why I’d married the man to begin with. Been married for 25 years now. 96% of marriages end, not due to abuse, but due to low conflict situations. The lw is ignoring the hard work it might take to save her marriage and will find, if she ever does remarry, she’s just trading in one set of problems for a different set.

      1. I wonder where the 96% comes from.

      2. 96% of the 50% that end?

      3. My Grandma has told me that there were plenty of times in her marriage that if divorce had been more socially acceptable, she probably would have got one. Grandpa would just drive her crazy sometimes. But they stuck it out, going on 62 years next month, and my grandma has also told me how glad she is that they are still together. They’re spending their time going on all sorts of vacations together, making fun new memories, and I even see them holding hands some time. I think it’s almost impossible to be happy with someone all the time forever. I mean, I love my parents, but there are time when they just drive me crazy! But they’re still my parents, I’m not going to get rid of them. Just like I’m not going to get rid of my husband if/when we hit a time when we’re not as into each other as we are now.
        LW, you made a commitment to your husband. Woman up and make it work. If you and your husband both put in a lot of effort to making the marriage work, and it’s still not working, then maybe you can think about leaving. But you’re not even trying?!? What the hell?! You can do better than that.

    2. Yeah while I agree that divorce is the only option for some people, it doesn’t seem (at least from the letter) like the LW has tried at all. Things got hard, she got upset, found a happy place to go to and now things the world would be perfect if she could stay in that happy place forever.

      The reality is that marriage is harder than that. More than likely if she left her current marriage for this new guy, the same thing would eventually happen. Both people have to put effort in to the marriage to not grow apart, it’s not all on one person. She needs to think about what she did and didn’t do in her current marriage before jumping in to a new relationship.

      Obviously they get along well enough to still live together, that should say something. It’s probably not a situation where the parents are screaming at one another all the time. Coming from a household like that where my parents eventually divorced and it was a wonderful decision for them, they could never ever in a million years ever have lived together amicably like the LW and her husband seem to be doing now.

      If she want to consider divorce, I would suggest they first try couples counseling and then actually separate. And at the end of the day I actually think the husband would probably be better off without her, she seems to deserve a good dose of what her reality would actually look like. More than likely, not such a happy place.

      1. Rangerchic says:

        I agree divorce isn’t always bad but I do think way to many people just give up. They don’t want to work on it. I don’t know why these type of people marry again because marriage is hard work – what do they think that suddenly marriage will be easy this time around?? I don’t think this LW has tried. She should really think about why she doesn’t want it to work out – I mean really figure it out.

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        Agreed. I think that a lot of people don’t understand that if they are with someone else it doesn’t mean that they won’t have problems, it’s just going to be a different set of problems. This all leads back to what we say often “is this a dealbreaker for you?”

    3. its a really, really fine line i think, between divorce as the only real option and a couple not willing to put in the required effort to make a marriage work..

      1. OH- who was it on here who said that we should make marriage a really long expensive legal process, but make divorces easy and quick in vegas?

        we need that.

    4. All I’m saying is no kid deserves to be raised by someone as clueless and immature as this LW is. Leaving those kids to be raised by their father is the best thing she can do for them.

      1. Based on their ages how much do you want to bet that the marriage was already drifting and they made the awesomely bad decision to have kids to try and “save the marriage”? Kids are not tools to be used by adults to avoid shit — and if you felt enough for your husband to have a second child 3 years ago you owe it to them to get into counseling and figure out why you want to make such selfish choices now.

    5. Sue Jones says:

      I disagree. I see many young adults in my practice who are train wrecks incapable of intimacy because their parents in the ’70’s, ’80s and 90’s got divorced for minor and selfish reasons. I can spot them a mile away. They are the ones who cannot stick with anyone or anything because they never had the modelling to stick it out. And they themselves are often incredibly self absorbed. And not all children of divorce were this way, especially if the parents successfully co-parent, but I see soooo many who are. So in cases of low conflict situations, where people are just bored with each other but otherwise harmonious, I say please place the kids’ best interest first. And read “Marriage Confidential”. Perhaps she can have a Monogamish marriage where she (and her husband) gets to explore other relationships while keeping her household together, rather than blow it all to pieces for a good orgasm.

  20. Avatar photo landygirl says:

    WWS. Also can’t wait to see what BGM says about this doozy.

    1. YES! He´s going to have a field day with this one…

    2. The double standard around here is disgusting. If LW were a woman you guys would be ripping her to shreds.


      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Excellent reading/posting comprehension… This LW actually IS a woman…

      2. Whoosh!

      3. SevenEleven says:

        I think that was the point.

  21. Really? Are you serious LW? Are you 15? *SIGH*

    Sure go live with a man you don’t know and introduce him to your kids. What could possibly go wrong?

  22. Spot on. “you’re in love with the idea of moving backward to a time when life was simpler. ”

    Yes. I referenced this earlier in the week and can’t believe it’s coming up twice but I rediscovered a high school friend about 5 years ago and I was also temporarily transported from reality to a time where things were fun, carefree, and innocent. As a woman in my early 30s who had seen so many failed dates and relationships, suddenly the ANSWER seemed to be in time travel. It took me a little while to figure out that this guy was absolutely no good for me, I wasn’t in love with him, and that I needed to embrace who I was –flaws, scars, and all, and trust that my heart would recognize the right person. Which it did a few years later when I met my similarly scarred, broken, but wise and compassionate partner that I’m with today.

    This guy is absolutely not the answer for you. In fact he is almost surely the ticket to a world of grief, disappointment, shame, and drama. TRY to shake it off, if you can. There is nothing wrong with fantasy and it might be just the thing you need. Read a romance novel, watch a movie, but don’t ACT on it and let it bring down your family. It’s a false promise. I promise 🙂

  23. Oh and btw, if you and your husband are divorced you should look into living in different homes and have the kids stay some days at your place and some days at his place. If you explain to them why mommy and daddy are living in different places they will (eventually) understand.

  24. Skyblossom says:

    Keep in mind that you can get a good idea of his character by the way he treats those in his life. If he is willing to abandon his own 3-year-old son to be with you he would be willing to abandon you to be with someone else.

  25. this thought just popped into my head- does he happen to need a green card? does he want a green card for his son?

    perhaps this is why he is so ready and willing to leave whatever country he is from. also, i wonder what country he is from.

    1. Yeah thought that too (although I get the feeling LW isn´t from the US either)

      1. well, i use the term green card because thats what i know, but it does have to be the us. if either of them are from a “better” country, and the other is from an underdeveloped/impoverished country, that could explain wanting to leave so badly… and, they both have kids, so if they could leave, it would be easier for their kids to have a better opportunity.

      2. Yeah, that was my initial feeling. (apart from wanting to swear at LW haha)

    2. spark_plug says:

      Agreed, as I was reading the letter I got a nagging feeling that he was from some emerging or developing economy.

  26. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

    am I going crazy or are all the comments in italics?

    1. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      You could be going crazy and the comments are in italics.

  27. “so I went on vacation there and we hung out for an ENTIRE DAY and realized that we still have feelings for each other.”


    An entire day you say?! Why, Surely this is a love like no other! Run, run into his arms!!!

    Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr be an adult. You. Have. Two. Kids. (ok sidenote, I just finished reading the first 50 shades of grey and I realized that when I emphasize a sentence with extra periods, the main guy in that book does the same thing when he’s having sex. That book was awful, right?)

    No WAY is it ok to have a man you have barely seen live with your kids, ESPECIALLY because he already has a family (that he’s fine with leaving, swell guy) ESPECIALLY because your kids safety should be your number one priority and ESPECIALLY because YOU STILL LIVE WITH YOUR HUSBAND!!!!!!! You really need to think about your kids more. They are going to have some tough years ahead getting used to their mom and dad not being together, why would you make that so much harder for them by throwing this wrench into it as well?? Honestly, as a kid from divorced parents, if my mom had done that sh*t to me, just moved in some dude (that will leave her in a few years because apparently he likes to leave families) before I even got used to getting to know my parents apart from each other, I would resent her for years. Especially when they are at such a fragile age where they need the safety of a home they feel comfortable with.

    I’m actually gonna disagree with Wendy and say that you probably shouldn’t work on things with your husband. You seem in no way ready for the work its going to take to fix a marriage. Honestly, I think you guys should finish what you started and file for divorce and move away from each other. You wont do your kids any favors by living in this weird limbo stage of your marriage where the kids have no idea what’s going to happen with their parents any given day (and this is speaking from exact experience). Move away from each other, DON’T MOVE RANDOM FOREIGN DONG INTO YOUR KIDS’ HOME, and try to figure out your priorities.

    1. My comments have shown up at last!

      ……….Well this is awkward.

    2. Oh. My. God. Now every time I do that in a sentence all I’m going to be able to think about is unsexy sex scenes. Way to ruin comic book guy for me. Oh god. Horrible new mental images.

      1. I remember thinking at the time that that style of emphasis for his thrusts was the opposite of hot.

  28. If you are still living with your husband and he still wants to work on your marriage – does HE know you two are separated? And not for anything – but the *current* girlfriend sure as hell doesn’t sound like she knows that anything is happening between you and first love.
    Aren’t you at all concerned that your first love is the type of man that would not only ‘cheat’ on a partner, but that would willingly walk away from his small son to move to another country for purely selfish reasons? How about you both put the kids first right now. Don’t be part of putting borders and countries between and father and his son – however poor a father he actually is. I’m sure you wouldn’t want some woman to ‘lure’ your children’s father across a world from them. So don’t abet your first love in his plan to abandon his family.
    I don’t know if you have passed the point of no return with your husband or not. If you haven’t, then at least try to protect your kids’ family, try to recapture the love you had for your husband – if you have passed the point of no return, then do not do anything to isolate your children from their dad or expose them to some next man who was totally fine abandoning his own family. That kind of behaviour will irrevocable change YOUR relationship with your children. And no man is worth that.

  29. Ahhh, I had a whole comment that was long and had sassiness but I think it got deleted when I submitted it *sad trombone noise*.

    I guess to sum it up…uh….the LW is being stupid and ignoring her responsibilities, rando foreign dong ex is going to leave her in a few years because he enjoys leaving families apparently, its not safe to make her kids live with a stranger,..uh…oh yeah, the LW should get a divorce because she doesn’t want to do the work and being in marriage limbo is hurting her kids and uh….the ENTIRE DAY thing was hilarious because come on who thinks that is a good enough reason? Did she get a fortune cookie telling her that love was coming into her life too? Its fate *squeal*!

  30. Skyblossom says:

    I’d like to say that all marriages go through ups and downs. Every relationship does so if you do leave your husband and get together with the ex sooner or later you’ll be facing a down time in that relationship and then you’ll be looking around for someone better than the ex.

    You and your husband get along but you’re emotionally distant. Every marriage has points like that and every marriage has to learn how to handle them. Speaking from my own experience I can say that you can bridge the distance and pull back together again and be just as happy as you originally were. Think about what originally attracted you to your husband. What was it you loved about him? You’ll feel a bit closer just thinking positive things. Then, when you’re a touch more positive try to reach out to him in a happy, positive way. Say please and thank you for the things he does. Compliment him on the things he does. Try to text some positive comment about him to him every day. Anything from how hot he looks in the clothes he’s wearing today to how sweet he is when he puts the kids to bed or how much you appreciate that he mowed the lawn over the weekend. Start being positive and appreciative and it will begin to change your attitude and it will begin to change the way the two of you interact. The person who is getting compliments will feel more positive and be happier when the two of you are together. He will probably begin to say nice things to you and the two of you will be happier when you’re together.

    Also, try to spend more time together. Try to spend time each day sharing bits of what happened to you during the day. Who did you see or talk to, what did you do at work, how did you feel about work or the people at work. You need to share your days in order to feel more connected. You can share when it is just the two of you but also when the kids are there. Try to spend time doing some things together, even if it’s cooking dinner and doing the dishes. When you do things together you automatically begin to talk and share your day and concerns and fun and that brings you closer. Try to spend some time relaxing together, snuggled watching a move, sitting on the deck watching the sunset or whatever the two of you like.

    You can bridge the distance but it takes at least one of you to make the effort to reach to the other one.

    I think all marriages hit a low spot when there are toddlers involved and you’re really just getting out of four years of busy toddler life. Things will begin to get easier and that makes the marriage happier. By the time your youngest is five things should be quite a bit better if you’re willing to make the effort. I know how exhausting it can be when you have to watch an active toddler nonstop to keep them from hurting themself or others. It keeps you busy enough that it’s hard to have couple time but you’ll be climbing out of that exhausting time now. You’ll gradually be able to be more relaxed. You’ll be able to go outside and sit and talk with each other while the kids play in the yard or at the park instead of running after them nonstop. You’ll be able to be more relaxed inside your house and will be interrupted less by the needs of a young child. You’ve already made it through the worst of it so it wouldn’t hurt to give the two of you a little more time to reconnect.

  31. I think this may be a psychological reaction to the LW’s recent separation from her husband. She might be in a weird state of mind because of their break-up. The ex is probably a temporary distraction from the struggles she’s currently facing. It’s not rare for people who are separating to have sudden crushes or do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes it even helps them to get through a very difficult phase – she’s leaning on her ex in a weird way. The key is recognizing that this is not a real option, not something she should actually do. It’s certainly not the time to make another life-altering decision. She probably can’t stop talking to the ex right now – so keep talking to him but otherwise DON’T DO ANYTHING and wait it out. My guess is if she tries to stop herself from talking to him she’ll only look for another outlet that might be even more dangerous.

  32. Stop acting like a dumbass. During my 2nd divorce, I started getting back in touch with old friends that I hadn’t seen since my 1st marriage (1st husband was an abusive asshole who didn’t want me associating with any other men, period). One guy I hadn’t seen since the 2nd grade. He lived in another state but attempted to woo me from afar. Even driving up during the fall (through Canada) through snow to come visit me. Why? Sex.

    What does this guy get out of a “relationship” with you? A place to stay, an escape from his current situation, the chance to feel young again, and possibly a citizenship (so he can then bring his son/girlfriend over).

    Sort your life out. You say you grew apart from your husband, yet you put no effort into FIXING that relationship. He wants to fix it and get back together. Why don’t you? Figure that out. You can’t move a guy into your communal house so long as the HUSBAND (until you’re legally divorced, you’re still legally married) lives there. Are you going to move into an apartment so you can shack up with your former paramour?

    Stop living in the past. Shit or get off the pot with your marriage. Move on from your former guy(s).

  33. I wrote some beautiful comments about this post. Just beautiful. But they’re gone. Gone with my past life, my past profile. Gone. Did it even exist to begin with? Does anything?

    Summing up:

    LW is being stupid and irresponsible
    LW’s foreign rando dong ex is going to leave her if she brings him into the country
    LW’S husband should move out because LW does not want to work it out
    Some 50 shades joke I made in my first comment that disappeared

  34. Oh my god, I’m being moderated. Because the site thinks I’m NEW and not Sarah. I’m a dirty NEW profile and it doesn’t trust me yet. I have new profile STENCH. Everybody stay back, I don’t want to accidentally rub my new profile all over you and filth you too.

    1. Having two profiles on here could be fun–Sarah and SarahKat could advise the LWs differently and be like the little angel and devil on their shoulders in old cartoons.

  35. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Letters like these truly drive home for me just how many of you breeders out there truly don’t give one flying fuck about your kids… Seriously, so many of you simply don’t. And that sickens me to the point that I simply have nothing else to say.

    1. Just remember that for every one person who writes a pathetic letter like this to an online advice column, there are THOUSANDS (if not MILLIONS) of parents out there who give every last flying f*ck they have about their kids.

      Seriously, advice column letters are not and cannot be an accurate representation of the general populace. It’s what the statisticians would call a self-selecting sample. (Well, Wendy selects them, but still.) And your response is what is called confirmation bias – the more you see examples of stuff you dislike/disagree with, the more you believe that it’s the norm.

      So when you say “So many of you simply don’t,” I hope you’re not forgetting those who do. And they ARE the majority, even if they don’t represent a huge number of the letters coming. (You know why? because those that give a f*ck about their kids and are working hard at life don’t write into advice columns!)

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        The absurdly high divorce rate doesn’t exactly argue against my opinion though, does it? The only comfort is I know a good many people who endured parents like these. The delicious irony (of course!) is that, boy, do those parents sure regret it now as their grown up kids all keep that at arms length and have zero respect for them whatsoever..

      2. Marriage and parenting aren’t one in the same. If you’re going to rail against irresponsible breeder parents, then stay on topic.

        Divorce can happen for LOTS of reasons, and not every divorce affects children. Some couples divorce when they don’t have children. Some couples divorce after their children are already grown and out of the house (in which case it’s hard to argue that the divorce indicates how much of a f*ck the parents give about their offspring). Some divorce after kids when one parent comes out as gay. These extenuating circumstances are not captured by divorce rates.

      3. And for what it’s worth, here’s a link to the most recent information I can find from the U.S. Census Bureau about divorce rates. (I put a space in the link so it wouldn’t get stopped by the auto-mod, you’ll have to probably copy-paste it.)

        ht tp://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0133.pdf

        If you look at the state-by-state numbers from 1990 to 2000 to 2009, in most places, the divorce rate has been falling. In small increments, granted, but still.

      4. We just read them. 🙂

      5. Yes, I totally agree with you on this. My parents will be married 40 years next year and have been amazing parents! My husband’s parents are divorced and both remarried, but remained so civil and respectful while co-parenting him and his brother. There are great parents out there… There really are!

      6. Well, they may write into advice columnists, but their questions probably aren’t of the “Should I get divorced and move in with a guy I’ve only spent one day with?” variety.

    2. And then there are the helicopter parents (I work in education).

      Seriously, is there no middle ground?

      I’m in the baby/would-be-parent game right now so all of it interests me, if grimly.

      1. Helicopter parents don’t just give flying f*cks, they ARE flying f*cks.

        (I mean that tongue in cheek because I cannot resist an opportunity for a pun. No disrespect intended.)

        Helicopter parenting, and you might even say attachment parenting, are not exactly balanced approaches to parenting – but the intentions are good, and less harmful to the child than the neglect they suffer at the hands of a self-absorbed parent.

      2. If we’re picking poisons, then yes I have to agree!

      3. I have a lot of respect for both your answers, and your inability to resist a pun =)

    3. My theory was that bgm wrote this letter…. hmmm

  36. sarolabelle says:

    My advice is to go on a really nice date or vacation with your hubby without the children.

    I can’t imagine leaving a man I spent 11 years with without a better reason than “we grew apart”….

  37. I lived with a good friend of mine and her preteen daughter a few years ago before moving out of state. My friend has always seemed desperately lonely, moving in with a string of crappy boyfriends and having short-lived relationships with them before they leave her and her daughter’s life. Late last year, she got back in touch with a high school friend (we’re in our 30s) who had two children of his own, one a teenage girl and one a young boy. My friend went out to visit this guy once in his hometown, they decided they were in love, and then she had him move out to live with her and her child, leaving his own behind with their very troubled and drug-using mother.

    LW, the lives of all the children involved in this mess are very sad. His kids came to live with them because the mother was too much of a mess. His teenager has run away and is using drugs and getting into trouble. The younger son has already been arrested. My friend, whom I tried to have empathy for until recently, because she has been a great friend to me, wants nothing to do with his kids and does not care about them. And why should she? THEY DON’T KNOW HER, SHE DOESN’T KNOW THEM.

    My friend and her boyfriend have shown how selfish they are through this whole thing, and their children collectively are all very troubled in different ways. They KNOW they have been a nuisance to their parents’ dating relationship, and her boyfriend’s kids KNOW he doesn’t want them and neither does their mother. They are angry kids and they are acting out. It makes me really sick and depressed for them all. My friend has really surprised me with just how low she will go to be with someone, and I am so disappointed in her.

    DO NOT DO THIS, LW. You are trying to run away to a fantasy world. Of course it’s more fun there, you don’t have responsibilities in that world yet. You might be like my friend, and uncaring about what happens to this man’s child because you want his father to yourself. THIS SON WILL ALWAYS KNOW HIS FATHER CHOSE SOMEONE OVER HIM. It WILL hurt him for the rest of his life, even if his mother is perfect. YOU will have helped that happen. Don’t be so selfish. Get your house in order, if you can’t work things out with your marriage, your two kids should be your first priority. Don’t help this man escape his responsibilities. You WILL have a hand in his son being hurt later on down the line. Please get your head out of the clouds, LW.

  38. Really? Really? LW, you are living in la la land. Whatever exciting, romantic, sail away into the sunset with your ex fantasy you have in your head is not accurate and will absolutely 100% NOT happen! Ok so marriage is hard, it’s work,it’s not easy, boo. Such is life. Come back down to earth. Go to counseling with your husband. You drift apart from your spouse because you quit trying. So TRY. Your ex is not gonna save you. Accept your life for what it is. You have two great kids, a house, a husband that loves you and wants to work things out in spite of the fact you’ve been going to visit an ex on vacation. He sounds pretty great to me. You’re telling me you want to trade him in for a guy that is willing to abandon his girlfriend and CHILD for a woman he’s spent less than 24 hours with in the past several years. Wow, what a stand up individual. You are not in love. You are bored. And your boredom is influencing you to make really terrible choices and consider even more terrible, incredibly selfish ones. Stop making googly eyes via text or Skype at your ex and think about your childrens’ wellbeing. For goodness sake. They deserve it. So does your husband.

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