We’ve been amicably separated for three years, and neither of us is interested in marrying anyone else; is there any real reason to get a divorce?
Probably not. Divorce is costly even if done amicably; as long as you don’t need or want to remarry, leave it alone until you decide otherwise. Just to set your mind at rest, you should talk to your lawyer or accountant and ask whether there are any financial ramifications to remaining legally married or getting a divorce. Also, if you haven’t already done so, you should consider getting a legal separation agreement that spells out your rights and obligations.
I have been separated for six months, and I’ve just started to date a very nice man. When should I introduce him to my kids?
Introducing a new man into your children’s life is always difficult. Start slowly by going to a movie, or for a burger, or to some sports event or activity that interests your children. Make sure you give them 100% of your attention on your first few outings with your new gentleman friend. If they don’t feel threatened or left out, and if you can have fun together as a family, they’ll come to accept him. Meanwhile, if you don’t intend to get back together with your husband, you should think about filing for divorce!
I love my wife, but we’re totally incompatible. Should I leave her?
Isn’t it a little late to find out that you’re incompatible? Didn’t you date and spend time together before making the serious decision to get married? Either you have both rushed into a relationship without getting to know one another or you are both very immature! Marriage is a serious commitment and you should be prepared to enter into it. Before you decide to take the dramatic step of ending your marriage, consult a marriage counselor or attend a “marriage encounter” course where you will openly discuss your differences and hopefully salvage your relationship.
If you love your wife and she loves you, then sit down and talk. Both of you prepare a list of things you like to do — and what you don’t like to do. For instance, she loves ballet but you can’t keep your eyes open through a performance; you love boxing but she hates aggressiveness. Try to find some common ground. Do things together that you both like (or at least that one of you doesn’t actually hate) and compromise on others. Maybe she could go to the ballet with a friend while you stay home and watch boxing; then the next night, the two of you could go to a movie together. If you can’t find any common ground, and marriage counseling doesn’t help you to resolve your differences, then maybe it’s time to part.
My husband left me for a much younger woman, and my self-esteem is at an all-time low. What can I do to boost my self-confidence?
Make the time to take care of and pamper yourself. Get a makeover: try a new hairdo and makeup, and think about updating your wardrobe. Look over some fashion magazines to get some fresh, new ideas. Your makeover doesn’t have to cost a fortune: most department stores have cosmetic counters that offer free make-up applications with their product promotions.
If you like your new look, make sure to ask the cosmetician for detailed instructions so that you can recreate this look at home. To nurture your spirits, go and see your friends. Let them take you out: this will help you to remember that you’re not alone. I know your husband’s leaving hurts a lot, but it will get better — trust me. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get on with your life. Like me, you’ll find that the best is yet to come.