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Direct Answers - Dec. 30

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I am 50 and was married to my first husband for 18 years. We had one daughter. Most of this time I was a housewife or worked in a family business until it was sold. For the last 10 years of our marriage, my husband was a frustrated, unrecognized "writer" waiting to be discovered.

I decided to wear the pants in the family. When our daughter entered junior high, I went on overseas assignment, was swept off my feet, and within two years married my second husband. He is from the Middle East and a Muslim. We come from different cultures, different religions, and different outlooks. Now, nearly three years into the second marriage, I realize it was a big mistake.

I want to end this relationship, return to the first (Catholic, as I am), then reconcile and remarry civilly. Is it asking too much of a man, divorced nearly four years, to have his wife come back into the family? I feel I simply acted out of vulnerability due to stagnation in the marriage.

I want to end the nightmare of recent years, return, and recommit to my first husband. Though not without quirks and disappointments, he is a man of outstanding character and strength. He is good-hearted and optimistic in his endeavors. He is a dreamer, but he provides the only comfort and sense of familiarity I have ever known. Thanks for any insights.


Anna, you jumped out of a bad relationship into one even worse. Jumping back into the first one is not a cure for anything. In time the old, familiar patterns will reassert themselves, and you will be frustrated and angry.

If your present relationship is a nightmare, end it. Then take time to stand on your own two feet and decide what to do with your life. Look underneath the original situation. The keys to what you are looking for are not found by returning to what you abandoned, but by examining why you left in the first place.

Wayne & Tamara

Time Will Tell

For a year and half I knew this woman strictly as a friend, primarily because she was married. We talked on the phone many, many times and emailed each other on a daily basis. Then she got divorced.

While she was in the process of divorce, I went with her for a weekend and we had a blast. We both want more than anything to be together. This all sounds perfect, but she lives four hours away from me. I am totally willing to move, but I have a great job with a big future and make excellent money. She is totally willing to move also, but she has two small children and an ex-husband who would be mad if she left town.

We can't think of a solution. I think she is planning on breaking it off altogether because she can't stand to see me on weekends and miss me all week. She can hardly sleep when I am not there. I can't see giving up a job I love to move up there and get a job that may not last. Please help!


Joe, are you worried the job might not last, or the relationship? Is your friend saying, I want you and only you and whatever obstacles life throws at us we will deal with together? Or is she saying, I have a vacancy in my life right now, and if you don't fill it, I'll find someone who will?

If you give up the good things in your life to accommodate her, her children, and her ex-husband, where are you in all this? At the very least, give yourself time to decide if this is love or infatuation. Neither of you is totally willing to move, but it sounds like she may be totally willing to move on.


Wayne & Tamara are also the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell, What Infidelity Does to the Victim, available from Amazon, Apple and most booksellers.


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