Dear Lisi: My ex-wife and I have been divorced 10 years, since our children were teenagers. Our daughter played competitive hockey through university, so we spent plenty of time together watching her games and practices. We maintained a healthy friendship and partnership, even though our passion and romance were non-existent.
Once hockey ended, we started finding other ways to spend time together. And during COVID-19, we opted to bubble. I didn’t move back in but we were the only ones allowed in each other’s homes.
Our son remarked recently that he’s never met another set of parents who get along as well as we do, and wondered aloud why we weren’t together. His stream of consciousness now has me thinking.
How do I broach the topic with my ex? I don’t want her to run. We have a great relationship now and I wouldn’t want that to change. But could it be better if we were back together?
Back and forth
Don’t think yourself into a frenzy. You must speak with your ex. Casually ask her if she heard what your son said, and if she has any thoughts on the matter. Try to gauge her reaction. If she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, tell her.
I think you have to be honest. Tell her the thought intrigued you, that you have an incredible relationship, and you wonder if it could morph into something more. That doesn’t mean going back to the marriage you once had, because that clearly did not work. But now that you are both older, more mature (yes, we continue to grow, age and mature), you can see how a union between the two of you could work.
I would strongly suggest you speak to a marriage counsellor together — not to rehash old grievances, but to pinpoint what went wrong and how to avoid those same mistakes/pitfalls the second time around.
If you go about this with an open mind and heart, together, this could be a very beautiful thing.
Dear Lisi: My husband and I ended our decade-plus marriage during COVID. We just couldn’t live that deep in each other’s pockets. We had managed to cohabit, co-parent, and coexist, but the pandemic locked us in, together, and the marriage blew apart.
I spent a lot of time online, on social media, and found and rekindled a multitude of friendships, old and new. Most of my friends know that I suffer from metastatic melanoma. It’s not pretty. I do my best to take care of myself. I’ve had it for two years and I’m doing great, thanks to immunotherapy. I have my vices but none are sun-related.
I have a new “friend” on social media who knows my plight but constantly posts photos of herself sunbathing. And not just one or two, but multiple photos of her soaking in the rays. It drives me crazy!
How do I handle this?
Living with cancer
The easiest thing would be to “unfollow” her so you don’t have to see her posts. If you have a relationship outside of Facebook, you could tell her what you’re doing, and why, so she doesn’t take personal offence. But if you don’t have any stronger connection than social media, it might be time to shelve this friendship.
She doesn’t owe it to you to stop posting, and you’re not obliged to look at her photos. You say most of your friends know about your diagnosis. Does she? And does she really know what it means? You could ask her, and offer to educate her on the topic.
But what she does with that information is completely up to her.
Her photos are a trigger for you. Now that you recognize that, avoid the trigger. It’s really in your control.
Dear Readers: Regarding a question I received from a 20-something year old male on behalf of some of his friends, all international ski buddies, working in resorts for the winter, and being hit on by elderly women (Mar.16):
It is clear that many of you did not agree with my response, specifically because you thought my answer would be different if the gender roles were reversed. Every question is different, no two identical, but my go-to response always errs on the side of caution and kindness.
I am not sexist, nor gender-biased. I agree wholeheartedly that workplace sexual harassment is not OK. But there are different types of harassment, and different ways to deal with it. An older gentleman grabbing a young woman’s behind as she walks by is aggressive; an older woman drunkenly leaning into a young man is not.
I stand by my initial response: Be kind.