Life Advice



Ask Amy: Lovelorn spouse wants to tidy up behind him

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I've been in a loveless marriage for 15 of the past 22 years. We are basically partners in raising the remaining children at home (ages 16 and 14).

Recently I reached out to my ex-wife to tell her about the passing of my parents. We started corresponding about our lives, where we have been, and what we have been doing for these many years. Quite frankly, I never stopped loving her. I was simply young, dumb, and did not know how to communicate back then.

As it turns out, we are both very unhappy in our current marriages. We have expressed that we never stopped loving each other.

My ex-wife has since left her husband and is filing for divorce. I want to follow suit, but am having trouble, as I feel I have a mess to tidy up before I leave, i.e. sell the house, get the kids into another home with their mother, and deal with finances.

Should I tell my wife I am leaving for another woman, or simply explain that I am not happy and move out? I don't want my children to think my unhappiness has anything to do with them.

I just need to be happy. I want to feel loved, have intimacy, laugh, and be with the woman I have loved throughout my entire life!


How should I proceed, so I can be with the only woman I've ever loved?

-- Love Story

Dear Love Story: This is not a mess that will be easily "tidied." Your wife and children will likely be bewildered, and you'll be spreading a lot of hurt around. NONE of this is their fault. Your choice to leave your family, and to sell the family home and relocate them to another one -- all of this -- is on you.

You must tell the truth. I mean, come on -- don't you think your family will figure this out when you and your ex quickly head off into the sunset?


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