Life Advice



Ask Amy: Ex does not want to make up after breakup

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Over a decade ago, I escaped an extremely emotionally and sometimes physically abusive partner and proceeded to raise kind, compassionate, and successful children on my own.

Now in adulthood, all but one has established a relationship with this pretty much absent parent, who now wants to stage a get-together that includes my new spouse and myself.

I use the word “stage,” as my ex has continued to demonstrate manipulative behavior that has hurt me and my children.

They have succeeded in creating quite a wedge between me and my middle child. They love to create scenarios where they are in control, and they know me well enough to push my buttons.

While I have the strength not to show anything but a pleasant reaction, it hurts to be near them.

I do not want to go to this get-together but feel pressured. My children see it as a step forward for all of us to heal and be a big and happy family.


I have done my best not to disparage my ex. If I don't go, the ex will use my refusal to make me look bad. If I do go, I will endure my past trauma being stirred up again, while my ex gets to look good. What should I do?

– Been There, Not Doing That

Dear Been There: One benefit of a breakup is being spared “get togethers” with the ex.

Many exes can manage happy, peaceful and inclusive family events, but for others (such as yourself), breakup is a liberation from having to be in your ex’s presence.


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