Question: Yangki, my wife and I have been separated for 3 months, we were married for 17 years. We are both in our late 40s so the no contact rule is not something we think is appropriate for people our age. That’s why I find your site absolutely helpful. We talk but it’s on and off because she wants to be single and see what else is out there. A couple of nights ago she opened up to me about us being together again. I am open to the idea but frankly I feel that I am happier now without her than I was the last couple of years of our marriage. This brings me to my question. If we were to get back together, I want to make sure we have a healthy relationship but how we have that when she’s dating other people? I have been out with other women a couple of times but I realize i still love my ex. Do you any advice for my situation?
Yangki’s Answer: If there is a chance that you can make the relationship work and both of you are willing to put in the work needed to create a healthier and happier relationship, I think you should consider at least giving the idea some thought.
But don’t rush into making a decision based on how you feel right now. You were together for 17 years and the last 2 were miserable, it’s normal to feel “happier” taking a break from it all. You may or may not feel the same way in another 2 – 3 months. You may find that the “happiness” you feel now is transitory or it may turn out that you are both better off divorced and with other people.
As for her seeing other people, it’s still possible to make your relationship work even if she’s dating other people. Like you, she probably feels right now that she’s happier because of her new freedom as a single women, but the fact that she’s talking about being together again means that the grass may not be as green out there as she thought — or making it out to be.
There is nothing you can do to stop her from seeing whoever she wants to. All you can do is work on you so the dynamic between the two of you is healthier and happier, and show her that you are still better than whatever is out there. She chose you over others before, she can choose you over them again.
Try to see each other more to remind each other what’s like when you are both happier, and to replace the memories of the last two years with better ones.
You don’t have to call it a “date” just think of it as opportunities to test the new relationship. If after some time you feel it’s better not to get back together, then make that decision then, not now when both of you are not sure how you feel or what you want.