Carolyn: After 30 years, an old high school girlfriend has contacted me expressing her regret that we never had that opportunity to further our relationship. We have emailed for a month now, and I find her smart, funny and interesting, but I have a concern: She is three times divorced.
Is it possible that her repeated failures in that department were not her fault, as she says? Her exes were substance abusers and adulterous, by her claims.
I am wary of getting involved. Am I being too judgmental? Should I be open to the idea that she just had bad luck? By the way I am divorced once and, at 50, do not want to waste my time on someone who is unstable. Would you get involved someone with three exes?
I wont say yea or nay to getting involved with someone thrice divorced, since circumstances, timing and lessons learned are too personal to judge collectively but I sure would want to know the stories.
If each divorce had a similar story behind it, then I wouldnt stick around unless I felt darn sure the person had had the Eureka! moment and done the hard work of breaking unhealthy habits.
Carolyn: I sent a message to a friend I havent seen for a while to see if she wanted to get together soon, and she said in her response that her husband now has his own apartment. They have two young kids, and this comes out of the blue. Our husbands are longtime friends, and Ive known them for four years.
Were getting together next week, and Im totally at a loss as to what to say or do. These are our first friends to get divorced and, to make things worse, this is her second marriage, so Im worried about any fallout from that, too. Any advice?
The best, best, best thing you can do is not bring an agenda with you. Not pro-reconciliation, not pro-husband or pro-her, not anti-multiple-divorce, not pro-divorce-is-the-end-of-the-world.
If you need an agenda to orient you, make it pro-friendship. Listen, dont judge, and see what she needs based on what you see.
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