Dear Dr. Romance:

My husband and I married more than five years ago, in our early 30s.  We had a good marriage. We agreed that if we would sit down and talk things out should we have issues.  We always held true to that until his mom died several months ago.  He was very close to his mom but she had  cancer. I cared for her for a year and a half.  She died sooner than expected, and when she died - he became very distant, and could not sit still at the house - he always wanted to be doing something.  I made made the majority of the money, but I lost my job and I could not find another in my line of work. With no warning, he told me he wanted a divorce - I was devastated.  We talked the next day and three days later he came home and said he did not want a divorce- two weeks later he pulled the same stunt and left again.  He moved in with his father and continued to live there.  We were divorced last spring, and I fought it the whole way.  My parents and his dad think he became overwhelmed with his mothers death and the bills we had that he could not pay on his own.  My question is... I want to reconcile, but I am not sure how to let him know this.  Can you give me some advice? He has told a mutual friend he still loves me but there is someone better for me out there.  Please help... I just want my husband and best friend back.

Dear Reader:

I'm so sorry for your husband's loss, and your difficulties.  Your ex-husband needs grief counseling.  He is not grieving normally -- Instead, he's trying to run away from it.  That's like trying to run from himself, so he runs from you, also.   I think it would be a good idea for you to contact him and let him know you still care.  He's very down on himself, so he doesn't feel worthy of you.  Let him know that you care, but don't go back to living with him or agree to re-marry him until he gets counseling.  Otherwise, he will just run again.  Go with him to counseling if he won't go alone.  Read  "Surviving Loss and Thriving Again"  and "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" for guidance in knowing what to do.  How to Be Happy Partners  will teach you the skills you need to know to make this marriage work.

Happy Partners cover

For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.