Question: For six years I stayed in a marriage that was misery because we were so poor. My parents, who disliked my husband, refused to give us any help. Eventually I left him and moved back to my parents' home with our children. My divorce was final eight months ago. But Wally has secretly kept in touch with us. He recently came into some money from a relative and wants us to come home and be a family again. I know that money is not a very good reason to go back, but I've never stopped loving Wally. However, if I go back I'll be burning my bridges with my parents. Should I take that risk?
Answer: Only you can decide if you want to form a family with Wally again. If you choose to go back, you and he must develop a financial plan that will enable you to invest the inheritance and budget your income in order to avoid a repetition of the past. If your parents' help is based solely on their control of your life, then there isn't much at risk. But your marriage, if you go back, needs a firm commitment.
Q: Is there an age that determines the chance for remarriage? For instance, do more women remarry before or after 30? Before or after 50? How can I improve my chances?
A: Statistics are important only inasmuch as they can tell you where the men are. Whether or not you remarry has to do with you, where you live and how outgoing you are. Are you willing to relocate, change jobs, become more involved socially--clubs, organizations, hobbies? Do you entertain to reciprocate past invitations? Get busy with your life. It's more fun to share the life of someone who's already enjoying every minute of it.
Q: Two months ago, I came home from work to find my wife gone. She left a note that our marriage was over, that she was with Frank--whom I thought was a friend--and that they were going to be married as soon as each got divorced. Since then she's written to ask if I've filed yet. I still love her; there's no way I want a divorce. In my heart I know that one day she'll be sorry and come back to me. How can I postpone this divorce? Frank's wife has already filed.
A: You certainly don't have to agree to a quickie divorce. It takes time to sort out the good and bad in a marriage. Next time you hear from your wife, tell her you're thinking about it, then take your time doing so. Runaway spouses often come to regret their hasty actions. In any case, you need the time to scrutinize your marriage and come to terms with the part you played in your wife's leaving.
Send your questions for possible use in Living With Divorce to Virginia Doody Klein, P.O. Box 16290, St. Louis, Mo. 63105.