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by Abigail Van Buren

Memories of the Good Times Haunt Woman After Divorce

DEAR ABBY: I was married to my husband for 29 years. We were separated off and on more than 10 of those years. We were both in other relationships but would reconnect for months and sometimes years. Then, because our lifestyles are so different, we would split up again.

I divorced him two years ago, but we see each other off and on as friends. I haven't been in a relationship since our divorce because I still love him. He couldn't stop the street life, and I got tired of living on the edge with him.

He's now in church, off drugs. He has gained back some weight and looks like the man I first fell in love with. I tell him every time I see him that I still love him, but he doesn't believe me and acts like he hates me. We have a 27-year-old daughter he loves and sees.

I think of the good times we had together day and night. I can't sleep sometimes and feel so unhappy without him. Abby, what can I do to move on? -- LONELY AND LOST IN MARYLAND

DEAR LONELY AND LOST: You may love the person your ex-husband was in the beginning, but you divorced him for good reasons. Chief among them, he became someone else because of his addiction and his choices. He may blame you for divorcing him, but if you hadn't done it, he probably would not have straightened out. Sometimes love is not enough, particularly when it's a one-way street.

It is time to quit looking backward and concentrate on your future. See your ex as little as possible, and allow yourself to grieve the lost relationship for a specific period of time. When that time period is over, concentrate on meeting new people and cultivating new interests. If necessary, talking with a therapist may be helpful, and I hope you will consider it. There is life after this, but only if you will allow it.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Addiction