DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for almost a year. It was an ugly divorce that became long, drawn-out and expensive. I have moved on with my life. My ex-husband, however, has not. He is in constant contact with my family.
My sister casually mentioned the other day that he had stopped by her office to "talk." He also calls my mother regularly and stops by her house to see her. He takes them to dinner and tries to act like nothing changed.
What he is really doing is getting information about my life while getting sympathy from them.
The final straw was learning that he had been invited to my nephew's graduation. I have explained to my family that I want no more contact with him and do not want to see him again. He told vicious lies and spread horrible rumors during the divorce that cost me all of our mutual friends. They all believed his lies and did not support me.
We had no children, so I see no reason to stay in contact. He won't let go of me and my family. What can I do? -- WANTS TO BE FREE IN ILLINOIS
DEAR WANTS TO BE FREE: It would be interesting to know why your family has continued to make him welcome. Are they enjoying the attention? The drama? Whatever the tie that's binding them, it is out of your control. And whether he is clinging to them out of neediness or the pleasure of sticking it to you is beside the point.
Even if the ghost of marriage past is lurking in the background, you ARE free. So live your own life, limit the amount of information you give to your family, and consider it "mind over matter." (You don't mind, and he don't matter.) The sooner you do, the sooner you will close the unhappy chapter of your life that includes him.