DEAR ABBY: For nearly 30 years, I believed my marriage to be rock solid. Imagine my shock, disbelief and pain when my husband announced he no longer loved me and wanted out of our marriage. And, although he initially denied her existence, he married the other woman soon after our divorce became final.
With our children grown, there was no reason for us to remain in contact, even though we live within a few miles of each other. From the time he left, my ex made it clear that the break was to be complete. I haven't seen him for years and have never met his new wife.
One of our children married recently and the festivities brought my former spouse and me into contact. We were cordial but restrained in each other's company. Given the years that have passed and the nature of our reunion, I was surprised at the obvious insecurity shown by his wife.
Now he is calling me. His calls always have a purpose, though the reasons are flimsy. They are increasingly warm and friendly. I can't say that I don't enjoy them, but I'm beginning to feel a little uncomfortable about their frequency. I don't know if this is because of my own possible dormant feelings or repugnance at the thought of ever becoming "the other woman."
I asked him if his wife knew he called. He side-stepped giving me a direct answer. Now I'm in a real pickle. It would be nice to have some measure of friendship, but a renewed relationship with my ex also scares me. I can't talk to my children or friends about this. I'd appreciate some advice. -- OLDER BUT NOT WISER
DEAR NOT WISER: You are too wiser! If you weren't wiser, you would not be questioning the situation. How delicious it must be that your ex is now sneaking around on the woman he left you for, and calling you.
My advice is not to give in to the temptation to gloat or allow it to continue. The wife made it clear at the wedding that she's threatened by you. (And probably any other woman!) She's threatened because she knows exactly what he's capable of.
A legitimate, aboveboard friendship isn't possible under these circumstances. So, unless you're bored and looking for drama -- and possibly more pain -- the next time your ex calls, tell him enough is enough. It will save you a world of heartache.