DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a divorced guy who is in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. I have been attending a Sunday morning meeting regularly for years.
Last week, as I was arriving for the meeting, I noticed that my ex-wife, who is newly sober, was there. I left before the meeting started. This group is important to me, but I’m uncomfortable sharing with my ex there. I really want her to find her way in sobriety. Not sure what to do.
GENTLE READER: Is talking to her an option?
Miss Manners does not ask this facetiously; she understands that exes are often not on speaking terms. But she also cannot imagine that even the angriest and most resentful one would not want the same privacy that you do if she is genuinely pursuing better health.
You might send her a message saying, “I was so glad to catch a glimpse of you at the weekly meeting and see that you are doing well. However, in the interest of us both being able to speak freely there, I wonder if you would consider attending at a different location or time.”
If there is any amount of civility in the relationship -- or at least desire to create goodwill with the other meeting attendees -- surely she will see the reasoning in this.