Dear Blake,

I’ve been separated from my wife for about four years, at her request. It was justified. I wasn’t the best husband. I wasn’t abusive, but I was sad and feeling sorry for myself, like now.

I took her for granted and didn’t show her the affection she deserved, but I have been going to therapy to work through issues that I had suppressed for decades that contributed to me being a bad husband. I wanted to try counseling with her, but she was done and refused, which I’m still saddened by.

As of today, she has a new boyfriend but still hasn’t filed for divorce. I’m struggling because she and her new boyfriend hang out with people I grew up with. It’s my own hang-up, I know, but it makes me feel embarrassed and like I can never hang out with my friends again. I get upset when I see posts on Facebook with her and her boyfriend that my family have added heart emojis or nice comments to.

Am I wrong for feeling betrayed in some way? Is my estranged wife belittling me by not filing for divorce and hanging out with my friends and a new boyfriend? Are my friends and family betraying me by being friends with them?

Signed, Denny
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Dear Denny,

Desiring your wife back is a normal emotion, so don’t be too hard on yourself. The fact that she currently despises you, and it appears that she’d rather eat glass than to be near you, is also a normal (female) emotion. Let’s review the objective data. In the second paragraph that you wrote, you established you’re a loser. So, lower your expectations and conclude that if she has an ounce of brains, she’d never coming back to the likes of you. I wouldn’t worry about hanging out with some of your old friends. They chose your wife’s new boyfriend over you, which suggests to me, that under no conditions do they want to be seen with you in public. If your own family is gravitating toward your estranged wife, then they probably have some accurate insights on why they feel you are a worthless, pathetic, individual. Apparently something about you sickens them, and you should probably try to find out what it is. And lastly, it’s entirely possible this is a waiting game. I actually think it’s likely that months down the road, she’ll come back to you on her knees, crying and begging… that you give her the names and numbers of some of your cute younger male friends, that she’d love to spend a weekend with. I hope this helps.

Blake

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