Dear Abby: My ex and I might get back together, 16 years after our divorce

They feel more compatible now, and one issue is that the man is married but separated.

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DEAR ABBY: I reconnected with my ex-husband, “Liam,” a year ago, 16 years after our divorce. (We hadn’t seen or talked to each other during that time.) He’s remarried with four kids; I am single with two kids. We got married when we were young, but we’re now in our early 40s. We know what we want or don’t want in a partner, and know what we will/won’t put up with, etc.

Liam is still legally married, and I have been single for a year. He and his wife have been separated almost two years. We have been intimate, which I feel has brought us closer together. We are very compatible. We get along well, have the same religious beliefs and are both vegetarians. We had a long talk about our future a few days ago and whether we should try to get back together. Both of us feel the same way. We’re still very much in love with each other after all these years.

Should we try to get back together when the time is right, or should we leave the past behind us and let it go? Any advice is greatly appreciated. — SECOND CHANCE IN GEORGIA

DEAR SECOND CHANCE: No one can decide FOR you whether you and Liam should try to reconcile “when the time is right” — which I assume means when he is divorced from his current wife. I can offer this advice: As appealing as the idea may seem right now, do not do it until you have had joint counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapist to resolve any lingering issues that “might” crop up.

Also, if Liam is really contemplating offloading his current missus, he needs to consult an attorney who specializes in family law so he will be fully prepared for the battle that’s sure to lie ahead.

DEAR ABBY: I had substance abuse problems in the past. I have been in a rehabilitation program for a while now, and have been sober for more than a year. I would like to continue my sobriety and feel I could stay sober from drugs and still drink socially. My family is against me drinking at all, even though alcohol is plentiful at their holiday get-togethers. They also don’t want me socializing with friends who drink at all, even if these friends don’t use other substances. I should mention I am of legal drinking age.

How can I convince my family that I will stay off drugs while drinking socially? I know they want what’s best for me, but I don’t want to feel left out of family events or have to end friendships, which feels extreme. — RESPONSIBLE SOCIAL DRINKER

DEAR RESPONSIBLE: While your family is well-intentioned, I agree their thinking they can maintain your sobriety “for” you by deciding what you may and may not drink on their premises is extreme. And the decision of who you can safely socialize with should be made by you.

This is an important subject you should discuss with your sponsor or the administrators of your substance abuse rehabilitation program. Please don’t wait to do it. Not knowing you personally, I cannot — and should not — advise you further than this.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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