Dear Amy: I got back together with a girlfriend after being separated for 14 years. We kept in contact, and both often wondered if we called it quits too soon.
Now we are back together, obviously different people from those first years together, and this has caused some heated arguments and many misunderstandings.
Her communication style is blunt, unapologetic, and can be perceived as mean. Mine is the exact opposite, and this, too, is causing a rift. We've only been living together for two months.
I am unsure of where to go from here. I truly want us to work out, but I wonder if we are wasting our time trying to rekindle a flame that has burned out.
What would you suggest?
Amy says: If you are open to couples counseling, then absolutely try it.
Different communication styles can cause smaller rifts to deepen, but once you learn to communicate more effectively, intimacy will definitely deepen.
Does your girlfriend want to communicate differently? Does she want to engage by listening, even if she doesn't agree with what you are saying? Can you learn to accept her bluntness? Are you both willing to change your minds? What is the personal "cost" to both of you for staying in this relationship?
These are questions to take to a counselor. Start as soon as you can, while your insights and desire to change are still fresh.
Ex not happy about wedding
Dear Amy: My former wife and I were married for almost 30 years.
Eight years ago, she informed me that she wanted to change careers and move to a different part of the country. For many reasons, I chose not to follow her, and we went through an amicable divorce.
Six years ago, I developed a relationship with another woman. I told her about my new relationship, and she seemed happy for me.
Three months ago, my new wife and I got married. After the wedding, I texted my ex to let her know. Her reply was curt and painful. It was along the lines of, "I thought we had an agreement that you would tell me before you got married. I don't think there's any reason for us to have future communications."
I don't know how to deal with this brushoff. I don't believe I agreed to let her know before I got remarried. But even if I did, her response seems like it was intended to hurt me.
Amy says: I can't speak to your ex-wife's intentions, but to me it seems that she is more focused on expressing her own wounded feelings, not trying to hurt you.
You could definitely retaliate and defend yourself against her accusation. But if that is your instinct, I think you should suppress it and simply respect her choice not to be in touch.
However, you might feel better if you replied to her: calmly, kindly and honestly. You might text her, "I am genuinely sorry and sad about your reaction to the news of my wedding. You are an important part of my history and my life, and I had hoped to stay friends."