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Ask Rene: I Want My Ex Back (But He’s Dating Another Girl!)


Hi Rene,

I read the advice you give to people and I must say I’m often in total agreement. Here’s my issue.

I married my husband after being friends for five years and dating for a year and a half. But I was devastated when the marriage fell apart less than two years later. Even though we’re living apart, I still feel I’m married to him and cannot see myself with any other person. Both of us were to blame and have learned our lessons.

We started seeing each other again but he’s also seeing someone else. He says because of our tumultuous past he can’t just break up with the other girl so that we can be together again. I totally understand this. He does want to work on the relationship and there are plenty of things I can see he has stopped or is making progress on.

However, last night, I stopped it all. The final words were that we were going to stop until he figures out whatever is going on with the other girl. I know this sounds bad as I’m the type of person who hates to hurt others. I’ve really ashamed of myself on what I did.

What should I do Rene? I really, I mean really and truly want him back….


Missing My Ex!

Dear Missing,

Listen to your Good Enough Mother. Your man is running a game and it’s at your expense. I know this has been hard on you. It’s probably hard on him too but here’s the difference; while you’re at home crying into your cup of tea, he’s crying to her, which means he’s probably not shedding too many tears. I’m glad you like my advice because here it comes, both barrels!

GIVE HIM SPACE: When you broke it off with your ex, you did the best thing you could possibly do; you gave him time to figure out what he wants. The hard part is that there’s a possibility he’ll decide he doesn’t want you.  If that happens, you don’t need me to tell you that’s gonna hurt like hell but not nearly as much as being with a man who wants to be with someone else.

STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP: You did a very wise and noble thing by breaking it off with him after finding out about the other woman. And shame on her for not doing the same (provided she knows about you, which I think she does). Now, your ex says he wants to work on the relationship with you but can’t drop her because of your past. Uh, yes he can and he SHOULD!

Look at it this way, how can you ace an English test by studying French? You say you totally understand his point of view. Stop that right now! His point of view is that he’s trying to play both sides against the middle; he’s more worried about a soft landing (someone else’s bed) in the event that you guys don’t work out than actually putting in the work. Guess what? Relationships take work. They are rife with struggle and disappointment but also unimaginable joy. But you can’t have one without the other and I’d be concerned about the emotional development of someone who doesn’t understand that.

DON’T WAIT AROUND: I want you to put on your best dress, get your hair and nails done and go out with some girlfriends. Or by yourself. But whatever you do, do NOT sit by the phone waiting on this man to make up his mind. You are way too good to be someone’s doormat! So go out, meet a bunch of people, shake a bunch of hands, kiss a few princes but go live your life!

From a practical standpoint and I know this is a bit of game playing but hear me out. I want you to make yourself a lot LESS available. When he calls, let it go to voicemail. When he texts, let a few hours go by before you answer. And when you do connect with him, be less eager to divulge everything going on in your life. Keep some of your powder dry. When he asks where you’ve been, tell him you’ve been busy. Let there be a bit of mystery and let him wonder what you’ve been up to and who you’ve been up to it with.

I have a prediction for you. Once you stop waiting for him, being desperate to get back together, moving on with your life, I think his decision will become clear; all of a sudden, you’re going to look like a very attractive candidate to him. But if he decides the other woman is the one he wants to be with, wish him luck and go on about your business. Because what you really need is a man who will hold your heart in the palm of your hands. If the wayward husband is not going to do that, it’s time to let him go.

Good luck!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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