I'm seeking updates for the holiday. Letter writers: Tell us how it all worked out. Was the advice helpful? Email Meredith.Goldstein@Globe.com and put "update" in the subject line.
Ten years ago I met my soul mate. I knew it immediately. Smart, sweet, and a beautiful co-worker who always had a similar viewpoint of ideas inside and out of the office. Within a week of our first date, she moved in with my family. We grew older together, buying homes and getting married. Life was a fairy tale as we were literally inseparable 24/7/365. One large part of our relationship all this time was entertaining. We both drank to excess and loved playing host. It was never a question of where we would be on any given Friday and Saturday night because we always had both of our groups of friends over.
Fast forward to the last 18 months, and it all falls apart. I lose my job. My drinking, which was never a bother to others, begins taking a HUGE toll on my health (which affects our family and friends). After one of several binges landed me in the hospital, I find out we are getting divorced and she is taking the house. I tried to give her space but nothing worked. It’s almost been a year since our divorce. I still wear the ring every day and have zero thoughts of moving forward. I love her as much as I did when I proposed five years ago! She appears to have changed some, but I miss my other half. I have put the bottle down for my health and those who care about me. Any advice on what I can do to win her back is VERY MUCH NEEDED!
– Other Half
I can't tell you how to win her back. Nor do I want to.
I can only tell you to respect her wishes, and that loving her means respecting her boundaries. Leaving her alone will also give you more time to care for yourself.
You should be seeking professional help as you adjust to these big life changes. You need to grieve this relationship and learn a new routine. Talk to someone about how you can become something whole on your own. "Better half" language isn't helpful; you're a full person even if you don't feel that way right now.
As you seek help, it might also be productive to think about what letter your ex might write to us. You say your drinking was "never a bother to others," but are you sure that's true? There are a lot of holes in this letter – you never told us why she said she said she wanted the divorce, how she explained her needs, or how she's moving on. This letter is sort of all about you. Thinking about what she wants and why might make it easier to consider your own next steps.
Readers? Is it time to win anyone back?