Chicago Tribune Advice Columnist Offers Guidance For Post-Divorce “Ghosting”
Nowadays almost everyone is familiar with the divorce process in general: a couple who is married decides that the marriage is no longer working, and will not work, and files in court to officially end the marriage by way of a court order. Simple enough in theory, but of course in practice a Chicago divorce, or any divorce for that matter, involves the challenges of figuring out things like who gets what marital property, who makes decisions about the kids, and who will get to take care of the family pet. Certainly, a divorce can be a very contentious and uphill battle, can take time and financial resources, and can be emotionally (and physically even) draining. The good news is that, like all legal cases, divorce cases do come to an end eventually. A court order setting forth the terms of dissolution of marriage is entered, and the parties can finally go their separate ways.
However, not all divorces also end the parties’ involvement in each other’s lives. When children, young or old, are involved, and grandchildren begin to enter into the picture, divorced spouses may find themselves at the same family functions – births, birthdays, funerals, Thanksgivings, and all the other holidays in between. When ex-spouses are brought together by happy and celebratory life events, how should they interact between themselves? Is ignoring an ex-spouse completely appropriate? This question was put forth to the Chicago Tribune’s advice columnist “Ask Amy”, and her advice may be surprising.
In late December, a Chicago reader named “Exed-Out” wrote to Ask Amy about a situation she was experiencing after her divorce from her husband. Exed-Out explained to Ask Amy that she and her ex-husband had a very difficult and “drawn-out” divorce, after eight years of an unhappy marriage. After their divorce, the exes moved on and went their separate ways, relocating to different parts of the country. However, Exed-Out explained, the former couple’s children are all now adults and life events force the ex-spouses to see each other at parties and gatherings, such as weddings and births. At these events, Exed-Out noted that her ex-husband “ghosts” her, meaning that he completely ignores her and acts as if she is not even there. In Exed-Out’s words, “He never greets me, never directs a word toward me or even looks at me.” Exed-Out proclaimed that she still sends him “birthday cards, emails and notes once in a while” and feels hurt about her ex-husband’s frosty demeanor towards her.
Ask Amy’s response? Stop reaching out. In Ask Amy’s opinion, Exed-Out’s ex-husband is clearly not interested in a relationship any longer, and Exed-Out should, accordingly, stop making efforts. Although the “ghosting” is “extremely rude” at social functions, noted Ask Amy, ultimately, she advises that Exed-Out should attempt to share space at social functions with him, greet him, and behave neutrally. In short, Ask Amy says, “ignore him.”
Help with Your Chicago Divorce
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