Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

I have been divorced for nine years after a 25-year marriage. The marriage ended because he filed for divorce to start a new relationship with another woman. I have had time to move on, relocate to Mexico and let bygones be bygones to the extent of civil communication about our grown kids. However, he has recently taken to sending me articles, YouTube videos and TikToks about ADD, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome and Intergenerational Trauma, claiming that his bad behavior with me and the fact that he has had money problems, career problems and a high turnover rate with women since he left me are all due to these afflictions.

It was a difficult marriage, and while his self-diagnosis may be accurate, these texts and emails make me angry.

I don’t want to block all communication because, based on our 30-something daughters, we’re still family. Still, whenever I tell him that I see his after-the-fact justifications as excuses, he responds with more shared media about the handful of problems he now claims to have.

How do you think I should handle this?

…Kelly in Baja Sur

Dear Kelly,

I wouldn’t worry too much about his latest epiphany and self-diagnosis. Your ex was clearly self-involved and searching for a panacea when he left you. Nine years later, he’s still searching. It doesn’t help that we live in a modern culture that encourages people to over-victimize themselves.

You could remind your ex that cheating and lying require a level of social sophistication that people with autism tend to lack, as well as a level of planning and organization that people with acute ADHD tend to lack. But why bother?

I suggest you take the high road. Send one terse but polite message assuring him he’s free to stop worrying about what you think of him, and wish him luck finding the psychiatric care he needs, as well as a life partner as honest and committed to his success, reputation and everyday comfort as you were.

From then on, delete the information he shares without reading the articles or watching the videos, and make the most of your day.

Be grateful you have healed from the pain, moved on and that, thanks to his choice, you’re no longer honor-bound to be at his beck and call.

Best wishes to you and your daughters,


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