Short version: My mom is remarrying her ex-husband. I think it’s a big mistake. What do I say to her?
Long version: They got married in 1994, after being together for 2 or 3 years. He was a former Jehovah’s Witness, and a recovering alcoholic (sober for several years before they met).
They moved a few times, due to his inability to keep a job for very long (he’s a glazier, so always found work in his trade, but never got along well with his bosses). They lived in the isolation of Port Hardy, BC (northern tip of Vancouver Island), the dreariness of Thunder Bay, ON (no offense to any T.B. residents), and the beauty of Bermuda.
About 4 years after they got married they both converted to become Jehovah’s Witnesses.
3 years ago my mom finally got tired of his obsessiveness (he is the kind of person who will dwell on one little thing for hours and hours on end - like an OCD dog with a bone), his employment issues, his depression, his selfishness, his threats to kill himself if she ever left him, his impractical dreams which led them to bankrtupcy twice … and probably more that I don’t know about or can’t think of right now. So she left him and moved back to Vancouver Island on her own.
For a little while before she moved to the Island they needed a place to stay, so I loaned them my apartment and stayed with my boyfriend. During that period I had a slight disagreement with my Mom, and he got involved and said (well, emailed) some horribly insulting things to me. I wasn’t hurt by what he said, because his opinion has never mattered to me. But I WAS hurt when I found out that my mom had typed the emails for him. That was 3 1/2 years ago and although I’ve forgiven her, I haven’t forgiven him, and I haven’t forgotten how it felt.
Anyway, since then he deceived her about money and rarely paid her spousal support on time; when she didn’t want any more contact with him he stalked her to the point of her getting an unlisted phone number, and he also contacted the elders of her church (? not sure if that’s what JW’s call it) to try to get information about her, and to ask them to plead his case with her. He started drinking again, and got kicked out of the church.
In mid-May of this year my mom was visiting us and only mentioned his name once, in a derogatory way. Her travel plans were a little sketchy and she mentioned that if she ever got stuck in Vancouver (where he lives), she knew she could “use” him and he’d help her out and take care of her. She said she hoped she didn’t need his help because she didn’t want to see him. She also mentioned that he has been working on getting back into the faith and that she was afraid he was doing it just to have a chance at getting back together with her, and she laughed about it.
At the end of May she told me they had been talking and he has “changed” and there was a possibility they might reconcile. A few days ago she emailed me that she is packing up her things and moving to Vancouver a.s.a.p. so they can get married.
I don’t know what to say to her. I can’t congratulate her, it would be too hypocritical. All I’ve said so far is that (a) he will never be welcome in my home or near my daughter, so future visits with her will be awkward to arrange, and (b) that I will never forget the things he said to me.
Any words of wisdom? I truly want my mom to be happy. I’m worried that she is desperate for companionship because she is 61 and worrying about growing old all alone, so she is talking herself into this relationship. Help!