I have been separated for seven years. My ex-wife and I have a daughter who is now twelve years old. Our daughter has an older brother who is fifteen, and I love them equally and have always looked after both of them. Four years ago I gave my ex-wife a job to help her, and we have been good friends….

Recently I started feeling that I still love her, but she has made me feel badly by saying that getting back with me is the last thing she would ever do…. Now I feel frustrated because I have helped her a lot, including her son that is not mine, and I have always looked out for her…. Should I be patient and wait for her?

Dear Friend,

We are sorry to hear about the separation of your family. As difficult as it has been for you, it has probably been even more difficult for the children.

However, remaining a friend with your ex-wife is a very good thing for the children. As long as you get along well with her, she will probably not interfere with your desire to spend time with the children and play an active part in their lives. The best thing for the children is for both of their parents to spend quality time with them and speak and act positively about family relationships.

You probably are aware that in many situations mothers and fathers use their children to take out revenge on their spouse or ex-spouse. Some parents fill their children’s minds with negative information about the other parent. And some mothers and fathers even think that it is acceptable to withhold visitation with the children because of marital issues.

It sounds like you have taken many positive actions to make sure that your children and your ex-wife are well cared for. Now you are disappointed that those actions have not resulted in getting you and your ex-wife back together. We have good news for you! Your actions have been the best for your children even if your ex-wife never comes back to you. We recommend that you continue doing everything that you have been doing so that you can provide the best emotional environment for your daughter and stepson.

You ask if you should wait for your ex-wife to change her mind. The more important question is whether you should wait until your little girl is grown up and no longer needs you to protect and care for her. We believe that your priority should be the well-being of your child until she becomes an adult. It may seem like a long time, but it will pass before you know it. You have already waited for seven years!

In the same way that you have continued to love and care for your ex-wife in spite of her apparent lack of love for you, God our Heavenly Father continues to love each of us even when we reject Him. He is constantly watching out for us in spite of the fact that we break His laws and even break His heart with our choices. And He is waiting for us to have a change of heart and to join His family by accepting His Son Jesus Christ as our Savior. We recommend that you join His family and then ask Him to help you make the right choices for you and your daughter.

We wish you the best,