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damage control

The question

I’ve had a primary school boyfriend make contact with me after we haven’t seen or spoken to each other for 40 years. My concern is: He’s said he has a beautiful wife and gorgeous seven-year-old daughter.

But he’s also made several references to our past and how part of him still loves me. I am happily married (for 18 years) with two kids. I’m very dubious and curious as to why he is contacting me now. He says he can’t talk much about his wife due to her job as a mental-health worker. Do you have any suggestions?

The answer

Yes. Here’s my “suggestion”: Quietly back away from this dude and have nothing whatsoever to do with him.

Obviously I’m speculating/interpolating. As always, I could wish for more details.

But my instincts tell me Grade School Boy is dangerous, deceitful and duplicitous.

I wouldn’t say anything along these lines if it weren’t for this “part of me still loves you” verbiage.

That to me is a red flag, and could be a chequered flag for your marriage, I feel.

And this business of “I can’t talk much about my wife because she’s a mental-health worker” guff is downright risible.

Please. Also: “I have a lovely wife and gorgeous daughter” sounds to me like a smokescreen for someone who seems to me like a dog who has (metaphorically) risen up on his hind legs, has a bouquet of flowers in his forepaws, and is woofing out compliments and tender avowals and misty recollections down Memory Lane.

I’m sorry to be so cynical. I’ve just seen it so many times. It begins with social-media contact with an ex. It goes like this. “I’ll Facebook my ex but won’t get together with him.” Then: “I’ll get together with him but won’t go up into the hotel room he’s (somehow, and somewhat surprisingly) rented.”

Then it’s: “Okay, I’ll go into the hotel room he’s rented but won’t make out with him.” Then: “Okay, I’ll make out with him, but won’t have sex...”

And yadda yadda yadda next thing you know, you’re living in a hotel room yourself, tears streaming down your cheeks, the neon sign outside the window with a burnt-out letter (HOT-zzt-L, HOT-zzt-L), staring at a picture of your kids on the generic dresser, wondering where it all went wrong.

And you don’t want that, do you?

You say you are “happily married.” You want to stay in that state? Don’t even dip a toe in that pool.

But perhaps I’m just a curmudgeon and your ex contacting you is as pure and innocent as a fresh snowfall and/or an azure sky of deepest summer.

If you feel strongly that you would like to see this fellow, despite everything I or other nay-sayers might mutter, then just make sure it’s all above board and as transparent as the windshield on your car.

Bring your husband – and any kids who might be available – as props. Anything to cold-shower any ideas he might have about one thing leading to another.

Because you do not want one thing to lead to another, unless you do, in which case – well, you should be up front with your husband about it.

Just know in advance that if you go down that path, you will be bled white. Don’t dream about hanging on to your assets: They will be hoovered up by the very lawyers you have contacted.

And here’s the kicker. If you do wind up dumping your husband for your grade-school sweetheart, I can give you my Dave Eddie Guaranfriggintee™ he will have more annoying habits than your husband ever did.

And you will find yourself thumbing through your Yellow Pages app looking for lawyers all over again.

So, in a nutshell, my advice: Tell your grade-school sweetheart: “It was fun when you were in short pants and I was in a training bra. Let’s not besmirch those memories by trying to rekindle an ancient flame. If you want to hash over old times, when we used to run through sprinklers and whatnot, let’s bring our spouses, even kids, but not transfer those halcyon moments into an all-too-grown-up situation and spoil it all.”

I have a feeling he’ll get the message and either rise to the occasion, be above board and transparent, or move on.

Are you in a sticky situation? Send your dilemmas to Please keep your submissions to 150 words and include a daytime contact number so we can follow up with any queries.