This is a story about how emails can be a peacemaker. I know I talked before about how emails can provoke wars between old friends, but now I have a story about how two separated seniors (husband and wife) are possibly reuniting because of their correspondence on email during Hurricane Sandy.
I was reminded of this story after I read an article in The New York Times about how ex-couples fight less because most of their communications about their children now take place through emails. There is less face-to-face time, so tough relationships are much calmer. Click here to read that article.
Here is my story.
For years now, I have been listening to one of my clients bitterly complain about her husband who cheated on her once at the age of 70. She kicked him out. They never divorced but lived separately. Even though the are still married, she always refers to him as “my ex.” It was shocking when I first found out about it, but every business meeting after that was elongated by 15 minutes of her updating everyone on what that “son-of-bitch” recently did. We heard about his new girlfriends, his new sport cars and his new bachelor pad.
I noticed a few days ago that she wasn’t complaining anymore. I didn’t say anything because I was so happy for the reprieve. Then all of a sudden she was smiling a lot. She even got giddy during meetings. She was agreeable, positive, and calm.
Okay, enough of this BS. What is going on? I had to endure the dark days, so why shouldn’t I share in the happy ones? I finally asked.
“I had sex with my Ex,” she explained. “What? You couldn’t stand him? What happened?” She said that during Hurricane Sandy they had to email back and forth because the home they shared on Fire Island was badly damaged.
For some reason the emails were very endearing. They were both devastated by the damage, their children were heartbroken by the split, they were getting older, and a few of their friends had recently died. They were consoling each other on email several times a day. Then one night two weeks ago all of their children were coming to her apartment for dinner, so she invited him too because he was still without electricity. He was working out of a Starbucks several times a day.
She said the conversations on emails cured a lot of the hurt she was feeling. They were able to talk to each other without interruption and impulsive insults. All the good seeped through.
After their adult children left when dinner was over, he hung around for a night cap. One thing led to another and that’s where she ended the story, other than admitting to the lovemaking.
I am not sure if they will ever get back together, but at least her hostility is gone.