Last year my wife threw a big surprise birthday for me. Our marriage had been very tense in the preceding year; she was often angry due to thoughtlessness on my part. So I had said I wasn't expecting a party, and figured our relationship must be turning around if she were willing to expend so much energy on my behalf. She invited all my friends & family, lots of neighbors, and her exercise partner (male).

That party was the last seemingly happy moment between us. I was taken out to the woodshed the rest of the year and eventually sent packing. As you have undoubtedly guessed, it turns out that she was romantically involved with Mr. Exercise (emotionally if not physically) for more than a year before the party.

Anyways, my question is: what are some appropriate forms of address (we still need to interact multiple times per week) for a person who throws her spouse a lavish party, while concealing the knowledge that the marriage is doomed, and invites her lover?

Separated In Maryland

My response after the jump...

What's your ex-wife's first name?

If you're compelled to interact several times a week, SIM, then presumably you had actual human children with your ex-wife and you're sharing custody of those actual human children with her. (If you're one of those batshit modern couples who "need to interact" post-divorce because you're sharing custody of a dog, please go away and bother some other advice columnist.) So you're going to have to suck it up, SIM, and resist the urge to insult the ex-wife every time you see her. Because you gotta put your children's emotional needs over your own desire to express your understandable anger.

Inviting Mr. Exercise to your party was a shitty to do and your wife humiliated you in front of your friends and family. Shitty, like I said, and you're free to hold your ex-wife in contempt. But you're not free to treat her with contempt in front of the kids. And, sorry to say, you're not free to treat her with contempt one-on-one either because that'll poison your in-front-of-the-kids interactions. Take the long view, SIM: one day when the pain isn't so fresh, SIM, your kids will hear—hopefully from friends and family—about how their parent's marriage ended and the unbelievable shitty thing mom did to dad back in the day. And your kids will appreciate their dad for being the bigger person and not making his interactions with the ex, interactions they had to witness, unnecessarily painful for them.

None of this applies, again, if we're talking about dogs.