i’m unhappy but scared to be alone
QI’ve been married for 30 years and unhappy for over 25 of them. When the children were small, I was so busy I didn’t have time to focus on my unhappiness. As they grew and started to be independent, I became very aware of how I was feeling. They’ve all left home now and I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m frightened of being on my own as I’ve never done it but can it be worse than this?
Name and address withheld
AI’m sorry – that’s a very long time to be unhappy in a marriage. Although it hasn’t been a good marriage, it has offered you stability and, I expect, plenty of good times when the children were growing up. I can see why the idea of leaving feels scary.
It sounds as though you and your husband haven’t found a way to connect as adults and, now the children are living their own lives, there’s nothing left for you. You don’t mention if you and your husband have discussed this.
Marriages can turn round with work if both
parties want it. The first decision you need to take is whether you want to make it better. If you haven’t tried, I think it would be a good idea to see a marriage therapist – ideally, with your husband but, if he won’t go, then on your own. Try contacting Relate (relate.org.uk; 0300 003 0396). They offer phone, face-to-face, webcam and text advice so you can choose the medium that suits you best.
A marriage that is creating unhappiness gnaws away at both of you so neither of you can enjoy life. Leaving is hard but offers the potential of a fulfilling future. I’d suggest that you find a professional who can support you through this change and enable you to find the inner strength to make the move.
Keren welcomes your letters, emails and texts, but she cannot reply to individual cases and will select correspondence at random for publication.
You need help to work it outor move on