i’m un­happy but scared to be alone

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Health -

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

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