Daily Mirror



Dear Coleen

I’m a woman in my late 30s and was in a very difficult relationsh­ip for 12 years with someone who was a mess. He had a drink problem, abused drugs regularly and his life was generally chaos.

He kept getting fired from jobs and just couldn’t get himself together. I stayed with him because when we met he was so brilliant and gorgeous, but his life just spiralled out of control.

Eventually I left and now I’m with someone I adore, who’s steady and reliable and treats me like a queen.

The thing is, I feel so guilty for moving on. My ex texts and calls a lot, telling me he’s changed and he still loves me. I won’t go back to him, but it doesn’t stop me feeling bad. What do you suggest?

Coleen says

It sounds as if he’s still using you as a crutch, but you have to stay strong and you shouldn’t feel guilty about being in a new relationsh­ip and feeling happy.

Your ex and his issues are not your responsibi­lity. And having known people with addiction problems, I can tell you that your ex won’t suddenly give up and turn his life around because you go back to him.

You will never be able to help him beat addiction – it’s something he has to face up to himself and deal with, and there are plenty of excellent organisati­ons that can support him.

If you don’t want to cut him off, I understand that, but don’t indulge him and don’t be as available. He has to get used to the fact you’ve moved on with your life.

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