Monday, 17 October 2011

Margaret's Problem - I Need Practical Advice

Recently my husband of 28 years told me he wanted to end our relationship and he has subsequently moved out of the family home and into one of our other properties. We have three lovely children who are pursuing their own lives and who have all moved out of the city.

He had an affair 8 years ago and to be honest I should have ended the relationship then but didn't for a number of reasons. In reality I know my marriage wasn't good and perhaps we stayed together for the children but I'm still a young woman and I need practical advice about rethinking my life and how I spend my alone hours.I don't want to suddenly be dragged 'out and about' trying to reclaim a missed youth but I do want to have a rewarding social life. Instead I seem to seek solace more and in the bottom of a wine glass and to cling to an image of myself as being part of a partnership

Bab's Response 

Thank you Margaret for writing to me. I'm sorry that your relationship has ended, however, from what you say it sounds as if it's for the best. I think it would be fair to say most women in your situation would find it difficult. You have identified yourself as part of a couple for a long time and now you are not.

Firstly there are no answers in the bottom of a wine glass. It may feel as if it relaxes you and that there is some comfort at first but it is short lived and damaging to your health. 

Secondly it is not appropriate for me to tell you what to do under any circumstances but certainly not on such scant information. I can, however, make some suggestions.

Sit down at your PC or with a pen and paper and consider what do you want your life to look like. Then break it down into very small achievable steps.

you don't mention if you work but if you do. Is it a good job? If it isn't what would be a good job?

It sounds as if you are financially secure but if you're not what do you need to do to achieve it?

Your children sound grown up and independent do they have permission to support you both?

Do you have friends? Can you access their support without denying it to your spouse? If you can you are giving them permission to like you both and you have a better chance of keeping them as friend's. One of the difficulties you have is that you will be unwittingly reminding them it could happen to them and most people find that scary.

There is no easy way to get over a relationship. There will be, however unsatisfactory the relationship was, a sense of loss around it and it is appropriate for you mourn. Accept and acknowledge that and it will be easier in the long run. This is a time of loss but it is also of a time of beginnings.  There is a Relate book on my recommended ebook and book pages called Moving On - please read it - you will find lots of useful suggestions. You could also consider counselling to help you make sense and move on?  

I am sorry you are experiencing these problems but I am convinced you can reshape your life and gain happiness on your own. Please don't rush it, make any changes one step at a time, because to get the life you want takes time. 

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