‘My wife and I resent each other – but she went mad when I suggested separating’

Dear Coleen

I’ve been married to my wife for 20 years and we have two children, aged 13 and 15.

Our relationship has been dead in the water for at least five years and we just live together like lodgers.

Recently, I admitted to her how unhappy I am and that I thought we should separate, but to my surprise she went crazy and asked me how I could even consider it when our children were still at home.

I understand it’s a tricky age for them, but I’m miserable to the point where I just can’t take living with her any more.

I’m not sure how it happened, but I suppose we just started resenting each other for various reasons.

My career has always taken priority and she throws that at me quite a lot, and she’s just shut off from me emotionally and physically.

Now we’re barely talking at all and I’m not sure where to go from here.

Personally, I don’t think it’s responsible to carry on like this because our kids must be affected by the fact their parents can’t stand to be in the same room together.

Have you any advice?

Coleen says

I agree – it’s not a healthy environment for your children.

It could be causing them anxiety, plus you’re their role models and you don’t want them to grow up and have problems forming their own relationships because of what they’ve experienced at home.

Both of you are obviously very unhappy and you don’t really know how you got to that point, so I’d recommend relationship therapy to create a space where you can work through it.

Yes, you might still separate at the end of it, but it’ll help you to understand each other’s point of view and to make that transition easier for you and your children.

So I’d say give it a shot.

I think it could help you both feel more in control and provide a safe space to air your frustrations and resentments.

And, hopefully, that will make your home life easier to manage in that you’ll have an outlet.

You might even find, as the sessions progress, that there is actually hope for your relationship.

Counselling helped me a great deal when my first marriage ran into trouble.

It didn’t stop us breaking up, but it helped me to understand how we’d got there and what I wanted to do.

To find a qualified therapist in your area, visit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy HERE .

Good luck.

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