Anonymous asks:

I’ve been married for 46 years, have grown up children and grandchildren, my husband and I are like chalk and cheese, totally opposite in so many things, I’ve tried so many times to bring us closer but without success. I’ve stayed because of the children but these last few years I feel I have given up, I have no interest in anything, I just want to live on my own. As I have limited income, I’m not able to afford an apartment along with bills (I have no debt) I’ve thought about getting an en-suite room, bills included but as you can imagine I’m frightened to make the move, but I’m so unhappy as we are. He’s basically a good man who has always provided, but we don’t really talk to each other and there lies the problem. We live separate lives.


Psychotherapist Noel McDermott says: “Flogging a dead horse never works and nor does building a life with someone who is this much the opposite of you. 

Studio Light & Shade / Alamy Stock Photo

Studio Light & Shade / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s important to note that poverty doesn’t bring happiness in fact quite the opposite. 

I wonder how your husband feels about the relationship. You want intimacy and closeness from him and he does not want or cannot give it to you. 

Lots of things I don’t know but here’s an attempt to sketch out the options:

1. Ask for a divorce .. no fault is available now in the U.K.  maybe he feels as you do and wants out.

2. Is it possible to have an open relationship? It’s more common than you think and if you haven’t broached the subject you don’t know.

3. Accept he can’t/wont give you what you want relationally and focus on how you can get those needs met elsewhere. Is it close male company you desire. Can that happen via friendship for example with another guy? Join an interest group and meet guys who share your interests. Again you will be surprised how many guys also simply want female companionship.

4. Is it a sexual thing you miss? If yes see option 2 and if you can’t have an open sexual partner can you have one that isn’t open? 

Staying together for the kids rarely works to make them, yourself or anyone happy. You seem to recognise that you and your husband are simply different people looking for different things. Maintaining an acceptance of that truth will allow you to find a solution that doesn’t involve a damaging fight.”

Noel McDermott is a Psychotherapist and International Speaker with over 25 years’ experience in health, social care and education. He is the founder and CEO of three organisations, Psychotherapy and Consultancy Ltd, Sober Help Ltd and Mental Health Works Ltd. which provide health and social care services to individuals, families and organisations dealing with mental health and addiction problems.

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