‘My husband wants a divorce after having time to think about us during lockdown’

Dear Coleen

A couple of months ago, my husband moved out after telling me he doesn’t feel the same way about us, especially after having time to think during lockdown, and that he wants a divorce.

We’re both 33 and got married when we were 25, which felt young at the time. We don’t have any children – a source of sadness for me. I suppose we just never got on with having a family or maybe didn’t want it enough.

However, I do love him and I’m lost without him. I would love to make the marriage work, but his mind is made up.

There weren’t any specific problems in our marriage – we got along great as friends and never argued much.

The only thing I can think of is that we did seem to drift along without much purpose and things did feel quite mundane at times.

I wish I’d done something about this when I had the chance, but I think it’s too late. He says we both need to let go and move on.

I just feel so sad about the whole thing and feel like we haven’t had a proper chance to see if we can change things for the better. However, he won’t go to counselling and is determined this is best for both of us. I’d love your advice.

Coleen says

This is sad and tough for you, but he’s been honest about his feelings and you can’t force him to work at the marriage if it’s not what he wants. And counselling would need commitment from both of you, too. You can’t repair things on your own.

However, divorce doesn’t happen overnight and spending time apart will allow both of you to reflect on the marriage. It might strengthen his feelings that he’s made the right decision, but I guess there’s always a chance he’ll miss you and reconsider.

It sounds as if you’ve been drifting for some time in the relationship without making many plans for the future – whether or not to start a family, for example. But it’s really hard to admit to yourself and to each other that things aren’t working out as you’d hoped. And this means you can limp on for ages without making any decisions.

You’re a young woman with so much potential and so many opportunities in your future, and you mustn’t settle for a relationship because it’s familiar or it’s the only one you’ve ever known.

Good luck.

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