‘My wife is always miserable and I only stay out of old fashioned

Dear Coleen

I met my wife when we were both in our early 20s and we married soon after.

She’s never had a particularly high sex drive, and after we had our four children, who are now grown up with lives of their own, she seemed to go off me ­altogether.

Her health has also ­deteriorated over the years, and she has various ailments that limit what we can do in our free time.

She has a fear of flying, so we never go on holiday, and she has a bad back so we never go for walks or out for dinner. Now she’s going through the ­menopause.

She’s always suffered from mood swings and she’s always fallen out with people, from our neighbours to our friends and even our son, and she expects me to take her side, but the menopause has seemed to make things even worse.

She’s never warm towards me, she doesn’t make me laugh and I don’t feel that I get anything out of our marriage.

If I’m being honest, I’m only staying with her out of some old-fashioned sense of duty and because leaving her would cause such a fuss among all our friends.

But is that a good enough reason to stay?

Coleen says

No. And I think you should tell your wife how you feel. If this had all started with her going through the menopause then I’d say, give her a break. I’m going through it myself and it’s tough. But this has been going on a long time and needs to be addressed. Sit down with her and be honest.

Tell her how unhappy you are. If she screams and shouts, or puts you down, tell her this is exactly your point.

You know what, just because you’ve been together for 25 years doesn’t mean you have to spend another 25 years together.

Daily Mirror news

I really don’t believe you should stay in an unhappy marriage out of a sense of duty, nor do I think you’re too old to start again or be happy. But first you need to have a big, honest discussion with her rather than just walking out without an explanation.

I hope you manage to talk things through, but if not, and you’re that unhappy, don’t put up with it any more. It took me a good few years to acknowledge that I just wasn’t happy in my last marriage. So I understand that fear of starting over.

I kept thinking, I’m nearly 55 and I’m going to end up on my own, which was scary. But I realised being unhappy for another 20 or 30 years was more scary, and once I took that step I’ve never been happier. Good luck.

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