Ask Emma: Should I divorce my husband?

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An unhappy woman
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Woman's Own logoWoman's Own counsellor Emma Marlin solvers your relationship problems. This week she helps a woman who is thinking of divorcing her husband.

Q. My husband works away from home in the week and comes back at weekends. For many years our relationship has been terrible. He won't tell me anything about what he does Monday to Friday and only takes my calls if I text him first to say it's an emergency. Our boys are 11 and 13 and I can't imagine what it would do to them if we were to divorce. They don't know how unhappy I am and at weekends we just about manage to pretend everything is OK. My best friend says I need to talk about separation but I just can't bring myself to do it. Penny, Glasgow

Emma MarlinEmma's advice 

A. Let me ressure you on one point - your boys may well be upset if you decide to separate but they will also be relieved. Studies show that for many children, the most upsetting and anxious-making time of all is the months before their parents split up. Chances are your boys can see through your pretending and know you are not happy. Do them and yourself a favour and end this sham. Your husband is already acting like he is separated from you and I can't help but think his Monday to Friday arrangement may yet turn up some unsettling facts.

The trick now is to take baby steps. Keep talking to your friend. Consider visiting a solicitor with her in tow to discuss the legal side of separation. Most importantly talk or write a letter to your partner. I can't imagine he is any happier than you are. Finally please stop fooling yourself that you have to 'bring yourself to do it." I'm afraid your partner has already done it. He's just been too weak to actually say the words to you.

More help and advice

Divorce splitting up

Divorce ending a marriage or civil partnership


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