Dear Coleen: I'm only staying with him for our children but I have crush on teacher

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Dear Coleen

I have two issues with my partner. We’ve been together a long time, but it hasn’t been working for at least two years now.

I’ve stayed with him even though he doesn’t lift a finger and he’s verbally unpleasant towards me. This is because I don’t want our two kids’ lives being disrupted or them being away from me for overnight stays.

I’m also scared I’ll have to leave my job, but especially worried about how it would affect the kids.

My second issue is my son’s teacher. I have a huge crush on him, although I’d never act on it for obvious reasons. But I can’t stop thinking about him.

Please help.

Coleen says

Forget the teacher scenario – don’t let it be more than a fantasy. You have enough on your mind without adding fuel to the fire, plus this crush might simply be the result of being unhappy at home.

I think you’re staying with your partner out of fear, thinking, ‘how the hell am I going to do this on my own?’ I totally get that, because it was my fear, too.

It’s tempting to keep telling yourself it’s better the devil you know when you think about the huge effort it’ll take to sort your life out after the separation.

And I’m sure that’s why lots of people stay in unhappy relationships. However, having faced that fear myself, I can tell you it gets easier and things gradually sort themselves out. I always remember my mum saying, ‘enjoy life as much as you can because you’re a long time dead!’ I didn’t know what she was on about when I was young, but now I get it.

If you’re not careful you can spend a lot of your life putting up with unhappy situations and then get to an age where you feel there’s no point in trying to change things. And then you live the rest of your life with regrets.

Your kids will be grown up soon enough and what will you be left with? It can’t be nice for them to be in an environment where they see their dad doing nothing and being rude to their mum. Ask yourself what’s the scariest future: taking the next few months trying hard to make a new life for yourself or spending the next 20 or 30 years in a relationship that makes you very unhappy?

* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems

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