Firstly, I am sorry to hear that you are going through a marriage break-up. My relationship ended in October, so I know how you feel.
My now ex-partner dropped the bombshell on me just before my birthday after living with me and my two sons for three-and-a-half years. I’m 64 and he’s 65.
I was supposed to be the love of his life – or so he said.
He decided to move back to his property, which he’d been renting out. He’d said nothing to me about how he was feeling – he just ended our seven-year relationship with no warning.
He is with someone else now and I believe he had met her before making his decision. He has left me in a very difficult position financially and I’m faced with having to sell my house because I can’t remain here on my own and pay the bills. He also says he wants back any money he’s spent here.
It’s all such a mess, but I’d value your opinion on how to cope.
It’s not easy, it’s heartbreaking and messy, and all of a sudden it comes down to money and who owns what.
First of all, don’t dwell on the fact he’s with another woman or how and when they got together – it doesn’t matter now. You have to be selfish now and think about your future. Secondly, get some professional advice to find out where you stand legally and what he’s entitled to, if anything.
I’m not sure I know what he means by getting back all the money he’s spent – it’s like asking for seven years worth of Christmas presents he’s bought or seven years of splitting the gas bill. But it might be worth having one session with a solicitor to see where you stand. The Citizens Advice Bureau (adviceguide.org.uk) has good advice too, and it’s free.
Take a forensic look at your finances to see if you do have to sell your house or if it’s possible to stay and make some changes.
Find out all the options.
It’s about taking control. When something like this happens, you suddenly feel out of control and it’s overwhelming, and that’s partly what makes it feel really scary.
But once you take the first little step, it’ll be easier to take the next one and you’ll gradually start to feel on top of the situation.
As for the heartbreak and bitter disappointment, those feelings will fade in time.
By getting on with your life and keeping friends and family close, you will start to feel better.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems