‘I was hoping it was just a temporary break but my partner says it’s over for good’

Tell Me About It: You must now focus on your wellbeing and take steps to build your life afresh


I am separated from my partner of 20 years. We are still living in same house and he has moved into the spare room. I still love him and was hoping it was just a temporary break.

I suggested couples counselling but he says, ‘No, it’s over for good’. He has now decided that we should tell people. I am going through a lot, as a family member who I care for is dying.

I am feeling overwhelmed and I really needed my – I guess I should call – ex-partner to support me through this. He says he will but also says he won’t be a shoulder to cry on or someone to give me a hug when I need one. He says if he hugs me, I will probably think we are getting back together so it’s out of the question.

It’s very tough. I’ve very little family and no friends. He wants me to be friends with him. He wants us to still watch TV, still eat dinner together, etc, yet other days he will completely ignore me. I find this very hard as I feel I am not ready to be just his friend. When I tell him this, we argue.

He has mentioned moving out and buying somewhere but has not actively been looking. He works a few days away from home each week and stays with family on those days. So, moving closer to work makes sense.

I think the only way I can get over this is if one of us moves out. We are lucky to own a house and maybe we could sell. But whenever I say I want to move out, we argue. I’m not sure what to do. He just wants us to continue like this. Living in same house, eating and watching TV and hanging out together but sleep in separate rooms. I can’t.

I know I can’t make him love me but he can’t expect me to continue like this. I’m just so sad and empty and feel that if he doesn’t want be my partner, why should he get me as a friend. I’m just so hurt. And now with my family member being so sick, it’s just too much.