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I am 33 and my partner is nearly 27. We have been together for seven years, and have two beautiful children together. We have never really talked about issues around our relationship. It’s not that I haven’t tried, but I just get shut down and ignored because, according to her, I’m just trying to “make problems”.
For instance, I have literally begged her to make more of an effort to spend one-on-one time with me, but as soon as the kids are in bed she is out the door round to her mate’s house or so absorbed in her phone that it’s become a struggle to get anything out of her.
One Boxing Day she told me I’m boring and don’t try to have fun any more, that she feels caged in and wants to get out and have a life – which I have never stopped her from doing.
Now, though, I fear she is ready to move on and find someone else. I love her and my kids, but I feel I am fighting a losing battle.
All of her twenties have been spent in a serious relationship and raising kids when probably most of her friends have been single and going out to clubs and pubs, so maybe she is feeling frustrated.
That’s not your fault and it’s not because you’re boring, I just think she’s in an unsettled part of her life, which is really sad for both of you.
The sad truth is that she could potentially lose the love of her life if she does walk out, only to discover she hasn’t missed out on anything. She might realise that most of her friends are actually looking for what she’s got with you.
Ask her what you can do that’s not boring – get babysitters, have a weekend without the kids, have a few drinks and go dancing. But you have to have a plan, you can’t just say you’ll do these things. You have to put them in the diary, do them and see if they make a difference.
Of course, you can’t make her stay, but tell her that if she does go, you can’t give her any guarantees that you’ll still be there if she finds out she’s made a mistake.
Sometimes you have to give people that choice in order to work these things out and move on.