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Dear Coleen: After 19 years together, my partner said she was gay and left me

Relationships By Mirror
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Dear Coleen

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After nearly 19 years together, my now ex-partner decided to end our relationship two weeks before Christmas.

She texted me out of the blue to say she was gay and that it was over. It has devastated me, but I have come to accept it.

However, what I can’t understand is her nastiness. I have been so supportive. We have two children, one I haven’t seen since the break-up, but my ex refuses to speak to me. She calls it “moving on”.

Is this normal? Have I done something I’m unaware of? I have offered friendship from the beginning, but to no avail.

Coleen says

That must have been a huge shock and it happened only a few weeks ago, so emotions will still be running high. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong.

I’m guessing her behaviour since the break-up probably has a lot to do with feeling guilty.

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She wants to be honest about who she is, but that doesn’t mean she’s not devastated about breaking up the family. And you probably intensify these feelings by being decent.

She ought to be working with you to work out arrangements for the children, but she’s taking the coward’s way out. Let’s face it, after 19 years, you deserved more than a text with that kind of information.

I think it’s going to take time for things to settle down and for you to find a way to co-parent.

I have friends who found themselves in the same situation. Things were tough at first, but years down the line, they both have new partners and are very happy.

And, although one friend didn’t think so at the time, he realises now that it had to happen because things weren’t right.

For now, make the kids your priority. Appeal to her as a parent and arrange a time to meet so you can discuss your children and ways of managing things to minimise the impact on them.

She can’t keep you from seeing your kids but, if she does, there is always the legal route. I’m hoping it won’t get to that and you can have a calm conversation when the dust has settled.

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Good luck.

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