Should I get married to escape my abusive mum? - Evewoman
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Should I get married to escape my abusive mum?

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Dear Coleen

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I am 26 and the youngest child of a family that was hit hard by the recession.

My father is a high-functioning alcoholic, who just became a pensioner. Sadly, my mother has been very abusive towards my dad and my older sister, who has since left home to get away from her.

Over the past few years, my mother’s behaviour and tantrums have become intolerable.

She doesn’t want to get help and the situation is affecting me more and more to the point where I’ve even started contemplating getting married to my long-distance boyfriend just to get away from it all.

He’s in the army, so unable to move nearer to me.

But if I decide to leave home to be with him, I’ll have to abandon my dreams of doing a PhD because there is no university that offers the course anywhere near him.

Furthermore, I’m struggling financially because I’ve been unable to get a job in the area that I’m qualified in. I don’t want to get married hastily before I’ve even established my career properly, but I can’t see any other way out.

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I would really appreciate any advice you can give me.

Coleen says

Please don’t jump into marriage in the hope you’ll get rid of your problems, because you will probably just end up with a whole lot more.

Your reason for getting married should not be that it’ll enable you to get away from home, although I understand that you feel so unhappy you’re looking for any route out.

Confide in your sister who left – is it an option to stay with her while you complete your university course?

Alternatively, do you have other close friends you could flat-share with?

These days it’s hard to get a job, even if you’re qualified up to the eyeballs, but I would suggest getting part-time work doing anything just to enable you to make that move away from home and pay the rent.

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It won’t further your career, but it’ll help you in the short term. Ultimately, you’ll be happier if you can have some independence and aren’t weighed down by the toxic atmosphere at home.

As for your parents, it’s up to them to help themselves, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to move away.

It doesn’t mean you can’t visit them, and maybe once you’re spending more time apart, you’ll be able to talk to them more easily about repairing relationships in the family and accepting support.

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