I want a divorce but don’t want to upset the children: Relationship advice

Our agony aunt Fiona Caine solves your personal problems.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 10:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 11:03 am
Fiona Caine gives advice to a couple who want to divorce but don't want to upset the children

Question: I have been married for 14 years but for the past five years it's been a marriage in name only.

We live in a shared house and look after our two children but we have almost separate lives. I have tried to talk to him about a separation, but he just shrugs it off, saying that if I am unhappy, I can leave if I want.

But then I worry about how this will affect our children.

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My son, who is 9, still wets the bed and my daughter, who is 7, is always getting into fights at school.

I don't know what to do for the best, but I know I need to do something. 

Answer: You are right to be concerned about your children in the event of a separation.

When parents separate, their children will often find a way to blame themselves for what has happened.

Your relationship has deteriorated significantly and a Relate counsellor (relate.org.uk) will enable you to start talking to each other again.


Question: My mother died a few months ago and I realise I am lonely. I had looked after her for over 20 years when I was widowed in my early 50s.

I've rarely had much time for myself and my mother always found a way to stop me from getting out and meeting people. She'd always been a controlling influence. 

I wish I had someone special to spend my remaining years with. Is it possible to find love in my 70s? 

Answer: It's possible, but to do so you'll have to get out a lot more and meet new people. You could do this through a dating agency and the good news is, a growing number of these cater for older people.

Throw yourself into lots of new activities with the initial aim of meeting new people and making friends.

What you do will probably be determined by what's available locally, but it might include volunteering, University of the Third Age activities or Friendship Groups through AgeUK (ageuk.org.uk).