Coping with relationship breakdown

By Alison Folwell

The strains of children on marriages, and indeed any relationship, are well documented. But most couples tend to think they’ll be able to cope, somehow. As with so many things in life, we all tend to believe the worst just won’t happen to us. I certainly did.

Following the tragic suicide of my father-in-law last year, the strain seems to have proved too much for my husband. I shan’t bore you with the detail, but after a Christmas affair and differences that don’t seem to be getting resolved, we have decided to separate. He has moved out, and I am left with a thousand questions, mostly about the children and how we go about any degree of normal life now.

What amazes me is the supportiveness of friends and family. I hope that anyone else in my situation is not too proud or ashamed to ask for help, because it seems that people are only too willing to give it. Offers of babysitting, visits and advice are all free-flowing, and I feel extremely lucky to have such generous, kind people in my life. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness (or so I keep on telling myself) Looking after children of any age is hard work, and we all need a break from time to time.

If anyone out there has any advice, reflections or fears they want to share, it would be great to hear from you. 

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