That’s the word the connsellor used to describe how I was feeling. She said it was ok to feel at peace with where we are. I still feel good and have even started to put things back the way I like them.

Feeling refreshed that I can finally use my own shower, have things hanging in the wardrobe the way I like them and most importantly can stop pretending I am what I’m not.

Bedroom feels nice and fresh too. I don’t actually feel the need to lock it when I need some peace anymore. I can’t believe I have been so blind to what this has all been about.

It’s still here, or is it?

For the first time in 14 years I’ve asked him to move into the spare room, not sure if he thought it might just be for a day or 2 but as far as I’m concerned at the moment it’s long term.

I’m feeling angry towards him and still a bit upset with myself for blindly letting this go on for so long. He let me believe I wasn’t good enough, that all his actions have been normal and only a result of me being the way I am. I do feel hurt but also weirdly calm inside. I feel relaxed enough to sleep at night without him there constantly reminding me of what I don’t have-a marriage.

I’m actually loving the personal space, privacy and I can relax – I really can.

I can see that he’s making more of an effort with the kids, he always does that after a row so nothing new there. It’s worth keeping this up for them to receive some quality time with their dad if nothing else.

He’s got his tail between his legs but I really don’t care this time. I have told the kids we’re trying to improve our relationship and not to worry cos we both value our family and home which includes 2 parents. I felt bad saying it cos I have no interest in improving our relationship. I just want to keep things stable for the kids.

Funny thing is my son got it straight away. He said – dad doesn’t appreciate your love? Kids know more than we’d believe sometimes. He worded it perfectly. He doesn’t appreciate my love, he thinks and behaves like a single man. So he can have the life of a single man as far as I’m concerned.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my head. I went for counselling believing that if we had a better relationship and could connect again then I would feel more able to deal with outside issues. But the issues were never outside in the first place were they?

About 2 months ago we came home from to find we had been broken in to. The knob hadn’t taken anything at all but had opened every door in the house-kids bedrooms the lot and not taken a single thing. Not even had a rummage around for car keys. Of course everything ran through my head for a few days-thats totally natural. I took the 1st day off work and found I was physically exhausted and couldn’t move, think or plan anything. I got a horrible anxious feeling about going back to work. I ended up taking the week off but also knew that if I didn’t deal with the misdirected anxiety then that would spiral out of control. I managed to explain what was going on at work and dropped in on Friday to have a causal potter about. It did me good cos I was able to knock my feelings into perspective and felt a lot better about going back in for the last 2 weeks before the holidays. Don’t get me wrong – I was still shattered but put it down to low iron and was using Paul Mckenna to keep me thinking positively.

Come the holidays and I was was hit by the metaphorical steam roller. I had never felt so shit in my life. Hence the reachout for help with stress/depression. Counselling qs are stupid here. Youd have commit suicide before being seen for any help so I tried to claw it back together myself – again.

It worked for a bit until after a few consecutive events I realised and was sure we needed to work on our relationship-again. He thought everything was fine and my persepective was blurred because of the depression and the pmt. I felt we no longer connected and this time needed therapy together because anything we had tried didn’t really last for more than a couple of weeks.

You know how things have carried on from here but going back to the break-in, we had just got home with the kids from a weekend away to find something wasn’t right, then the glass all over the living room. Initially we did need to work out what had happened, check to make sure the house was safe. But when we knew it was he was still going on and on. He told me to go and check my jewellery was still there. I said it would be. They’ve not taken anything. He told me again to go and check. I said I can check later, it’ll be there and if its not I don’t care right now. He got a bit cross and said I needed to go and look so he can call the police with a full picture, I needed to go up and look.

I just knew my head didn’t feel good.

I said NO.

I don’t want to check and I won’t check right now because this feels shit, I feel shit. I don’t like what’s happened and it feels crap!

My son who was stood near me said, I know-I feel like that too. Then my daughter who never shares a single emotion added-me too.

That’s when my 10 year old ‘tiny little frog’ said come here mum-you need a hug. And he hugged me. I pulled my daughter into the hug with us and the 3 of us stayed there for a minute or so. I did look up to see where he was and he was just stood there a few steps away from us looking down at the floor. He did say I feel crap too but this all needs sorting now.

I said, well you get on with it then cos we need a cup of tea-I think we’re in shock. Me and the kids sat down for a brew and a biscuit, they were nattering away and I felt happier. I didn’t stay in the kitchen very long, I took my tea up whilst I sorted a glazier and called the insurers. After that I kept the kids busy playing detective whilst we waited for csi to arrive. When they did and the kids were happy following him around instead, I locked myself away in the bedroom, away from it all and safe.

I thought it was the break in that sent me over the edge, even though I knew days later I was fine about it.

It wasn’t that at all. I know now.

My husband can’t do for me what a 10 year old can- understand me well enough to hug me at the right time. That image of him standing there looking all pathetic and I didn’t ask him to join us in our embrace . That’s when our relationship was officially over.

The aftermath

I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the crash last night and this morning.

It was all going well. Laughing and filling out the bits of conversation we never got round to with the therapist. Then the penny dropped.

Ive been putting myself down.

I’ve been telling myself:

He’s so good to put up with me

He’s got a lot on, he must be stressed

I’m the weird one with the random habits, it’s got to be my fault

I’ve got pmt, adhd, depression, stress…

What the fuck is wrong with me, im bending over backwards here to keep us going and when he can’t be arsed or has a strop it’s all my fault and he’s a Saint?

I don’t bloody think so!

So this morning, after 1.5 hrs of sleep, I told him: at the moment I can’t see he will ever be able to change, its him not me with the issues.

He’s the one that locks himself away all day long in the office, he’s not working on anything, he’s not helping out with the kids or house and he’s expecting food ready on cue. Meanwhile I’m keeping the house running, kids entertained, and trying to get some work done too. It no fucking surprise I give up and decide to work when they’ve all gone to bed-its the only time I can get some peace.

Months of this and I’m expected to be able to hold it together and think rationally. It’s no wonder im fucked in the head.

As angry as I am today, I have a strange feeling that I might feel differently in a day or 2. The counsellor did say its going to feel like being on a small boat in the storm. And she did recommend we don’t continue talking about things in between sessions. Maybe we should have listened.

Session 1

I know that I was a bit nervous and I think he must have been too. And we’ve actually been getting on much better for the last few days so it seemed bad to drag up something we had already talked about and got over- for the time being at least.

We were dot on time-nearly. And she seemed quite nice, not too old and not too young. She had a calmness about her voice.

He had to answer questions first. I’d already spoken to her over the phone when I booked so it made sense. He said he wanted the counselling so that we could connect better. But didn’t actually know what he meant by that. Can’t blame him really cos that phrase had come from me, he was just kinda going along with it.

We both spoke. It was nice to actually speak to someone else and also hear him talking about our relationship to another person. It’s like you actually hear the same things in a different way.

We could have stayed there another hour at least and on the whole it was quite pleasant, nothing to worry about at all. The session didn’t make me feel inadequate or irrational or anything like that. She was quite understanding about some of my weird ways too.

I suppose what surprised me most was that I was calm and could speak, I could get my words out which usually I can’t when anyone asks me about my feelings. I think that could be because he was with me.

I think we have settled on carrying on with her. The next sessions would be for us to see her separately I think. That should be interesting but I’m looking forward to it.

Marriage counselling it is then.

14 years of marriage:Ivory wedding anniversary.

I have nothing to celebrate other than material possessions and the children of course.

We don’t speak much, unless it’s to work out who’s dropping kids off here and there or what needs paying for.

No connection. It’s sad because he was my best friend, my better half.

We function well, we have a healthy sex life, we don’t hate each other and we’re not mean. But I feel so alone. He can’t give me what I need most right now: That feeling that I’m connected to someone, care, compassion, tenderness.

I’m scared I’ll get it elsewhere instead. It is on offer but I can’t go along with an ‘affair’. The word doesn’t suit me. I want my husband to make me feel all those things not a random whose wife is withholding sex.

So we’re trying marriage counselling tomorrow.