Dear Coleen

I’m very sad for my son, whose wife has just walked out on him after 10 years together and five years of marriage.

They were very happy – or so everyone thought – and seemed like the perfect couple, so this has come out of the blue.

She walked out, she says, because she doesn’t think marriage is for her and wants to have more fun because she didn’t get to do this when she was younger.

I don’t get it because she had ­everything – a perfect house and a comfortable life. And although she claims she needs time and space to think things over, she’s moved in with a 20-year-old female friend.

I don’t think time and space to think will really be on the cards! I’m so frustrated and just don’t understand her decision.

She won’t talk to anyone about it – not to me or to her own family. No one understands where this has come from.

My son is very upset, but he’s had very good support from his friends and me, and I’m doing my best to help him come to terms with what’s happened.

He is keeping it all together, but he doesn’t understand either.

I’m getting very down because I don’t get her reasons – she had ­everything and they were both very much in love.

She has lost a lot of respect from her family and friends.

Do you think there is an answer to this?

 

Coleen says

Here’s the thing  she obviously didn’t have everything she needed or wanted or she wouldn’t have left.

Often, everything can look perfect on paper but the relationship isn’t perfect and that’s clearly the case for your daughter-in-law.

Maybe she did have a nice house and a comfortable life, but if you’re not happy inside then those material things don’t matter.

As hard as it is to understand, you have to trust that she did have good reasons and, actually, it takes a brave person to make the decision to leave a marriage.

She could have stayed for the house and the material things, but it still wouldn’t make the ­relationship right and, at some point, those ­problems would surface and ­potentially in more destructive way – for example, by having an affair.

The fact she moved in with a 20-year-old friend says a lot.

 

She’s been with your son for 10 years and from a young age by the sounds of it, so perhaps she does just need time and space to decide if she can make her marriage work.

Yes, it’s a gamble because she might decide the grass isn’t greener after all and your son may have already moved on.

The best you can do, is be there to support him and stop trying to figure out why – she’s given you the reasons she’s happy to give.

Your son needs to focus on his future, but he can get through this with your help.