Dear Coleen: My retired hubby is skint and watches TV all day… I want him out

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Dear Coleen

I have a similar problem to the reader who wrote in about her retired husband lounging around watching TV all day. However, I’ve been with my partner for just two years. He’s 60 years old, has no job, no retirement or pension fund. He’s totally broke.

So I’m supporting him, yet all he does during the week is pack the dishwasher and cook occasionally, although mostly for himself as my mum often sends me food that I can make do with for the week.

I have a highly stressful job, have to do lots of overtime and even work weekends to meet deadlines.

I have no interest in sex any more and now I’m losing desire for any kind of intimacy, cuddling or comfort. I just want to be left alone.

I can honestly say I don’t love him any more, but he has nowhere to go, except maybe a homeless shelter.

I live comfortably and he enjoys all the comforts I provide, but brings very little to our relationship, and yet he is needy and clingy. We can be good as friends – we enjoy each other’s conversations, but that is all. He has become a very costly friend for me to have.

What should I do? And yes, I have spoken sensitively to him about my resentment towards him watching YouTube all day, but nothing’s changed, except he’s now embarked on researching his family history!

Coleen says

There must have been something that attracted you to your partner, and you liked him enough to move in with him, so I wonder what’s changed in the space of just two years.

I also wonder if it’s worth trying relationship therapy before you throw in the towel. It might help you to work through the problems and stay together or it might help you separate, but it could be worth a shot.

It sounds as if you spend an awful lot of time at work and I’m sure that’s because your job is demanding, but it could also be a way of avoiding the situation at home.

Perhaps you need to be less sensitive and a bit more direct about how you feel and what you want.

If you really don’t love him and decide it’s best to end things, then you can’t let guilt about what he does next hold you back. That’s something you could discuss together and he could work out a plan before moving out of your house.

And you mustn’t worry about feeling you’ve failed either – some relationships work out and others don’t.

Sometimes you don’t realise you’re not compatible until you do move in together and get a more in-depth picture of your partner – warts and all.         



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