I've been married for 25 years - and thought happily until I discovered my husband's been having an affair with a 'friend' for over two years.

I have started divorce proceedings but, three months after throwing him out, it feels like I'm the one being punished. Our friends, who were nearly all joint friends, have drifted away and our sons seem not to want to get involved.

My head's all over the place; sometimes I feel really angry, at other times I can't get through the day without crying all the time and hate myself for being so weak. I have no real friends that I can lean on and my sister lives in Australia. I've had a few chats with her via social media, but the time difference doesn't make it easy to have a long heart-to-heart.

What makes it worse is that my husband seems to be carrying on much as before. He's moved in with the friend, and when I saw him in the gym last week, he was laughing and joking with his mates like nothing had happened. And he blanked me too!

It seems like everyone is rejecting me, and if this is what 25 years of marriage gets you, you can keep it! - DL

FIONA SAYS: Please don't be so hard on yourself, you invested 25 years in a man who betrayed that trust. Moreover, a marriage that had seemed sound has now failed, so it's no wonder you feel as you do.

That said, please don't feel that you are being rejected by everybody. People often find it difficult to help in these situations because they simply don't know what to say for the best. Also, try not to judge your sons too harshly, as it's possible they too are finding the situation difficult and may be trying to avoid taking sides.

You are three months into a divorce that could take weeks or possibly months to complete, so you need to prepare yourself for what could be a lengthy process.

You'll cope better if you have support, so I suggest you make a start by visiting Relate ( and the section dealing with separation and divorce. You could also look at the divorce and separation section on the Family Lives website ( Both organisations also offer counselling, if you feel that might help.

You might also find local support groups which would give you the chance to talk through your problems with others going through the same thing. There are also social groups out there, where you could meet others to simply have a chat and cup of tea and talk about anything other than divorce!

In the meantime, avoid making any hasty decisions, give yourself time to come to terms with what's happened. Before long, I am sure you will start feeling more positive again, and this will put you in a better place to close out this chapter and move on to the next one.


My sister is 33, has learning difficulties and has always lived at home with our mother. This has not been easy, but for the last couple of years it has been even more of struggle because mum's health is starting to deteriorate.

She finds it increasingly difficult to cope and, while I would like to help, I have three young children and a part-time job to hold down. I am increasingly worried about what will happen when mum's health fails completely - but she seems unconcerned, saying that something will come along.

What can I do? - RR

FIONA SAYS: I think you're right to be concerned, as this is a complex issue and accessing care services is never straightforward.

I suggest you contact Mencap ( and investigate what support is available. At some point, the care services will require an assessment of your sister's disability, which may prove difficult if your mother refuses to participate.

In which case, I suggest you take every opportunity to convince her of the need to plan now, so that your sister can have the best available care when the time comes.