How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tori, Psychologist Your Own Question
Tori, Psychologist
Tori, Psychologist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 136
Experience:  Work/Coaching Psychologist & Therapist
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Tori, Psychologist is online now

I am currently in lockdown with a partner who has been

This answer was rated:

I am currently in lockdown with a partner who has been having serial affairs for the last 5 years. I need to find a way to talk to him about what he wants without it being a slanging match. When I first found out about it we went to Relate but he now refuses to go back. I think he considers everything to be well. He will go back to his affairs after lockdown and I will go back to being the housekeeper. I am almost at breaking point. If we separate I will have nothing so should I just put up with it ? After 35 years of caring for him and his children it seems unfair. Please help
Please give me an indication of sole and joint assets.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I am really looking for an expert in relationship councelling
Ok I am a solicitor so I will opt out.

Hi Wendy,

I hope I can offer some assistance.

This sounds like a challenging and complex situation for you to navigate.

I wonder if it would help for you to slightly shift your focus in trying to find a way through this situation. From what you have stated, at the moment it sounds like you are focusing on how you can get him to change. You want him to understand that from your perspective things are not well, and you expect this to be enough motivation for him to also feel that things are not well.

However from his perspective, there doesn't appear to be any motivation for him to change. Things are exactly as he wants them to be at the moment, and he can clearly live with you not being happy.

What I am trying to say is you cannot change or fix him - only he can do that.

All you can do is change yourself. At the moment you feel as though you are in the role of housekeeper while he has his affairs. If you separate you feel you would have nothing. I take it from this you are not married and so wouldn't have rights in this respect, but perhaps rights as a common law partner. I am not a solicitor, however perhaps seeking legal advice to ascertain your financial rights if you did separate under the circumstances, would give you a better idea of where you would stand if you did leave, due to his infidelity.

On a relationship perspective, only you can decide what you will and will not put up with. We teach others how to treat us. If you have been in this relationship for 35 years, you know what the future looks like if things remain the same. If you know that you cannot change him, and you focus on yourself, what do you want things to look like for you in the future if you stay, and if you leave.

What needs to change for you to get to where you want to be, what do you need to do to make that happen. You do have options, you could leave, and start again. You might have nothing materially, but you would have control over your life, and you may be happier.

If that doesn't feel right, consider if you stay, what do you need to do to make this manageable for you? Maybe change the relationship you have with him, change your focus away from the relationship you have with him, and towards other ways to fulfil yourself and your life, without him, but in the same house. How would it feel if you focused on yourself, did things you enjoy, but without him, increased your contact with other people, gained fulfilment outside of the relationship. Consider whether that would make it more manageable for you?

This would give you the financial stability, but also allow you to gain the fulfilment you desire from a relationship - it doesn't have to be with him.

Do let me know if that goes some way to answering your question, or if I can offer any further assistance.

Tori, Psychologist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 136
Experience: Work/Coaching Psychologist & Therapist
Tori, Psychologist and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you for your advice. At the moment it is so hard. I am shielding and have no opportunity to create a new life. I have suffered from depression for several years and at the moment it seems to be taking over. I am taking medication but it doesn’t seem to help. I am sitting in my car just to get out of the house crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do. I would just like to have a conversation with him but I am afraid he will ask me to leave and I don’t know where to go. Whenever I go out I am terrified that I am going to catch the virus