Dear Miriam,

The recent letter entitled “I want my husband to be passionate” really struck a chord with me and stirred up a lot of emotions: empathy, sadness and, if I’m totally honest, a certain amount of jealousy. I would have a similar situation with my husband.

Like most people, we were busy rearing our children. They are close together in age and that takes all your time and energy, leaving little time or energy for the marriage side of things.

My husband continued to socialise without me in the early years. He works hard and I understood his need to unwind and meet “the lads” at the weekend. Farming can be a solitary life and this is their outlet.

However, my husband often continued the socialising late into the night with the odd house party thrown in. There were times when I suspected the involvement of other women. I will never know if he was unfaithful to me at times.

We fought and argued about this. My suspicions were never proven, but he did little to alleviate my concerns and I suppose, in order to cope and get on with life, I decided to draw a line under it for the sake of my children and my own mental health.

It did eat away at my trust and love for him. It still makes me sad to think back on that time.

We were blessed with our children and all of that carry on took from the happiness we should have been enjoying. With drink on him he would tell me I was boring, was “letting myself go”, was too serious etc.

I suppose I was all of those things because he was undermining my self-confidence at a time when I was already tired from work and children. To the outside world I maintained appearances.

I am a professional person, am very capable in my job and my colleagues would have been shocked at the emotional wreck I was at times, crying silently at night so as not to upset the kids and waiting for him to come home.

When I said that the letter on your page prompted a certain amount of jealousy, I suppose this relates to the “lustful affair” the writer is enjoying with the younger man. It makes her feel alive.

Now I know the sensible response to this situation would be to point out that this affair can only end in tears as it’s not solving the woman’s main problem with her marriage.

However, to have a younger man, or any man indeed, notice and fall in love or lust or whatever must be a great feeling. I feel totally invisible to men, mainly because I feel totally invisible to the man I live with.

We are in separate beds. I made this move as I was sick of lying there night after night in the same bed as him, but feeling totally alone or waiting for him to come to bed or indeed to come home.

At least now I have taught myself to get into bed, switch off and go to sleep and face the next day.

I am not really writing to get a solution to my situation, it is what it is. I suppose I am just responding honestly to the feelings I had upon reading that woman’s letter.

You said, Miriam, that you receive many letters from people living under the same roof, but separately from their partners/spouses. It’s very sad.

In a lot of situations I’d guess that relations and friends would probably be shocked if they knew the truth. We keep up a great appearance of “normality”. I’d love to turn the clock back and see if it could have been different.

My husband is a good man in so many ways and he’d possibly say the same about me.

‘Go with the flow’

Dear Miriam,

I read the letter from a mother disagreeing with her son’s decision to get married abroad. Firstly I agree with her husband, it is the couple’s own decision.

Secondly both my sons got married abroad and we had the best time, no stress and we had two lovely holidays. The people being invited were given plenty of notice so they could plan their holidays accordingly.

The people who really want to be there will travel and from experience don’t get upset if certain people don’t travel. At the end of the day, people will do what suits them and I guarantee you will have a great week and a lifetime of memories. Go with the flow and enjoy the preparations.