Last month we published this problem.
I’m really careful, when replying to readers, to give practical advice. Not the sort of advice that is easy to say, but you know in your heart would be really hard to carry out.
I can’t bear trite advice.
I’m also always mindful that there are real people at the end of the letters and, whilst I try very hard not to be prescriptive, I feel the responsibility of what I say. Of how it might impact on their lives.
An update on this particular letter came last week. This is what the correspondent said (reprinted with permission).
“You answered my question back in September/October. I just wanted to say a big thank you for that. What you wrote was what I was thinking, though it was difficult to articulate to myself at the time. With your letter and speaking with close friends I was able to see that I wasn’t happy, hadn’t been for a long time and nor was I likely to be.
I have now separated from my partner, permanently, and whilst obviously scared and sad I feel so so good about it. I’m now excited to be embarking on travelling solo.