File photo: Wedding

Dear Coleen

I’ve made a terrible mistake by getting married to my long-term partner and I now want out, even though we only walked down the aisle a few months ago.

On my wedding day I felt sick instead of happy and couldn’t wait until the reception ended, so I could cry in the bathroom and not have to talk to guests.

I knew it was a mistake, but I just got carried along with all the planning and his promises of how great things would be. Well, it’s the same old life – and nothing’s changed at all.

We’ve been together for nearly 10 years and I did love him for a lot of that time, but over the past few years he’s become insufferable, lazy, selfish and controlling (although it’s quite subtle).

Everything is on his terms and I find myself just going along with whatever he wants. I don’t want to sleep with him or have his kids or retire with him, but I feel so stupid and don’t know how I can get out of this horrible mess.

My parents spent a lot of money on the wedding, as did we. I really need some advice.

Coleen says

I don’t think your situation is that unusual. I’ve had many letters over the years from both women and men who’ve found themselves at the altar because they felt it was too late in the day to call off the wedding.

I think it’s common to feel the weight of expectation and you don’t want to let people down, particularly if they’ve invested time and money.

From your letter, I think the main problem is that you don’t have the confidence to take control of your own life and go after what you want.

You seem to have a very passive role in the relationship, which you obviously don’t want, but the good thing is it’s never too late to take control.

You can’t change your husband and a marriage certificate certainly won’t alter him, but you can change how you react to the situation.

If you really don’t want to be in this marriage, then don’t stay because you’re worried about upsetting others.

Start by telling people how you feel and get some support, and have the conversation with your husband.

Once it’s out there, you can start taking steps and seek professional advice. Good luck.