I’ve just got back from twenty-four hours at Phil’s and it’s become clear to me that the lack of physical attraction might not be the only problem. He made me feel so suffocated this weekend. I’d taken Annie out on the Saturday to spend some quality time with her. I get quality time with all of the other children but rarely with Annie. I’ve been struggling lately with how often she spends with Tom and how everything they do together is quality time whereas I’m just mum – guiding, disciplining, teaching, nagging – so I decided that just the two of us should have a lovely day out together at the zoo, really just enjoying our precious time together. This meant that I wouldn’t be around Phil’s as early as I usually would and he didn’t seem to like that. He said he missed me and wanted me to spend as much time with me as possible. When I was there he told me he loved me over and over and over again. He asked me to marry him at least three times during the course of our time together and even when I said it was too soon, he went on about how it would happen one day and all it made me do was to make me feel as though I couldn’t breathe, like he’s on top of me constantly, wanting something from me.

He’s started to appear to me as someone that’s incredibly needy and will do anything to get his needs met, including marrying someone he barely knows. I get it, we all want to be loved but he’s pushing me away with his methods of loving me. It’s suffocating as hell and right now, because of his actions, I just feel smothered and as if I need to run far away just to be able to breathe for myself.

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