This letter has been sent by email to the Guardian’s Agony Aunt, Pamela Connolly.
Please can you help me. I am really, really confused.
My husband is bullying, controlling and unreasonable and has always helped himself to my money. Three years ago, on the advice of my friends, I decided to separate from him.
I have always believed you get more from life with compromise, so, after long discussions with him, we have come to an agreement. He will let me sleep in the loft, provided I agree to have no say in the running of the house, agree not to see anyone else and continue to give him money.
He is going to take my CD collection and will keep it as what he calls a “backstop”, in case I do not behave as he wishes in future.
Although he tells me this is the only arrangement he is prepared to contemplate, I think this is a really great deal and was quite taken aback when my friends told me he was taking me for a ride.
They told me I should just move out, but that would cause enormous chaos, as I would have to find somewhere else to live, tell the bank my new address, find out about a different bus route to get me to work etc. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
I was so confused that I felt I really needed someone to talk the matter over with. I decided on the man next door, although I have never really seen eye to eye with him.
People tell me he doesn’t really like me and has always been jealous of my house, wanting to move in there himself one day. He has strange friends who seem to know rather a lot about bomb-making. My friends tell me to steer clear of him.
What should I do?