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Sunday 25 February 2018

'He was one-in-a-million, I didn't see it coming' - Women share their shock separation stories on RTE's Liveline

'I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm just warning other people'

Joe Duffy
Joe Duffy

Cillian Sherlock

Two women have shared their stories of depression and financial difficulty following unexpected separations with their husbands.

The women, who spoke to Joe Duffy on RTE Radio One's Liveline separately today, both described how they were shocked by their relationships finishing.

They said they wanted to warn other people to be aware of their rights during the process of separation.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Liveline, caller Elaine said she split up from her husband seven years ago and was legally separated four years ago.

"I didn't see it coming. He was one-in-a-million to me and I didn't see it coming at all. He has a new life now and he just wants me out of the house," Elaine said.

Elaine, who has a child with the man and has one other child, is being forced to sell her home to split the sale price between the ex-couple.

"It was a court rule and I had to sell it when the child turned 18," she said.

"I didn't put up a for sale sign in the garden because I was embarrassed," Elaine added.

Elaine, who suffers from depression, said she won't be able to buy another house and local authorities have told her to rent with the approximately €120,000 she will make off the sale.

"They told me to go back and rent a house and when my money is gone I'll be homeless," she said.

"It really doesn't make sense. They're trying to house the homeless but they're trying to make me homeless," Elaine added.

Her son works but she is unable to get a mortgage in conjunction with him.

"I'm losing my home now and it's just not fair on the children. I feel like I'm making them homeless and I can't do nothing - my hands are tied," she said.

Elaine says she blames herself for what is happening.

"I always blame myself. Where did I go wrong? That's what I always say to myself. Why did our relationship break down?" she added.

"He said he fell out of love with me. 'I still love you but I fell out of love with you'. It didn't make sense," he said.

Elaine said she still has the support of her family.

"I'd be lost without my family and friends. I go to counselling and without that I don't know where I'd be today," she added.

The same programme received another call from a woman in her 60s named Sally who has been unofficially separated from her partner for 20 years.

"I'm mentally unwell. I'm suffering quite a bit mentally," she said.

She said she is living in a small wooden structure with one bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

Sally said she got nothing after the couple split.

"I got nothing. I didn't put up any argument at all," she said.

"I didn't truthfully see the separation coming. I had quite a lot of illness, open heart surgery, a hysterectomy. A lot of things happened to me in a couple months and I wasn't able to cope," she added.

"I feel very depressed with it all. I find it very hard to cope with life. I'm just praying to god that everything will turn out alright," Sally added.

She wanted to warn other women who are going through separations to be aware of their rights.

"I'm in the vicinity and I can't get away from the memories. I'm not looking for sympathy I'm just warning other people," she added.

She said she has wonderful friends and goes to counselling.

"I have wonderful friends, thank god," she said.

She said her children still come to visit her but they have their own families.

Sally added that she would not seek an official divorce.

"I'm one of the old-fashioned ones and my religion would mean an awful lot to me so I got married for life," she added.

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