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Picking up the pieces: Liadan Hynes on the hardest part of marriage break-up – and what will get you through

When Liadan Hynes's marriage ended, she found herself having to come to terms with a life she had never imagined. On the eve of the publication of her new book, she writes about the hardest parts, and the things that will get you through

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Liadan Hynes. Photo: Kip Carroll

Liadan Hynes. Photo: Kip Carroll

Liadan Hynes with baby Sarah

Liadan Hynes with baby Sarah

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Liadan Hynes. Photo: Kip Carroll

Were you anxious going into the marriage?" someone asked me recently. I knew what she meant, of course. The subtext was - because it ended. Was there a sign? Did you know, deep down? She was a little nonplussed when I told her: "No. I wasn't anxious at all, we had a lovely marriage." Because it is unnerving to be told that the relationship we make the bedrock of our life can change entirely and come to an end.

When you think about it, it is an almost ludicrous amount of faith to place in another person who is not obliged to be bound to you in the way, say, your family are. To make them the centre of everything. Although of course I would say that, as someone whose lovely marriage did end.

There is nothing too shocking about the loss involved in a break-up; it's something most of us will suffer at some point. But more than any other loss, that of a long-term partner is a leveller that affects every aspect of your life, from what part of the bed you sleep in, to what your house sounds like day-to-day, to how you'll raise your child.