Style Sex & Relationships

Sunday 22 September 2019

Dear Mary: I'm so heartbroken that I can't go on

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Mary O’Conor

Where do I start? I married my teenage sweetheart and we had a son. But she cheated on me and had a three-year affair with a close family member.

Finally I left the family home and struggled with being homeless. I suffered from depression and tried to commit suicide and was hospitalised. Eventually I was released from hospital but to a homeless shelter.

That's only a broad outline of the start of my problems, between being verbally abused, emotional abused, and then physically abused which made me leave my home. I lost everything and I was completely broken. I was so depressed that on a few occasions I tried again to take my life.

Eventually I met a fantastic, beautiful lady, divorced with three children, and things couldn't have been better. We just got on so well and the kids were amazing. Of course they fought as children do, but our relationship was fun and completely full of love and respect. I would have done absolutely anything to keep that amazing lady happy, and to see her smile actually melted my heart.

Then after two years of us being in a relationship she decided to just end it in a text message to me.

I've never been more devastated in my life. I cannot believe that a loving lady and beautiful family are gone out of my life.

We never had any kind of argument and I can't believe that this has happened to me again. I'm broken-hearted and what do I do? How do I carry on without ending it all by committing suicide? Please help me.

Mary replies: This is a heartbreaking letter and I am so sorry that you have had to suffer so much. You have been let down very badly by the women in your life in two different relationships and I can feel the pain in your writing.

I do not take your comment about ending it all by suicide at all lightly. More people die by suicide in Ireland each year than in road traffic accidents and that is a very sobering thought.

It must be truly awful to have suicidal thoughts but there is help available to you, and even though you feel so completely broken and disheartened right now, it doesn't have to always be like this.

You experienced what a loving relationship can be like, and even though you will find it very hard to trust a woman again, hopefully in the future you will learn to love again.

However you need help right now in getting through this very difficult period of your life.

The two services where you can get immediate help, if only by having someone to listen to you and hear your story are Pieta House (telephone 1800 247 247) and the Samaritans who are available 24 hours a day and every day of the year on 116 123. Then the next step will be to visit your GP and explain how you are feeling.

Your doctor may decide that short-term medication would be beneficial. Please don't feel that you have to deal with all of this on your own. You have been helped previously to get back on your feet and so please seek help again.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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