OK. Many years ago I came from a council estate upbringing, single parent family, miserable 70s existence. I was lucky enough to be very intelligent. Top of the class. Without trying. I made it through the 11plus and to a good university. Trouble was, I was emotionally needy. No dad, not a lot of emotional intelligence (something I still struggle with, but then I was brought up by a chronically depressed mum in a chronically depressed place), my mum had an emotionally abusive partner, there was absolutely nobody who loved me. I found uni hard to cope with - not intellectually, but emotionally. I had nobody to support me emotionally whatsoever and was unable to do this for myself. Boo hoo, I know, but I was only 18. In my second year I got pregnant to someone I should not have been with. He begged me to keep the baby. I could not morally terminate when I knew he wanted it so much. I knew how awful it had been for me growing up with no dad, so I married him. I had the baby in my third year. I continued at uni and got my degree. Mr N alienated my friends by being rude and ignorant and by sulking if I ever tried to do anything I liked or see anyone I liked, so it all quietly stopped, all so my child could have a dad. Then I had an even bigger problem. I had no money. He was unemployed. I couldn't go for a graduate job, because I couldn't afford child care etc. I went and worked in a semi-skilled job because there was a creche. He got a temporary unskilled job that became permanent. Eventually my baby got a bit bigger and went to school. At this point, I applied successfully for a PGCE. I became a teacher. I got promoted. Now we actually have a small but ok house, some holidays and my kids have got a dad and a mum and a stable background. I get on ok with Mr N. He loves me and treats me well. But I am deeply, deeply unhappy at basically losing myself. I have no interests, no hobbies, I don't do the things I love, for 2 reasons - 1 because we can't afford it and 2 because Mr N is very possessive and can't bear for me to have friends or interests outside of him. He isn't the kind, patient dad I imagined my kids having. He's just the only one they'll get now. I am very lonely. I know I've done the best I could and each time there's been a decision it's been morally right, but I seem to have lost myself somewhere - somewhere right near the start. I think I'm probably just being selfish when I feel like I do at the moment - like making a plan to leave when my kids have left home - but I still keep thinking it, and when I get down it gets worse. That's not fair on him either. He thinks I love him. I'm in this situation where if I want to think of myself at all, it means letting someone else down.