My divorce: ‘I won't marry again, ever’

It's 20 years since Ireland voted for divorce. An Irish Times series, Divorced Ireland, explores the effects of that vote on Irish life, then and since. To read the full series click here

Joanne is separated but living under the same roof as her soon to be ex-husband. She’s a mother-of-two with a busy career.

“Three separate courses of marriage counselling didn’t save our marriage, even though I gave it all I had. I’ve been trying to get out of the marriage for four years and I haven’t been able to. He believes marriage is for life and says it’s his house and they’re his children, and he won’t leave.

No rows

“A year ago I finally put my foot down, consulted a solicitor and issued him with a solicitor’s letter declaring that I want a legal separation. He agreed to mediation, but he still refused to leave the marital bedroom, much less sell the house. I sleep in a spare bedroom and I hope, with his eventual legal agreement, to sell the house and go our separate ways.

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‘I won’t marry again’

“We rarely argue, and when we do, never in front of the children. When I told them about the impending legal separation they weren’t overly shocked. My son has been upset, but now he wants a resolution.

“After three more years of legal separation, we will qualify for divorce but for me divorce is unnecessary. I won’t marry again, ever.”

In conversation with Kate Holmquist. Joanne’s name has been changed