We’re living separately in the same house

What's your relationship/marriage/dating/cheating/snooping question? Send your question to [email protected] or fill out this form.

I'm a 46-year-old woman trying to navigate out of a very manipulative (at the very least) relationship of five years. I feel so alone because he's cut us out of a social life. I am estranged from basically my entire family and have been for years.

My situation is this: I'm currently still having to reside with the ex. We now have separate rooms and I'm trying to live a separate life. But rent these days is outlandish, and I don't yet know where I want my next place of residence to be. I'm merely hoping I can get my wits about me and think things through with a clear mind before making my next move because, as I've previously stated, I no longer have anyone to call on if things get shaky.

I'm recently on a dating site, if for nothing more than just a connection of some sort. By no means do I want to have to hide any of this from anyone, not do I want to appear crazy or worse – like I'm trying to find a path to someone taking care of me, or moving on to move in, if that makes sense. Any suggestions? If it makes me sound less crazy, I have recently discovered some concrete evidence of my partner cheating multiple times with multiple people, and I'm sure that's continued.

If it hasn't, he has gaslighted me enough to make it so that I no longer feel emotionally, mentally, sexually, or physically safe with him. I have recently divulged to him that I'm moving on. He's not happy about it, but I'm no longer willing to put myself on the line for him. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

– Lost and trampled on in another state

To start, delete the word "crazy" from your narrative. Don't call yourself that – or anyone else, for that matter. You've been in a bad relationship and have lost your support system. Of course you're upset, scared, confused, and seeking answers. That makes perfect sense. You want help, and that's OK.

You don't need to convince me it's time to leave; that seems very clear. What I question is the choice to be on dating apps right now. You desire support, and I'm not sure you'll find it in a place where people are seeking romance, small talk, and light connections.

Some people who feel isolated in bad relationships don't think they can call organizations designed to help people find their way out of abusive living situations. Maybe they feel like their problems don't merit that kind of assistance – that unless it looks like it does on TV, it's not real.

Domestic violence organizations help with tasks such as finding housing and transportation. You might do better clearing your head when you're out of the house. All of this might be easier with a roommate you don't have to avoid.

Housing is expensive, but organizations can help you find your way to some peace. This is just one place (the link) where you can find out what services are in your area.

You said it: "I no longer feel emotionally, mentally, sexually, or physically safe with him."

Getting out is the priority. Save the swiping for later.

– Meredith

Readers? Next steps? What about apps?