08/10/2010 08:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: Stalemate

I've asked my ex partner to move out and end this stalemate. The set up just isn't working, and we are all stressed, tetchy and permanently rowing. I feel like I just can't cope any more.

It's like being a teenager, living with my parents; creeping around, having to explain my every movement, not able to have friends round.

This house no longer feels like my home. Well, that's not strictly true, when my ex is away it is fine, but when we are all here together, I feel like a guest in someone else's house.

Neither of us has any incentive to do anything to the property, so elements of it are falling into disrepair. I struggle to clean and tidy rooms I know someone else is going to come along and mess up. I object to paying a handyman to come in and do the little repairs my ex could so easily put right.

He has taken over the office as a bed-sitting room, I have the former master bedroom. It was due to be decorated when we split up, but now it is just 'my' room, I can't afford to have it done. What should be my one place of sanctuary, where I should be able to go and shut the door on the rows, is a shrine to the 1970s: polysteryne ceiling tiles, woodchip wallpaper. A row of wardrobes leans precariously on one wall, mainly without doors, the one still hanging sporting a violent crack through its mirrored front. It's utterly depressing. Falling apart and a mess. It's a graphic illustration of our life.

So. I asked him to move out.

He refused.