24/03/2011 10:53 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: It's Good To Talk

the need to talk Every relationship expert, therapist and counsellor I have spoken to in the course of my job has always emphasised how important communication is. How we have to talk things through, whether that's with our partners, friends, or indeed, professionals.

Despite only being on the receiving end of this advice for work - as in I was seeking comments for features I was writing - I took it on board.

I have always been very open about my situation at home, and asked friends for advice and opinion. I have spoken to my brother, my parents, once even a stranger sitting to my right at a dinner party. She had made a glib comment about a lovely-dovey couple a few seats down, and then laughed off her negativity, telling me she was fresh from a break-up. Over the remaining courses, we were locked in conversation about our tangled, fragmented love lives. It was all so open and free-flowing, and, frankly cathartic.

So given that I am so open, and someone who needs to communicate and talk things over, it is infuriating that the only person I have never managed to sit down and have a conversation with is my former partner.

He just will not talk to me. Our situation has undergone another shift in recent weeks, and things need to be discussed, but pinning him down is impossible. We can and do discuss what needs doing around the house, the weather, mutual friends, family and whether the new dog is eating too much, but we cannot talk about the nuts and bolts of what has broken up our family.

I really wish we could. But you can't make someone talk to you. Can you?