I’ve been with my partner for 10 years and we have a 2&5yr old, we aren’t married. 

We want very different things in each other & I think we are both unhappy but just muddling through. I want to end the relationship but feel trapped as only work part time due to young children and money is tight. I don’t see how I can afford to be on my own. I don’t have that kind of support/relationship from my family and I would want to keep disruption to the kids (school etc) to a minimum. I don’t have any bad feeling to my partner so would want him to see the kids as much as he can. 

I don’t know how to change things or who to talk to to get advice. 

Hi Lotus32 ....

Have you actually asked your partner how he feels about ending the relationship and is he fully aware that you do?  From a neutral corner, it is clear that the children are the most important consideration here and without a decent and supportive relationship with your family, it is going to be hard for them if you actually split and they are at that focal age when they need to feel emotionally safe.  We live in an age of greed and as a result most relationships need two incomes and you are absolutely right when you question whether you can survive on your own and that is before you take into account childcare if you continue to work part time. The bottom line is that I cannot see how you can change things without a lot of hardships. You seem not to hate your partner so that is a start. I suspect that also you don't have a wide circle of friends with whom you can 'chew life over with', if only to take the focus away from the unhappiness of your relationship. That could help get you through the days. I am also assuming that neither of you are keen to start other relationships away from your own? There is actually a lot to talk about here and a lot does depend if you are both keen to look for 'different things' away from each other and whether you are being entirely frank with each other about how you feel. If you are both keen to find different interests outside your relationship then perhaps by mutual agreement you could do that while maintaining the living arrangements on a status quo basis, at least in the short to medium term to actually define if indeed if only to confirm exactly how you both feel. Actually, nothing is irreparable providing you both want it and by understanding exactly how hard life will be apart, in your case it may currently be impossible, then that does give some value to having to rely on each other, if only for now. 
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult situation. It seems that before you can change anything you need to have somewhere to go. Perhaps you could discuss it with your local council as they usually have schemes for single mothers and such. Child Law Advice might be helpful in some regard, their website has an extensive archive of information on the law surrounding children. You may find it helpful to read our articles on divorce and separation. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at askus@familylives.org.uk or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.