For Partners of Former Boarders

Children sent away from their homes to board may develop into successful achievers. But they are almost certain to have been ill-equipped by their education for family life and, in particular, for intimate relationships.

So if your partner or loved one is a Former Boarder, then you may find that your marriage or relationship is particularly difficult and confusing.

Recognising the symptoms

You may recognise that your partner suffers from some typical Boarding School Syndrome symptoms and the lights have gone on for you. You may have had the experience of finally not being alone with this issue. You may have realised that feeling the way you do doesn’t mean you are crazy.

If that’s the case, we suggest you read more about the issue on this site. You might want to help your partner do the same.

Relationship breakdowns

Perhaps you are experiencing severe problems such as a breakdown of trust, a parenting difficulty or an affair. Maybe there are subtle but equally disturbing issues such as you or another family member being ignored or repeatedly humiliated or bullied.  Maybe your partner is unable to recognise the problem or minimises it.

Crisis points

The situation may have changed drastically after events such as the birth of a child or a child reaching school age. It could be losing a job or the death of a parent. Other signs could be burnout, depression, difficulties in the workplace or compulsive working patterns.

Acknowledging problems

To begin with, it may be very difficult for your partner to acknowledge any Boarding School Syndrome problems. Especially if you are not in a current crisis, or you may go in and out of recognition and denial together. If you can’t persuade your partner to get help, it may be wise to get support for yourself, or go to couple therapy.

Healing is possible

You and your partner may need considerable help and courage.  Let us assure you that healing is possible and hugely beneficial to your relationship and your whole family.

You can find details of therapists trained to work with Boarding School Survivors listed with Boarding Recovery.  We can also provide you with details of newly trained therapists.

Next page: Helping Former Boarders.