Dear Coleen: My wife dumped me out of the blue just after my retirement

Dear Coleen

My wife and I have been married 40 years and have three adult children.

No marriage is perfect, but I always thought we were fairly happy.

However, last year she left me without warning. She was 61 and I was 63.

I had just retired and our daughter had announced she was pregnant with our first grandchild.

My wife’s mother died and left her a small inheritance and she used the money to put a deposit on flat near our family home, where I still live.

She seems to have a new lease of life and has taken up tennis, and got back in touch with old friends.

When she first announced she wanted a divorce, I immediately thought she had met somebody else, but she swore that wasn’t the case. And even now she hasn’t met anybody.

So I just can’t understand why she’s done this. It breaks my heart that we can’t spend time together with our new grandson.

This isn’t how I expected my later years to be.

I am trying to get my life back on track but I just can’t move on from this, yet my wife seems happier than ever.

Coleen says

Well it’s because she’s made a decision that’s made her happy.

This must be so hard for you, and what you’re ­experiencing is a form of grief.

You’ve lost a life you thought you were going to have, and my heart goes out to you.

So let yourself heal, but then you’ve got to force yourself to get out there.

Your ex has managed to go out and find hobbies and refresh old friendships, and there’s no reason why you can’t too.

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I know it’s easier said than done, and it’s probably the last thing on your mind right now, but sometimes you just have to battle through.

Start taking up invitations to go out with friends, and think about some activities you’re interested in and joining some local clubs.

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In time, there are also some really good online dating sites for older people you could try.

Even if you’re not looking for a relationship it might be good for companionship and somebody to talk to.

And you have a new grandson. How exciting is that? Why not focus on him to help you through this?

You’re retired, so you can enjoy this precious time.

Sometimes, life doesn’t work out the way we think it will, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rebuild it.


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