Contemplating a divorce or a separation is difficult at the best of times but when you are over 60 it brings with it a whole new set of issues. We had been married for 34 years. Then over breakfast on this particular morning my husband said “I don’t think I want to go on holiday to Australia with you”. Where did that come from! “OK” I said, not quite knowing how to handle this, “I’ll ring the travel agent now and cancel your ticket, but I’m still going”
We had started to drift apart years before. Step-parenting, working full time, the age-gap, our different approaches to life all became apparent. There was also an attitude or approach to life gap. The holiday had been booked a year before and as with everything I had done all the research and organising. It seemed my husband had drifted into having everything done for him whilst he spent his time reading the newspaper, doing puzzles day after day and becoming very boring. We didn’t work together any more.
So, I went to Australia on my own. The strange thing was, although I was nervous about travelling all that way alone I needn’t have been as there were others on the plane doing the same thing. We chatted, stayed together, had fun at the various stops on the way and helped each other find their next flight. For four weeks I had a whale of a time meeting up with friends, walking, shopping, socializing and making new friends. I felt liberated.
On returning home another bolt out of the blue, “I think we should sell the house and go our separate ways” he said. I was not ready for this and needed time to think. At the age of 69 this is a very scary thing to contemplate. Where will I live, what accommodation will I be able to afford, will I have enough income to have a reasonable standard of living, how will I cope living on my own, will my current friends still be there for me. So much to consider, such a big step to take.
Things didn’t improve over the next few months, we were ‘living together separately’ and so the decision was made to sell up. By this time I had worked out that my pensions would give me the same standard of living as long as I bought a much smaller house. The big house was sold, everything was split down the middle and my furniture went into store. I moved in with friends whilst looking for a place to buy.
It was time to send a letter to friends and family telling them what was going on. The response was unexpected. Without fail they all replied they were not surprised and had expected the split to happen years before. They had found my husband ‘boring and difficult to talk to’ and had only put up with him in order to see me.
Luckily there was no pressure for me to leave my friends who were putting me up. This gave me time to search for the right property. I finally found a little bungalow in the nearby market town and being only 3 miles from the village meant I was able to easily see my friends. With so much change over the previous months it was important to keep some stability in my life.
And so, at the age of 70 a new chapter in my life begins. Lets see what the next year brings!
If you would like expert advice on getting a separation or a divorce please contact Alberta, Randal or Hardeep on 020 8899 6620.