2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app

Dear Richard Madeley: 'I’m grieving for my wife – and my lover has finished with me' 

Our agony uncle answers your questions each week. Write to him at dearrichard@wrpcnnpcng.com

Premium
Dear Richard Madeley: 'I’m grieving for my wife – and my lover has finished with me' 
Credit: RII SCHROER/GETTY IMAGES

Dear Richard

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appFor 40 years – most of our marriage – I was my wife’s sole carer. The last 20 years of her life were spent in bed. She suffered from a degenerative muscle-wasting disease. Caring was a full-time job and made any sort of social life difficult. But 10 years ago I met a woman at the gym, younger than me, unhappily married; one day we simply fell into each other’s arms. We could confide in each other, enjoyed each other’s company and helped one another through some very dark days. Then, towards the end of last year, her daughter and son-in-law moved back into the area: one day, out of the blue, she told me that she wanted to return to being just friends, “smiling at each other in the gym as we used to”.

After Christmas, my wife slipped quietly away while I sat at her bedside. I had known for a long time that this was inevitable, but the reality hit me very hard. My former lover sent me a text message saying how sorry she was and that she hoped everything would be all right in the future. No more than that.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSo now I find myself alone and floundering, wondering how I start to make a new life and do those things that I missed out on during the past decades of caring.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appI am fit, healthy, and generally have a disciplined and strong-minded attitude to life (this has carried me through the past 40-odd years). But now I don’t know how to move forward. Do you have any tips?

Ben, Cheshire

Dear Ben

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appI appreciate that you won’t want to hear this, but the first thing you need to do is accept that your intimate relationship with your former lover is over. She ended it kindly, at least, and hasn’t given you any false hope that it might be rekindled. Some relationships finish in far more unpleasant ways, so it’s something of a blessing that yours eventually spooled out in a civilised fashion.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSo to the future. It’s obvious that you have a multitude of things going for you, Ben. You’re sound in wind and limb, strong-minded and, without wishing to be indelicate, sexually experienced. A man of the world. You were selfless in the care you gave to your wife and should take pride in that. A discreet affair, under the circumstances, is something most would understand and forgive. (I wonder if your wife knew about it? You must have considered that.)

But you’ve only just suffered your bereavement – it’s been barely two months since the death of your wife. Of course you’re feeling winded, dazed, and unsure. You were together for 40 years. So give yourself some time to settle into this completely new phase of your life. Don’t rush into anything.

I’d suggest booking yourself a holiday somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. Treat yourself, Ben. Distance can lend perspective and insight, and if you’re wandering around a house that must feel very empty right now, get away for a while. Distract yourself.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThen perhaps you should make a list of the things you’d like to do now you’re free of the burden of being a full-time carer. Hobbies you’ve never had time for. Perhaps some voluntary work in a field that interests you. Maybe a big change: selling up and moving somewhere completely new.

2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appBut as I say, there’s no rush. In the past you didn’t have much time for yourself, and now you do. There’s no harm or offence in gradually learning to savour it.

Dear Richard Madeley: 'I’m grieving for my wife – and my lover has finished with me'