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Approaching 50 and having to cope with a husband leaving for a younger woman. Any advice?

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

Approaching  a milestone birthday and coping with the end of a marriage at the same time is proving difficult for one reader. With her permission I am sharing the email she sent to me, hoping  that other women can relate to her situation and offer some tips and support to deal with this difficult situation

“Hi, I need advice.

My husband of 20yrs has had an affair and has left our marriage.

He moved his mistress in and they live near me. I am not coping with this much younger woman seeing my teenage boys. I am tearful, anxious and depressed with the situation and am on medication. No doubt there are other women who are in similar situations. How do you cope with the feeling that somebody has taken your life from you. My husband has done this before and I forgave him, but it’s not in me to forgive again.

The ‘younger woman’ thing is a killer

I am in a rural area where I know everybody. My boys are still at school and do not want to move. I am too fragile to date but am incredibly lonely for male company. I am 49 and only work part time as I am a painter. My life is so confused . Where do I start?

I think the main issues centre around self esteem. That ‘younger woman’ thing is a killer.

If you could offer any guidance I would be so thankful.”

Any thoughts?


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Annie Brooks

    June 28, 2012

    He’s already done this before! Why should you forgive him a second time. He is the one who has left you. Move on. You deserve better than this man who has treated you abominably. Don’t waste any more of your valuable life on him. He hasn’t taken your life away, sounds to me like he’s given it back to you. On the practical side start finding some hobbies which are usually a good way to meet new people. You don’t have to fall into the arms of the nearest man, just cultivate some new friendships…and you never know what might happen, just when you least expect it! Good luck for the future and kiss this loser goodbye.

  2. Suz

    June 28, 2012

    I got divorced at the age of 49 yrs after 25 years of marriage. My ex husband had affairs and always younger women. I made the mistake of jumping straight in to a relationship post divorce because my confidence and self esteem was at “rock bottom” It didn’t last but ended amicably. That was seven years ago and Im happy to be single. It took me a long time to get over my divorce a bit like a bereavement. So my advice would be don’t even think about dating at the moment you need time to find yourself build up your confidence walk tall and kick that man to the kerb. Doubt if your husbands current fling will last as now the affair is exposed they lose the excitement of sneaking around etc. I am a great believer in Karma. Eight years on and I can say I’m not bitter everything in life happens for a reason. Best Wishes for a happy future Suz x

  3. Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem

    June 29, 2012

    I was in your position over 20 years ago and I recreated my life with an honest man. First – discover your true Self and work to get off the emotional roller coaster of life with a liar.

    You are not ready for a new relationship as he will see you as needy but as you heal and are no longer in need the relationship dynamics will change and you will go through another breakup. Men who date needy women are either also needy and help each other heal or he is a con man and will abuse you emotionally, financially and even physically. Controlling men seek needy women.

    Dating can help you find your Self but don’t settle or make commitments until you are the woman you dream of being.

  4. Walker, aka The Diva of Dating

    July 1, 2012

    First of all let me say how sorry I am for what you’re going through. I can only imagine how hard this is. I can’t pretend to know what you should do, but… I do think it’s important to realize that your husband has some issues and that this really isn’t about you. I don’t think you have to forgive him again. He’s betrayed your trust. And, it sounds like you realize trying to date right now would be emotionally difficult. What about going on a dating site with the idea of just finding a pen pal? Are there sites in the UK where you could specify that? Or maybe an online support group for people facing divorce.
    Taking it one day at a time and loving yourself sounds trite, I know…but it is good advice.

  5. Maureen

    July 11, 2012

    Hi I can understand how this person is feeling. I have just turned 50 and thought I was in a fulfilling and loving relationship with a guy whom I adored. I recently found out that he has been on internet sites looking for younger women in Russia and Ukraine. I finished the relationship. He denied it of course but I know he is a liar and a cheat. In addition to all this. I have also discovered that he is bisexual. Not only am I trying to come to terms with him cheating on me with younger women but in turmoil of recent events. It is hard to come to terms with all of this. It is a major blow to my confidence and self esteem. I am at a loss as to why he could not sit down and discuss his sexuality with me given that I thought we were so close. Like your readers. I am so confused…

  6. Jo Carroll

    October 22, 2012

    This is tough – for you and for your sons.

    I don’t think forgiveness need come into this – he’s behaved abysmally. So this says much more about him than it does about you. Just because he can’t manage his ageing without behaving like a teenager doesn’t mean you can’t hold up your head with dignity and get on with your life, find tiny joys in every day (they are there, if you hunt for them).

    You have teenage boys – they are your greatest reason for hanging in there, and showing how men should behave towards women. They are big enough to come and go, so you cannot stop their relationship with this younger woman (and they have a right to a relationship with their dad, even though that is difficult for you) – but you can insist on them being polite and respectful to you. Sit and eat with them, talk – about anything and everything. Show them that you are worth caring about, and then they will make up their own minds about what has happened.

    As for dating – there’s no rush. If you give it time you might find unexpected delights in being on your own. Then, if you do meet someone you want to be with, you can be sure the attraction is much more than needing escape from your own company.

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