I’m just back from visiting an elderly aunt – my mum’s youngest sister. Out of six children born to my grandparents, she is the only sibling left, so she’s become a bit of a surrogate mother to all of her orphaned nieces and nephews.
During our visit, we discussed one of my cousins – let’s call him Andrew. He had his sixtieth birthday at the beginning of this year, and a few months ago walked out on his wife of thirty-five years for – you’ve guessed it – a younger woman.
Blindsided, Andrew’s wife has been left distraught, bereft and bewildered. What did she do wrong? (Of course she did nothing wrong.)
Stunned by their father’s behaviour, Andrew’s sons are no longer speaking to him.
His family is broken.
But that doesn’t matter, because (yes, I’m being ironic) Andrew has found true love.
Shortly after he walked out on his wife, Andrew wrote our aunt a letter saying he hoped she’d understand his actions – he’s never felt so overwhelmed by love and passion before.
God bless her, our ninety-one-year-old aunt wrote back telling him she had no time for his nonsense. As far as she’s concerned, he’s nothing more than yet another mixed-up, middle-aged man who fears getting old, needs a younger woman to make him feel virile, and has just destroyed his family.
She hasn’t heard from him since!
My heart bleeds for Andrew’s wife. He has faced some troubles in the past, and she was there, every step of the way, supporting and encouraging him. Now she’s been discarded. She’s at the beginning of a long hard journey, and though she has the support of family and friends, it’s not going to be easy for her.
Once again I shake my head in despair at the selfishness of these men who leave so much destruction in their wake. Once again, I can feel only contempt for the ‘other women’ who know exactly what they’re doing when they hook up with a married man.