from Adelaide is a mechanic. A heart attack made him reassess his future, and in early 2016 he separated from his wife of 33 years.
“My wife and I met at university. I was in love and our life was fun. We loved travelling but then we had three sons within five years and they consumed our lives. I worked long hours and my wife worked part-time and was – and is – a devoted mother. But we were exhausted. There were so many evenings when we watched TV in semi-silence. We had some hard times with the boys during their teenage years too, which created more stress.
What has happened is nobody’s fault or perhaps it’s both our faults for not making us a priority. I’m sure my wife was as frustrated as me, but we plodded along in our separate lives under the same roof until my heart attack.
It came out of nowhere, although I think the fact I’d bottled up frustration that life was passing me
by played a role. I had hours to think while in hospital and I realised I had so many things I wanted to do and that my wife and I were too remote from each other now. We have nothing in common other than our children.
Our youngest son left home a few months after my heart attack and my wife and I rattled around at opposite ends of the house to avoid awkwardness. She wasn’t surprised when I told her I was leaving. There’s no animosity and I still love her. We talk to each other a few times a week.
Being on my own again hasn’t been so hard because it was a lonely marriage for so long anyway. My wife feels the same way.
I’m excited about what lies ahead. I’ve booked a trip to South America for later in the year and then, who knows?”