GE­ORGE, 59,

Good Health (Australia) - - Good Relationships -

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?”

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