Dear Coleen: I feel so stupid for getting close to a married woman at my age

Dear Coleen

I’m a man in my 60s and have been widowed for some years. About a year ago, I met a woman on a dog walk and we got along like a house on fire. We started meeting up to walk our dogs and became really close.

She confided in me that her marriage had been rocky for years and they didn’t sleep together any more. She led me to believe it was just a matter of time before they split up, but that it wouldn’t be easy as they’d been together for 40 years and had a grown-up family and grandchildren.

Eventually we kissed and told each other we wanted to be together. Then one day she told me she was having doubts after having a heart-to-heart with her husband who told her he’d do anything to make her happy and work on their marriage. She still wanted to meet up for dog walks, but I said no as it would be too painful for me.

I know I did the right thing, but I really thought we could be together. I feel so stupid for falling for a married woman at my age. Can you help?          

Coleen says

Heartbreak doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age and you mustn’t feel stupid. When you fall in love with someone those feelings are very powerful and logic, common sense and the benefit of years of experience tend to go out of the window. So don’t be too hard on yourself.

I’m sure she had very strong feelings for you, but 40 years is a lot to throw away and perhaps when it came to it, she realised what she had to lose.  

It takes time to get over ­heartbreak – it’s a loss and it will leave a gaping hole for a while. You absolutely did the right thing by not agreeing to carry on seeing her and this is where your ­experience has served you well. You know it would have hurt you every time you met.

On the upside, you were able to meet a woman you really liked, so there’s no reason you can’t do that again. Don’t hide yourself away – see your friends and family, and take up opportunities to socialise and meet new people. Good luck.

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