Married separated frustrated man

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Married separated frustrated man

Mid-life divorce is on the rise, from Hollywood to Howth, with far-reaching consequences for family, friends - and your social life. Here, Tash Bell reports on the new etiquette of separation: who to back, what to say and why you should never feel smug. M id-life was once a time to sit back and smell the roses. OK, you probably smelled your partner's socks, too, but that was the price you paid for security. Not any more: the mid-life marriage meltdown is on the rise.

Jennifer Garner 43 and Ben Affleck 42 have fallen victim after 10 years, two daughters and a son together. Supermodel Heidi Klum 42 and the singer Seal 52who used to renew their wedding vows at a lavish annual bash, divorced last October after totting up nine years and four children together. And last week it was revealed that singer Gwen Stefani 45 and her musician husband Gavin Rossdale 49who have three children together, had filed for divorce.

Married separated frustrated man

Standard celebrity shenanigans, you might think - but are these high profile casualties merely a symptom of what's happening to us lesser mortals? Since divorce was introduced in Ireland inalmostcouples have availed of the law.

Although there are no official statistics available in Ireland on the age range of divorcees, anecdotal evidence suggests that we follow the same trends as Britain, where the average age for a man to divorce is 45 and for a woman Which can make life quite tricky for those of us with friends who are ing the mid-life divorce rush.

Which team do you support? Should you try to preserve the status quo, or adjust to the new one? Do you take cover - or take sides - when marriages all around you combust? No pressure then. Thankfully, a new etiquette is emerging see panel, p20 to help us cope with this latest trend.

Married separated frustrated man

It is rooted in not being judgemental, however tempting it may be. Are we really required to be so understanding that we can't get even a little cross with one side or the other, or both? Not according to relationship counsellors Relate; your friends will be feeling blamed and attacked enough as it is. The danger, she says, of getting involved is that you will begin to see your own marriage as divorce material. Fear was indeed the first emotion experienced by my friend Sally, when her best friends split up earlier this year.

She and her husband had known the couple - call them Jack and Jill - since their university days. After 25 years of shared good times, Jack and Jill bought a house around the corner: their foursome was future-proof. Except two days after moving in, Jack moved out - leaving the others to patch up Jill. Truth is, friends and family get on board a marriage, and they can feel sunk when it ends. And by the time we hit our 40s and 50s, most of our friends are couples.

Married separated frustrated man

When a couple splits, it can be devastating. And it makes it really difficult to throw a dinner party. My former neighbour Lucy roped her dentist husband into several respectable years of dinner-partying with three other couples who live in their village. Recently, one couple hit the rocks, and it wrecked their last dinner husband grew brooding; wife turned coquettish, and pursued male host into a wardrobe.

Now Lucy has to arrange "secret dinner parties", so the surviving couples can get together to bitch about, ahem, discuss, the divorcing one. Get the best home, property and gardening stories straight to your inbox every Saturday. Enter address This field is required Up. Sinead, a year-old property developer, has hit a similar wall. She and her husband formed a raucous "dinner party gang" with a dozen or so other couples, all parents from school.

Married separated frustrated man

A decade down the line, Sinead reports that half the couples are divorced - and "the fun ones" at that - so the surviving friends now just go down the pub, where Sinead's husband is often the only man. Though Sinead assures me of her husband's fidelity "he's that knackered"many wives panic when divorce strikes their circle.

Married separated frustrated man

Fearing a tsunami of singletons, they batten down their husband hatches. Kim, a beautiful year-old American acquaintance of ours, says she was "instantly dropped'' from her regular dinner party circuit post-divorce. And not for the reason you would automatically expect.

Others were terrified - scared of my sadness - but Married separated frustrated man jealous of my freedom As a result, with several husbands wary of her influence, Kim still finds some of her friends subject to a curfew. My girlfriends can meet me for coffee, but they're not allowed to go out at night with me because - as a single woman in my 40s - I'm clearly on the hunt. In fact, an unhappy wife is more likely to seek a solicitor than a stud.

The stud can come later. In Ireland, 56pc of applications to the Circuit Court for divorce last year were made by women. Ayesha Vardag agrees that men "rarely pull the trigger" on a divorce. Even when being unfaithful, they "would rather have their cake and eat it," she says. Both Sinead and Kim confirm it's almost always been a female friend who has instigated a split. Now the "go-to person" when a friend's marriage starts to sour, Kim confides, "I've taken six girlfriends along to my lawyer in the last year alone.

It's not just Kim's solicitor experiencing a rise in traffic, however. With the recession in retreat, couples who opted to grin and bear it during the downturn are increasingly packing their bags and heading to Splitsville. The most recent statistics for Ireland, from the Courts Service, show that there were 3, divorces granted here in and a further 1, separations.

Vardag confirms the trend exists in the UK, and explains the logic: Anyone instigating a divorce has just one chance for a "big primary hit" to secure their whole future, she says. This makes timing crucial. If the family home has dropped in value - business is struggling or bonuses Married separated frustrated man thin - it makes sense for a prospective client to wait for "a positive economic bump". But if our recovering economy has caused a surge in divorce rates, why is it mid-lifers who are so keen to ride the wave?

Perhaps it's not the age of the couple so much as the age of their children. Clinical psychologist, Dr Angharad Rudkin, cites "a well-established trend in marital satisfaction", in which happiness levels remain high until the children hit their teens - at which point they experience "a very ificant dip". Dr Rudkin suggests various factors - the stress of coping with teenagers, careers at full tilt, and increased expectations of both romance and longevity.

And do we really want to spend it with our current spouse? If the answer is no, it can be parents who turn into teenagers. Snogging, drinking, fancying each other's friends… The freshly-divorced can feel 15 again only this time they have a car.

A former colleague recalls a heady five-year period when their local set hit their mids: parties raged, divorces were toasted, and flirtations went a bit too far. In a clear statement of intent, one obliging hostess even installed a stripper's pole in the orangery. Divorce, it seems, is a catalyst. After years of your social group running like a well-oiled machine, it takes just one "conscious uncoupling'' to loosen marital nuts all round. Of course, when parents start acting like The Inbetweeners, it's the real teenagers who suffer.

Puberty's tough enough without your mate's dad coming down to breakfast wearing mum's La Perla wrap. When parents socialise around school, kids can struggle, as partners get shuffled. And it's not just the kids Truth is, we middle-aged fogies don't want to see a new face in the pack. Sally "froze" when her divorced pal introduced her new boyfriend - a pony-tailed hippy who couldn't have been more different to her tough, military ex.

I knew all the financial details of the divorce settlement. I was a bad reminder. Keep your friend post-divorce, however, and you may find they look rather different. Lucy's boss Frank divorced his first wife, declaring her "too podgy to poke". Two years later, he introduced his new girlfriend - a sexy, young gym instructor.

When Lucy next saw them, the girlfriend was now "the wife". She was also two stone heavier, and keen to tell Lucy about the amazing supper Frank insist she cooked every night - a huge dish of soft cheese with a hard cheese lid. That's the heart of it, isn't it? We don't know what goes on in a marriage - but when a friend divorces, it speaks to us personally.

But while married peers may show concern or disbelief, my single friend Cath admits to thinking, "Woo-hoo, another one's back! Stockpiling new pants. Men are prone to neglecting underwear standards during marriage. Middle-aged divorce is a market sector ruthlessly exploited by Calvin Klein and others. Using a year-old photo on an internet dating site and listing interests as 'Meeting young Latvians'. Also using an online identity BigHunkOfLove. A Tough Mudder weekend, ing a choir, taking yoga or salsa classes.

Saturday park bench Sudoku. A middle-aged gent enjoying sole weekend custody of his children for the first time inevitably turns to puzzles. Supermarket trolley of readymeals and cheap wine. Divorce means a return to the subsistence existence of a student sitting Married separated frustrated man. Suddenly getting a dog. Not only a divorced man's best friend but increasingly the social lubricant for divorced men in municipal green spaces. Listen out for: "I don't suppose you and your pug are free tomorrow? A clear indication that a man is turning to "emerging markets" for his next relationship.

Don't believe what the movies suggest about new sexual partners. You and your partner should be able to relax into each other, and it is this intimacy that can be the bedrock of mind-blowing sex. If your sexual relationship is not where you want it to be, talk about it openly, avoiding any blame. Appreciate each other. It can be easy to forget the little things in a relationship spanning decades, but it is these small things that make or break marriages.

Try to appreciate three things about your partner every day and, crucially, share them. They aren't mind readers! Remember when you were a teenager and you lived for the thrill of a hot date? Take turns to plan interesting and fun date nights out. Get active. Couples who exercise together stay together. Find a sport or fitness class that you both enjoy, and get stuck in.

Your role is to comfort and support, not sanction or take sides.

Married separated frustrated man

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Living With Frustration in a Relationship