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MrsRuss0114, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 215
Experience:  B.A.Psychology, MSW, LCSW, HS-BCP; 8+ yrs experience.
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Hi, As a divorcee aged 61 , retired 3 years, I have recently

Customer Question

As a divorcee aged 61 , retired 3 years, I have recently found myself unexpectedly in a very new loving relationship with a friend of many years standing, herself also a divorcee aged 53.
We enjoy a very warm loving time but she works in a demanding middle management role whereas I am at home now. I am finding myself troubled by the sense that I am an onlooker in her life and get particularly anxious when she is attending important meetings, giving preesentations to her board members, negotiating with stakeholders in the business etc. I love her and want the relatiobnship to bevome permanent soon , so does she. I am worrried though that our different backgrounds and life experience will undermine our chances of haqppiness.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

You don't have to let your different backgrounds and life style get to you. It will only undermine your differences if you let them. People get married from different backgrounds, faiths, and personalities. She is just a different phase in her life than you. That doesn't have to be a problem. I think you are anxious because of this but it's okay to be in different phases. If you are compatible then that shouldn't matter. Find things to do while she is having meetings so that you aren't so focused about what she is doing. If her job is stressful she is going to need support even more. If you are happy focus on the relationship rather than the differences.



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I expected some help with understanding my reasons for the feelings I have not just some rather basic 'common sense' ideas about how to divert my attention from them.
Expert:  MrsRuss0114 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for choosing just answer, If you don't mind I would like to try to assist you.
MrsRuss0114, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 215
Experience: B.A.Psychology, MSW, LCSW, HS-BCP; 8+ yrs experience.
MrsRuss0114 and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes please give me an answer.
Expert:  MrsRuss0114 replied 5 years ago.
You shared that you're retired and at home now which is obviously a change from being completely involved in your career. Because you now have this time, it causes you to focus more on what your girlfriend has going on in her career. I'm only speculating so please correct me if I'm wrong but I presume that before retiring you too worked in a fast paced career possibly in the same or a similar field as your girlfriend. Now that you're retired, you feel the void of where all of your time and energy was once spent. It's a bit like going through empty nest. When we're used to the hustle and bustle transitioning to the complete opposite can be very challenging. It sounds to me that your feelings stem from not having that anymore. She sounds like she's independent and self-sufficient and you sound like a provider and you see her thriving in her career and this is not an area she needs to be provided in. In turn, that makes you feel like an on looker. Another thought is her field is normally a male dominated field so she probably has to spend a lot of time around men which may be the cause of your anxiety.

You shared that you've talked a lot about your differences but have you shared what's truly causing you angst? In addition to your differences, the two of you should talk about the things you have in common and identify things that will help to bridge the different backgrounds. Have you thought about volunteering or doing some things that you've always wanted to do but couldn't because you were working? You may find that if you're filling your time with meaningful things during the work day, you may not worry so much about your girlfriend.

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