I have had to cope with various health problems alone.My two children live overseas and have health and personal problems of their own.So please, those of you over 70 who have got through a crisis like this, write and let me and Sylvia know how you did it.We would both be grateful for your shared experience.We need new things to do and companions to do them with. And when you are at home again, think hard about how you want your life to be. Tell your neighbours that you're bored of walking your dog on your own and see if someone would like to come with you. Consciously make an effort to pursue an interest through a day or evening class. Unless you are committed to a rural way of life, think seriously about making your next move to a livelier town where there will be social and cultural opportunities.Those friends you don't see any more are still there, probably feeling that you don't need them. And as for your distant family, I think there are things you can do here as well.I have learned so much in dealing with builders, making constant decisions and paying bills.The house is now on the market and I can't wait to buy a smaller, more practical one.
I recognise everything you are telling me: the tears, the anxieties, the feeling of being singled out for punishment, the shame. The right medication would give you relief from the worst symptoms of depression.
I sometimes feel ashamed and that I am being punished.
Sylvia Dear Sylvia, Before I tell you what I think of your situation, I am putting out an emergency call to readers because I know that many of you will have hit a brick wall like Sylvia and that, one way or another, you will have found your way out of it.
There could be numerous reasons for this and, believe it or not, it’s not always about the sex. Let’s just hope she wasn’t married to Mr Missionary for 20 years…
If you’re attracted to older women you need to seriously up your game – drinks at a grotty man pub and some £4.99 supermarket flowers will be met with disdain. If she’s taking you out for dinner make sure your table manners are up to scratch. Think the theatre, the Booker prize and long country walks. It’s not quick or easy but then it’s not quicker or easy for her to have such great hair, make-up and style.
I particularly note Sylvia's age, 72, because I think this is part of the problem.