Join the Relationship conversation! BA50s are dealing with all kinds of relationships: we are married after 50, divorced after 50, puzzling over sexless marriage or rekindling our love lives at midlife; sandwiched in between our aging parents and our adult kids, becoming grandparents and so much more. Not to mention how we are relating to ourselves in this unique stage of life.
I recently went on a women’s empowerment cruise, invited by my daughter who was one of the featured speakers.
Sitting in that audience, I wondered if I were their age today whether everything out-of-the-box would still seem as scary. Then I realized most of these women had a safety net my friends and I didn’t have… us as parents encouraging them to have goals that trumped being safe and secure. We instilled in them the knowledge that although making brave choices generates anxiety, it’s survivable and so worth the risk. My parents’ fears of the uncertain were contagious; hopefully our confidence in our daughters’ resilience is too. ...
‘She’s such a bitch.’
‘Everything I say annoys her.’
‘Nothing I do is right.’
‘She’s only nice to me when she needs money.’
‘What happened to my sweet little girl?’
Do these laments sound familiar? They do to me because at some point since my daughter, Britt, went to college, graduated and moved to New York City I have uttered each one. But over the past twelve years I have found myself lamenting less and enjoying her more. Why? Did she change? Or did I? A bit of both but weighted much more heavily on me.
I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision but I think this complaining about my adult daughter diminished when I started to view her for what she is in that order: ADULT then DAUGHTER. Once I changed my perspective to treat her as an adult first, my daughter second, our relationship became much less strained and tenuous. ...
Last month, I borrowed my ex-husband’s car to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and their little guy (read about becoming a grandmother here). As soon as I arrived at the parking garage, the attendant said, “I’m sorry, but the car’s dead.”
My ex immediately answered the phone when I called, arranged for a jump, and said, “call me along the way.”
He called me while I was driving, “everything okay? Call me when you get there.”
Pleased that he was concerned, I thought he was being dramatic. “I fine. I’m will.”
But I never got there. The car wouldn’t restart at the rest stop forty-five minutes from my destination.
My ex gave me the info I needed to get the car on the road again and where to drop it off. “Call me if you have any problems.”
My bestie, Sonia, sat on the phone with me until the car service showed up. Finally, on my way back into the city, I held my breath, clenched my butt cheeks, and drove the ninety-minute ride feeling sorry for myself. I missed feeling taken care of by my husband like he did so many years ago. I knew I didn’t want to be married to him, but then damnit, why am I crying?...
“You live the closest. How about you call every morning just to make sure she is okay.”
“Am I the ‘she’ you are talking about?” I asked walking in with a tray of appetizers. And then, with a tinge of anger in my voice, “If so, don’t you dare appoint anyone as responsible for checking on me.”
Realizing I had initiated a palpable tension in the room, I offered a feeble laugh. “Guys, I’m not anywhere near there yet. I promise I won’t be the lady crying, ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ from the bottom of the cellar steps.”
Throughout dinner, I remained cheerful, happy to have my children, their spouses and my grandchildren enjoying the meal I had made for them. I wanted to remind them that I had shopped, cooked, cleaned the house, and stood on a stepstool to get the good china from the top shelf of the breakfront. All by myself.
That evening, in bed with a magazine, I felt guilty that I had snapped at my children. I’d been living alone since the last of my four children married ten years ago. Why their sudden concern? And why my failure to graciously accept a plan to “make sure Mom was okay.”
I remembered how “difficult” my mother became as she got older. She almost never wore the hearing aids we insisted she needed. How often I stood outside ringing her doorbell, pounding on the door, and calling her phone with no response. I knew she was home; I could hear the blaring television. I’d resort to walking around the house and banging on one of her living room windows....
I was blown away by the response to the post we published last week on BA50, Marcia Byalick's "Marriage Everlasting In Separate Bedrooms." The post literally went viral. There have been 60K views on our BA50 Instagram and BA50 Facebook and the comments poured in... including a rousing...
The honesty of our readers' comments were fascinating with so many sharing their own sleep arrangements both separate and not.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this topic and am inviting you all to share yours as well. I truly was surprised and curious to learn more when I read the comments by so many who were also happier in separate bedrooms and still have healthy marriages.
This was news to me and struck a chord as well.
First of all, there is the judgement piece. There are many topics about our marriages that we prefer not to share because who wants to be judged, so I was thrilled Marcia took on this topic. And, the truth is, I learned from this post....
It’s been almost two months since my friend Tommy fell to the floor at his friend’s house in Milton, Delaware and suffered a fatal heart attack. What began as a typical evening of socializing among these transplanted Delawareans turned deadly in a split second. Hardly the picture of health- Tommy was overweight, a smoker; nevertheless, no one expected death to strike so suddenly and violently. At age 63, Tommy was just a year older than me, making him my first contemporary to pass. And leaving me unsettled in ways I am trying to comprehend.
Countless others have written volumes about death and loss and grief far more eloquently than I, and yet the questions remain. How do we get past the grief: mine, ours, Janet’s?
I tell myself what I tell my suffering patients: There is no way around grief, only through it. Navigating this level of loss means something different to every person experiencing it. For me, I will begin by remembering Tommy, his antics, and his goodness, and I will say his name. I will remind myself and Janet that grief is not linear, nor is it predictable. It is indiscriminate in its assaults. ...
On June 27, 2022, the New York Times reassured me that the moments I want to attack my kind, mild-mannered husband with a meat cleaver are completely normal.
Three months later, the Washington Post also sanctioned these instances of partner loathing, quoting family therapist and author Terrence Real, the creator/proponent of “Normal Marital Hatred,” who says, “Real marriage comes the day you realize that this person is exquisitely designed to stick the burning spear into your eyeball.”
Mr. Real goes on to explain that no one acknowledges the “underbelly” of relationships. He postulates that there are moments when you look at your partner and hate their guts.
Wait, Terrence, have you been hiding in marital closets across America?...
Revealing the fact that Bob and I, after over 50 years of marriage, now sleep in two different rooms? I wasn’t ready…until now.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Catherine Zeta Jones, not to mention the Queen… they all came out with it
The New York Times recently did a story on homebuilders who saw increased demand for homes with two main bedrooms. The Better Sleep Council notes 26% of married couples report sleeping more soundly when they’re alone in a bed. And follow up studies show getting a healthy night’s sleep may be one of the single best things you can do for your relationship.
Yet we believe happy couples sleep in the same bed and unhappy ones don’t. When we hear that a couple sleeps in separate rooms we immediately assume their relationship is in trouble. Committed couples, they say, just work out the windows-open-vs-closed thing…the light-on thing…the sleep apnea thing…the TV-on thing…the going-to-the-bathroom-three-times-a-night thing…the-pulling-the-covers thing…and the insomnia thing. With the wisdom that comes with age, I no longer have to bow to whatever the super judgy ”they” say. ...
Every birthday after 50 most of think we are heading toward that "older" age but it's not true. There are some incredible statistics on our side proving that not only are we going to live longer but every day 10,000 people turn 65 which means there are plenty of "us".
And when we hit 65 we are still not the oldest generation as "The fastest growing age group in the U.S. is people over age 85, and the second fastest is people 100 and over (centenarians). Experts predict a twelvefold increase in centenarians by the year 2060, and that a 10-year-old child alive today has a 50% chance of living to be over 100.May 26, 2022."
Obviously there's a myriad of topics that an aging population triggers in terms of the economics of supporting this demo and how our kids will bear the brunt of that burden.
But, on another note -- back to us -- since longevity is in our favor, it begs the question and demands immediate answers as to what are we doing to day to ensure we are not wasting our time bemoaning how old we are, examining our saggy skin, and delaying getting that hip replaced.
I for one am kinda pissed that I spent too much time thinking I was old when I turned 60 because the truth is once I found the right place to live and celebrate each day, age has become less of a topic. This is the 3rd winter my husband and I are living in Park City, Utah it's hard to feel old here since this place is all about being outdoors and being active....
f you think about it, the holiday season is 2 weeks more than a long vacation. There is never enough time to see and do everything that this time of the year has to offer. My younger self tried to live up to my own expectations of what Christmas should be, perfect gifts under the tree. I was absorbed in collecting, spending my time in malls rather than planning fun experiences, which led to terrible holiday FOMO.
This year I’m trying to be wiser. I told my family, “Give me your Wanderlust List. Things you would never buy yourself but would love to have for travel.” Theming the gift giving helped narrow down the length of my shopping, allowing me more time to check off items on my holiday FOMO priority list....
was thinking this was going to be a stellar day — it started out with a Santa Dance at my local Expresso Love coffee shop in Edgartown. A little boy watched and clapped as my pup and I danced and then he said,
“I have a present for your dog.”
He pulled his hat out of his backpack and with the sweetest smile he held the hat up to give to little LULU."
"I want to give this to your dog."
I wanted to hug that child but have been trained not to these past 2 years - however, he totally melted me.
“Your child is the poster child for Christmas Spirit — who gives their hat away -- and it's a really cold day? That is precious and priceless.”
Lulu and I gratefully thanked the 4 year old and his Mom and we were all in the best of moods.
And then the taxi arrived and we headed to Martha’s Vineyard Airport.
There was no one there but two lovely greeters behind the Cape Air desk.
“Are we the only 2 people going to JFK?”
“Wait is your dog going with you, because if it is — you aren’t going...