He left for a younger woman.

When an older man leaves for a younger woman, he usually fears getting old and stale.
When an older man leaves for a younger woman, he usually fears getting old and stale.

I noticed some men leave a long-term relationship for a younger woman. It seems so wrong. What do you think?

Imagine you have devoted the last twenty years to raising your family and you are looking forward to finally spending some quality time with your husband. Then, suddenly, out of the blue, he leaves you for a much younger woman.

How easy would it be to descend into animosity and bitterness? Such betrayal is so unfair!

We can understand those who are tempted follow the example of the three jaded women in the blockbuster film, The First Wives Club. The wives, played by Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton, seek revenge. One by one they outwit and then financially and emotionally “cripple” their cheating ex-husbands.

Ivana Trump, also appearing as herself in the movie, sums up many women’s actions with her phrase: “Don’t get mad, get everything!”

Ivana certaining did in real life, suing her immensely wealthy husband, Donald, for a fortune. Most of us don’t have such a an avenue; our husbands are not so rich.

Of course men are not the only ones who do the deserting, but anecdotal evidence suggests fewer women than men run off with someone many years their junior.

It does seem unfair when a husband deserts a loyal wife for a younger model. For years, the wife has usually put her needs last, after those of the children and her husband. She will have most likely stalled her career in favour of his, and her money earning capacity, as a consequence, will be less. She is probably approaching middle age if not already there and beginning to lose her youthful looks. If she’s been spending most of her time helping at the school tuckshop and mixing with children, her confidence levels, in terms of the wider world, are likely to be fairly low as well. At one of the most vulnerable times in her life, she is left to cope alone, both financially and emotionally.

How could the person who vowed to love her through good times and bad, until death do them part, treat her so poorly? How could he leave?

The quick answer is he has panicked.

One day he looked in the mirror and saw one grey hair too many; or he found himself panting while climbing a set of stairs; or his father died. Maybe his business went broke or he lost a lot of money in poor investments.

He suddenly realised he was weak and mortal and, instead of facing his mortality and feelings of failure and coming to terms with it all, he got frightened. He ran, hoping to escape, until he ran into the arms of the first young female that looked his way.

Don’t begrudge him his new life. He is not going to enjoy it, not for long. His new partner will want to get married and have children. Although he might enjoy some of the interaction with his second family, he is going to get tired, very tired. It will be years before he can retire – by that time the retirement age will be seventy.

His new wife will give him a hard time if he harbours any affection for you. Although such affection may be tainted with guilt, it is likely to increase proportionally to the increase in difficulties he faces new life, especially if you have been emotionally tolerant and understanding during the breakup.

He has left because he has had the typical mid-life crises. Unfortunately, he has let his emotions dictate his actions. He will probably live to regret it.

So is the “get even” approach appropriate?

Getting even keeps you hooked into him. Revenge never satisfies in the longer term. Sooner or later you have to let go and get on with your life.

Leave him to reap what he has sown. In the meantime, make the most of the opportunity he has given you. You can grow, you can learn, you can create and you can have fun.

No one expands or grows by feeling completely safe and secure. Adversity is necessary. At first it is awful dealing with the loss, the grief and the hurt of rejection. But make the decision to move on. If you accept the challenge to grow your personal power, you will be surprised how happy you can become.

Moving on

  • Decide to turn adversity into opportunity. Decide you are going to become strong and powerful.
  • Join a gym, do weightbearing exercises and aerobics. Being physically strong and healthy is a precursor to building your emotional strength.
  • Seek help from a psychologist to work through your emotional baggage; you don’t need it any more.
  • Pursue the interests you sacrificed in the past no matter how adventurous they seem now.
  • Follow your bliss. Who or what makes you feel energised and joyful? Keep increasing into your life, contact with these people and activities.

Terri’s Story

Terri’s husband of 26 years has left her for his 27-year-old assistant. Terri feels confused and hurt. She decides she never really knew him at all. They were both so busy raising their three children that they never uncovered the real issues and differences between them.

After many months of grief, Terri decides this set back will not undo her. The children are grown up and she realises she can do what ever she likes. She can read a book after dinner instead of watching the news. She can have a bath, undisturbed on a Saturday morning. She can drop into friends for a cuppa and stay for lunch. No one is waiting for her. She is free.

There are two things Terri has always wanted to do. Paint nudes and ride a motor bike. Just thinking about the possibility of doing either, brings an adrenaline rush to her head and makes her draw in a sharp breath.

Soon, she musters up the courage to take bike-riding lessons. She loves them and is saving for a bike of her own.
With such success, she takes a life drawing class. Her technique needs some work, however, her teacher is kind and so she looks forward to the class each week.

Terri is determined to keep learning, experiencing and growing. She doesn’t know if her life would have been as full if her husband were still around. And now she doesn’t care.

13 Responses to He left for a younger woman.

  1. Sometimes the ups and the downs are crippling. My husband of 17 years, hes 38 im 34, left me for a 19 year old girl. He had gone back to school to finally get our life on track. I had stuck with him through good and bad, richer and POORER. He lied about it for the longest time. Its been almost a year now since ive found out. I moved out taking our three children with me. I am see a therapist, to help work through my lingering issues., and have decided after being out to go back to school and try to make a life for myself and my children. Ive been on dates and seemingly gotten on with my life. But there are times when I feel knocked over by the hurt all over again. I still have moments when I cant help but wonder what he saw in her that I was lacking. I know I dont want him back, some of the things hes done to me and my children since he has left is appaling. So why cant I get past it completely.Why do I refuse to see him exactly the way he is.

    • Because you are not full within yourself. Let him go to start over again and be the best you can be for you. The leaver has left himself. Who, in their right mind, would leave their 3 lovely children and wife. No one was in there. He is empty. No bickering or habits – which what they say they leave for – is the real reason. The real reason, is he is unlovable. Let it go. No matter what it looks like on the outside – whether he is happy or not, You are whole and beautiful. Keep raising your kids and the morals and values that your husband stands for is all he ever needs to teach his kids about who he is.
      I love you, Be kind with yourself and thank him each and every day for making you a mother. Because your kids are everything. !! In the end, men are just dessert, they are not the main course. And, we all know we can’t live on dessert

      • The same thing happened to me. We have two sons together and he helped me raise my two daughters also. We were together for 11 years and when I turned 39 he left me for a 19 year old girl. She looks exactly like me at 19 except her hair is longer and of course her face looks younger. My face had recently undergone changes. I lost my clear skin, grew hair on my chin, and my cheeks have sagged. I used to look 19 now everyone says I look 25, but I know this means I look older. No doubt about it she is more beautiful than I am and since she ha that long beautiful hair I never had she is his ideal. It took me a year to stop crying everyday. I had to take anxiety meds not to kill myself and I ended up in the hospital. I had lost 60 lbs right before he left. But when he left I gained back 80 to punish myself. The kicker is my husband was a drug addict and not a very good husband. He was a god friend and provider but I was unhappy in my marriage. A younger, but more responsible man had came and I fell in love. However, I turned him down and tried to repair my marriage. In the end I lost my husband and also a chance at real love with someone more suitable. Now I am extremely fat and hideous and have lost my shape. The fat went to my waist instead of my behind like I prefer and it used to when I was young. Now I have no figure. I am expressed and afraid of anyone to get close, though they still try. What can I do. I have been dreaming at night about my ex cheating on his girlfriend with me and having long hair. I’m a mess!

  2. Being in my thirties, and attending some academic courses at a local school that has students as young as 10 y/o to as old as I am and older, I’ve noticed certain things that I was unaware of in the past, simply by observing the people that surround me and their behavior.
    The girls for instance are way more awake emotionally than boys, some men regardless of their age never even develop the emotional awareness than a teenaged girl has.
    The girls are not necessarily intellectually smarter, but are socially smarter. They are more aware of their place in the world in regards to the people that surround them.
    They understand feelings and connection a lot better, etc etc. Guys are like little dumb baby’s compared to them in this area.
    As for people in their late teens and early twenties, It seems women are actually women by the time they are twenty, guys are still sorta dumb big baby’s.
    My point is, with schools having so many same aged people cramped up in the same place, it is to easy for guys to hook up with women that otherwise would have probably never been able to. A 22 year old guy is dating a 22 year old girl only because they are in the same school, something that maybe in the past didn’t happen because a lot of people didn’t go to school for so long, plus there was no media industry selling the concept of youth like today. Men had to grow up! and work hard if they wanted the best woman they could get, and this in a way complimented how mother nature intended things to be. Guys today have it easier than it probably should be, and are able to date women that would’ve probably been out of their league in the past. Many of these women would’ve probably ended up with older guys in the past if it weren’t for schools and especially the media.
    I’m not condoning same aged couples, I’m just saying that there are probably a lot more same aged couples than there probably should be.

    A lot of guys leave their wives for younger women because they are insecure jerks, but maybe they shouldn’t have gotten married so young in the first place!!

  3. My husband did the same with a coworker twenty years younger, we were married 28 years and have a teenage son. It’s been 3 months since he left and the divorce is going through at the moment. You get stronger by the day after initially being in a state of shock, I think both him and this woman deserve each other and I laugh about it now. He’s no oil painting and neither is she by all accounts, he can wave bye bye to an early retirement, having to help two families financially and there is the question of our son and her son excepting this new relationship. For the moment he seems happy but I very much doubt this will be the case further on down the line. They have this utopian vision of a better life, I’m just glad to be single without constantly being nagged about having baths and running up the gas bill. His four bottles of wine a night was never taken into consideration, like I said she’s welcomed to it.

  4. i too was left for a woman who was 241/2 years younger than him and she already had a little girl by another man. we were married for 12years but lived together for 20. i had two girls from a previous marriage, but could not have any children by him, which he knew from the onset of the relationship that i could not have anymore. he told me he did not want children and so i started a relationship with him. unfortunatly, he said that the reason he left me is because he wanted a son. and so not quite a year after cheating on me he got his son by her married her, and now has another on the way. this has been all in about 2 years time. our divorce has not even been a year yet. i have struggled to get my life back together. while he has started a family and may i say it is beginning to grow so now he has her little girl, his son, one on the way, two dogs and a cat. my girls are grown, married and moved to another state. i was left alone, with noone. he has someone to go home to, to have someone throw their arms around him and say i love you how was your day? i have darkness. i cannot understand myself why a man would leave a good woman that took good care of him, worked inside the home, outside the home, i even layed his clothes out for him every morning to go to work. i was pretty much his slave… and now he takes care of her. she does not work has not worked since they got together. he calls her a princess. she cant be treating him the way i did. he makes six figures a year now, but i remember a time when he made nothing and i stood behind him. he became a cliche, stayed with a woman till he started making the money than high tailed it to a woman that did not help him through life. she knew what he made, she worked in the office where he worked. i get alimony from him but its like pulling teeth. hes always late or misses a payment here and there. and when i ask him for it he cusses me out. tells me his babies are hungry, or he might not have his job at the end of the month. which of course makes me feel guilty, and makes me feel like im the one in the wrong. just saying, its a long hard road, i have come along way but the road still looks long and narrow. best of luck to all the women on here going through this. remember love yourself, be good to yourself.

  5. Here’s a different perspective…I am 31, and have been seeing a guy who’s 43, married for 17 years, with 8 years old daughter. We’ve been seeing each other for about 4 months now, he still lives with his family.
    He was honest from the very beginning about his situation, and knowing he’s married I rejected him straight away. However he’s been very ‘persuasive’ (and not pushy at all)and convinced me somehow to see him again, and again… I actually liked his company from the very beginning and despite of having a massive issues with him being married (and having a child!), I fell into him (not loving him at this point, but just really, really like him).
    So here’s the perspective of the ‘other woman’. Firstly he married his wife when he was quite young – something around 29, after few years of dating, secondly his marriage never seem to be working well, they even went for couples’ therapy at some point, things improved a bit afterwards, so they had this idea that a child will make a final bond in their relationship. Of course it didn’t, as it never does in such situations. He says now they are more like ‘partners in life’ rather than a loving couple. Sex maybe 4-5 times a year, always him initiating, they don’t even argue as they both get very bitter when arguing, so both learned to avoid it at all cost.
    And I’m just observing whole situation he’s going through, asking a lots of questions about his relationship with his wife, how was it back in the days, what has gone wrong.
    What strikes me the most is that THEY BOTH LET IT HAPPEN. Most women who posted their comments here are blaming their men for leaving them, but damn, take a small step back, and be totally honest with yourself. Is it really only his fault?? Was your relationship really good? Open communication? Caring about each other, and not just managing to have a easy life routine? I don’t believe that anyone being in a good, mature, satisfying relationship would want to cheat on their partner!
    So from my perspective – I think he’s wife simply DOESN’T WANT TO see the fact that their relationship is not working. Additionally she got comfortable with him earning enough so she doesn’t have to work etc.
    I’m not saying it’s always the case, not at all! You sometimes would have those idiot men who would be simply immature and irresponsible etc. I’m talking here about a classic example of how negligence and lack of communication can damage even best relationship.
    I might be only 31, but have had a serious long term relationship in my life. And funny thing is that if I married my fiance (and the date was already set!) my marriage in 10-15 years time would look EXACTLY as my lover’s one look like. I loved him very much, and will always love him for the person he is, but it doesn’t mean we make a good couple. We never did, apart from having our lives easier and comfortable by living together…

  6. Karen, thank you so much for your perspective, I get so tired of seeing people write that men leave because of how the wife looks or acts, that’s crap! My husband of 17 years left recently for a much younger co-worker, a woman that I thought was a friend of mine and our two children. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I am beginning to see what a narcissist my husband really is. I tried so hard to save my marriage but in the end I was the only one who was and it takes two to build a marriage and only one to tear it down. I am getting stronger every day and know that my success in life will be my revenge.

  7. When I met my husband I had a very good job which had allowed me to buy my own home and car. He had nothing, and I do mean nothing, to his name. I had savings in the bank. We got married. The he said ‘I don’t want to live in your house as it’s in your name only’. That should have been my red flag. Then I got ‘if you don’t put it in my name too you don’t love me’, that should have been second red flag. He asked if I’d help him, financially, to set up a business. At the time I was wanting to set up a business, but he said no, only 1 of us should be in business and it would be better if I was an employee, less hassle. So I helped, financially and with lots of time, going in on evenings (when I wasn’t working) weekends and taking annual leave from my 2 jobs to help out. When he started to make money he changed from being a nice person. He also stopped mixing with friends that he’d been to school with and starting mixing with people he’d met in business, he started going to the same pub as them. Then it was golfing holidays (which I found out at the end of the marriage from one of the other blokes, always included going to brothels). When he found out he had a low sperm count he cheated. We sat down and talked about it, I forgave, we started IVF treatment. After 6 yrs of IVF one day I thought I was having a heart attack. He very cruelly told me I should lose weight, when the test results and MRI came back it was found that I had a tumour that was intertwined with my intestines and pushing up on my heart and lungs. I had my op, and yes I did lose weight from having the op, 20 lbs. But unfortunately they also found that they had to perform a hysterectomy. He cheated again. It was my fault, I was ill, I couldn’t give him children now. Then he begged forgiveness, I forgave. Next he starts cheating with a younger woman and I start getting nasty comments like ‘she’s a business woman, you’re just an employee’. In actual fact she was a barmaid who had married the pub owner. He started the ‘gastlighting’ to turn everything round to being my fault. We’re divorced now, and he’s living with her, so they broke up two marriages. A leopard don’t change it’s spots, he will cheat on her when the shine wears off. He has no morals and no integrity and he’s a narcissist. She’s welcome to him. I’m well rid. Danniell, to you I would say, yes there are two sides to every story, but you’ve only heard his side and people (men and women) like that will always tell you the stuff you’ve been told. Why? Because it ensures that it keeps you in your place, you won’t upset the apple cart, won’t ask too much of him, you will always be willing for sex and will let him do what he wants for fear of the relationship going the same way as their marriage. A lot of women on here have tried to get the open communication, but the fact is when someone has decided they want out, they won’t communicate and usually that’s the first sign to the other person that the decision has been made, but they keep trying, striving to get that communication in order to make the marriage work.

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