I've been lonely since my wife left me, but my daughter won't let me move on (2024)


Laura CollinsPublished Jun 15, 2024, 6:00pm

Getting over heartbreak can take weeks, months, or in many cases even years.

But sometimes it’s less about whether you’re ready to move on and more about how doing so will effect those closest to you.

This week, we hear from a reader who’s ready to find love again, five years on from when his wife walked out with his best friend. However, his adult daughter is concerned that he could end up being used.

Read the advice below, but before you go, don’t forget to check outlast week’s dilemma, from a woman who’s struggling to make a decision between her husband of eight years and a married man she’s been having an affair with.

The problem…

Five years ago, my wife left me for a close friend and although I’ve spent a long time struggling to get over it, I know I have to move on. I always dreamt she would come to her senses and come back to me, but I’ve now accepted this will never be the case.

Although I’ve had lots of sex in the time since she left, it’s all been meaningless and often paid for. I’ve never really cared, because all I wanted to do was satisfy myself sexually and it’s often easier to pay someone who doesn’t want a serious relationship.

But recently I’ve been feeling that the time has come to look for something more permanent. I’m reasonable looking, fit, fun and financially stable, and although I don’t want to come across as big headed, I know from experience that I won’t have too much trouble attracting the opposite sex.

The problem is my adult daughter, who is used to being the only woman in my life and is very resistant to the idea of me meeting someone else. She’s worried that someone will marry me for my money, and that somehow, she will lose her inheritance. I’ve told her I will make legal provision to ensure that doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t reassure her.

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She is the most important person in my world and I don’t want to upset her, but I do feel the time has come to move on.

What do you think our reader should do?Comment Now

The advice…

I’m so glad you feel ready to put all the hurt behind you and take the next step in life. You sound as though you have a lot to offer, and of course you deserve the chance to love and be loved again.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with paid-for sex, but it’s rarely fulfilling long term and you owe it to yourself to meet someone who genuinely cares about you, and you them. As you haven’t had a relationship for a while, don’t rush into anything serious straight away; instead, just remind yourself what it’s like to truly enjoy the company of women. Sex is important, but there are many other aspects to a good relationship, and that’s what you’ve been missing out on for the last five years.

Your daughter is used to being the most important woman in your world but she has a life of her own, as you must have yours. She’ll get used to your new situation and hopefully, the time will come when any new partner of yours becomes a friend to her.

Although it might be a long way off, just remember that marriage usually revokes any existing will. It’s never too early to talk to your solicitor, who will advise you on the right course of action to ensure that your daughter remains provided for, whatever you do.

Meanwhile, don’t worry about her; if she loves you, she’ll want what’s best for you.

You’ve been lonely and unhappy for a long while and it’s time that changed.

Laura is a counsellor and columnist.

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I've been lonely since my wife left me, but my daughter won't let me move on (2024)


How to move on after your wife leaves you? ›

Take time to explore your interests.

Reconnect with things you enjoy doing apart from your spouse. Have you always wanted to take up painting or play on an intramural softball team? Sign up for a class, invest time in your hobbies, volunteer, and take time to enjoy life and make new friends.

What not to do when your wife leaves you? ›

First, avoid doing behaviors that actively “push” your spouse away. Crying, yelling, and begging are natural reactions when we feel like we're losing someone we love. However, these are not the best reactions for the long term. Showing them the levels of our emotional pain doesn't “guilt” them toward coming back.

What to do when your wife no longer wants you? ›

If despite the honest conversations and professional counseling, your wife's love is gone, it might be time to move on. At this point, your happiness and welfare should take priority. Leaning on friends and family, as well as seeing a therapist, can help with managing the painful transition.

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