By Abigail Trafford
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Extra info for As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity
He was really lost trying to look for a job. It’s not a hotbed of jobs here, especially for people pushing 60. He did not ever finish the résumé. He didn’t go for any job interviews. All along he became more unpleasant,” she says. He never hurts her. But he scares her. She’d come home from work and he’d be a bear. “He was losing control of his life. He was trying to control mine. As he was feeling more desperate, his behavior got worse,” she says. “He got more depressed. ” She tries to talk to him about it.
This kind of loss is devastating. It is a reminder that the transition of “middle-escence” is a vulnerable period. Most people do not succumb to a severe depression after retirement—just as most women do not suffer from a postpartum depression after giving birth. But like a parent with a newborn, you may find yourself dealing with the swing of some strong emotions: relief and joy mixed in with unease and unexpected sadness. The future seems overwhelming; the present, uncertain. It’s a time to take special care of yourself; to give yourself some slack— to spoil yourself.
I was not swamped by it—I was developed by it. That was a huge part of my development,” she says. Her husband is ten years older and manages a tow-trucking company. He makes good money, getting illegally parked cars in Boston towed off to nearby Charleston. Never a slow period in a city where a parking space is more precious than a house in the suburbs. But it is grueling physical work—calls at all hours, hoisting vehicles onto the truck. He’s sick of it. When a new boss takes over, he starts thinking about retiring.