how to build
relationships that
are loving and intimate


I married just before I turned 21 and remained married for the next 37 years. Thirty-seven years feeling unloved, invisible, unimportant and lonely.

Having tried – and failed – for many years to create the closeness and intimacy I so longed for, I was finally able, with the support of Alan, my life coach, to dig deep to reach the anger that had been simmering within me and that I’d been afraid to connect with for so long.

I’m often asked why I waited until I was 60 to leave my marriage of 37 years if I was so unhappy.  My reply was always the same, “It takes as long as it takes.  It’s just a question of being ready to take action.”

And, while that’s true, there was something else:

I finally told myself, “I can’t do this anymore!  I deserve better!  I deserve to be happy!”  THAT’s why I left.

Looking back, I now see that the anger I felt that moment was a powerful emotion.  It finally enabled me to say “Sod it!  I’m out of here!” or I might have said, “Sod it!  I’ll do whatever it takes to sort out my relationship!”  But, one way or another, the status quo was no longer an option.

Leaving my marriage was a watershed for me.

Even though I was the one who walked out, it was one of the most painful choices I had ever made and I grieved bitterly. Yet, I never doubted even for an instant that I’d made the right decision.


My next watershed came about shortly after I left my marriage:

I was fast approaching my 60th birthday. I had been feeling really vulnerable, trying to figure out what being 60 actually meant to me. Eventually I realised that I had intimidated myself into believing, even briefly, that as a 60-year-old I would no longer make a meaningful contribution or participate in life.

What made this so strange was that the evidence of my life even then was the complete opposite.

But one question kept popping up:  “will I ever find love?”

I spent the next 12 years creating a life that’s turned out to be the richest in love, meaning and purpose. I’m doing things I have never done before – including paragliding in Turkey which was a truly joyful experience.

And then just weeks after my return, I met Paul, the love of my life, the man who turned out to be my soulmate.  My life feels complete.

Here’s a quote by Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist philosopher. It caught my eye because it’s not only a belief I hold close to my heart but also because the evidence proves it to be true in every aspect of my life.  More than that, I wholeheartedly believe that this is a possibility that can be true for you too.

“The German author, Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), writes, “… there are certainly many people who, as they age, become increasingly vigorous and energetic, more broad-minded and tolerant, living with a greater sense of freedom and assurance. It is important to remember that ageing and growing old are not necessarily the same thing.”