I am a truck driver who at age 73 still has a 15 hour work day. When I was in my twenties, I married a genteel girl whom I loved because she was thin. (I hate myself for this, but if a girlfriend put on weight, I’d split.)
We had two children whom I loved, but she was having an affair.
A little while later I met a sweet girl named Pat who was 7 st. Over the years, her weight doubled, so we broke up but remained friends.
I visited Thailand with a friend to enjoy the single life but started a four year relationship. It ended because I didn’t want to get married.
I decided to go on vacation to the Philippines and met a beautiful girl named Mia. Hours later I was visiting her family in a cabin with no water.
We kept in touch and I came to visit again a year later, after taking care of my parents who were both demented. Mom left me £1,500 and I bought a piece of land for Mia’s family and built them a house.
Mia came to visit and begged me not to send her home. I told her I wouldn’t get married. She said she wanted to work and send money back. I ended up marrying her, but I warned that we would split up once she got status.
The only person I told was my ex, Pat. I gave my daughters large sums of money so they wouldn’t blame Mia.
She got her British passport and worked in a care home, cleaning houses and sending money home. Time passed, I loved her, but not in a real romantic way.
Five years ago I was on vacation in Thailand while Mia was visiting the Philippines, I had a massage with a beautiful young girl, Kulap. I asked her out and she stayed with me for the next 12 days. I was in love like never before. But Mia was coming, so I told Kulap I was married.
She wouldn’t talk to me, but I gave her 1,200 pounds. When I got home I got very sick and Pat and Mia saved my life. Kulap kept in touch and I went back to see her. It felt so good to have this beautiful girl on my arm.
Pat saw my emails and told Mia. They went crazy. Then my daughters heard. It’s no fun, they said, a 73-year-old with a 37-year-old. I explained that I wanted to reach for romance, but everyone sided with Mia.
I’m still going to Thailand. Am I wrong to want two weeks of happiness? Come on, shoot me.
This week, Bel advises a 73-year-old reader who is considering leaving his wife for a 37-year-old masseuse from Thailand
Do you really want to sit like a plastic duck at the fair on the shooting range while I aim?
Instead, I will extend my hand, carry the duck from the range, and cradle it in friendly hands. Poor duck, I whisper, why are you preparing yourself for a trip to the plastic recycling box?
Your handwritten letter was 18 neat pages and you concluded by apologizing that it “has turned into a novel.”
The upside is that there is tons of information, accurate only here, and I must confess to readers (who will be staring at your tale of vanity and romance under exotic skies) that you are honest about your shortcomings and not the totally silly, selfish old guy , you sound like.
There’s a foolish life force behind those pages that I grudgingly embrace. Still riding a motorbike… age won’t wilt you… at least you think so. But let’s give chase. You ask, “Is it wrong to want two weeks of happiness?”
Well, yes, Fred, you are. The price of your Mills & Boon crap is too high.
More from Bel Mooney for the Daily Mail…
Your idea of ”happiness” is sitting on a moonlit beach with a Thai woman on your arm young enough to be your daughter.
You have a superficial, lifelong obsession with good looks (including your own) and you can’t see beyond that. Oh, you admit that Mia’s toil in the nursing home is admirable, but you justify your craving for Kulap by assuring me that you’re “not a bad person” and deserve “two weeks in 52 happiness.”
Your faithful, loving Filipino wife kicked you and threw a vase when she heard of your lying and cheating. Go, Mia!
Despite everything, she wants to stay with you. Why, when you’ve already told her she can have the house? You’ve been financially generous to a lot of people, but you have to ask yourself if that gets you off the hook.
You’re 73 and if it weren’t for the two women you hurt so badly, you would have died.
You have two daughters whom you love, but who deeply disapprove of the actions of their old father-goat.
You are a grandfather as far removed from dignity and sanity as ever, who ends his saga with the sentence, “No one ever loved me as much as Mia, but I just can’t help it with Kulap.”
Come on! What happens if you can (soon?) no longer drive trucks and run out of money?
Why not ask yourself who will cut your toenails and clean up when you get old?
What would you do if Mia gave up on you?
Why don’t you stop your foolishness and save your own life?
My husband drinks to drown debt problems
Me and my partner live together and have a 7 month old daughter.
My partner owns his own business that has not been going very well in recent years and he is in debt. I feel like we don’t have any intimacy anymore, and I’m not just talking about sex. He shows little affection and sleeps on the couch saying he is worried about money.
I’m sure he’s in debt, but use this as an excuse to drink heavily. He recently didn’t come home for three days and only told me the first night he would sleep on the couch at work.
The second night I thought he would be back but he didn’t show up and his phone was turned off. He’s back now, but I’m mad at him. This isn’t a one-off either, as he hasn’t bothered to tell me before that he wouldn’t be coming home more than once, although this is the first time it’s been longer than one night.
I was “off” when he came back this time, and he asked me if I had spoken to anyone today. He tries to claim (as he has done before) that I am upset because I have not spoken to anyone else. I had, and it wasn’t.
A few weeks ago I had a hair appointment in the morning and he was supposed to babysit our daughter, but when I got up it was clear he was still drunk.
I’m tired of it and feel like a single mom anyway. Should I just give up and leave him? Or is it worth trying again even though I’ve already told him how I feel?
Bel answers readers’ questions about emotional and relationship issues on a weekly basis.
Write to Bel Mooney, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If desired, a pseudonym is used.
Bel reads all the letters, but regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.
The situation you describe would be considered unbearable by most women.
After 16 years in the bumpy, rather worn-out and patched-up chair of the advice columnist, I wonder how many times I’ve mentioned it about couples needing to be considerate and have conversations.
In reality, older people may find that they no longer have chat (as well as hopes and dreams), but you are young, with a life ahead of you. Oh, and a child too.
Since your husband’s strange, selfish behavior is unacceptable, I might say, “Oh, stop it and find someone else.” But you have a daughter, so serious thinking is essential, followed by cool, decisive action.
First off, I wonder how long you two have been together and if the baby was planned. You see, it sounds like you don’t know the man very well.
You write, ‘I’m sure he’s in debt, but use this as an excuse to drink heavily’…but that sounds like two extremely important topics haven’t been discussed, as they should be between a couple in love. You should know more about his company. If he sleeps on the couch because he is stressed and miserable, you should try to help him. But if he’s withdrawn because he no longer wants to be your partner, that’s also something that needs attention. Secure?
You say you told him how you feel, but in what terms? If my husband stayed out like this, I’d like to know if he’s having an affair. So tell him that without honesty there is no relationship, so do you want me to leave or not?
No mood, because that reduces control. But I would insist on knowing … or else no future.
You could of course go for couples therapy, but that would be a step after a decisive conversation.
I can understand why you say you are already a “single mother” as you lack both help and sympathy from the man you share your life with.
Does he love you? Do you love him? Does he love your daughter? None of this information is in your letter, so you should start talking.
If you break up, the younger the baby the better, although life will be hard for you. But worse than a loveless household? New.
And finally… Help this cool granny get a grip!
When I was a university student in London (1966-9), the King’s Road was full of boutiques; cool young men lounging outside wore vintage stripes and Lord Kitchener’s valet jackets in scarlet and gold, and pretty girls in mini fur coats and tiny dresses crowded the sidewalks like iridescent butterflies. The soundtrack was Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks, the Beatles, Bobbie Gentry, Aretha Franklin, Motown… and oh, bliss it was to be alive in that dawn.
Now those hits and clothes may still be rocking through our minds, but the generation of the sixties got older… and older… and now here we are, still feeling groovy, but probably thinking about hip replacements, mobility aids and wondering how we managed to dance all night and get up in the morning anyway.
Thought of the day
. . . one day I sat still and felt like a motherless child. . . it occurred to me, that feeling of being a part of everything, not separate at all. I knew if I cut down a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I ran all over the house. I knew exactly what it was. When it happens, you can’t miss it. from The Color Purple by Alice Walker www (African-American writer, 1944)
Bed was once synonymous with sex; now I’m thinking about how best to read my book. There is nothing wrong with that; we all have to go with the flow. Plus, younger people recovering from an accident or illness need all kinds of tools to make life easier – even if their idea of music is dance or make-up!
So I was thrilled when I found a great website called Granny Gets A Grip. To understand the name, you need to know that one of the coolest boutiques in Chelsea was called Granny Takes A Trip – and trust me, that trip wasn’t a day out on a bus with a pack of sarnies.
The website was founded by two friends who point out that the entire aging process may have changed in our time (look at fashion and holidays, for example), but ‘no one stays in the prime of life forever – the aging process is unbeatable, and physical decline ultimately affects us all.’
Sophie Dowling and Miranda Thomas both have experience with caring parents and ‘we are getting older ourselves, and we felt we could use that experience.’
And grannygetsagrip.com is the result – full of stuff I think many of you could find useful. And this cool grandma too.