People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked.

People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked.


Paul Newman At some point in your life together - and guys, this may sound really weird but trust me it will happen - you will need to start re-assessing, re-inventing, re-connecting and re-growing the fundamental basis of your relationship together, on some kind of - I hate to say it - spiritual level. Your shared brain space will just have to start moving “north”.

Sex and romance will no longer provide the impetus. There are only so many fantasies you can explore, chandeliers you can swing from and Mile High clubs you can join.

It has to be your love of each other as well-worn friends who have invested so much in one another and your family unit, which now drives your relationship forward. And it’s here where so many mature relationships fall apart, when menopause means for many men, the time when their women take a really long pause from them.

Of course it’s not really fair because women are more naturally attuned to introspection and to the spiritual - or at least to more esoteric pursuits than us, but we can catch up. Unfortunately many men refuse to even consider joining them ‘out there’ because it sounds too pseudo-religious, female-centric or downright weird, and that’s the kind of calcified laziness that leads to a very lonely old age.

Many men choose instead to dig in their heels and assert with renewed vigour, their rights to have exclusively materialistic goals and pleasures: - golf with the boys, a new centre-console or a Harley Davidson. They forget that like walking and chewing gum, both things can be done quite easily at the same time. It’s just a matter of having the right communication channels in place, and those need to be built up over time. So there’s no better time to start than at the beginning of your marriage.

If not, many women simply go on to outgrow their men, and with the kids having finally flown the nest, decide it’s time they were true to their own spiritual growth, so move on to a place where they no longer have enough in common with their partner to keep them together. Sometimes I think that places like Bali are full of these suddenly unanchored middle-aged women, still beautiful creatures whose partners just weren’t up for the final and most rewarding leg of their marriage.