The divorce rate among the over sixties is on the rise. Hardly suprising,.people are living longer which has made marriages for many a phase rather than a lasting commitment. And anyway there does come a point when the conversation once fierce and flowing, then reduced to a tepid trickle just dries up altogether. So its divorce or sitting in silence with someone you are beginning to have second or third thoughts about.
But for some such as my child bride and I help is at hand. The daily litany of bits and pieces going wrong, maybe doesn’t lead to the greatest of Hegelian discussions but it certainly passes the time.
We still sleep inches apart. But that does not stop the day starting with “How did you sleep?”Restless nights, bad dreams, the sweats, indigestion and trips to the toilet are the subjects worthy of Doctor Johnston. But Vivien has an ace card. She gets cramp at night. Why, when, how, how long-oh my god this is an absolute blockbuster.
We move on. My hip, it has good days and bad days. Is it related to exercise, sitting down, wear and tear, old age or just imagination. She counters with her knees. They are weak they can give way. Is it the yoga, the pilates, the all vegetarian diet, a sign from Jesus? We need to know.
Then there is the problem of my heart. Arterial fibrillation diagnosed last year but still no treatment. Is it a figment, NHS or private, should I care, are my prospects for the Rio Olympics reduced? Many an evening is spent giving opposing opinions in the cut and thrust which would have Betrand Russell in tears.
Vivien suffers from stiff shoulders. My nimble, health giving hands are often put to work alleviating the problem. But once again are we looking at something that may have psychosomatic roots? Should she care how much whisky I drink and how much cheese I eat? Are these the stresses that cause her stiff shoulders.
My cancer kept us chatting away and in full vocal flow for nine months, But now it is gone. But in terms of conversation there is always the possibility of a further bout. We scan the horizon for signs. Vivien’s skin rash is an hereditiary problem which has given us many hours of shared endeavour and divided opinion as has my stiff Achilles tendon.
The problem with a divorce is how long would it take any future partner to get up to speed on these subjects. And would they take them seriously enough? And would they have problems of their own? No always keep hold of nurse, In case you have to discuss problems worse!