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Am I too late to live at 57?

From Susan:

I am 57 and am at the end of my rope. I am married and have six children and twelve grandchildren. Since my youngest two have been married I have been babysitting with their children. First it was my youngest and now it my second to the youngest. Her daughter developed leukemia.

I don't mind babysitting with her it's just I feel as tho I'm being pulled apart cause it seems as tho I don't have time for my other grandchildren. When they have a function I am babysitting and can't go. They tell me I don't love them as much as I should.

My husband and I have grown far apart. We never like to do anything together I am more outgoing and love to talk and it seems as tho we lost interest in the same things in life. His day of fun is go to store and back. I never invite people over cause I never know how he will be.

If I talk to him he always ask me to repeat myself and I yell at him cause I get tired of repeating myself. But when I am on the phone he understands everything I say. I like country music and he hates my music and he likes western TV shows so I have to stay in my bedroom all the time and watch TV.

Is my life over? What can I do now? He is good to me when it comes to providing me and he does most of the house work. But I want to explore things and I feel as tho I am being kept down. I just don't know what to do. He sleeps down stairs and I in my room, upstairs.

All we do together is go to yard sales. When he wants to go on a trip he just goes by himself. I have to babysit. I would love to go somewhere for a month with out him and see if he likes it. Is there any hope for me?

Dear Susan,

You sound absolutely helpless, and I have to consider that you might be 'clinically' depressed, rather than just 'down' because of your situation. If these feelings have crept up recently (after all, you've been married for almost 40 years), if you have trouble sleeping, or wake early, if you've recently lost - or gained - weight ... all these things, and many more might, just might, suggest a depression, which is, of course, entirely treatable.

If you are not depressed, then you just might be the most lazy, spineless an dselfish woman around. You are blessed, yes, blessed, with a big family who are close to you. You have a husband who gives you room to do as you like, and cleans up around you, while you constantly bellow at him, and make it clear you don't want to do anything he wants to do. You spoil some of your grandchildren, and wonder why their parents resent it. I could go on.

Look at the baby sitting - are you being taken advantage of, or is it nice being a martyr? As for your poor husband, for God's sake, talk to him! He may be going a little deaf, but he ain't dead yet! And he's not a mind reader. If I've got it wrong, and these people really are the pits - leave them. 57 is not old these days, get a divorce and hit the trail.

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