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Sentenced to live out my life alone...because I am 59? [Ma Strong]
July 9, 2009
11:37 am
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StronginHim77
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I received an interesting posting on another thread (Duped by an Alcoholic....Ma Strong] which encouraged me to face and accept a future of living alone. I am, of course, paraphrasing, but advice was offered that I should accept being past the phase of life which includes sexuality and companionship, count my blessings (and future grandchildren?) and realize that part of my life is permanently behind me. It was noted that the only men available in my age group were basically damaged goods. (Again, I am paraphrasing). Bad news, in other words.

Although I am 59, this was hard advice to swallow. Maybe it is true and I am simply unwilling to accept Truth. But there is a part of me which still hopes for non-toxic companionship with a decent and compassionate man down the road of my life...yup, even in my SIXTIES.

I would welcome anyone's thoughts on this. Should we realistically put ourselves on a Retirement Shelf from love, dating, sexual companionship (with marriage, of course), just because we are nearing 60? Maybe so. In honesty, however, I hope not.

At 59 I am probably more interesting than I was twenty years ago. I have kept up my appearance, the best I can. Most people tell me I am nearly a dead ringer for Candice Bergen, both in face, hair and figure. Even voice. So, I'm neither dowdy nor dull. Should single persons in my age group accept that the "companionship/dating/sexuality" phase of their lives has ended?

What do you all think?

- Ma Strong

July 9, 2009
11:51 am
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StronginHim77
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I have copied/pasted the advice which triggered this questioning thread. Thought it would clarify what I am trying to express:

"Just tell yourself that as far as men are concerned there was a time and a season. At some point you realiz that, that time has come and gone. Dont be sad over what you dont have but be thankful for what you do have YOUR CHILDREN. Sure you can bring in a truck load of unhealthy men, looking for a woman to have sex with or to live off of. None who have anything to bring to the table but their face and their ass. When you think of the reality you know you are better off alone."

Well, there it is. What are your thoughts?

- Ma Strong

July 9, 2009
12:35 pm
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Shaney
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My mom is 61 and in great shape - a gorgeous woman who looks 10 years younger than she is. After spending 15 years with my dad (who is wonderful, btw), my mom has spent the last 30 years of her life with a string of dysfunctional men that didn't treat her well. The reason she has ended up with creeps is NOT because she isn't beautiful or sweet or fun to be with - but her choice in men has been a train wreck. And I'm sure it is a reflection of her own personal issues which led her to the choices that she has made in men. It's a sad thing really, because she does have so much to offer. For the last three years, she has worked on herself without dating - without any interest in men whatsoever. She has been working on herself, and has come a long way - but at this point has resigned herself to the fact that she'll probably be without a relationship for the rest of her life, because of her age. I think that's sad. Her age isn't the problem, it's her "picker" as far as the men that she has chosen, that has been the problem. Maybe she's afraid to make the same mistakes after she's done so much work? Maybe she's still not secure enough with herself to take that step? Maybe living a life alone is safer than putting your emotions out there again? But age?... I think that's the least of her worries. There are many good men out there that would love and cherish a woman like her - but I'm still not sure that her "picker" is pointing in the direction of that type of man? Getting to that point may take her another year, maybe more - but at least she'll be ready to receive that good man into her life, regardless of her physical age. I think the aging or growth needs to take place inside first.

July 9, 2009
12:36 pm
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sounds cruel, Ma Strong. I am 34 now, but due to my inability to get into a healthy relationship, i am now alone, and doing my best in loving it.

but, sometimes, i imagine myself in the 60s, maybe sick a little bit, maybe i wouldn't be able to walk as fast as i can now, maybe i can't lift as heavy stuff as i can now, and alone. it sounds rather sad not to seek companionship when you can. it is clear of course to steer clear of toxic relationships, but that shouldn't mean we can't try to have a relationship altogether!

i think everybody needs a good companion in life, most especially at this age. your children have their own lives. one can be thankful having them, but it would rather be selfish to seek them for yourself.

by the way, am sorry for what how you have been hurting (i read from your other thread). it only means that no matter how strong and wise you are, you are still a woman.

and age has nothing to do with you being a woman. although we are in a different stage in life, i can imagine what it's like being duped like that, feeling used, and now things had turned around against you just because he has no more need of u.

thank you for sharing your experience, and know that i will keep it in my heart and learn from them. you have always been a wise woman whom i look up to, and i'm sad that someone so good should get hurt over and over in life.

i sincerely hope for you whatever is best for you, and what would make you very happy. because u deserve it, no matter what your age is!

big bear hugs

July 9, 2009
12:51 pm
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It No Longer Matters
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No Ma I don't think that is so. My dad and stepmother met and married in their late 50's and were quite happy together until my stepbrother got into some trouble and my stepmother being a mother didn't want to hear what my father had to say about it and he moved in with me. I really think had he lived they would have ironed things out and been happy. The never divorced and travelled and even started "dating" again. When he needed to go to the doctor or even when we had to put him on hospice, she was there. He actually died "at home" with her. She had taken him back to "their house" the day before he died.

I am 41 and have thought the same thing about being alone for the rest of my life. I don't want to grow old alone but right now am a peace with where I am. The only thing I would take from the advice you were given is that there is a season for all things. The season for you and me right now is to be alone but that doesn't mean it will always be that way. In old time farming a field had to lay fallow for a year or so to get the nutrients back in the soil. That's what we are doing "we are lying fallow, so that when we decide to plant a crop, it will be better"

I love you.

Bitsy

July 9, 2009
12:59 pm
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CAMER
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ma, you can find someone healthy, just keep looking for the red flags if they pop up, and run.

Being 50s or 60's doesn't mean you will be alone, and i don't think the pickings will be slim to none, as long as you are true to yourself, take care of yourself, know you are a loving person, looking for the same qualities, i bet there are some good men out there for you, healthy ones!! don't give up on you and and being alone for life, i don't believe that. I beleive in looking for healthy people and building that love in a healthy way.

Maybe all this past disater with this man was a wake up call, time to think of where and why you are where you are today in life.

You offer such good insight and I know someday, you will find a true love, a healthy love, cuz you are just that, a loving person!

(((camer)))

July 9, 2009
2:01 pm
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atalose
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No I don’t believe that at the young age of 59 anyone has to be placed on a retirement shelf from love, dating, marriage and the rest of what this life has to offer to all of us.

That sounds more like giving up to me then anything else. Sometimes people don’t get healthy until later in life. Sometimes people spend so much of their lives taking the hard road and waiting for someone else to open their eyes instead of the easy road and simply opening their own eyes.

Sometimes people have been so beaten down by their own choices in life with partners that choosing to give up on loving relationships seems like the best option.

But to throw away hope like that is defeat. And unless you chose to wave that white flag and take yourself out of that aspect in life then the only alternative is to keep moving forward.

You need to change you, you need to work on you so healthy people do come into your life and you stop embracing the un-healthy ones when it comes to romance.

Sometimes in order to know or understand what we want in life we have to experience some things that for sure, we know without a doubt, we DON’T want in life.

One of those would be being married to an alcoholic, but there are other things as well. I’m sure you can make your own list.

I don’t really have a lot of control over what life sends my way. I do, however, have control over what I embrace and what I reject. Instead of insisting life gives me what I want, I can only choose from what is available. I can’t fabricate or project potential in someone to be a dedicated, loving partner. I can however choose whether or not a particular person fits into my life. I can be smart in my choices instead of repeating my own history.

If we always do…. what we always did…… were gonna get…… what we always got………

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 9, 2009
2:10 pm
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samantha2
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Ma

No, no, no, I refuse to give up hope that there is a healthy man out there somewhere for me!! I am 55 almost 56. I run (although my knees do bother me some these days), people tell me I look at least 10 years younger, I love to do many things and as far as I know all normal desires are intact. I was married to a man who had many destructive habits. After he was invited by my attorney to move out, I put my attention to raising my 4 kids. When the youngest was a senior in high school I met my good friend J**, who many of you here have heard all about on several occasions. Right now I'm not on a man hunt by any means - I enjoy my activities (running, biking, reading, prayer, hand crafts etc) my family and friends and doing lots of remodeling on my house. I am choosing to be happy whatever life brings me, and I am hoping a caring, faithful companion (besides my cats) is on the list. We are never too old to love and share our lives with someone, and I will not give up hope that love will come my way again. Please don't you give up either.

These two stories may reinforce hope for you as they do for me.
My aunt (my father's sister) divorced her extremely abusive husband many years ago. She moved in with my grandmother and took care of her until she died of a stroke in her eighties. For years my grandmother had prepared dinner every night for her brother, who never married or had a family, and who often brought his young(er) assistant who had also never married. After my grandmother passed away, my aunt continued to prepare dinner for my uncle and his helper. Then my uncle died. My aunt continued to prepare dinner for the helper. Long story short - they fell in love (after knowing each other basically their whole lives) and have been married about 15 years now. She is 85 and he is 61 at this time. They are still in love as much as ever.

My good friend is 69 years old. She has been married 3 times to men some of whom drank, but all of whom beat her. She is a retired teacher and has been living alone, renewing her spiritual life and busy with church, friends and other activities since 1992. She likes to go to dances, but has had no romantic relationships since then. No dating really, or anything else. Two weeks ago she went to her class reunion and rekindled a romance with a man she dated in junior high. She is thrilled and in love. I don't know how this one will turn out, but it's looking good so far.

So there is hope for us - I'm not giving up and don't you either!

July 9, 2009
2:21 pm
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2BHAPPY
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Ma Strong.... Sorry you are feeling this way about your recent relationship. I dont think age would be a problem for finding happiness, but I think that getting involved with alcolics or even recovering alcoholics is a bad idea no matter what age.

You have a good sense of yourself, what you have to give to others. There lots of places to meet men in any age group...and a lot of breakups and difficulties in any age group.

How about joining some kind of activity that you enjoy or taking up some hobby you have always wanted to explore. How about golfing, dancing lessons, fishing, photography.

Never give up on finding love..just get yourself out there and find a healthy individual. They are not going to be perfect..I am a good example of that. But one of my dealbreakers are people with alcohol problems..and with that I eliminate a lot of other issues.

I hope this helps and you accept it well as I am telling you from my heart as I know that have helped me with some of my own issues. You have a great heart and a lot to give to the right person. The right man will not take advantage of your kind heart.

 

 

2bHappy

July 9, 2009
2:22 pm
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caraway
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MA,

100% NO! I know many people in their 60's and even 70's who have found a loving partner and are happy. I had the pleasure of attending my best friend's Mother's wedding 5 years ago; she is now 74 and they are great together.

My best friend's father was an abusive alcoholic and cheated on and hit his wife often. They had 9 children and she had no formal education, no job prospects, no support from a family who didn't want to help or have to explain divorce. This woman finally got the courage to divorce at the age 55 and went to work in a sewing factory. The two youngest children were still at home and they struggled for years, but she hung in there and they both graduated from college. She dated some losers, and a couple of nice guys along the way, but one day this amazing man showed up; educated, retired teacher, and soul mate. They travel, laugh, and have a real realtionship. I love the guy and would give anything to have had a father or step-father like him.

You have so much to offer and just can't see it. I hope and "that P word", that you won't give up on life. I believe that we attract what we think we deserve and until you can look in the mirror and see that bright and wonderful spirit that we see here.... well, you know the story.

And personally, my partner is 61 (I'm 44) age is just a number.

Cary

July 9, 2009
3:45 pm
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StronginHim77
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Oh my gosh!!! I signed on a few minutes ago and was astonished to read all of your wonderful postings. Talk about encouraged!!!!

Isn't it amazing that we will never meet in real life, yet we have come together here in the spirit for genuine friendship and hope.

Hope each one of you knows that you have brought a truckload of friendship and hope to a VERY grateful, 59-year-old woman today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel so encouraged!

- Ma Strong

July 9, 2009
7:28 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi Ma,

You know that saying "You're only as old as you feel". I'm 52, but my head doesn't think so, and because my head doesn't think so, I don't look 52 either (not really sure WHAT 52 is supposed to look like). Of course there are some days when I feel 82 and look 92. HA

You look like Candice Bergen? You got it going on girl!

But in all seriousness, I think being hurt by this guy was a gift. Because now that you REALLY know what he's about, and you're letting him go, this will open up room for someone new and BETTER. He was clogging up your energy, Ma. No one else could come in, because he was taking up all the space.

Ok, before everyone yells at me, let me explain. How long exactly are we supposed to work on ourselves before we date again? 1 year? 2 years? 10 years? Exactly.

Now that you're "equipped" with this experience, go have a good time! Be with friends, do your thang. Be glad he's gone. Because now the exciting part is just around the bend........that gooey, silly, ohsocan'tdescribethatfeeling one gets when you meet someone and the chemistry set explodes. (ok, so I'm a little dramatic)

Hell no, Ma, you gotta lot of life left in ya. Like Shaney said to me in my thread......Us 50 somethings are counting on you!

(((Ma)))

July 9, 2009
8:12 pm
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bonni
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I think its odd that often when we are with someone, we wish to be alone and when alone, we wish for company.

I don't think love comes only to those of a certain age, but really only to those who are open and ready.

Its never too late for love, but sometimes its not the right timing.

It is not a bad idea to take time to just enjoy your OWN company. You don't have to have company to be happy or enjoy your own company. Romantic partnership is not the only desirable form of company. Close friends of both gender bring joy.

I hope this makes sense Ma Strong. You do deserve happiness, alone and with an SO.

July 9, 2009
9:15 pm
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fantas
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Ma,
Consider the advise as another addition to all the others. Take what you like and move on. I personally know several people who have married in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. There is no expiration on life's bounties. Like the rest of us, we have in our lives what we believe, deep down, we deserve. Has nothing to do with age. If this is aomething you want, keep at it and it will come to you.

As for the alcoholic who you feel duped by, I urge you to see it another way. You and you church loved and cared for a person who doesn't know his worth. unfortunately for him, the world will bang him around a little longer before he claims who his is, a noble being, deserving of all the good the world has to offer him. You loved unconditionally despite the outcome. I think this will always be your ministry, and one that most of us wouldn't have the wisdom or the courage to do.

Maybe, the next time you may have the opportunity to assess your intentions for your generosity and weigh how much you are willing to do if the worst were to happen. To me, it sounds like you took out of your account of generosity more than you had to give, hence the pain. That you gave and helped someone is noble. Please do not let your pain of loosing this guy take away your blessing of being able to give where others wouldn't. It's his loss not yours.

Stay Strong!!!

July 9, 2009
9:23 pm
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StronginHim77
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What great messages! Hepburn...I think I a going to have your framed! Bonni...I like what you said about deserving happiness, both ALONE and with a SO.

My genuine thanks,

Ma

July 9, 2009
9:25 pm
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StronginHim77
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Fantas -

Dang...I am reaching for the Kleenex. Your words really touched my heart with your kindness.

Thank you.

- Ma

July 9, 2009
9:36 pm
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Ma
Women get better with age. Whomever said that doesn't know what they are talking about.

July 9, 2009
10:28 pm
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readyforachange
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MaStrong...I don't agree with the advice you received. I believe that people in their 50s and 60s can find love, romance and marriage. There are still healthy men out there, we just have to be more selective (and protective of ourselves) to find them. You're not getting older, you're getting better. Take care of yourself, grow and learn, as you always have, and you will find happiness...with or without a partner, but the choice will be yours.

July 10, 2009
12:32 am
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chelonia mydas
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My great grandmother met the love of her life when she was in her 70s- they married and lived over a decade together before she passed away. Her last husband was wonderful to her and was a really genuinely nice man. They both had widowed, had she divorced a couple times prior to that. She had a history of horribly dysfunctional husbands and even divorced her first husband back before WWI- which was unheard of in those days. So I'd say continue living the life you want to live. Yes sometimes spending time alone is a great healing/learning experience.

I myself am preferring life alone, but then I find companionship in my pets and work overwhelms me with people issues- so I have my fill of interaction.

Alone isn't a bad thing either- but if you want a companion, you are never to old to find one.

July 10, 2009
1:17 am
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_anonymous
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The situation you are in (alone) has nothing to do with your age, it has to do with your choices. In the past 2 years you have posted about 2 toxic relationships. When I first came onto this site one was about a man that you married that you were with for a short time who treated you horrible. Then you met some men on the internet that werent for you and you have posted a few times about your alcoholic neighbor.

You say you hope for a non toxic relationship yet you chose to seek out and stayed with a toxic alcoholic. Until your thoughts become your actions nothing is going to change.

I have no doubt that you are a beautiful, intelligent woman. But until you drastically change the dynamics in your life you are going to continue to seek out and bring these toxic men into your life then cry "poor me".

You have spent a lot of time talking about all you have done for your unthankful, undeserving, alcoholic neighbor. But, what have you done for yourself?

Like your alcoholic neighbor you are in DENIAL. Until you can admit that you have a serious problem when it comes to your choice in men the reality is you will not find happiness much less peace in your life.

If you believe that you are sentenced to live out your life alone it is not because you are 59 it is because you have made bad choices.

I do worry about you. In light of the fact you have an advanced degree in counseling tells me that no matter what you have learned no matter what advice you have gotten from people on this site you wont listen and I am sure you dont want to listen now.

Yes, I can understand the emotional pain this man has caused you. It is awful. Yes, I hope you recover from it. No, I dont think you deserve it.

July 10, 2009
11:31 am
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Ma: I just read an article about how women our age (I'm 53) are more and more being sought after by younger men. I like that!

I mean really- there are fewer available men at our age, and those that are availble- well, who would want them????

They haven't taken care of themselves, look many years older than they really are- some with beer bellies and the comb over- eegads! and they think they are all that and a bag of chips. I have found lately that men lie about their age range rather commonly, sometimes by as much as 10 years. Good grief, maybe its time to look at a younger flock of candidates.

You don't need to settle, you've got a lot to offer and hopefully someone worthy of you will cross your path. Til then, avoid the losers like the plague!

sd

July 10, 2009
3:01 pm
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Hepburn
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Ma,

What's your one word for today? Would you mind posting it?

July 10, 2009
5:42 pm
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StronginHim77
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Hepburn -

Did it.

thanks for the reminder

- Ma

July 10, 2009
6:26 pm
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My uncle is 75 and just got engaged to a wonderful lady who lost her husband to cancer a few years ago. My uncle is a great man but has had a tough life from a companionship standpoint. He lost his first wife to a heart attack when he was in his 40's, married again and lost his second wife to cancer about 5 years ago, and just got engaged again in June. I respect and admire his tenacity!

July 10, 2009
7:58 pm
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fantas
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(((Ma))), You are so welcome! How are you doing with this today?

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