It's kind of funny when you reach the grand old age of 40. Many things physical may have succumbed to the ageing process, but for me the my mindset is still as young and vibrant as any 20-something-year-old man.
In fact having more life experience and a more mature outlook of life, has in some ways put me ahead of the game. I'm more confident and self-assured than ever before, in truth I'm enjoying every minute of it….but did I forget to mention that men of my age group should have more wisdom and common sense than a young man.
My first trip to Thailand was with my dear old now ex-wife, just the usual run of the mill holiday one has, her sat around the pool day by day reading endless books, occasionally going off to have her pedicure / manicure treatment but that was about it. We would do the meal thing later on then off to bed like any normal man and wife do. Pretty ordinary, one could say.
What changed the holiday for the better was the arrival of 3 middle-aged Englishmen embarking on a 50th birthday celebrations golfing trip (Yeah, right, I never saw any golf played by these Amigos). This was the real deal breaker for me, my docile sleepy brain had been awoken, my eyes were now fully open and eagerly watching everything these cheeky old buggers were up to.
Every morning I would go down for breakfast in the hotel and these guys would be sat each with a fresh, young Thai lady munching a full English breakfast and I must say all had very content smiles on their face. This situation got me somewhat jealous, to say the least. In fact I was positively spitting feathers. This went on for the next 7 days, and as soul-destroying as it seemed I actually enjoyed watching them and being in their company. Even the daily photo shots of the previous night's adventures were at least something to give me a little bit of excitement to get me through the rest of my holiday.
So with the holiday over and returning home, I sat on the plane next to the missus. I was already planning in my wicked mind a forthcoming golf trip to Thailand (not with the her of course) but with my imaginary golfing buddies. Not long after arriving back home in to my usual wedding bliss routine, I was eagerly looking through many holiday options, and a few phone calls later it's all booked and the boys are on our way. Yippee!
Now here comes the tricky part, breaking the news to the wife. Oh boy, talk about sweaty palms, but much to my bemusement she applauded me and says it's a good idea and the trip will do me good. Wow, methinks, this is too good to be true but what the heck, she's given the green light so off we go!
The holiday date arrives and sure enough we are on our merry way to the Land of Smiles, happy days ahead. I don't think I need to go into much detail about what went on in Pattaya, as I'm pretty sure regular Stickman readers have heard it many times before. We had a bloody good time! Enough said.
The Fall and Rise
Now here comes the part of my story where things take a turn for the worse, or better in my case. (If there is any female readers, you're quite welcome to enjoy reading this).
As we flew back in to airport, my wife was waiting for me as organised and everything seemed normal. She asked me how the holiday went blah blah, all the usual stuff. But you know when you get that gut feeling deep inside that's constantly niggerling away and you know something is just not right. All is not it seems. To cut a long story short, 12 months on and I'm waiting for the divorce settlement to come threw. Oh dear, some might say.
Reflecting on my Actions
Maybe some would say I'm just a silly over-sexed 40-something year-old who really needs to grow up. But reflecting on my actions, something inside drove me to this. Boredom? Married life? Or just having a mid life-crisis? Who knows? But having been married twice and now with this second marriage over, I think I've just come to live with the fact that I'm destined to spend the rest of my life as a single man. I think I've just been honest with myself, and honest to my second ex wife. She was naturally upset but she also admitted that she knew things were not right between us. She told me some time after that the holiday we booked to Thailand together just confirmed what she had suspected for a long time. She knew just by watching me that I was a man longing to go his own way in life. Our eventual separation went pretty smoothly with no kids involved which was a blessing.
I think the moral of my story is that if you are not happy in love or in a dead marriage, get a hold of yourself and find out what does make you happy. Now I'm not saying a holidays to Thailand is the answer or not gonna gloat about my own actions, but don't be afraid to make the leap toward your own happiness.
There is a certain stigma attached with men who choose to go their own way, and on my visits to Thailand I often bump into burned men with a bitter tale to tell. These men let their doomed relationships go too far and end up at the mercy of their partners. I took the brave step and found my self-confidence to live the single and happy life I'd been craving.
I don't think us men should have too justify ourselves to anyone. We are just trying to carve out our own happy existence, making some kind of a happy life for ourselves.
I've tried too be bluntly honest in writing my story here. I've not gone much in to the problems I had with my marriage much as I didn't want to come across as bitching. I'm not gonna say that being jealous of other people's activities should be the only motive too get out of a relationship. Maybe some day down the line this will come back and bite me on the butt. Who knows? For now though I'm very happy with how things are. So far the grass is still green, and like an old bull still very much in his prime, I'm still munching on the grass! (no pun intended).
I agree that if you're not happy in a relationship and it seems like it would be too much hard work or compromise to turn it around then the best thing to do is to just end it and pursue things which do make you happy. Of course it can get complicated when there are children involved, but sticking around in a relationship where you're genuinely not happy things probably won't usually change and failing to act is just delaying the inevitable. Life is much too short to do things you don't enjoy!