I was 34, Sam was 56, and our age difference was becoming more obvious. Sam was getting grayer, and had less to become gray. He wore reading glasses, but now needed a small distance correction, so he got prescription glasses. He decided they made him look distinguished, so he wore them constantly. I thought they made him look old.
Sam had a fondness for alcohol. After retiring, he bought a bar/restaurant. The liquor was handy, and being the owner, it was just too easy. As the weeks passed, his coming-home time changed from early to late evening. I’d go to bed alone, only to awaken during the night, still alone. I would call the restaurant, and he would answer in a groggy voice. He had passed out in his office. I began to feel like a mother, calling in the middle of the night and asking him to come home. The drinking and late nights aged him further, making him appear more drawn and haggard.
One night, I awoke at 4 a.m., alone again. This time, I lacked the energy and interest to call him. I had had enough. It wasn’t until the next morning when I was leaving for work that I found out where he had really been all night. I found him asleep in his car, parked next to mine in the garage.
My parents invited me to spend a long weekend with them, during which I spent a lot of time gazing out the window and walking on the beach. I examined my life. I had given a precious window of my time to Sam—ages 24 to 34—a time I could have spent seeking my life partner. That weekend, I made the decision to end it, to give it up and spend some time alone.
Upon returning, I asked him to go for dinner. I waited until after dinner and coffee to tell him all of my thoughts. I told him I could no longer live with the ups and downs; not knowing if he’d come home; not knowing if he’d be drunk. We were no longer a team, and the sleepless nights were wearing on me emotionally and physically. And I couldn’t do it anymore.
He listened in silence, and then I saw the veins come out on his forehead. He became red-faced and furious. He exclaimed, “Oh, I see! Because I have a business to run and need to be there, and that doesn’t suit you, you want to end it! What about all I’ve done for you?! Apparently, since things are not going well as far as YOU’RE concerned, you’re ready to throw it all away!” He sure missed the point.
The discussion was escalating, so I convinced him to leave the restaurant. We drove home in silence. My mind actually wandered to how my family would cope after they learned Sam wrapped the car around a tree. He moved out the next day.
It was my choice to be with an older man, but time changed both of us, and the age difference only contributed to those changes, causing us to have incompatible goals. So, I made the choice to go forward alone. My choices then were limitless. Being in an age gap relationship has its perks, and I never regretted it, but there comes a point when the relationship runs its course and you have to decide what’s best for YOU.