Mid-life Changes – Part 1

Recently I've been noticing elements in my life that need some additional focus to improve overall quality of life. This is the first of a few articles about that specific journey, as it happens.


In 2010, after nearly 7 years of marriage my wife (at the time – obvs) had an affair, and left me for her old school friend. I was working full time, and she was a “stay at home mum”.

Only few months earlier, we had just had our third child 'L', and they were at the time, only 3-4 months old. My other two children were 5 and 7 years old. During this turbulent time, my ex-wife also filed for custody of the children, which I was not particularly happy with, as I have as much right as her to parent and see them as she did. (I could spend some time criticising and putting my ex-wife down at this stage, but it's not relevant to the story, and I'm bigger than that 😁).

As part of the custody case, I had lots of hoops to jump through, including one which on reflection I believe to be highly unfair (especially in this modern day with such elements as gender neutrality, equal rights for everyone etc). The court requested of me to demonstrate that I could look after all three children, whilst maintaining my job and without assistance from my parents (the children's grandparents) for a period of three months, in which they would be with me 50% of a week. I thought it was highly unfair as what single parent doesn't call on a close friend, or grandparents to lend a hand here and there?

As I've explained to my children many times (using the phrase “I've got your back! )“, I will do anything for them, as I'm sure any parent would do. So, I did the three months (me doing 50%, and my ex-wife doing the other 50%), which included cutting my hours down to part time with my then new employer, and demonstrated that I bring them up solely on my own whilst also supporting them financially. Shortly afterwards, the custody case concluded with us sharing exactly 50% care of the children indefinitely. This was a win! I wasn't in it for 100%, I was all about fairness, and no matter how much I disliked my ex-wife for doing what she did, I wasn't going to stop my children seeing her.

From that point on, I did everything I could for those children, with the aim of not putting a foot wrong. I was terrified that my ex-wife would fire up another court case or something similar as she was particularly volatile. Anyway, I moved up to full time hours, and I did slowly use my parents to assist in childcare where any other single parent would – for example, picking children up from school, or occupying them from school to when I finished work etc.

I got together with my (now) wife 'C' in early 2013 and later in 2014 we bought a house which provided stability for the children. She has two children of her own, so we became a blended family, both with similar backgrounds. We continued the 50/50 split of care where possible, although it slowly changed as the secondary school was closer to me and the ex-wife lived 20+ miles away, thus it was reduced down to every other weekend with their mother.

As time progressed, the children became more and more reluctant to stay with their mother, until at the end of 2020 they didn't want to stay there at weekends moving forwards for various reasons not relevant to this history section. Life then continued in the new house and the new blended family just like any normal household – education, holidays and extra curriculum activities such as hiking , swimming and scouting.


My eldest left home three years ago for university, my second eldest moved away to university in September 2023. My youngest is now settled in secondary school and will be starting GCSEs in September. C's children are both working and still living with us. C is working full time but very different hours and days to the usual 9-5, M-F. She has recently changed career in the past year to something she has always wanted to do, and overall is really enjoying her job. Everything is fine... well... is it?...

Over the past six months, I've had this feeling of restlessness or boredom, but yet continually doing tasks or chores in the house, but not actively having a hobby. I'd find myself not doing anything for an hour as I knew x needs y shortly, so there is no point starting z. Although I enjoy cycling or running, or seeing friends on a monthly basis, I still felt I am missing something. I'd end up doing the same things at the same time every day, without knowing why, or what to do next. Life became somewhat routine and repetitive. This was one thing, but another is the gradual lack of interest into technology! But I love technology?! Many years ago, I'd enjoy tinkering IT at home, learning new things\technology or languages, but recently – I've just been thinking “I cannot be arsed”.

Something isn't right here... I need to fix this...


Approximately three weeks ago, I decided to seek therapy for this feeling to see if I could understand more about where it was coming from and see if there is something that I can learn about myself that helps me improve my thought processes. I didn't have any addictions or wasn't depressed – I just had this feeling of “not being myself” and at times “struggling with life”. There were some other aspects that lead to my decision in getting some therapy, however this is an area I'm comfortable with sharing to the wider world.


My first session with the therapist was eye-opening, and I left feeling lighter, and less stressed, and like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. There were some tears – naturally, but that was possibly down to the various topics being discussed. The eye-opening part was this -

This has left a void in my life that needs filling with other “stuff”. This is where the feeling of restlessness and boredom comes from – I have less “things” to do for them – I am not needed as much!

From this first session, my homework was to find pockets of time to spend with C where possible – these don't need to be big gestures, just simple things – walk through the park, having a quiet drink at the pub, etc.

So that is where I was after the first session. It gave me much to think about over the following week until the next session...

#lifeevents #reflection