Midlife crisis: 'I suddenly felt old, fat and frumpy'

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Domestic abuse
'My daughter left home and a few weeks later a new manager arrived at the shop were I worked. She was 32, slim and fashionable. It sounds stupid, but I'd never had a boss who was younger than me and it really began to get me down.

I suddenly felt old, fat and frumpy, stuck in a job that bored me, and I desperately missed chatting with my daughter when I got home.

Things came to ahead when I blew £120 on a beautiful pale blue cashmere jumper hoping it would make me feel more confident at work.

My husband went mad at the price, but when I started crying and told him how miserable I felt, he was really shocked. We both realised we'd been neglecting each other.

With his encouragement I looked for another job. I'm now working at a local primary school as a teaching assistant and absolutely love it. Being with children all day is exhausting, but it makes me feel young again!'
Gillian Greenway, 49

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At least you are lucky enough to have a supportive Husband. Mine has cheated on me twice. The first time was 30 years ago with my best friend who at least was the same age as me, and equal in looks (at the time). The second time was 8 years ago, and with a Woman 9 years younger than me. I'm 54 now, and feel old, ugly, and unwanted. I feel all our married life, my Husband has been on the lookout for something better. He tells me that this isn't the case, but those thoughts have been imprinted in my mind, and I have no self confidence, or self worth. Many people have told me I should have left him, and I know I should have, but I believe no-one else would want me, and with the kids all grown up and gone, and living in a remote village location, and not being able to drive, I feel trapped and grateful to be with him. I suppose this is me for the rest of my life.

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