Life Advice



Ask Amy: Blindsided wife wonders, ‘what’s next?’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I recently returned from a week-long visit to help my 90-year-old father, whereupon my husband of 46 years sat me down and said he had contacted a lawyer to file for a divorce, rented an apartment, and wanted me to sell our brand-new home.

He has ALWAYS been a good, solid, loving partner up to this point.

I was completely blindsided by this.

He says there's no affair. He doesn't want to see if marriage counseling will work out, although he's been going to a therapist privately for a year.

I'm in complete shock.

Where do I start emotionally? Legally?


Thank you for your insight.

– Mourning in Montana

Dear Mourning: This is … a truly terrible shock, and I am so sorry. You seem to be stepping into a new demographic of elders: those experiencing what is being called “gray divorce.”

My main advice is for you not to make any financial moves (certainly do not put your home up for sale) until you see an attorney who will represent your interests and help you to approach this dissolution in careful stages. Developing your own game plan will help you to feel – and be – more in control.


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