‘I grew up in an era when you stood by your husband through thick and thin.
Relationship coach Francine Kaye observes that many of her male clients reach retirement age and find themselves propelled unwillingly into divorces because they have failed to heed the warning signals as their once deferential, stay-at-home wives seek new autonomy and fulfilment.‘These men have bought one kind of wife off the shelf — the shorthand typist and home-maker — and the deal was that she wasn’t supposed to change,’ says Francine.
‘But people do change and couples are not recognising the signs and implications until it’s too late.
And as she grew out of her old, subservient role, her husband’s rancour festered.
Sue, 66, now a life coach and author, who lives in Guildford, Surrey, explains: ‘When I took a university degree in human resources he felt it was a waste of time and money.
‘I took care of the children and did all the cooking, cleaning and washing.
Previous generations of women would have put up with it, but I just snapped.Newly-released statistics reveal that more than 11,500 over-60s were granted a divorce in 2009; a rise of 4 per cent in two years.In contrast, divorce rates for all other age groups fell by more than 11 per cent.But, like so many women today, I wanted more out of a relationship than boring routine.It was as if all the fun had leached out of our marriage.’Sue and her ex-husband duly joined the only group of divorcees in Britain that is growing in number.When they married, she was a secretary and he was an academic.