Life’s never been better with my dotty wife

I’m due to retire next month, and my wife and I’ve been looking forward to it a lot and planning what we’d do together. We have no children. So at first, around six months ago, I thought that my wife’s renewed interest in intimacy was great.

After many years of fairly humdrum marital existence, with her wrapped up in her work just as I was and am, I was happy. We’d now bought our first double bed for 20 years. She unexpectedly wanted me close. That’s not bad for a 64-year-old couple.

But some of her friends tried to tell me that my very uptight wife was becoming a little eccentric. Yes, she certainly did have an infatuation with one of the waiters at the restaurant where she and her friends lunched, but they said she’d started to make risqu� comments to him, and that he was embarrassed.

I talked to her about it and she said that he was just a silly boy who was ‘chasing’ her. Once or twice I got home and she wasn’t there, although the house was unlocked.

Last month we had a burglary, fairly minor, as I arrived home and he got scared and left without taking much. She seemed unconcerned about the whole thing. But in the last couple of weeks I’ve had to look at the pattern.

She forgets everything. She gave �1,000 to our gardener to have a holiday as he was looking tired – he gave it back to me. She’s sometimes away with the fairies. Our friends are finding her odd and ‘not herself’ and one of them mentioned, quietly, the possibility of Alzheimer’s, which sent a chill right through me.

The more I researched it, the more it made sense, so I managed to get her seen through our health insurance, and yes, that’s what it is. She’s going through the early to mid stages.

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She’s had medication supplied which appears to be slowing the whole thing down, thank goodness. But, you know what? I like her being slightly dotty. That’s how she was when I first met her. She was up for anything, as I was, and right now, she’s reminding me of all the things I fell in love with her for. And we’re still in the double bed.

I know this isn’t going to be easy, in the future. But right now, I feel loved again. It’s the wrong reaction, isn’t it? All our friends are into the gloom and doom scenario. But I’d love to get her on a slow boat to China, the minute I retire, and have one remarkable holiday with the woman I love.

I’m planning a year-long leisurely round-the-world trip, part cruise and part flying or railway. What do you think? Am I getting carried away? I’ll remember this for years to come, even though it’s going to eat up almost my entire lump sum pension. The doctors are a bit iffy.

Barbara says: I think it’s a great idea! What a wonderful memory that will be! And even if her own memory is fading, you’ll be with her, looking after her. Take lots of photos to stir her memory in the future, and keep talking about the past and the present as you dine each night.

Her long-term memory will stay intact for quite a while, and you can laugh about your early days together. If she seems to be having problems, you can always fly home in no time. Do it!

I’m really sorry if any reader thinks I’m not being realistic, and that it’s going to be a nightmare. It’s right for you two, is all. What you feel isn’t the ‘wrong’ reaction. There is no right or wrong here. Go with your gut instinct.