Much press today about the separation of Dawn French and Lenny Henry, with most of the press trying to find a reason for their separation by focussing on Lenny Henry’s affair ten years ago.  Of course it is speculation and essentially private as to what caused their decision, but I think it is interesting that they have chosen to separate now that their daughter is 18.  Many people in a long term relationship believe that as their children near the time of leaving home that they can then concentrate on each other and have their original relationship back.  Sadly, that is often not the case and it is certainly true in the divorce support groups that we run that many people come to them who have come out of very long marriages and are in their 50’s.  Having concentrated on raising children and not really paying much attention to one’s partner results in the realisation that left alone together, that essential connection has been lost.  Suddenly, instead of a new honeymoon period, people realise they have nothing left to say to one another and the intimacy of being alone together is too difficult to navigate and negotiate.  It sometimes seems to one of the partners that its a whole lot easier to start again with someone else than to face the person they have in fact lived a parallel life with for 25 years.