DEAR DEIDRE: THROUGHOUT our 31-year relationship, my husband and I have dealt with nosey looks and rude comments about our 23-year age gap.

But now I can’t shake off the dread that I don’t have long left with him as he will die a lot sooner than me.

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He is 83 and fairly fit, while I am 60 and very active.

We have been happily married and still love one another lots. We are very lucky to have had such a good life together.

My family, and particularly my mum, didn’t approve of us because of the age difference so I walked away from them to be with him.

They never found it in their hearts to say they were wrong about him or be glad I was happy.

My parents both died a few years ago. I hadn’t seen them for years. I don’t have children so could this be a fear of being alone?

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DEIDRE SAYS: It’s normal to not want the people we love to die, knowing life will be very different without them, but you can lead a successful, fulfilling life after the death of a loved one.

The more you think about losing your husband, the worse you feel but you can find support so you don’t feel overwhelmed at the thought of being alone.

You could share your anxiety with your husband or perhaps a trusted friend or family member.

My support pack Living With Anxiety will help.

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