I don’t know why I started keeping a diary, except I remember the need to get organised and originally just kept it for arrangements and appointments. These of course, were mainly for Max, keeping track of his numerous hospital and doctors appointments, not to mention the ones for the solicitors who were fighting his court case.
We had embarked on suing the hospital for his failed back operations. I needed to have them in my diary because I went with him to most of them, in my role of the dutiful and supportive wife. I spent endless hours trawling through medical records and writing long and detailed emails to his solicitor. This was in addition to working full time (I was the breadwinner) running the home, sorting out the finances and supporting the children, not to mention walking the numerous dogs he had collected when he was too ill to manage and virtually worshipping the ground he walked on.
But then, as the storm clouds gathered over my marriage, I started scribbling about how I was feeling and found it a useful tool in coping with the day to day nightmare that my life had become. Relegated into the spare room on some pretence by my husband of eighteen years, accepting the insult because “he was ill” and “needed more space” I comforted myself with scrawling in the book and reading the whole collection of Harry Potter books one after the other. It was escapism at its best and boy did I need to escape!!
Writing the anecdotes in my diary just seemed to help. From my window I could see a huge pine tree in the woods beyond and I would stare at the tree for hours dreaming of the day when Max and I would be back on even ground. I found the view calming as it stood still and strong in all weathers, just like me I thought, it was a symbol of being resilient in the face of adversity. Ironic then, that when the marital home had to be sold for the divvy- up, the only view I could afford was the terraced house opposite and the local Co-operative.
Said husband of course would be surrounded by pine trees and views in his new life in the country. They say “you covet that which you see every day” and whilst I was coveting the pine tree he was coveting the woman who lived next door. This of course was the real reason I was seconded to the spare room and it would seem that the coveting had gone on for some years!
The discovery of this betrayal left me incandescent with rage. The rage, although directed firmly in his direction and also in the direction of “her next door” was partly turned in on myself. How could I have been so stupid as not to have known? Was I blind? Was I naïve? I berated myself for days, kicking myself all the way up the garden path that divided our two houses. Of course I was none of those things, but there is none as blind as those that cannot see and I couldn’t see it even though it was right under my nose. I had had my suspicions and my woman’s intuition had been telling me that there was something badly wrong, but they had been very, very clever.
My delightful husband never ever went out in the evenings. In the last five years and due to his repeated back operations he laid upstairs watching TV night after night and had only gone out a mere handful of times. How then had this affair been conducted and when? The answer was obvious, during the day, whilst I and her extremely hard-working husband were out earning a crust. (My husband was disabled out and she worked very part-time.) They must have been sharing lots of “afternoon delight”. I must admit, I had wondered why he kept getting repeat prescriptions for Viagra, something he had been given ad lib due to his spinal damage. He certainly wasn’t giving me the benefit of them but I was naively hoping he was stockpiling them to use with me at a later date or maybe selling them to his mates. God! How stupid was I? The amount of barefaced lies he must have told me should be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.
The revelations left me on my knees. I ranted when he told me he was going off to his new country life with her (something I’d always dreamed about, and I still to this day cannot watch ‘Escape to the Country’) I screamed when he told me that it had been going on over five years. I fought with him and I slapped her and then I felt a great deal better.
Once the storm had subsided I drew a sharp intake of breath and evaluated my position. So this was it! I was going to be on my own, a middle aged woman, loyal wife for eighteen years through lots of sickness and not much health. Thrown on the rubbish heap of singledom, alone and bloody terrified! I gave myself a good talking to and decided that this terrible betrayal was not going to beat me. Quoting to myself an adage that I’d read somewhere “It’s not what life throws at you, it’s how you handle it that counts”. I decided that I was not only going to handle it I was going to wrestle it into submission.
Resplendent in a red dress, with high heels to match, and glass of champagne in hand, I supervised his removal from my life and into the waiting van. I asked sarcastically “Now have you got everything?” His response was a steely glare. I smiled sipping my champagne as the leather chesterfield that he had humbly asked if he could take left the house and giggled loudly as it was loaded onto the van. I had been kind enough to buy him and his new squeeze a house warming present. It was a hot June day and the “present” should be warming nicely in the springs of the family chesterfield. I wonder how long it will take them to find that nice piece of haddock?
The thought of it rotting away and them franticly trying to find the source of the smell gave me a great deal of comfort in the days that followed as did the arms of a rather gorgeous toyboy or two. Now this is where my diary entries become much more interesting…..
For the naughty stuff buy my story ‘Sex and the Signposts’ available on Amazon in paperback and for kindle. On special offer for Xmas…..