My wife left me two weeks ago. Okay, maybe she really left long before that; but she physically packed a bag and left on Friday January the 13th 2017. She has a sense of occasion so I reckon she picked Friday the 13th.
We’ve not been much fun together for a while. For all sorts of reasons, but mainly because we went different ways. She blamed me, I blamed her. It’s my story, so I get to give my side.
It really started when we got married, she didn’t want children, okay, okay. I’m sorry but I’ll live with it. I made a promise and I’ll stick to her. Then a few years later she changes her mind and does want children and I’m happy but, yeah, resentful. She wasted time, wasted our time. We could have been younger when they left, maybe they might have had children. Now they’ve left and no sign of even a relationship between the two of them, let alone children. Yes, I resent it.
She told me when they left home that “Now it’s my time. I think I have a right” And I think “What the fuck! What the fucking fuck are you talking about you stupid, selfish bitch” - okay maybe I harbour a few grudges. And I say “Your time?”
“Yes, I’ve served my time. I kept house for you and the family. Now I deserve some time to myself”
“Look, you think I enjoyed working in a go-nowhere job all my bloody life? You think I brought home the money each month and saw nothing for it just because I enjoyed being a middle-fucking-manager? You think I-”
“There is no need to swear. And may I remind you that I had a job too” Yeah, her job was some part-time work in a shop. I mean I’m not decrying that, but hey! It was part-time, it earned nothing and it what it did earn she spent on herself – clothes and shit. Oh, she bought the Christmas presents! Big fucking deal! She didn’t pay for the holidays, the mortgage, the school fees, the university fees, the insurance, the water bill, the electricity bill, the ... you get the picture. Hell! She didn’t even think it would be fair for her to pay for the insurance on her own car! Okay, maybe I didn’t point all this out in a calm, reasoned and reasonable way; but it’s still true. Her income was her income, my income was our income.
She didn’t talk to me for three days. I apologised. She went to “A History of Feminism” with Margaret. An evening class telling everybody how much women fought for rights in Victorian Britain and with a subtext of ‘we need to keep fighting’. Okay, okay I’m not in favour of husbands being able to legally beat their wives, or force them to have sex because they married; and I do think women should have a vote; I even think women should be paid the same for doing the same work. But I also think that comes with responsibilities. Pay for your own fucking car insurance! Don’t parasitise me.
That was the first, after a while she was going to weekly meetings. Fine, I watched MoviesForMen or some shit like that, or went for a pint without feeling guilty. And I didn’t resent so much when she insisted on watching Celebrities on Ice; I even watched it with her. So for a while it even made things easier.
I even paid for her weekends away with the sisterhood. “Off with the sorority?” I said one weekend.
“What? What do you mean?” She read all the time, she had the time you see, but she read crappy shitty novels with no challenging words. I occasionally offered her a book like Thomas Hardy or Trollope (Anthony, not the other), or Marlon James, but she never even tried to read them. And yes I know I’m a fucking snob since I’ve never read any P.D. James or whatever. And I know I fucking swear too much now. But that’s because I’m a downtrodden man; everything is environment or genetics. Nothing is simply ‘my fault’ isn’t that right dear? On the other hand, yeah, she could re-invent me like I was her chubby (I’m realistic), balding, Barbie-boyfriend doll. Every birthday I’d get a book “Try this, I think you’d enjoy it” I usually didn’t; and I’d get a shirt and a jumper; like I can’t pick my own clothes! “What? What do you mean?” “Sorority. It means sisterhood.”
.... There is more of this story ...