Writer's Blog

Today I became my husband’s ex-wife

I am generally quite a chirpy person and since becoming less of a hormonal beast, almost eight years ago, I am usually more optimistic than pessimistic.

However, this morning I woke up under a dark cloud. There was no reason for this depressive mood, nothing of note had happened to me personally over the last 24 hours, nobody had upset or annoyed me.

Yesterday evening, my husband and I visited my mum who suffers with a nasty lung condition which has left her unable to exert herself and housebound by choice. She won’t go anywhere public as her condition swells the vessels in her lungs and, on occasions, they burst and she coughs up large volumes of blood. Not nice for an onlooker, less for my mum, and she is ever fearful of the next bout. Mum never has much to talk about as she never does anything of note so we tend to discuss her condition and how much coughing she has done, over and over again. She rarely asks about her three grown-up grandchildren and shows little interest in anyone else, so it can be a chore to visit for too long, but it was no different to a usual visit so that hadn’t particularly upset me.

Following our visit to her, we had met my husband’s mum a few miles down the road to have a meal together in a lovely little pub. We had a window table and a view of the beautiful garden with wild areas attracting entertainment in the form of blackbirds, robins, pigeons, magpies and rabbits. We enjoyed a tasty meal and took coffees into the garden to finish. There was never a break in chatter, there always being something to chat about with his mum. She is always pleased to see us, however she is feeling and it is always a pleasure to visit, so we left with smiles and her wishing us a happy holiday – we are due to have a short break at our local Center Parcs next week – another positive.

I am never a heavy sleeper so it wasn’t unusual to wake up a few times during the night. On the whole it was a decent night’s sleep so didn’t have a bearing on my mood. I woke up to my husband bringing me a coffee in bed. Our weekly routine of whoever wakes first makes the coffee, always a pleasant start to a Saturday or a Sunday. We chatted over our coffee and then pottered around a little, he with tidying leaves in the garden while I did washing and took the sheets from the bed. I just couldn’t shake my mood and when we sat outside having breakfast with another coffee I felt close to tears.

My husband asked if there was anything he could do and it took all of my strength not to descend into a tirade about jobs which I had asked him to look at over the previous weeks and which he had not done anything about. My husband is not a keen DIY-er and does tend to put off jobs until I repeatedly ask and then I feel like a nag. I try not to nag and get cross with him over the delays but today they were eating away at me. I knew it was just my mood and to bite my tongue.

Feeling every low of my mood, he moped about with me, not really knowing what to do next. This just served to make me more irritated and I became snappy and moody. I was in my writing room, tidying away some washing, when I noticed one of the neighbours talking to my husband at the garden gate. When the neighbour had left, my husband came in and I asked after the neighbour, who had merely asked my husband if he could come in and take the dimensions of our conservatory as, with a similar-sized bungalow, he planned on installing a similar one for himself.

My husband told me he had asked the neighbour to come back another time as we were both very busy today and we off on holiday next week. At this point I blew my top, not believing he had sent the neighbour away for asking for three simple measurements. My husband responded to my rant by saying, “You have been feeling really down this morning and I know how you feel about people in the garden when you are in the house. I knew that if I let him come in and take the measurements you would have gone nuts! You know how you are when I make decisions without you!”

I was utterly shattered by that comment. Was I really that much of a bitch? Was I really that sensitive? Could I really not let my husband make such simple decisions without going nuts? I knew he was right. If I was in a dark mood, who knew what could happen and how I would react? One simple comment from my husband and I had lost all rationality. I actually shouted and told him to get the neighbour back and to stop being so stupid. I told him to have a backbone and stop treating me with kid gloves. I wasn’t very nice. He did what I asked, without a second thought.

One look at his face made me realise that I was actually being irrational and he had spoken the truth. I was unpredictable and moody at times and all he ever wanted was to make me happy. I watched him, after our neighbour had left, and could feel the despair exuding from his pores. He brought me a coffee to where I was sulking in the garden and went through to the bedroom to put the newly ironed sheets on the bed.  He is such a good man and, together, we are a great team. Admittedly, sometimes he annoys me by not being the DIY God that some men are, but he is so much more than that. My husband is the best thing that has happened to me over the past twelve years. He is my true soulmate and in that moment this morning I realised that, over one silly event, I had turned into his ex-wife, a woman who had shouted and screamed at him daily and treated him like a piece of dirt for so many years. A woman who hadn’t realised what a gem of a man she had by her side until he was gone. I knew that it was time to give myself a shake because that woman, his ex-wife, was not something I ever wanted to be compared to and I certainly didn’t want to treat him in the same way that she had.

It’s strange, but having a bad day and being in the darkest of moods resulting in a mini row and being unkind to my husband, has made me realise that I need to treat him in the way that he deserves. He is, after all, my one true love and I would be nothing without him.



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