Last week, just under four months into our separation, a new ‘relationship announcement’ went up on Facebook letting the world know that my husband is now in a relationship with another woman. We are still ‘friends’ on Facebook so we can see any post the other is tagged in and some of the information from ‘friends of friends’. I knew of the relationship although he has not had the courtesy to mention it to me.
Under the announcement and photos she had written a sentence describing him as a wonderful man who has found the manual to what makes her tick.
I am unaffected emotionally – in fact I am happy that someone else is willing to take him off my hands – but I do feel a bit concerned that he has (almost entirely) pulled the wool over her eyes. However, in light of the fact that there is no chance of me trying to talk her down from the ledge she has unwittingly found herself on, instead I shall anonymously list a series of warnings for her never to read.
These things may, of course, not matter one jot to her – or to you if you’re reading – but they did matter to me which is why they’ve made the cut:
1 Don’t ever expect a posh/expensive meal or even a trip to Pizza Express or other mid-range high street restaurant chain – you will be taken out to Wetherspoons, Mcdonalds, Costco or, if you’re lucky (to ring the changes), a different chain pub.
2 Don’t expect to ever be cooked for or to share a bottle of wine – he only drinks beer.
3 Kiss goodbye to the idea of a cultural or active holiday abroad – he will take you on package holidays to Spanish islands where you probably won’t ever leave the poolside, restaurant and room
4 Be prepared to act as his social secretary and perform familial duties for him like buying his parents birthday/Christmas cards/presents and performing the caring and nurturing role to his children when they are with him.
5 Don’t give him any details about past relationships or any recreational drug use you may have experienced in your youth – he will judge you for it and it will incite feelings of irrational jealousy. He will use certain information against you if you ever fall out.
6 Don’t expect to go to any festivals or cultural events, particularly if they cost money or are likely to be popular or crowded. The more liberal-minded the other attendees, the more venomous his attitude towards the whole thing.
7 Expect him to have an issue/be judgemental about at least some of your friends and family members
8 Don’t get your hopes up about the idea of having a ‘man about the house’ to do DIY or other practical tasks – he will mow the lawn and slash your garden foliage back all day long but that’s about it.
9 Get used to the sight of him poking his pants up his arse and prepare yourself to wash the shit-stained grundies that result.
10 If you ever get a spot he will ask if he can squeeze it.
11 Get used to the sound of him screaming at his elderly parents in the most disrespectful way imaginable. It will shock you at first – try and grasp the concept that this is, indeed, a red flag.
12 You will become accustomed to his habit of keeping bottles of beer in the freezer. Sometimes he will forget about them and they will shatter so you might like to imagine that ice-cream which tastes of Spitfire ale is actually some weird and wonderful Heston Blumenthal concoction created just for you.
13 Don’t ever expect to be bought flowers – he doesn’t ‘do’ flowers. In fact he doesn’t do romance (or even thoughtfulness) full stop.
14 I hope you like football ‘chat’ and sports commentary in general – you will be listening to an awful lot of Radio 5 Live from now on.
I guess I could go on but I think that’ll do for the time being. Bon chance mon amie.