The secret diary of a single parent bloke
I suspected that my wife was having an affair. Lots of things- some obvious, some subtle, but nothing conclusive. These fears have been building for some time.
I’m not one for speculation. I like- no, I need, facts.
She announced that she was off to the gym, and would I look after the kids? Of course I would. And off she went. I decided to break into her email account- my heart racing. And there they were. The emails between her and her lover, times, dates, places, feelings. I’d expected to find them, but nothing could have prepared me for the shock.
But my first reaction was to protect the kids. I remembered how I found out that my dad was having an affair. I was about seven years old, and sat on the toilet reading a comic. There was some shouting, and before I knew it, my mom and brother were crouched next to me, we were all crying, and my dad was stood on the landing looking at us. And then he went. It almost sounds funny. I can’t imagine that happening on Eastenders.
I had to get the kids out of the way. My Dad only lived a couple of minutes away, so I bundled the kids into the car and drove to his house. Without explanation, I thrust Natalia and Jack at him, and went back home. Katrina had also returned home.
I asked her whether it was true. She said that it was. I didn’t know what to do, or say, or feel. I was stunned. I got in the car and drove.
The car drove, not me. After 25 miles, my mobile rang, and I stopped the car. I was in a very picturesque village where we’d been many times before, but had no recollection of getting there. It was Kat on the phone, I didn’t answer. It rang again, and I rejected it. Then my Dad, voicemail, texts… I rejected all of the calls, and turned the phone off.
We’d started seeing each other when we were 16, married at 22, and had our daughter, Natalia, at 23 and Jack at 26. And now we were 29, and our perfect family life was far from perfect.
I don’t know how long I was gone for. It could have been hours. Or minutes. But I finally decided to return. It took what seemed like an eternity to drive back. One of the messages said that she was at my Dad’s, so I went there.
I’d got it wrong. There was no affair, just a friendship, the result of me being a poor husband. Kat, Lydia and my Dad all reassured me that there was no problem that I couldn’t solve. It was a cry for help because I was useless, self-centred, lazy layabout. She just needed a shoulder to cry on, and that was an old boyfriend she’s re-met on Friends Reunited. Three pairs of eyes looked at me- I don’t know whether it was pity, but I felt like a naughty child who was being carefully lectured on my ways. Kat held my hand, but it was as numb as my mind. Maybe I was a poor husband and father, but this was all wrong. Or maybe I was cracking up. What does it feel like to have a nervous breakdown? Do you know you’re having one?
But the emails were definitely real.