I knew I had married the wrong man in 1993 but I should have realised a lot sooner that he was not the perfect husband I thought him to be. For as I lay convalesing in our Dorset seaside home after breast surgery my 4 and a half year marriage to my second husband was to end abruptly with the publication in a national daily newspaper of details and photographs of him with his mistress.
I was devastated by the revelations and immediately made plans to be driven back to my London flat where my husband had been staying each week. He worked in central London returning to Dorset for weekends.
Intending to confront my husband with the content of the newspaper article I discovered on arrival at my flat that he had fled. He had taken all his belongings to a secret address obviously realising his shabby secret had been exposed. He was, and remains today too cowardly to contact with me. I have never spoken to him or received an apology for his hurtful behaviour. Divorce followed immediately.
But how could I have made such a mistake and picked a wronger? I had thought we loved one another and had a strong marriage; we had been friends and lived together for a previous 5 years before tying the knot. Looking back I now realise that the signs of my husband’s infidelities had probably been apparent, but weakened by my medical state, and being of a trusting nature I had allowed myself to be deceived.
With hindsight I realise I should have acted sooner. Shortly before my birthday in 1993 I had found a Harrods receipt for a very expensive matching leather handbag and shoes. I pretended I had not seen the receipt and looked forward to receiving my surprise birthday present. When a few days later my birthday came and went I was surprised but also disappointed to be given a small metal ornament measuring 1” in diameter depicting a cat in a basket. I wasn’t thrilled and smelt a rat!
I phoned Harrods and asked about the receipt and was told by the assistant concerned that she remembered me coming in with my husband. Trouble was it wasn’t me who had shopped with him! On his return home that evening I questioned him. He mumbled something about having bought the goods for a fellow property dealer who had done him a favour and this was his was of thanking her.
This put doubts in my mind. It was the first but not my last inkling that there were, at least, to quote a phrase “3 of us in this marriage”. Odd behaviour, bad tempers followed. The marriage was not to last much longer! Betrayal became obvious and I suddenly found on that fateful day in Dorset that my husband was less than the Perfect Pete I had thought he was – in fact he was, as the newspapers subsequently to name him, an adulterous Cheat Pete. I remain happily single!