The Universal Bullshit Translator got several requests to shred the Guardian’s “Family” feature (seriously editors, FAMILY? Really?) “My husband has stopped cheating on me after 35 years“.
It’s the confessions of a woman who stood for her marriage and at last report has won a decades-long pick me dance.
Among the indignities our unicorn protagonist suffers:
Matt fucks her best friend at their child’s christening.
Matt feels up the breasts of a pregnant acquaintance at a PTA meeting.
She avoids social events so as not to have to chat with women who were fucking Matt.
But, Dear Reader, she wins him in the end!
I’m not really sure what the point of this retrograde misogynist drivel is. Haven’t women suffered enough? Alabama. The latest draft picks for the U.S. Supreme Court (Bart “I Like Beer” McRapey). Spanx.
No. We need the progressive newspaper of record in the UK to tell us how to Keep Our Man.
It doesn’t say that, Tracy. It’s just offering a perspective.
Sure. There’s the How to Be a Doormat point of view and the How to Fuck Around with Impunity point of view. When newspapers start running the How to Stop Tolerating Shit and Divorcing for Your Sanity point of view, the UBT will enjoy a nice long retirement in the south of France. Sunning its transistors on a beach. Dining on mussels instead of bullshit…. aaah…
We’re still together after 35 years because I refused to ever consider splitting up, although Matt’s been unfaithful to me for most of that time. We met at university and he’s all the classic things – tall, good looking, bright, funny. Very few women can resist him. I’m not excusing him as the pain he’s caused me is immeasurable but he was sent to boarding school aged eight and from a very early age the only person he could depend on was himself.
Tall, good-looking, imperialist, cutting a fine figure in his Blenheim tweed shooting jacket, witty, defending primogeniture at dinner parties…
I’m not excusing the piece of shit serial cheater that he is. He’s the product of British public schools.
We got engaged on my 22nd birthday. I managed to keep his hands off me until our wedding was booked and by the time I was pregnant with our elder son Tom three years later, I was sure Matt was tamed.
I had produced an heir. I am certain now that he will not behead me.
I’m a teacher and when we had the big chat about child care I happily agreed to give up work. We didn’t plan on having Simon quite so quickly and having two children under two was as tiring as everyone says it is, but I was proud of myself – getting fit really quickly, looking good and always ready to jump into bed with Matt when the babies were sleeping.
My pick me dance was good. I’m unemployed, vulnerable, and horny all the time! #here4Uwhenever #GodSaveTheDouche
After Simon’s christening, I wanted to get him out of his slippery christening robes so I left everyone eating and headed upstairs. I opened Simon’s bedroom door and Matt and Chloe, my best friend from school, were having sex on the teddy rug on the floor, so engrossed that they didn’t hear me. I swiftly closed the door and tiptoed to our bedroom, shutting that door loudly.
Watch me slam this door no one can hear! I’m fine. Really.
I felt sick and full of rage. I wanted to pull Matt out of our bed and scream at him but I knew that if I did, there was no going back. Even if we didn’t split up there would be terrible rows and our lovely, happy life would be disrupted.
My lovely, happy life full of sickness and rage. I wanted to pull Matt out of bed and scream, but I knew that if I did, his entitlement would be disrupted.
I was pretty sure Chloe would be history soon, but I was always watching, wondering who was his latest conquest. I was convinced that if I said nothing, he would never leave me for anyone.
My wife appliance game was that good.
He loved me and the boys, he loved our lifestyle and his good name was very important to him – no way he’d give all that up for a fleeting affair. It wasn’t easy and it was tiring being on full alert. I remember at a PTA wine tasting watching Matt talking to another mum, who was about seven months pregnant. I was actually relaxing and thinking that surely someone like that was safe but then Matt slipped his hand up the back of her maternity blouse and round to cup her breast for a second. She beamed at him, while I stood in horror wondering if it was his baby she was carrying.
I’m not the only woman being assaulted and smiling through it. But the important thing here is Matt’s good name.
When Laura was born I think Matt was faithful to me for months because he was so besotted with her, but about a year later everyone started using mobile phones and that opened up lots more misery.
I blame the phones.
The children doted on their dad and I didn’t want them to have a broken home or lose out financially if Matt had to run two homes.
I’d rather model dysfunction and keep my Debenham’s throw cushions.
I did get tired of dropping friends I knew Matt was seeing but that was my limit – I didn’t want to see them hanging round him. Some of my girlfriends tried to warn me but I cut them off as even acknowledging what they were saying meant I would have to do something about it. The thought of being pitied was the worst of all but I became an expert at smiling outwardly through it all, especially at social events where I knew I was talking to someone who was sleeping with my husband.
I became an expert at smiling outwardly even though I wanted to stab Matt and every woman he’d been with, grind them into a fine powder, mix them into custard sauce and ladle them over rhubarb crumble.
But that was my limit.
There was no way I was going to be the pathetic frump, so I made sure I was as slim and elegant as ever and breezed through life.
Slim and elegant married women are winners. I made sure I wasn’t one of those pathetic frumps enjoying their careers and girlfriend trips to Barcelona, sipping their pink cocktails, laughing uproariously in solidarity. No sir.
I didn’t talk, eat, sleep, wash, look after the children. Within a week, he had me at the doctor, completely out of his depth as family life ground to a halt. I don’t know if I had a breakdown or if I engineered it, if I’m honest. All I knew was that all my hard work wasn’t going to waste now and it was even worth being away from the children as I was hospitalised and Matt was left to get on with it.
But I was SLIM. Mental, but ELEGANT.
Once, after too much wine, I asked him if he had ever thought about being unfaithful and he acted completely shocked and dismayed – if I’d pushed the conversation it would have ended, not mended, the marriage. My way was best.
I’ll eat the shit sandwich whole, Matt. And swallow. No gaslighting foreplay necessary.
Our second grandchild is on the way and Matt and I do almost everything together. He still works long hours but we cook, go to Italian classes, socialise, walk the dogs and spend a lot of time with our family, who are all very close.
He still works long hours. I still don’t ask him where he is. We’re so close.
Very occasionally I look at him and feel so angry I could scream but I recognise that I made my own choice. I outlasted any woman foolish enough to think the affair would lead to something and, in the end, it was worth it.
(The UBT explodes)