Happy Marriage: Why I like it when my husband leaves the country

The Husband works long hours and travels a lot and it is rubbish. I miss him, the kids miss him, and the dog misses him even more. So when he is off working I console myself by doing things that I simply cannot get away with when he is here. Like DIY.

As a perfectionist, and practical genius, The Husband regularly rejects my offer of help with jobs around the house reminding me of the time that my Mum nearly blinded me with a Stanley knife as we tried to lay a carpet. In pieces. Like a jigsaw.

He is also a hoarder who refuses to throw anything away. When we bought a new sofa he made us keep the old ones – just in case. They were all in the lounge. When our oak end tables wouldn’t fit in the new house he insisted that they stay anyway and so one was plonked in the kitchen and another in the middle of lounge looking lonely and awkward. You could practically hear them weeping for each other.

These hoarding tendencies, and his possessiveness over DIY mean that when he is away I undertake jobs that he won’t get around to until 2019, and other times I just do stuff because I really want to and he can’t stop me. Like the time I wallpapered the hall. After 6 months of watching the sad silver Little Fox wallpaper hibernating under my desk I took action. I waited until the children were asleep, watched 45 minutes of B&Q tutorials (thanks Terry and Ben), opened a bottle of wine, and spent until 1am pasting, positioning and brushing. I was delighted with my efforts. Husband was less so. “You are supposed to paint the ceiling first,” he said pointing to the watermarks made by the kids who regularly flood the bathroom. “And you messed up the light switch.” #ungrateful

Four hours later. Boom.

Another highlight was when I gave away the ripped, stained, faux leather, brown, shiny sofas (*punches the air) that were filling up the lounge. This was closely followed by the sale of the two solid oak end tables. Reunited the pair are currently living the dream in the conservatory of a lovely Buckinghamshire village.

Sometimes I don’t stop at DIY. I try and be helpful in other ways too. Like when I sorted out his wardrobe for him. Anything that looked like it should be worn by a skateboarder was out. The fact that he didn’t notice speaks volumes.

There are other advantages to having alone time too: being able to read in bed at night for as long as I like, repeatedly watching Vikings (if I can’t see my husband’s beardy face and tattoos I might as well enjoy those of Rollo and Ragnar), not having to watch Arsenal, not having to wade through his clothes on the floor to get into bed, not being woken at 6.15 by his alarm every day. Once the children slept until 7:45. This is practically lunchtime.

Yes it does help to think that the grass is greener especially when things go wrong and your three year old is crying because she just died for her Daddy. Her actual words were “Oh Mummy, where my Daddy, I died for him.” Meaning I am dying to see him. He had been away for 10 days at this point. Or when the toilet breaks and floods the bathroom and you realise that your husband was right all along about your DIY abilities and you have to bring in a professional (or the neighbour who is also excellent at fixing things).

But although we miss him, and he misses us too there is no need to feel too sorry for him. His tears of sorrow would surely be collected in the champagne glasses of the celebrities that he parties with after spending his day getting paid to play with racing cars. He gets night after night of uninterrupted sleep and better food that he eats at home. But to be fair to him those nights of sleep can be very short and he has been known to work around the clock. Motor racing seems to exist in a time zone where everyone thinks that there are 36 hours in a day so working for 24 of them is normal.

He comes back today after 9 days away but this time I did something that he might not forgive me for. I did something without him that we have only ever done together since we were married. I was weak and I gave in to a force more powerful than my own self control.  I can resist anything except the temptation to watch Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Reader, I watched Game of Thrones without my husband for the first time. I have gone too far. I don’t think he will ever forgive me.

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