She loves me not, she loves me…

Here’s a turn up . . .

My wife says she still loves me.

This may not seem such a remarkable revelation for most married couples (on the other hand, maybe it is) but we’re not exactly a married couple.

We have been married individuals for the past 18 months, more or less, when she told me she didn’t love me.

I’ve learned a lot since then.

I’ve learned to cook things other than fried eggs. I have learned that there are better things in life (and on TV) than The Bill. I have stopped looking over my shoulder before I fart (when I’m at home, anyway). Indeed, I have learned to look upon a small, 125-year-old workman’s cottage with one saucepan and a bed that’s too small as my home.

And I have learned to enjoy the silences of evenings spent there.


And, ironically as it turns out, I have recently told my wife that I thought I had got over her. That’s when she said she still loved me.

I’ve been here before. I was about 18 at the time, long before I met my wife, and I remember the anguish and longing of unrequited love as a teenager. Now, more than 40 years have passed and I’ll let you into a secret – nothing’s changed. It’s still possible to be terrified of the opposite sex – especially when it’s one of them who knows all your bad habits in advance. And it’s still possible for your heart to slam into your rib cage the same way a wrecking ball hits a building (except that at 64 it’s possible your heart may not survive the battering).

But I’m wasting time. The big question is – what do I do!

How am I supposed to go through the courtship process that will inevitably have to precede any notion of reunion when I can’t remember what I’m supposed to do. When I first got involved in the courtship process, c. 1960, it involved dressing up in daft clothes, covered in paisley patterns, and saying things like “fab” and “far out”. I had a pink suit, for God’s sake, made of velvet!

Will that work a second time around?

And how are we going to go to drive-in movies when there aren’t any left? And I don’t have a car. We’ll have to borrow hers. But what’s the point! It’s all I can manage now to climb into a Land Rover, let alone engage in heavy petting in a Mini.

I thought I’d reached a monumental milestone when my wife stopped loving me, but it’s nothing compared to the mountain of surprise I feel now she’s started again. Is it real?

And why?

I had a look in a mirror and decided it’s ridiculous. I suggested she was suffering the early onset of dementia; she said yes, it was possible.

I suggested she might just be after my money; she told me not to be ridiculous.

I asked her how she could love someone who was ridiculous and she said: don’t be ridiculous, you’re not ridiculous; you’re kind and gentle and clever and argumentative and bloody infuriating and I miss you.

It’s early days. We are cautiously circling the prospect, aware that it will involve – for her – the anguish of dirty clothes strewn round the bedroom and – for me – the infuriation of dirty dishes cluttering every surface in the kitchen instead of being neatly stacked.

I am trying not to get excited… I mean, we could drop dead, become incontinent or forget each others names before we make up our minds.

But, bloody oath, she says she still loves me!