We hadn’t had sex for over a decade, and it was highly unlikely we’d ever make love again.At 67, my husband had been seriously ill for the last ten years of our marriage.
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My mother made no bones about the fact she disliked Carol, warning me that he viewed me as a pension fund who would support him in his old age.
Friends who criticised Carol were simply cut out of my life.
Five years after the end of our marriage I still cannot help having twinges of bitterness at those lost 26 years of my life.
But could the older, wiser me have talked the smitten 25-year-old me out of embarking on the relationship all those years ago?
From my hiding place behind the door, I was frozen with revulsion and disbelief.
Not only at my husband’s betrayal — but because our marriage was nothing like the one he had described in such prurient detail.
Now, my blood always runs cold whenever I read in celebrity magazines and newspapers of young women in their 20s falling for older — and invariably richer — men. We weren’t yet married and he’d made it abundantly clear that the only life he was interested in was one with fine wines and no ‘whiny kids’.
I first met Carol back in 1982 when he was 47 and I was 25 and working for him at his sports shop in Tiverton, Devon.
At the insistence of my husband — who is called Carol, named by his Europhile parents after King Carol of Romania — it had to be the largest in the village, and the garden grandly led down to the banks of the river.