I have been closely following the Vicky Pryce and Chris Hume affair. Nothing like a story about a wronged wife and errant husband to get my interest. There was nothing new in the words that I read. Marriages have been going awry in this way for many years, centuries in fact.
As I write this I am also watching the excellent programme ‘The Tudors’. Now there was an errant husband of note. Henry managed to wrong many a wife in his pursuit of sex, love and an heir to the throne. He even managed to rewrite England’s religious history in order to pursue his desires. Anne Boleyn’s refusal to give up her cherry drove poor Henry to distraction. Had she given in early and just become another Mistress who knows what would have happened to England’s religious beliefs.
You must never under-estimate the overwhelming power of sexual desire. Chemical it may be, but it comes from a deep and dark place and is linked irrevocably linked, with the survival of the Human Race. It can be difficult to ignore once set free from its cage and in the male of the species can be so powerful it can consume its owner to the point where it’s all he can think about. But is it always that simple ?
Is this the reason that Chris Hume decided to cheat on his devoted wife of many years ?. Looking at him I doubt it. It would be hard to believe taking into account the greying hair and bushy eyebrows that here was a man driven by his hormones. So what was it then, a midlife crises ? boredom ? one last hurrah!. Well he certainly has paid a high price. But then so has Vicky.
In reeking revenge on her man Vicky has ended up in prison. It doesn’t seem right to me that she should pay for his mistakes. Any woman so betrayed and feeling so utterly abandoned would have been in a highly emotive state..almost on the verge of madness. You suddenly find yourself totally powerless and the life that you knew..safe and secure is hurtling over a cliff at speed and being smashed on the rocks in the sea below..over and over again. The need to get some control of it and him, to still be able to have some influence on the life of the man who had been so entwined with your own becomes paramount You just want to prove you counted for something and could still wield some power and I should know.
When I discovered the underwear receipt under the bed..the proof of my husband’s infidelity with ‘her next door’ aka ‘Horseface’ I was relieved. I knew instinctively that there was someone else but had struggled to find proof and here at last it was. The marriage had been over for some months, the house was up for sale, we were sleeping separately, we were going our own way. But up to that moment I had never understood why. Now I did, I salivated on the knowledge , revelled in it, let the painful truth wash over me. I felt elated.
A strange reaction I know. But for now being right, knowing that all my false accusations and misgivings had been bang on was the best feeling in the world. I could after all trust my inner voice, I wasn’t going mad, losing the plot, being neurotic. I even managed to sit on the information for a whole month locked in its box.
And then I opened it. I confronted him with the evidence. It was Easter weekend, I felt I had time to deal with it and the inevitable fall out. It was quite easy to break him. I was always good with words and when the confession came he seemed relieved to be coming clean. I was enjoying watching him squirm up until the point where I asked him “How long”. His answer given with ease in his confessional afterglow of “Over five years” was like a knife in my stomach. Five years !!! FIVE FUCKING YEARS! My head was reeling and I felt the red mist rising behind my eyes.
He immediately sensed the change in me reading my face well..so he should after staring at it for nearly twenty-five years. He reached out as if to comfort me I knocked his hand away. The last five years had been the toughest. He hadn’t worked due to his back trouble so I had taken over as the breadwinner working full-time, running the house,the children. There were the hospital visits the operations with me stood vigil outside waiting, bringing up hot food because he wouldn’t eat the hospital rubbish. Dealing with the grief as he realised his back was fucked and that the hospital had failed him followed by the court case and lawyers all handled by me!. His growing addiction to the opiate pain relief he was prescribed and the aggressive mood swings and lack of sex had all been endured for all of those years.
I had felt like a work horse, worn out and tired but hopeful that I would get my reward when things between us got better. Blind faith!! Doh! what a gullible idiot!. So all of that time he had been playing away and of all people with my ‘friend and good neighbour’ . The red mist turned into a dense fog and took on a life all of its own. The rage was a beast, I wanted to murder him! her! the whole bloody world!.
A few days later my need for revenge was all I could think about. The bitch was still living next door with her totally unaware husband. So I started with him! It wasn’t an easy job getting him to believe me but once he did she confessed. I took great pleasure in listening through the wall to their raised voices. He and I soon knew all of their plans to relocate to the Country. He was in I.T. and able to hack into her emails. We knew everything . I was playing so many games with my soon to be ex-husband he didn’t know whether he was coming or going. But for now it was her I was after.
One summers evening a few weeks later opportunity presented. She was mincing down the road on her way out and on her own (she was normally with her daughter for protection no doubt) She seemed happy. It was beyond irritating. I replayed through my mind the many occasions we had broken bread, the Birthday and Christmas presents, the dinner parties, the mutual sharing of children, she had even invited us on holiday. The red mist started to bubble..somehow you expect betrayal from men but when the Sisterhood do it to you, it is SO much worse.
I was driving my newly acquired bright blue sports car. She minced and I kerb crawled. As she became aware of my presence she quickened her step. I knew where she was going so I roared past her and headed her off. She stopped and trying to be brave she said “Do you want to talk?” . Talk! was she kidding. She was acting like she and I had disagreed over the positioning of fence post. condescending cow. I pulled over.
The red mist and I got out of the car hand in hand. She tried to speak but I opened my mouth and such a tirade of well placed verbal vitriol came out she was immediately silenced. The rest mist and I were on a roll. When she eventually managed an ill prepared sentence the red mist took control . I knew somewhere in my head that I was going to smack her, it was like I had no choice. I drew back my hand, the red mist smiled and I smacked her so hard palm to cheek that she staggered back and fell into some passers-by. God it felt good! The red mist ran away with a spring in her step and I felt a peace descend. I’m not a violent person, I would not advocate anything like what had just happened. But somehow it felt the right thing to do.
My terrible crime expedited their departure, she was scared, so it did me a favour but I still had to live with him, with her next door for the next six weeks. It was hard. The week before they went my husband had a terrible wobble. He wasn’t sure he was doing the right thing and that he may want to stay. (My game playing had worked well) By now I was ready for his departure and looking forward to my new single life so I reassured him that leaving was best. Can you imagine him telling her he changed his mind ! It was tantalising to contemplate and it would have been justice indeed. But it was time to move on.
For those of you that have read my book ‘Sex and the Signposts’ you will know that I had one more trick of revenge up my sleeve. But somehow the fighting back and the executing of revenge enabled me to move on and start to live again. So I feel really sorry for Vicky Pryce her attempt at revenge spectacularly back-fired on her. I wonder if she lives to regret her actions, my guess is that even given a choice she may do, but when you are in the throes of ‘revenge madness’ you will do anything to halt the pain that you feel and bugger the consequences. In my case it was the only way to keep the red mist from taking me over completely!.