I was convinced he was ‘the one’ and that we were going to grow old together.What hadn’t crossed my mind was that Carol had an enormous head start in that department. He’d been married before and was reluctant to commit again.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’.
From the outside it was an idyllic scene — one I can still conjure up to this day.
Sun flooded the terrace of our detached house in rural France, and the champagne flowed freely as my husband and I hosted a barbecue at our new home.
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.
He revelled in the praise his friends piled on him for enjoying the perfect lifestyle — a stunning house and, of course, the icing on the cake, a nubile young wife. I watched with morbid fascination as my husband — sporting a pair of comfortable loose-fitting trousers, calf-length brown socks and his favourite Velcro-strapped sandals — strutted about our terrace like a bantam cockerel.
I really enjoyed his company: he was sophisticated, well travelled and interesting, and I was smitten within weeks.
While I didn’t give the age gap a second thought, everyone else was horrified.He requested the loan of a towel and soap, and they had no towels, and gave him a bed sheet to use!Are the Mental Health Services in the Kilkenny area, so stretched, that they have not essentials for patients, as these admissions are not planned?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.The procedure went disastrously wrong, and he contracted MRSA, leaving him in a coma for six weeks.