Thirty five years ago, I knew of three couples who were getting married within a few weeks of each other.
One intended to live with his parents after a weekend honeymoon.
The second were renting a flat but having everything new, with a fortnight’s honeymoon abroad.
The third were buying a house and making do with second-hand furniture, having a week away in Cornwall.
All weddings went off without a hitch, but all three ended in divorce within five years, one for infidelity, one for having nothing in common to build on after the Big Day, and the other for (according to a family member) ‘Having things too easy’.
You pick which fits which.
The couple who lived with the in-laws were given his old bedroom, which was directly next to his parents’.
The Husband worked long hours, the Bride worked part-time, but they were saving every possible penny for a place of their own.
Mother continued to cook the meals and run the house, not letting the Bride help with any food preparation or housework.
Father was forever teasing the newlyweds with innuendo, a nod and a wink.
After six months and in desperation for privacy, they took out a lease on a park home, put their names down on the council list, and waited.
The second couple were lucky in finding a Housing Association plan of renting a flat for five years, then having the option to buy with a percentage of their paid rent being deducted from the purchase price.
The Bride went shopping and spent thousands of pounds on HP for the latest in all gadgetry, furniture and furnishings to show off when they entertained their friends.
They struggled with the payments having forgotten about rent, local taxes and living costs, and the Husband ended up taking a second job.
The third couple had saved for a deposit from the time they’d got engaged, and purchased a new small end terrace property on a twenty year mortgage.
Their furniture and curtains were either hand-me-downs from relatives, or purchased second hand from the local paper.
The Bride couldn’t cook but had a go, both of them laughing at her failed efforts and eating a lot of takeouts in the first few months of married life.
Yet theirs was the first marriage to fail.
The couple concerned have been together over ten years, yet he has decided to walk out because he can’t have the material things he wants, and support his young family.
I’m afraid I find that the most pathetic excuse on the planet.
There are couples (and single parents) out there who are struggling but getting their priorities right, and I bet not one of them puts having a new truck or designer jewelry over food on the table, clothes on their children’s backs or a roof over their heads.
I’m pleased to say that the young Mum has had the locks changed, is doing home studies in accounts until her child goes to first school in September, and continues to live the way she has always done, frugally and sensibly, because it was HER name on the council rent book and HER name on the benefit claim forms. He may have lived there periodically (their relationship has apparently been on velcro for years), but she paid all the bills.
The rub is, he will now have to find somewhere to live (currently living with relatives), paying rent and all the other household bills as well as child support, so will actually be worse off financially and probably have to sell his precious shiny truck for something smaller and cheaper to run.
No wonder people look at Hubby and I as a bit of a novelty.
Did you get it right?
In-laws: nothing in common.
Mortgage: Too easy.