Claire’s story is absolutely fantastic. In fact, I think she might just have a genius idea. She’s madly in love with her husband, but live with him? No thanks! She can’t think of anything worse. So, husband and wife live apart. No dirty socks on the floor, no washing up in the sink. Just dates, fun, romance and bliss. The story illustrates how the set up works for Claire and David and shows that maybe, they’re on to something…
When David proposed on Christmas Day last year, Claire had one question. Would he want to move in? Luckily the answer was no thanks!…
As soon as David and I announced our engagement, tongues started wagging.
‘Surely now you’ll move in together?’ my friends asked.
But David and I knew that getting married would have absolutely no baring on the fact that we can’t think of anything worse than waking up together.
We had our son, Jay, five years ago and back then our friends presumed that would be the factor that finally saw us under the same roof.
When Jay was born, we did talk about it. He has Down’s Syndrome and we thought it would be best for him if we lived together. David stayed over a lot in those early days. But we knew making it permanent wouldn’t have worked and wouldn’t have been best for Jay.
However David then started going back to his flat in the evenings and leaving me with the baby. So I bought him a cot to take home and told him that although I didn’t want to live with him, he was going to have to do his share of the nights.
Now Jay goes to David’s a few times a week, which is great as I get respite. And they love it – it’s quality father and son time, time for them to wrestle on the floor and muck about.
We’re not holding on to our independence by living apart, we are holding on to our relationship.
I’ve been married twice before, David has been married once. We both know what it’s like to put your finances in one pot and we don’t like it. I want David to be free to go and buy something expensive that he shouldn’t and then struggle for the rest of the month without me wagging my finger and telling him off. Likewise I want to save and buy whatever I want, without having to consult someone else.
We really annoy each other in bed too. He snores and sleeps diagonally. Three days after our wedding we went out for dinner and champagne then David stayed over. In the morning I said ‘How was it for you?’ and he said ‘Absolute nightmare.’ I felt the same way!
Friends ask if we miss out on cuddles but the answer is no, we don’t need cuddles in bed to give our relationship strength.
When David proposed on Christmas Day 2012, before I even said yes I said: ‘But do I have to live with you?’ David said: ‘God no!’ So I said yes to his proposal.
Since then, nearly every day until our wedding, someone or other asked if getting married means we’ll move in together. We never will.
We’re asked if I worry David will cheat. It doesn’t even cross my mind – I trust him and I don’t need him under my roof to know he’s not a cheater.
David will admit it himself – he’s complex. It’s his way or no way. I can cope with that trait if I don’t have to live with it – and I’m sure I have traits he’d rather not live with too. I wouldn’t want to change David and I love everything about him, but if we lived together we’d quarrel and then he’d either have to change or we’d have to break up.
This way he can be who he is and I can be who I am and we can do what we do best – laugh, have fun, enjoy each other. We’re not dragged down by the day to day problems of life.
This Christmas, David will come round for Christmas Eve just as he always does. He’ll stay the night (in a spare bed) so he can be there for Jay in the morning.
Then, after the festive lunch, he’ll go home. I will look forward to having the evening to myself as always. Our marriage works just fine as it is, so why change it?