Scenes from the beginning of the end of a marriage

May and H, sitting side-by-side in the living-room, watching the ice-dancing at Sochi, gleefully discussing the relative merits of sequins, frills, and little black gloves in costuming. H has just made May a cup of tea. Anyone would think they were going to eventually die aged respectively 87 and 88, holding hands in bed. 30 minutes earlier, May was shrieking ‘A Velociraptor, for fuck’s sake! In my house! In my house!’ while H sat with his head in his hands and wept.

May, at the end of her evening commute, standing outside the house in the dark, looking up at the stars, longing to go home, for minute after minute, because there is no home anymore.

H, weeping after finally telling his parents about the impending divorce, and May, automatically, unthinkingly, putting her arms around him.

‘I’ll have the Claudia Roden cook books and the Elizabeth David ones.’
‘What about the Madhur Jaffrey ones?’
‘One of them’s yours. I gave it to you.’ Pause ‘You can totally have the Complete Potato book as well.’
‘OK, what about Nigel Slater?’
‘I’ll arm-wrestle you for him.’

H is watching The Voice while May cooks dinner, and May dances about the kitchen area, singing along, suddenly happy. Suddenly actually happy. About what? Foolish woman.

May is sitting in the lavatories at work, stifling her sobs in case someone comes in and kindly asks who is that sobbing in the cubicle? And can she come out so we can have a wee now?

H is troubled. He’ll be seeing some of his family face-to-face, and doesn’t really want to tell them about the true nature of the Velociraptor, for verily, no one likes a Velociraptor-owner. ‘Don’t tell them then,’ says May.
‘But they’ll ask, and I don’t like lying to them.’
‘But you had no problem at all with lying to me for four fucking years?’
May storms into the kitchen and starts rage-making coffee. H follows her, looking pathetic, to apologise. ‘Look,’ says May, depressing the cafetière plunger, ‘Just tell them it’s too painful to talk about. And then if they push it, they’re the ones being awful.’ H looks relieved, both because of the advice, and because May hasn’t hit him with the kettle.

May spends a few minutes spitefully hoping H’s family do winkle it out of him, and the whole episode ruins lunch, before roping in Bitter McTwisted and setting her to googling divorce blogs.

May goes to brunch with a good friend, but has cried so often she just sort of sits there like a waxwork while her friend’s eyes fill with tears on the reciting of the Tale of the Incipient Divorcening. In any group of friends there is one who, hopefully only for a few months at a time, takes on the role of That One To Whom All The Shit Happens. For now, this friend is May. May drinks entirely too much coffee and talks energetically about Shakespeare instead.

H makes a couple of pitiful attempts at blaming the Velociraptor on the miscarriages. ‘I always thought I’d’ve been able to get rid of it if we’d had a living child…’ he begins, before May erupts in a painfully ugly fury. Because May herself wasn’t worth remaining dinosaur-free for? Now H is channelling Henry VIII? The fuck? A few days later, H uses the unwise phrase ‘well, you weren’t entirely to blame…’ and comes within a whisker of having his entire wardrobe left out in the middle of the road.

May goes back to googling properties within commuting distance of her place of work. Shamelessly, in the middle of the living-room, where H can see her.

35 responses to “Scenes from the beginning of the end of a marriage

  • longdistanceinfertility

    I am so sorry. How soon till you can get your own place?

  • Jo

    Hugs. And love. Unlimited, copious amounts of both. How I wish this wasn’t happening.

  • korechronicles

    One breath at a time, one step at a time, one cup of tea at a time. All the while travelling on the life equivalent of the Roller Coaster of Doom…the kind that flips you upside-down 10 different times, takes you through a vertical loop, a cobra roll, a double corkscrew and ends with five zero-G rolls while the bastard velociraptor circles overhead.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    Stars in your heavenly crown for not kettling the man. As my own crown is nothing to write home about, I will be happy to do it for you.

    I am finding the problem with talking energetically about Shakespeare is that now I am not expected to do anything other than that. It’s a bit of a bind.


  • Jenny F. Scientist, PhD

    I keep coming back in the hopes of finding something… not awful… to say. Mostly it comes out as FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. I can’t even imagine not setting my spouse on fire. While I applaud your restraint, I’d be calling his damn mother and telling her my own damn self, all about the exact shape and size and age of the velociraptor. I sincerely hope you are able to find somewhere else to live soon. I was once in a similar but exponentially-less-painful living situation and staying in that same house was the worst month of my entire life. This must be the WORST. The absolute worst.

  • a

    Here’s hoping there’s a lovely Heaven as described by my aunts, wherein all of this can be offered up so you don’t have to spend any time in purgatory. That’s the most positive thing I can say.

  • Merissa

    so did he cheat on you or what? you need to kick his ass! whatever it is hes done, you should make HIM leave and let you keep the house!

  • AmyP

    Oh, May, I… I…


  • Ranty Red

    I wish I knew what to say. I’v been reading your blog for years and years and have only commented a few times because I felt like a fake for reading it. I have kids and I don’t have the issues you have had with your reproductive system and all the other horrible dramas you have had. I sort of felt like I didn’t have any business reading your pain. I know something awful has happened, I just don’t know what. In all the years reading I can’t think of what he could have done to make the marriage break down so fast and hard. I was thinking, is he gay?? Has he cheated?? Did he hide a love child?? Has he got a mental disorder that is unfixable?? I just don’t know, and because I don’t know what he could have done, I don’t know what to say. I just hope you get a place and get happy and find the peace you deserve, I had always followed you on Twitter, just not ‘officially’ as I really don’t know how it works. I just really hope that you find your inner happy and whatever he has done to you, he pays dearly for.

  • g


    i want to make you endless cups of yea.


  • twangy

    Oh, May. It must be so hard and strange. What a fecking awful time.

    Hoping you find a jewel on the property sites. Somewhere for you. Please ask if I can help at all. (I am a hardy mover, for one. Seriously. Good as a donkey. A donkey that can drive.)

  • Mina

    This is clearly a cae of VD, a Velociraptor Disease that seems to be awful, itchy, embarassing, unescapable, and quite life changing. (I do know what VD means for average English speakers, if anyone wondered. I am trying my hand at similes, metaphors and such. And I point my finger, yes.)
    So he is thoughtful and wants to spare his family and himself the pain and embarassment of a full disclosure, yet lying is not in the cards while THE FAMILY is concerned. But it was quite alright when it was only you to be lied to. You made it easier somehow. I know that we shouldn’t judge, lest we be judged ourselves (quite useless, we judge and are judged anyway), and that each situation is unique, as are the protagonists and their reasons, and I do try to tell myself that H might be in a pretty awful situation himself. That said, WHAT A FUCKING HELL, H? May WASN’T ENTIRELY TO BLAME for the miscarriages?! How can you think that? It was not just a slip of the tongue, because there have been to many of those, so something is very putrid in that danish heart of yours.
    How heartbreakingly awful must be, to still share a living space, to share the mundane trivialities, while trying to ignore the velociraptor growling in its cage. (I do hope the darn thing is in a cage.)
    Many, many hugs, May. Thinking of you.

    • May

      To clarify, H was ‘not blaming me entirely’ for the problems in our marriage generally, not the miscarriages in particular (if he’d done that I’d’ve hit him. That is all). Nevertheless, not good. Alas.

      • Mina

        I know he did not do that, and that it was an unfortunate choice of words, and that he knows he shoulders a sizeable part of the blame. And for the record, I do not think of him as a bad man, he is just a man with a velociraptor who broke your heart. But I do think that those slips of the tongue, individually, they are just that, but together, they start making a sign pointed at the putridness of Denmark. Which is very much loved by velociraptors, I hear.
        It would have been so much easier (you know what I mean) if he were just a bad,despicable man. As he is not, the situation is even more complicated and awful.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    The happy-dancing bits come for longer, and more often. I _promise_,

  • F. U. Velociraptor (@fuvelociraptor)

    It would be *such* a shame if, once you no longer need him to pay his share of the rent, his employer found out about the velociraptor.

  • VV

    ‘I always thought I’d’ve been able to get rid of it if we’d had a living child…’
    My heart was telling me this. But as an outsider I didn’t have the guts to say this, knowing I’d risk your rightful fury. (and wouldn’t be very supportive anyway)
    A velociraptor hider takes walks along the banks of The Nile. Warm wind blowing through hair, the velociraptor feathers shining in the sun. Everything feels lighter, unbroken, more complete.

    I’m so sorry the reality is so harsh. So sorry that H didn’t manage to fend of the v.-raptor by eating too much chocolate or some such.
    And my inner Labrador is comforted by your comforting each other. My Labrador may not be wise, but thinks you are both losing a marriage.

    Will make more tea now….

  • Betty M

    4 years? You have the forbearance of a saint. The clothes in bags on the kerb would be too generous. Hoping you can find your own place soon. x

  • Lilian

    I can’t believe he actually tried to blame the v-raptor on the miscarriages. That is low. Shocking.

    Sending you hugs and tea and wishing you could come and stay with us even though we’ve never met in real life.

  • Dr Spouse

    Nothing much to say except, anything I can do, you know where I am.

  • chon

    I would have thrown the clothes to the curb (on fire) and definitely hit him over the head with a kettle. Kudo’s to you for remaining poised and graceful.

  • Emily Erin

    This is just a pile of awful and I wish that there were anything I could do aside from wish the awful away and hope that your find a new flat soon. I agree that it seems that you are *both* losing a marriage and it’s awful and terrible for all parties involved. Nothing to do but slog through, I fear, and I wish that I had better slogging boots to send.

  • carole

    What if those tongues of flame
    are actually petals

    Caressing us down to our very essence
    Burning hot black charred
    Burning away the old the forced the mistaken
    the who-you-thought-you-had-to-be

    But gently coaxing the sleek new vulcanized you
    to poke your head out and turn your face to the sun

    Ready to face the world with steely will and dewy cheeks.

    (Magda Pecsenye)

    I just read this and thought of you. Hold on, May. You’ll get through.

  • katyboo1

    I am trying very hard not to be too judgemental of H, given what I know of velociraptors etc, but right now I’d quite like to wring his neck with my bare hands. Just saying. xx

  • e3writingservices

    I’m very sorry you’re going through this. It’s an awful place to be when the person you love has done something that breaks your relationship, even while you still love them.

    Know that you have people who have never even met you thinking of you and wishing you well. Not everyone can inspire that sort of loyalty!

  • Blanche

    Ye gods, does that man not know when to keep his pie-hole clamped tighter than a nuns, well, you know?!

    I do hope that you find housing free of moths, mice and velociraptors quickety quick so that you may begin the process of making a new and improved home for yourself.

  • Melissa

    I would have set fire to all of his belongings. I’m not closer to understanding what’s happened, but continue to send wishes of strength and easier times (for fuck’s sake universe, much easier).

  • Julia

    I like the advice of Korechronicals of one breath, one step, one tea. You my darling, can do this.

    Sending you a big squishy hug.

  • Womb For Improvement

    I’ve been out of blog reading for a while so this is horrendous, and sad, and shocking. Take care, take gin, take tea.


  • chickenpig

    Oh no he didn’t go Henry the VIII on you! Oooooooo he is so lucky to still have his head.

    When my asshole of a FIL dragged out his velociraptor, he told my MIL “You’ve been letting yourself go for years.” (after 20 years of marriage and 6 children). She broke his arm with a rolling pin. H has gotten off very lucky indeed.

    I think of you every day. You are an amazing woman, even if you feel like you are falling to pieces.

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