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How to Be a Husband
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SUNDAY TIMES HUMOUR BOOK OF THE YEAR
Believe me, not a day goes by without me stopping to ask myself, ‘How the hell did I end up here?’
Two decades on we are still together, still married and still, well, I hesitate to say happy, if only because it’s one of those absolute terms, like ‘nit-free’, that life has taught me to deploy with caution. And really, I can only speak for myself in this matter. But yes: I am, at the time of writing, 100 per cent nit-free.
This is the story of how I ended up here, and along with it an examination of what it means to be a husband in the 21st century, and what is and isn’t required
to hold that office. I can’t pretend to offer much in the way of solid advice on how to be a man – I tried to become a man, and in the end I just got old. But ‘Husband’ – it’s one of the main things on my CV, right below ‘BA, English’ and just above ‘Once got into a shark cage for money’. ‘Husband’ is the thing I do that makes everything else I do seem like a hobby.
But, I hear you ask, are you a good husband? Perhaps that is for my wife to judge, but I think I know what she would say: no. Still, I can’t help feeling there’s a longer answer, a more considered, qualified way of saying no. I’m not an expert on being a husband, but what kind of husband would an expert make? If nothing else, I can look back and point out ways round some of the pitfalls I was fortunate enough to overstep, and relate a few cautionary tales about the ones I fell headlong into.
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