Monday, 28 April 2008

Cold, cold, go away ... blah, blah, cough, etc

Well it's not exactly a cold anymore more of a sore/dry throat now but it just won't go away! I need to be fit and well but I just can't shift this, it's really bugging me now!

My wife did point out that we (she got this nasty bug as well, we both blame our son for giving it to us!) are probably not at our best in terms of defending against nasty bugs given the stress we are under.

Well, I had a big soak in the bath, I'm now going to hop (not literally) into bed and hope there is some improvement by morning ... if not then it'll mean lots more apple juice, vitamin C, and happy music to try and lift my immune system out of the depression it's in!

An embarrasment of friends ...

... or embarrassed friends?

I just sent an e-mail to one of my friends explaining the reasons behind the split between my wife and myself. It's actually really hard to write down words like "cross-dresser" or "transvestite" as they seem to clinical and, in some strange way, "wrong". The wrongness is two-fold, for one thing I think these words make what they describe sound bad, almost perverse, so I'm kind of condemning myself by using them, but also I do feel that they over-simplify what I feel I am or want to be.

It's also quote scarey putting down in black & white what has been happening, particularly for friends who I haven't seen in a while or that I'm not entirely sure how they would react or what their views were about such things.

So far one of my friends, who my wife actually talked to about all this, has not been in touch with me. This is not entirely a surprise as most of our meetings revolve around the kids so it's usually coordinated by the Mums. However, from the description of the reaction I suspect that I have lost that friendship now or it's seriously damaged at the very least (on the plus side I guess my wife gains ally in some respects which does seem somewhat "fair").

I guess all I can do is wait and see how people will react to this.

It just occurred to me that the above does sound rather melodramatic, apologies if it is, it wasn't meant to be, I'm not intending to come across as some sort of drama-queen here :D

On a lighter note my Dad said yesterday that, if I got the chance to travel to Vancouver again that him and my Mum would love to come over (if my wife and son didn't) as long as I made sure I hung up all my dresses out of the way first!


I'm not getting much time or inclination to write much in the blog at the moment with the count-down to moving-out well into single figures now. However, there are an awful lot of things going through my head and I really should try and get the written down so that I can work some of them out myself or maybe leave that to the internet at large to wonder about.

Anyway, the thing that just struck me was that I'm not exactly young anymore and I'm effectively single (well not even effectively, I *am*). I think I always assumed that I would just be married and that I would just not have to worry about being alone.

I can remember being dumped by an ex-girlfriend and how much that hurt, and I wonder if that experience has made me a little cynical about relationships and whether that has affected everything since. I don't think that's ever occurred to me as a big thing until now when I'm back to square one and I'm essentially seeing the world with quite alot of emotional baggage that is only going to be made worse by recent events.

Just another thing, the train of thought that got me to all of the above followed quite a bizarre route which was in some ways steered by listening to the song "I'll Set You Free" by the Bangles! Got to be careful what I listen to!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

I cracked!

I hadn't bought anything for ages, not a single thing, not so much as a lipstick! This is (was) a good thing as I really need to save money and cut-back completely on the the mad clothes shopping so that I can afford to live/eat/rent/etc.

But it couldn't last forever (particularly as my entire wardrobe is not with me at the moment) and I had to buy SOMETHING! The desire to spend was not helped by the fact I'd already seen what I wanted to buy in Tesco's (yeah, okay, I know, not exactly fashion central or anything but some of their stuff is okay).

So I ended up buying two skirts, one red, one black (high-waisted), and two tops, the first cream/white linen (goes with the red skirt) and the second a brown colour, slightly see-through. Sadly didn't have time/opportunity for pictures so I'll have to do some of those when I move in and have the full wardrobe to mix-and-match with!

Hate hair!

Rather personal topic, but I'm talking about body hair here, rather than the, quite wild and unruly variety on my head (which I like and would like even more if it would grow straight, long and in a more interesting colour).

I've been shaving/epilating my legs for well over two years now and there is no way I can ever imagine going back to some hairy-Neanderthal-esque state, the whole idea is just unthinkable. And that's the same opinion I hold concerning hair on my arms as well - I attacked that sometime last year and have been, on the whole hair-free ever since (the only exception being the necessity to grow a certain amount so that the epilator has something to grab onto and rip - no it doesn't really hurt as much as you'd think).

I haven't been using the epilator recently for two reasons; one, I was letting my legs recover a bit from the punishment and assault of in-growing hairs (yuck, ouch, and similar) and two, the torture equipment is packed away awaiting the freedom of the flat. So this means that any other errant hairs have to be dealt with using razor alone and this isn't very permanent.

So this morning, while driving in to work I noticed some hairs that I'd missed and I actually felt quite a strong revulsion to what I saw. I really was quite upset by the idea that there were, what I'd consider, "male" hair still existing on my body. I'm not sure how to describe it any better than that, it was just wrong, and I didn't want it.

I really was quite surprised at how much this bothered me. I'm quite use to looking in the mirror or at myself generally and not been too happy with what's there, but that's a kind of low-level, constant dissatisfaction and dislike which I'd always assumed was more about a concious desire to look better/different rather than a deep-seated psychological issue.

I think I'm going to start making a list of things I don't like and what I want to be changed, then at least I know what I'm aiming for.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

I feel terrible ...

... but due to illness rather than emotional problems (although stress maybe contributed to me getting attacked by nasty bugs anyway).

Got a really nasty sore throat and feeling generally feak and weeble. Probably going to work at home/be off sick today as I spent most of the night tossing and turning and really do feel terrible.

Quick summary ...

... of what has been happening over the past few days.

Not alot really.

Well, that's not entirely true, I had my birthday on the 17th which was relatively relaxed and I got some nice presents and cards - obviously anything from my in-laws was conspicuously absent and that is perfectly understandable, I don't think they will ever forgive me for the hurt I've caused.

Had a nice ride out around where the new flat is to get an idea of the area and also got to feel a bit healthier after not really having done a vast amount of exercise over my weeks holiday!

On Friday I travelled down with my sister and my son to meet up with my parents for a surprise birthday treat for my Dad's 60th. He was VERY surprised and we all had a fab weekend (went to Bletchley park - I would recommend anyone who like this sort of thing to go sooner rather than later, it seems to be shrinking).

One thing to note is that my sister still does not know the full reasons why my wife and I are splitting up, I am going to have to have that conversation at some point but didn't really want to spoil things over the weekend in case she reacted badly to the news.

Back at work yesterday and phoned a friend of mine to let him know about the separation. Again, not given him the full picture either as it would be better to do that face to face. The only reason he's not had the full, or any story for that matter, is that his wife passed away suddenly earlier this year and I thought it best not to heap my problems on-top of his.

So I think that brings things up to date ... I post this and then do a blog entry for today!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

"No offence, but ..."

Is the prefix to a comment that is absolutely 100% guaranteed to actually be offensive! Why does anyone really say this? Why don't they just say, "I'm sorry if this sounds offensive ..." or something similarly honest but not entirely harsh.

The comment in particular was on one of my photos on Facebook and the full sentance was: "No offence but you seem a little masculine"!!!

Right, first off, if this was meant as some sort of constructive criticism then maybe a private message would be better than a rather public comment. If the person posting this doesn't even realise what they are saying then they are just plain stupid for not doing their research properly, hello, follow the blog links and there might be some clues!

So let's examine the scenarios here:

1) You think I'm a guy in a dress - in that case I've put in a fair amount of effort, credit for that I think not some lame comment trying to make yourself seem clever

2) You know I'm something other than a guy in a dress - in that case you are either stupendously insensitive or a slightly more literate bigot, either way your comment was a complete waste of electrons

3) You think you know *exactly* what I am and actually assume that by posting something I may be impressed with your perception and want to have kinky sex with you - offensive, presumptuous and, showing you to have zero understanding. Also your chance of any relationship with me went from zero to 1/infinity.

4) You think I'm an Real Girl - so your method of dating real women is to tell them they look a bit like men? And you can't see the problem here? No? Oh well, maybe it's best that way, least it keeps you from procreating.

As many people's Grandparents are reputed to have said: "If you've nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all". Or another apt saying is "Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Moving on ... up?

Confusion reigns at the moment but it seems to be of a somewhat relieved variety. Certainly my wife is quite happy although, when asked if this was because I had finally decided on a place to move to and a date at which to go there, she replied that it was more to do with the facial she had today (which was described with a small amount of justifiable gloating and pointing to the also treated eye-brows with references to the mess that is currently sitting above my eyes).

I've finally sorted out a place to rent and it's now all a case of sorting out the finances (few tweaks needed), filling in lots of forms, and the general logistics of moving and setting up some sort of separate existence. I have some mixed feelings about all of this and felt quite down earlier today (see previous post) but my wife seems to be quite happy and, at the moment at least, we are on very good terms and she is cataloguing all of the junk, erm, I mean, useful items, that I can take with me to the flat (so she can get rid of them).

So I'm looking on this in a little more positive way (helped by the cheap white wine I'm drinking) and thinking that I may get some quality Fiona time as well as being able to spread all of my clothes, shoes, and make-up around a bit. I've already planned a small amount of the initial move that is going to require a vast amount of cleaning (want to make sure that the place is spotless) followed by the spraying of copious quantities of perfume all around the flat to make it smell like me (I'm sensitive to smells and like to have familiar, pleasant smells).

So, definitely moving on, not sure about up yet, time will tell.

My theme tune

Not much to say about this, have a listen for yourselves:

Sarah McLachlan, Fallen

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mobile marvel

Sorry, rather cheesey title there but I couldn't think of anything else apart from "mobile broadband" and that's kind of boring! Anyway, just signed up for the T-mobile "web n' walk" service which is £15/month for 3Gb "fair usage" limit. I have to say I'm impressed so far, but mainly because this gadget works out of the box on the little Asus Eee PC I have. What might be less impressive is the fact that the Windows laptop won't connect via ethernet or wireless anymore!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

I broke a nail!

I'd been trying to grow them a bit with limited success and had already caught a few but they didn't look too bad. Then I caught my thumb twice in 24hrs ripping all of the end of the nail off! Not a happy puppy.

And I've just realised that, not only has this had an impact from a fashion point of view but I've just realised that it's REALLY difficult to type on my Sony Ericsson P1i phone without long nails! Well you probably can type on it without long nails but I'd got use to doing it with!

How do you write a blog when ...

... you *KNOW* people are reading it?

I don't know how other people write blogs and who they think about when they do this but I suspect, like myself, they are essentially writing to themselves for the sake of it. Alot of blog content seems, and again I'm no exception here, to be self-indulgent and written in such a way that you can almost imagine the author is quite proud of the complex grammar, concepts, or content that they have so eloquently (I love that word) crafted.

It's very easy to just write garbage and describe fanciful ideas, feelings, or interpretations of the world with little thought for the consequences; the worst that can really happen is someone will leave a nasty comment, which can easily be ignored.

However, I now know that certain people have and are reading this blog and not only could they leave, quite justifiably, harsh criticism they could even phone me up or see me face to face to say what they think.

So how can I continue to write what I think, feel, or experience without even some consideration in the back of my mind about what affect this might have? Should I be immune to the consequences? Maybe, so far, I've just been lucky that no-one has really bothered to read this blog so the wider internet haven't really got stuck in with the nasty comments? Maybe what I write SHOULD be questioned by both the people that know me and the rest of the free world (I guess if I simply mention the word "Tibet" I'm pretty much certain to get myself on the Great Firewall of China blacklist).

I don't really have the answers on this one so I'm open to suggestions. I'm also open to criticism - if anyone, whether I know them or not, feels that I'm a complete idiot and I'm wrecking the lives of my family and myself then please post comments to that effect!

[ Sorry, it just struck me that there is a certain irony in asking for critical comments about my real life, from real people, in such an unreal way ]

Thursday, 10 April 2008


I'm trying to grow my nails and hair. At the moment the hair just looks a mess, in fact this is it's natural state anyway as it goes all curly. I'm hoping that this is actually a good thing as it will, for day-to-day wear, just look like a mass of curls and then can be straightened and miraculously turn into a fab girlie style (yes, I'm living in cloud-cuckoo land at the moment).

The nails however, from my POV, are doing okay, not ideal but getting there and if I can stop breaking them or subjecting them to unpleasant environments - like anything related to DIY or my bike, they may start to look okay. They are way past what would be considered 'male' length and are pretty much noticeable, but no-one had really bothered to notice ... until Tuesday!

I've just moved onto a new team and I'm sat in between two guys, one of which, can't remember who, asked "So what's going on with your nails?", which then started a mini-inquiry with several lewd suggestions as well as one that is possible correct but for the wrong reasons!

I was a little embarrassed by all the attention but it thankfully passed when someone else said or did something way more embarrassing. Hopefully the subject will no longer be as important and I shouldn't have a repeat inquisition.

Strangely, and thankfully, no-one has noticed that, from Wednesday I haven't been wearing my wedding ring.

Moving house part two

I had intended to write an update earlier in the week but with one thing and another I didn't get round to it, apologies to anyone that cares :D

So here is a quick catch up and what has been happening regarding the moving house. On Monday evening I went to look again at the flat I was thinking of buying and took some pictures and tried to figure out how much space there is (or isn't in this case) and whether I could fit everything in. It would be VERY tight is the conclusion I came to, there really isn't alot of space in these flats, though to be fair, for a normal first time buyer with no accumulation of furniture and personal possessions they are probably ideal.

The other thing that was worrying me about these flats was the "Easi-buy" option (which I'd likely have to take) where they give you a 10year interest free loan for a portion of the total purchase price. I didn't like the idea of having this hanging over me, particularly with the way the house market is at the moment and the fact that the finances would be really stretched.

On top of all that they have a maintenance fee that covers lease, outside up-keep, repairs as well as all of your utility bills. The rather patronizing sales lady said that she thought that this amount was "competitive" and would not be likely to rise as soon as I moved in when asked about the possibility of changes due to fuel cost increases. She said all of those details were in the contract - hmmm, not liking the sound of this at all!

Anyway, within about 24hours I'd convinced myself (after comments from an online friend and lots of thinking) that buying was NOT the way to go and renting would be a much safer option for now AND from a little bit of searching it seemed that there are some nice places available within the sort of price I could afford.

My wife was NOT happy with this change of direction and accused me of being "selfish" and only going this route because it suited me. I did try and point out that the advice from C and H was to rent in the first place and that I only really went down the buying route because I didn't think I could afford to rent. Looks like I might be able to after all.

In the end things calmed down a little and my wife simply said I just had to make a decision about what I was doing an sort myself out. Hopefully I can do this next week when I'm on holiday and should have the time to go look at flats and sort out all the details.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Moving house?

Saturday was, in the end a pretty reasonable day and the house got a little tidier and more organised and I made a start on trying to eBay a few items to bring in a bit of money ... I didn't actually get as far as putting anything on eBay but at least a made a start :D

Sunday was a little more rocky with arguments over the prospect of having to extend our current mortgage to use the equity in the house to afford a place for me to move to - renting really isn't feasible given the debts we have. My wife didn't understand any of this and had a go at me for not explaining to her about the 10 year fixed mortgage on the current house, she believed it was 5 years.

Anyway, things calmed down a little so we went to have a look at some new flats that you can get on this "Easi-buy" (why are people obsessed with spelling things wrong?) which makes them much more affordable given our tight finances (basically I'll be paying two mortgages and sets of bills). There are a few conditions on buying this way and also, for these flats, the service charge is quite alot (£130/month) but this is meant to include gas, electric, water, insurance (buildings only) and maintenance - the management company still likely make a tidy profit, but at least the costs are fixed.

The flats (there were still 3 available when we looked, all identical but different views of the surrounding building sites) are quite funky; only one bedroom but that, along with the bathroom, is on the bottom floor (and in this case, that's already on 1 level of a 3 storey building - there is a flat below) then there are stairs up to the living area which is open plan. It's not big but it would fit some cupboards, a small table, sofa and a TV along with maybe a book shelf without too much trouble.

The sales woman also pointed out a few stylish, but essentially useless points, the first being what he called a "Juiliet Balcony" - full length french doors with a metal frame outside. Of course this did get me thinking about what outfit would be suitable for wearing while standing in a suitably shakepearian pose and pleading to the world (other flats and remaining building site) to know where my true love was (I hate to think what answers I'd get back, "shut up" would be the nicest I could hope for I guess).

The other style item actually may prove useful with a little modification; there is a wide (maybe 60cm) beam over the top of the kitchen area and running the full width of the room. At this point the ceiling of the room is at it's highest point - probably a good 4ft (sorry to mix measuring systems there) higher then the lowest point. Essentially this gives about a 10ft long shelf at the back of the room and it would be feasible (given a ladder) to reach this shelf and even mount cupboards/shelves on this beam to increase the storage quite considerably. It would be kind of like a visible loft in many respects.

I did even wonder about a nice wooden ladder similar to those in libraries with wheels that could run along the full length of the beam! At the very least so some sort of access to this otherwise wasted space might help out. Certainly I did start to wonder about the possible wardrobe space in the adequate, but tight, bedroom! Need to go back and figure out the layout!

One more point - we looked in all three of these flats and at one point had two opposite each other unlocked; my son thought this was fab and was running between them and upstairs and was really taken with the idea of a bedroom downstairs! Sadly he did voice his desire to live with Daddy instead of Mummy but, we did both agree that this was entirely down to the fun he thought he could have running up and downstairs! Probably wouldn't be the same when the bedroom has a double bed and a whole wall full of wardrobes stuff with dresses, shoes etc!

Saturday, 5 April 2008


Well, first off an update on the continuing saga: things have calmed down alot and we've had a relatively stress-free, enjoyable and productive day. We seem to have agreed that I can stay here a little longer (as it is financially almost impossible for me to rent) and my wife seems to be at least considering the possibility of extending the mortgage etc.

There are alot of big issues with me buying a place, not least of which is the fact that I'll be tied into a 5yr fixed (based on the deal I've seen) mortgage on a house with the worry that the economy and things could get worse and then I'll struggle to pay it off! Need to put some SERIOUS thought and research into this to figure out what to do. Maybe being able to stay here until July will give work the time to find me something long term in the US/Canada.

Anyway, onto the "OUCH!".

It threw it down! And "it" in this case where fairly hard and fast bits of ice from the sky which hurt quite a bit!

My son and I had gone on a little bike ride to the local corner shop - a few km away - and he did really well to pedal all of the way there with very little help from me (I was on the new bike I got in Vancouver on the last trip, I'd left it in the box in the hope that I was going back out but finally admitted defeat and assembled it). We sat and ate our sweets outside the shop when I realised that there were a few flakes of snow falling!

I said we had to get back REALLY quickly and my son did well not to whinge about this and, instead, got on his bike and we set off back. Only we didn't quite get there before the hail hit and we could even see it moving down the street towards us! We tried to keep going but my son said "Ow! That hurt my ear" at one point to I thought it best to stop and wait.

We kind of tried to get to the side of the path where there were trees and I stood over him so I could sheild him from the hail that was bouncing off my back - thankfully I was wearing a pack-a-mac type thing (yeah, not stylish or anything but that wasn't the major concern at the time) that was waterproof but did nothing to keep me warm!

The hail subsided a little and we managed to get to a nearby bus shelter until things had really calmed down enough to set off back home with me pulling my son's bike and wheeling mine along with my fingers gradually turning to ice!

Too be honest I think we both quite enjoyed the novelty of being out in the hail ... I just wish they could make the stuff a bit warmer!

Friday, 4 April 2008

A horrible way to sober up

Well, actually I did sober up over the course of the day anyway though I still feel very tired (no, I don't want sympathy, it was self-inflicted drunkeness!)

I had to tell my wife that I will not be going to Vancouver now, the project is cutting back and there is essentially no budget for myself and several other people. This, in a work sense, isn't too surprising or worrying, given the point in the project lifecycle it's understandable that they would do this.

However, my wife was not happy about this at all and essentially she still wants me out of the house by the 26th April (when I was meant to be flying out to Canada) and it's entirely my problem where I stay etc. She suggested the friend C had mentioned who had a house she was trying to sell but I don't think I would get in there given the very small amount of money I can afford for rent.

My wife suggested that we sell the house then which I said was a crazy idea as the market is terrible at the moment and things just aren't moving so we would likely get nowhere near the value of the house in the event that it did actually go. This would ultimately mean we'd all suffer as we wouldn't be able to buy new accommodation!

So, I think I'll stay in the office for a while until my wife has had chance to calm down.

Very, very, very drunk ...

... I can hardly type!

I wish I could say it was a Fiona night out but it wasn't, it was work related unfortunately! Amd even in my drunken state I'm still not happy with what I see in the mirror and I want to be looking at Fiona NOW!

Okay, I can't type anything more as the room is moving around and the keyboard keeps coming up with the wrong letters! Time for bed (it's 1am) ....

... when I wake up I'll be me I hope!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

I'm getting a bit seasick!

Everything is constantly going up and down, there is little consistency in how well/badly things are going at the moment!

I thought we had things sorted out last night, we had a plan and we had some agreement about what was going on and we were even being civil to each other. This morning seemed to be much of the same though my wife was a little testy about the fact that I didn't help as much as I could get our son ready for school.

I'm torn as to whether this was a fair point; on one hand I had stayed away
as my son is struggling to eat breakfast and I generally want him to manage it all himself and I offer no help - and he whinges and whines and I don't really help matters. On the other hand I did sit or 30mins writing a blog entry (didn't want to wait 'till I got to work) when I could have been getting myself dressed and sorted out.

I got back late tonight (around 7pm) as I'd ended up trying to finish off some work (did get distracted with talking to S as well though) and I didn't txt/phone till just before I left. Anyway my wife didn't seem too bothered by this.

She asked me about the trip to Vancouver and was suspicious of the response; that I still didn't know yet, she thought I was just "stringing her along". I said they are still deciding and it is a bit up in the air over there at the moment (projects, budgets, people, etc), but I'd let her know as soon as I know.

She then started saying that I needed to redirect my mail once I knew that I was going - it could be sent to my parents place she said and they could forward it. I misunderstood and thought that she wanted me to do that straight-away or when I moved out. Anyway I said that all of it would likely be bills anyway so they were probably better coming here - she started to get upset and said that we were meant to be separated and something about the tax credits.

[ Oh, at some point in the conversation above she mentioned that I should cut my nails - they are certainly getting long now so difficult NOT to notice, on the other hand - pun not intended - we are separated, why should I cut my nails! ]

I said that I thought "separated" could apply if we simply slept in different beds so there should be no problems as far as the tax man was concerned. At which point she said she had a headache and was tired and didn't want to talk about this.

I'm a little annoyed that, from what I thought yesterday (see this mornings post), my wife has reverted so quickly to wanting to push me out and away and to rub out all trace of my existence and link to the house.

My wife would likely say that she is getting annoyed/upset because she is tired, has had a hard day at work, and that it's her time of the month (this apparently gives her the right to be psychotic - yes, I know it isn't pleasant and does make you feel like crap but after so many years of this you'd think a trip to the doctor to try and get something to make it less traumatic might be in order?).

Sorry, I'm just a bit miffed to now be facing "nasty" wife again when I thought we were trying to be civil to each other.

My wife's view

I can't really know or fully understand what my wife thinks about me, what has happened, what could happen or what her feelings really are and the reasons behind everything. I think it's pretty safe to say that we are both bad at communication and that neither of us has fully listened or understood what the other has had to say.

Yesterday was a pretty horrible day and it involved shouting, screaming, sobbing and crying from my wife and me feeling confused, hurt, and frankly scared about what she or her family would do. I wrote a whole explanation in my private diary and even went as far as sharing this with a close friend "just in case" I was that concerned.

But C and her sister (legally trained) came down in the evening to talk to us both and mediate as well as provide my wife with much needed moral support. And as we were talking everything through it occurred to me that what may wife had said and done earlier in the day was in complete contrast to what she felt.

She had wanted me out, she didn't want me in the house or anywhere near her. I'd been trying to explain that that was what I was trying to do; I had looked into a 2nd mortgage, I'd looked at houses, I was going to look at some more. She still hated me for what I had done and just wanted nothing to do with me.

That's not it though. She didn't want me to be moving out, even though she wanted me to go away. She was hurt, angry, and confused that I was leaving and that, I guess, I was so ready to leave and was being practical about it all. She didn't want to lose me, or the family that we had, and more importantly the husband that she feels she once had but has now faded to be replaced by "the other woman" as she puts it.

So it seems, on reflection, that everything she said was "go away" but everything she felt was "please stay" (hmm, that rhymes, it could be lyrics from a song :D ).

Having C and her sister helped my wife understand a little better what I had been saying all along and gave me a chance to explain the bits that had been missing. What we discussed as a way forward also was less drastic and final that moving out into a 2nd property and also calmed things down quite a bit. We had a relatively civil time for the rest of the evening and my wife even made some 'jokes' about hormones and GRS (okay, neither topic is particularly funny, you had to be there at the time).

This goes back to something S said: Communication. If you've got it sorted then lots of problems can be avoided or discussed, when it breaks down on either side the nightmare scenarios begin.

C has been fantastic and hopefully can help my wife stay as calm as possible and understand what is going on in a way I can't put across. She has been completely even-handed about everything.

One interesting point before I go: clearly her sister is aware of the details since C said that I would have to stop spending money and my wife piped up that I needed to stop spending on dresses and shoes!