I cant have two husbands?
‘What d’you fancy tonight then?’ My hubby David asked, sidling up next to me on the sofa.
But it wasn’t a come on – fat chance. No, he was holding the tattered menu from our local Chinese takeaway so I could choose what I wanted for that night’s dinner. We’d been married ten years and spent all our time on the sofa indulging in the one thing we still liked to do together – eat.
Romance was the last thing on my mind. And David’s too. These days the only time the bed creaked was when we got in it. Hardly surprising as I was 21 stone and a size 26, and David tipped the scales at just over 25 stone…
I’d always been big. In my twenties and thirties I’d lurched from one diet to the next. And although I lost weight it soon found its way back. So in the end I’d given up. David was big too, why not be big and happy together?
Only as the weight piled on, I became suffocated by anxiety and depression. Too terrified by what people might say to me in the street I decided it was safer to stay at home. So I did. David became a carer to autistic son Daniel, and our lives played out in the tightening gap between those four little walls.
‘Please think about coming to Weight Watchers with me my best friend Alice Reading, 22, begged for the umpteenth time last February. We’d grown close when she started working as Daniel’s support worker.
It was only round the corner but it may as well been a million miles away. I hadn’t set foot outside the house more than a handful of times in eight years. But with my 50th birthday fast approaching I knew it was time to make a change.
‘OK, I’ll do it,’ I agreed as David’s mouth hung open in shock.
Too fat and anxious to walk the five- minute journey, I convinced Alice to book a taxi. And when I puffed into the church hall and saw the sea of expectant faces turn and look at me, my heart started hammering.
‘I can’t do this!’ I cried, slumping into a chair having a panic attack.
‘Yes you can,’ Alice said, holding my hand. ‘Think how far you’ve come already tonight.’
It was true. But when I apprehensively got on the scales and the needle flew round to 20 stone, shame burned.
‘Don’t worry, we’ll do it together,’ the leader smiled as the group clapped encouragement.
I was determined not to let them down.
It wasn’t easy, swapping mountains of buttered toast for porridge and berries; crisps and sandwiches for a pot of cottage cheese; and a greasy takeaway for chicken and veg, but I did it. And that first week, I lost 5lb.
Buoyed, I kept on going. And after a month, I was a stone down. Within weeks I was able to walk to my meeting and as the weight slid off my confidence gradually increased.
I’d been exchanging messages with Tony, a fellow sci-fi fan on the Dr Who forum for a few months but in the last few weeks we were chatting more. I told myself it was a good way to keep my mind off food. But now when Tony’s messages popped up, I felt a stirring of excitement that had long lay dormant.
So when he asked if I’d like to meet up for a coffee I said yes straight away. We’d discovered he only lived a few miles down the road.
‘You look nice,’ David said as I got ready. ‘Where are you off to?’
I’d lost three stone now, was a size 20. It was a real confidence boost.
I felt a flicker of guilt as I told him I was off to join a choir but by the time I’d arrived at the shopping centre where we’d arranged to meet, David was the last thing on my mind.
Tony looked just like the photo he’d emailed me, except his beautiful blue eyes were even brighter. We got on like a house on fire. He told me he was divorced, had been on his own for ten years.
‘I’m looking to meet someone special,’ he said as I blushed. We arranged to meet again after work that day.
It was gone ten by the time I finally got home. As our taxi pulled up outside my house, Tony pulled me towards him. As his lips met mine, I felt something I’d not felt in years – lust.
‘You look happy, ‘David said as I walked through the front door. ‘Good night?’
‘Yes, I met some lovely people,’ I said. That bit was true, at least.
Four days later, I snuck out to meet Tony again, this time telling David I was going shopping. Tony was like a drug to me, more powerful than any cravings I had for forbidden food.
The following Wednesday when I got home for another date, David was waiting up for me.
‘Sorry I’m late,’ I flushed. ‘The class ran over.’
But David held up his hand to silence me. ‘I know, Lyn. I’ve seen you with him.’
He’d admitted he’d seen us kissing in the taxi.
I stood there like a goldfish, opening and closing my mouth not knowing what to say next. ‘Why didn’t you say anything,’ I managed eventually.’
‘I was scared of losing you,’ he said quietly.
We both burst into tears.
‘Look, I’d rather be your best friend than keep you in an unhappy marriage,’ he said eventually.
We both knew things hadn’t been good between us for a while. Although I still cared deeply about David, I’d long fallen out of love with him.
‘I can tell you really like this guy,’ David continued. ‘It’s written all over your face. So I’m happy for you to carry on seeing him,’ he said.
It was surreal, my husband giving me the go ahead to have an affair, but although I felt niggles of guilt I knew I couldn’t give Tony up. Didn’t I deserve to be happy?
So twice a week I’d go on a date with Tony and then go home to David and Daniel. It sounds bizarre, I know, but we soon settled into a routine.
Although there was no sneaking around, I felt like I was living two lives –one with my lover and one back home with my husband and son.
‘Tea’s nearly ready,’ David would say as walked through the door. ‘Come and tell us all about it.’
And he’d listen attentively while Daniel, now 12, wasn’t much interested in ‘Mum’s new friend’.
‘You look great,’ David admitted one evening as I got ready for another date. ‘Tony’s a lucky guy.’
It was true I was slimmer than I’d ever been. The weight continued to fall off as Tony took me on long walks with his dog Samson.
‘I don’t just mean the weight,’ he said. ‘You look like you’ve come alive.’
‘Thank you,’ I said awkwardly.
A few weeks later, David made another announcement. He suggested I start to stay overnight at Tony’s flat two miles away.
Of course, I jumped at the chance but it was still odd going home to my husband after a night of passion with another man. David and I hadn’t had sex in years.
And the first person I told when Tony told me he loved me? David, of course.
‘I knew he would,’ he said. ‘Who wouldn’t?’
‘Thank you,’ I whispered, squeezing his hand.
Six months after I’d started seeing him David decided it was time to meet Tony.
‘He’s not going to beat me up is he?’ Tony joked nervously. At 6ft 4in and 25 stone David was a big bloke.
‘He’s a gentle giant,’ I reassured him. I’d never met a kinder, more considerate man. The last few months had shown that.
I admit I was nervous as they shook hands but soon they were happily chatting about the Marvel comics they both loved. Daniel didn’t seem fazed either. Well, you know what kids are like. They take it all in their stride.
‘He’s a really nice guy,’ Tony said afterwards. David said the same.
The following month, Tony asked me to move in with him.
‘What do you think?’ I asked David, as I reassured him I’d still pop round and see him and Daniel every day.
‘I think you should go for it,’ he smiled.
Things were moving fast now. The way I saw it I was no longer having an affair with Tony, we were a proper couple. We even talked about getting each other commitment rings for Christmas.
But on Christmas Day, as he placed the beautiful copper band on my finger, there was another surprise –
‘Will you marry me, Lyn?’ he asked.
‘Of course, I will!’ I cried, wrapping my arms around him.
I was nervous about telling David. After all, we were still married.
‘I’m happy for you,’ he said. ‘I knew it was only a matter of time.’
He happily agreed to divorce me on the grounds of adultery so we could get the ball rolling.
‘You’ll always be an important part of my life,’ I told him.
And the following month both Tony and David were there to congratulate me when I reached my target weight of 10-and-a-half stone in my slinky size 10 jeans – a total weight loss of 150lb.
‘I’m so proud of you,’ David said. ‘I hope you’ve got everything you ever dreamed of.’
And I have.
I can’t quite believe how, in the space of a year, my life has completely turned around. I wasted so many years just existing but now, in my fifties, I’m finally living… and it feels amazing.
Looking back, David and I had been drifting apart for years and were more friends living under the same roof than a couple. But I only really saw that when I started to lose weight and met Tony.
I guess David knew he had already lost me and the only way to remain close would be as best friends which is why he so readily accepted Tony into my life and his. Now, strange as it sounds, we really are all the best of friends.
David said: ‘