When my Aunt was only 42, she was sadly widowed.
When it happened, her girl friends rallied round to help her and then suddenly, it just stopped. Everything stopped.
No more dinner invitations. No more drinks parties. Nothing.
And believe me – my Aunt had always been a party animal…
My Aunt was very matter of fact about it. She concluded that her friends felt threatened by her ‘single’ status.
“I can’t think why!” she exclaimed. “I’ve known these women for 20 years. They’ve told me exactly how dreadful their husbands are. Why would I want them?!”
I was only 10 at the time, but it stuck in my mind. And now, 30 years on, being single myself – I am beginning to see what she means.
I have some fantastic female friends who have been the most incredible support to me. So I would never suggest that all women fall into this cagetory – BUT…..
There are, without a doubt, a certain number who treat you like a social leper. Whilst simultaneously flirting with and molly coddling every ‘single’ man they know, they treat every ‘single’ woman like “the enemy”.
“Poor old Henry – he needs a decent meal after all he’s been through” they exclaim. The reality is, “Poor old Henry” is probably just an overgrown schoolboy, who is more than happy to be mothered by his friends’ wives. He’s probably also a selfish, idle shit, which is why he can’t cook himself a decent meal – one of the many reasons his wife left him in the first place.
So, what is it with these women? Why do they do they behave in this way?
By the time we reach our 40’s, we’re just not in quite the same shape. A couple of kids down the line, our bodies are sadly sagging, no matter how long we spend in gym.
And all of us, men and women, secretly want to know that we’re still attractive to the opposite sex.
Poor old Henry is the perfect antidote to these issues. He will heap these women with praise for their cooking prowess and quite probably flirt with them…
And this is EXACTLY what these women don’t want single women doing with their husbands!
Many years ago I had a flat mate who had a ‘thing’ for unavailable men. Unless a man was a least engaged (and preferably married) she just wasn’t interested. I have never, before or since, met anyone so predatory.
Finally, she persuaded the married man she was having an affair with to leave his wife. They got married, and I didn’t see her again until a couple of years ago.
She was with her kids and husband in a supermarket. I couldn’t help craning my neck to see whether he was the same man she had ‘stolen’ all those years ago.
Then she turned and saw me staring at him and with a face like thunder, she snapped at him to hurry up and dragged him away down to the frozen food aisle!
As I said, I have never met anyone as predatory as this woman. It made her the odd one out, which is why I still remember her.
The women I know who have been through a divorce and seen all the ugliness, would not wish it on anyone, least of all their girlfriends. They just need their friends to rally round and help them regain a sense of normality.
I honestly believe predatory women are a minority who will only be successful if they find a willing party. And like that old flatmate of mine, I’m sure that they will spend the rest of their married lives worrying that someone will ‘steal’ their husband just as they did. Their success is also their punishment.
So, married women, take heed. Invite your single men friends round and have a good old flirt. If that’s all it is, where’s the harm? But invite the divorcees too. The chances are, they don’t want to put anyone else through the pain of a marriage breakdown. And God forbid, should your own marriage suddenly disintegrate, the people who are best placed to give you sympathy and support are….