When I think about the marriage, I think the only thing that helped me and kept me in the marriage for 42 years was the children. When I look back on it, I did leave in the end. I wasn’t treated nicely at all, I really wasn’t. I think he was inclined to be very possessive. Even if I spoke to a man, gee was I in trouble. People were surprised when I said I was leaving, because I never said anything to anybody about my life, how bad it was. I just used to put up with it, I suppose. He didn’t appreciate me, I’m afraid. I did a lot for him.

With this virus you can sit and think about things, and this is what I’ve been doing. I thought I was never bothered about it, but I thought ‘gees, I put up with it for all those years.’ He thought I was never going to leave. I was thinking of leaving once before and then I was thinking, ‘if I leave, he’ll probably commit suicide.’ I wonder if he had a bit of bipolar because he could be very frightening. But then I kept thinking, the only way I can leave him is if he finds another lady. Lucky for me, he did. He’d always been a flirt. He used to come home, get changed on a Friday night, and just go back to the Currumbin RSL. I seemed to think he was playing with a group of people there and going to parties and he obviously had women as well, but I didn’t know did I?

Then I found out he was seeing someone, I was still doing his dinners, although I was going to leave. I’d been in my own room for a little while anyway. So, one night he came, I’ve got a photograph of it, and he threw the dinner outside. He used to do bad things. I thought, ‘right, that’s it.’ So, I didn’t make any more dinners. I wasn’t buying anything for the fridge either because he wasn’t giving me any money, but lucky for me I was the only one that used to save money, me, so I had some there. I also waited till I went on pension, so I got something when I was leaving. And that’s why I had to wait 12 months. Then he started having food in the fridge, so I thought, ‘oh she’s making that for him.’ So, she’s the one who got me out. I was so relieved. She helped me. It was wonderful. Although he was with her, he still never thought I was leaving.

I was in love with him still. If he wasn’t a drinker and what have you, it would have worked out. We always went out and he was a dancer too, we loved dancing, and I never really fell out of love until that last day.

I should have married Brian Cooper and not Brian Cox! I met my husband first when I was about 17 and that went for a couple of years. Then we broke up and I met this other guy, Brian Cooper, very nice, he was in the forces. Then the other one came back so I went on a date with him again. Then one weekend I had to stop and think, which one am I going to have? And I chose the wrong one.

I’ve had quite a few boyfriends, about nine. I’ll tell you what it is though with men. They’re all right, and after 3 years, just forget about it and move on ‘cause it gets boring. I don’t fall out with them. I’m still talking to all of them. I’ve just got dance partners, no boyfriend at the moment. There’s not many men around.

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