Husband-free weekend, like all good things, is coming to an end.

It’s been different, so relaxing.

I’ve gone to bed when I want to and got up when I want to without enduring the disapproving question “what time did YOU go to bed last night”. In the mornings, I could lie in without someone banging around and waking me up.  We didn’t have to creep around the house silently because he was sleeping.  I could stretch out in bed, not lie squashed on the edge.  I didn’t get blamed for disturbing his sleep, although one of the reasons I don’t sleep properly is because of his snoring and sleep apnoea, made worse by his drinking.  In the same way that the rest of the house doesn’t feel like mine, I now realise that the bed also doesn’t feel like a space to which I have equal entitlement.

Daughter’s boyfriend told her the house felt different, that husband rules the house.

I watched a programme that I like on TV.

I read or wrote or did my art when I felt like it.

We had dinner at a time that suited us and we ate what we wanted.

We played music all day (and sang along).

We sat in the lounge together and chatted and laughed without him telling us to shut up because he was watching TV.

Daughters and I went out to lunch with my step-mum and sister and daughter’s boyfriend without husband complaining that he couldn’t come because he was working and why didn’t we arrange things differently (except he could take time off if he wanted to and the weekend is when people want to do things).  I went out two nights running without feeling guilty.  I chatted with a friend until three in the morning without having to make excuses and explain myself.

And the next day I had an afternoon nap because I felt tired.

The housework got done but to my schedule and the place remained incredibly tidy.

We worked together as a team to get things done instead of trying to work like this but having his negativity and moaning dividing us.  Daughter one’s boyfriend collected daughter two from a party so that I didn’t have to cut short my evening out; in return, I paid for his lunch.  It was reciprocal give and take, the way life should be.   There was no husband implying that I wasn’t a good mother because I was putting my selfish night out before my child.  Everything was just worked out satisfactorily between us and everybody was happy.

And I realised even more what a negative impact he is having on our lives.

Daughter one said we should change the locks.

Daughter two said she felt bad saying it, but it was better when he wasn’t there.

I haven’t put these ideas in their heads. They come from their own reality of the situation.

And this morning I’ve found myself scanning the house for potential areas of complaint.

I know I shouldn’t be doing this, I keep telling myself, I’m constantly reminding myself of what I know is the truth.

And I realise the extent and effectiveness of his brainwashing me.

But I will overcome it, eventually.

Because this weekend has given me a taste of what life could be like.

And it is delicious.