Kate and I had been married for eight years, and had two young children, when she told me that our marriage was in trouble. We had drifted apart, strangers in our own home. Unless things changed, she told me, our marriage would be over in a year.

It was a bolt from the blue. I’d never seen it coming. I had no idea what she meant.

So a few weeks later when I got home from work and saw her letter lying on my bed, I feared the worst. I read it, barely knowing what to think. It was written as a bland “job spec” of what it was to be Harry’s wife: terms, conditions, perks, travel, pay, etc.

The last couple of lines changed everything. “What I really want is a friend,” she wrote. “Will I ever get it, who knows. WHO CARES.”

Those last two words, in capitals, shook me to the core. The despairing tone was obvious. What have I done, I thought. I’ve neglected her so badly. In my mind, it was as if a tiny switch flicked across. Suddenly, with light-bulb clarity, I finally realised that I needed to make our marriage work for Kate.

I walked next door to find her. “I’m so sorry,” I said. “You’ve no reason to believe I will change. But I will.”

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