The first time Britt (35) Marne (36) saw, she knew: it is mine. “I was dancing in a packed pub when he walked in. It was like the sea that split before Moses, the music just didn’t stop. ” Not only did everyone in the pub seem to know him, just about every woman swooned at his appearance. “Including me, yes. My friends saw it happen. “Wake up for a moment, Britt,” they hissed, “that guy’s got ‘wrong’ on his forehead.” That might be the case, but I was the only one he approached. ”
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Britt allowed herself to be – what she calls herself – “tricked” and went home with Marne that same evening, never to leave again. “You can’t help but be away from him,” she still thinks, even now that they’ve been together for eleven years, and two children (6 and 4) richer. “My parents, my sisters, most of my friends; they all love him. Wherever Marne steps in, you see people looking back. You rarely see such a charisma. ” But what her two critical friends already warned about that first Saturday evening also turns out to be true: he is a bit wrong. “Not as a father and partner. Marne puts me on a pedestal and knows like no other how to keep momentum in our lives.
He’s always got some wild or romantic plan. For example, a week after our first meeting he took me helicopter skiing in France. He sometimes got the kids out of bed at ten at night because the night was so bright and he wanted to watch the stars with them – I’ve never seen them enjoy themselves so much. After a long day at work, I can just come home to an elaborately set table, while a two-star dinner is simmering on the stove. A tad manic? Well no, this is how he is. At least that’s what I always thought.
In the attic
Marne likes a good sip. I thought it was a good quality, because I too. But where I fall over after a few glasses, he seems insatiable. He doesn’t get drunk or boring, and the next day he’s as fresh as a fiddle. I didn’t think that was a bit suspicious, one of my friends asked when I was pregnant with our second. After which she added cautiously, “Have you ever wondered if he uses anything other than just alcohol?” Little did I know, I never even smoked a joint. But when she suggested cocaine and I got into the signals, all of a sudden all kinds of things fell into place. His boundless energy. The sometimes indeed somewhat manic actions. The fact that he didn’t seem to get drunk.
Suddenly I noticed that one evening he also popped up to the attic very often. One morning when I went to investigate, I found a ‘tube’, a kind of metal straw through which you snort coke – and a small, white envelope. Then I knew enough. Marne didn’t deny it for a second when I – literally – shoved the loot under his nose. “I’ve been doing it for years, is nothing,” he responded. When I asked if he did it at the beginning of our relationship, I got a straightforward ‘yes’. And during my pregnancies? ‘Yes.’ When I was in labor for 36 hours? ‘Yes.’ I felt a rush of nausea, but immediately grabbed myself back together. Apparently it functioned fine on it.
He had a high position at an international company, he did not have to leave it for the money. It didn’t make him a jerk. The children did not notice. He just performed in bed. The only thing that worried me was his health. After all, how long can your body cope with structural cocaine use? He didn’t sniff any pounds, he said, just some “maintenance lines.” That sounded quite addicted to me, but when I called an addiction clinic to test it, they called it ‘not desirable’, but also ‘not really problematic’. We agreed that the children were never to learn anything. But in the meantime I know what he’s up to when he slips back to the attic. ”
Also Regina (40) is not naive like her husband Jean (39) goes out for an evening without her. “Then he is with someone else. It’s always been that way. His exes all left him for it. But the stupid thing is, he’s fantastic. When we discussed our desire to have children, I asked: will this ever change? “No,” he said, “so if you leave me for it, I’ll accept that.
I’ll never lie about it. ‘ That eternal urge to hunt is part of what makes him so beautiful: his enormous passion and zest for life. Jean is always looking for new projects, new challenges, new discoveries to enjoy. Also in our relationship. When things get rough, he’s the one who books a trip to a city we’ve never been to. A restaurant we don’t know yet. He signed us up for a joint massage course to let each other enjoy themselves optimally and when my favorite sneakers are sold out everywhere, he knows how to conjure them up as a surprise.
He also always comes up with new things with our daughters, now eight and five. Which father – certainly as bumpy as Jean – will take a modern dance workshop with his children on his own initiative? We are his absolute number one. So sometimes he gets the mustard somewhere else. And I’ve considered leaving him for it. But I will never find the love we share with anyone else, and how many men end up secretly cheating on you? Then I prefer it to be open, even if I don’t feel the need myself. And if I sometimes don’t like him having sex with others, then he respects it and doesn’t do it for a while. Until I say: you can hear it again, if you want. It doesn’t feel like I’m really sharing it with others, it’s just sex. Because there is one rule: we always sleep together. “
Mama has a Second Love: ‘I do it for the thrill’>
That openness would Paula (34) but what to love in her relationship, she says. Yet she has accepted that it is different. Gray area, her husband calls Herman (41) the ‘financially convenient constructions’ that he uses in his real estate trade. He participates in renovation projects: buying up, refurbishing and reselling. Paula: “All legal and legitimate, but I don’t know what happens during the renovation. In any case, there is a lot of cash involved, I discovered after a slip of the children. They had ‘just gone to bring a few thousand euros to a man after school,’ they said when I got home from work and asked how their day was.
My son thought it was cool, because the banknotes were folded in half between a money clip. Just like in gangster movies, he thought. Who the man was – they had no idea. They had to wait in the car and within two minutes my husband was back. Cowboy stories, Herman called it when I asked for clarification. Didn’t I understand that he sometimes paid his contractors cash in hand? That was simply not about small amounts. Plausible, I thought, although I could feel that there was a shadowy side to his story. ‘Such a money clip is really not possible,’ I closed the discussion. “Certainly not in view of the children.”
Looking for the mesh
He regularly has to ‘go away’ without giving any further explanation. “Business,” he says. He’s usually back within an hour, so I don’t suspect him of an affair. He is not one of the fast sex and most of all: we are happy together. After eight years of marriage, he is still pampering me. I am his queen, he says, and the boys are princes. We live by that too: if I want to book a holiday tomorrow, I certainly don’t have to think about it financially. That I work is purely because I want to do it myself, it is not necessary for the money. I keep my income completely in my own pocket and only use it to shop for the kids and our house, and eat out with friends regularly.
I sometimes think: soon something wrong will come to light and we will board the ship with the whole family. But Herman says that that is not possible, that everything he does is within the rules. ‘Sometimes you shouldn’t be afraid to look for the mesh a bit,’ he grins. After which I quickly put my unrest away again, because if I’m honest I wouldn’t give up our luxury lifestyle for the world. ”
Turn a blind eye
Also Huiberdine (41) would rather turn a blind eye than compromise on her comfort. Her husband Roel (43) bought a pied-à-terre in the city where he owned a restaurant. Handy on weekends, when he was present in the store as host. The restaurant gave them a spacious farm in the province, but it was not really nice to drive.
Huiberdine: “I thought it was a good plan, that floor in the city center. It gave us both some time to ourselves on the weekends, and it was a nice investment for our boys to go to college later on. Then they could live there, or we could rent it out to others. We had barely set it up when things suddenly deteriorated. The changing catering offer attracted guests to new hotspots.
That suddenly made our second home a considerable expense. Roel struggled about it for weeks, until I didn’t hear about it from one day to the next. He also came home most weekends after work. Wasn’t that a bit of a shame, I asked. If we didn’t use the apartment after all, maybe we’d better sell it. He brushed it off. It didn’t put pressure on the budget that much, and it could turn out well financially, he said. I felt in my water that something was wrong.
He agreed when I threatened to check it out myself. A friend had asked him to put ‘plants’ there, and in return he shared generously in the proceeds. A cannabis plantation, I yelled. What if the police found out? The apartment was in the name of both of us, soon we will both be in jail with two children aged ten and thirteen at home.
But he had completely boarded up the construction, he said. There was an official lease in the name of someone else. Moreover, it was a small-scale ‘project’ and come on, what did I really want: stop everything and back to basic, whether, despite the bad business in the restaurant, there is even a financial gain? The first, I replied cowardly – and then consciously never come back to it. Wrong or not, as long as Roel doesn’t hurt anyone, his entrepreneurial drive will save us a lot of headaches. And, we have agreed: as soon as the business is up and running again, our ‘tenant’ will be homeless. ”
This article can be found in Kek Mama 02-2021.
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