I’d always been very loyal to Europa. 40 odd years is a long time to be together and I’d been flirting with her for decades before that.
Of course, I’d found that she was unpredictable at times and you have to make allowances that over time a relationship will change.
You hope that both partners in a legal bond will respect each other’s need for independence and leave room for each other’s idiosyncrasies.
I still believed that we embraced a common purpose and the same dreams of a secure and happy old age.
But she changed. Her head was turned by flattery and she became self absorbed, self righteous and demanding.
Her mood swings became impossible , depending on who had paid her the most attention that morning.
She wanted joint Bank Accounts and there were constant complaints that my borders were “closed” to her.
She lavished money on her friends and pet projects, while we struggled at home.
She needed to control every aspect of our lives together and I was told how to dress and how to behave in company.
I was the breadwinner in the family with a sound career in the Financial Services, but I was constantly told that my income was immoral.
Europa became vain.
She found me a necessary, but unloved bedfellow and sneered at us in public.
She almost bankrupted me when her own business started to fail in 2008.
She took many lovers in the last few years and I often found them in our house. Sometimes I even found them wearing my clothes!
Europa is beautiful, cultured and charming. But I realise that she never truly respected me.
I will no longer be taken for granted and indulge her unaffordable lifestyle, when she holds me in such low regard.
I have spoken to a solicitor, who has warned me that I will lose all of my friends and that I will be left destitute.
I believe I have many years of productive working life in me still.
I can find new associations and perhaps contact old friends that I had neglected.
I hope that we can remain friends, but I fear it will be a difficult separation.
I don’t even remember who bought what anymore.
But I want my freedom back again and if she wants to live a lifestyle of arrogance and unaccountability, she can no longer expect my sentimentality to support her.
Nick Luthi is a prose poet and recent convert to Euroscepticism.