Vow – A Memoire of Marriage (and other affairs)

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A very different book this week.  Vow – A Memoire of Marriage (and other affairs) (ISBN 978-1-4088-2780-2, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013) was written by Wendy Plump and is a first person expose of herself, with no limits!

In the book, she details three affairs she has had within the marriage, plus a mention of one long term liaison held by her husband.  Probably the first ‘truthful’ autobiography ever published?  And this is from a woman for whom lying had become an art form, in trying to keep the truth of her affairs away from her husband.

She writes about applying ‘logic’ to the ‘art’ of affairs, but does say that if you are using an affair to get out of marriage, then be as flagrant as possible.  If however, you want the excitement of an affair, within the security of the marriage relationship, then you have to be as devious as possible, while using logic.

She does try to explain a little family history behind her cheating behavior.  “My family, bless them all, should not be allowed out in public.”  She then goes on to describe their concepts and actions as being somewhat far out, but for me, they seemed to live within the pliable bounds of personality.  There was really no excuse for their daughter Wendy Plump to behave as she did, and I am trying hard here not to be judgmental.

Her maturity (or lack thereof) could be deduced where she writes, “Once in a relationship of any length, I had to charge it up, do something to get the dramatic fix of those first flush months of passion.  Adhering to one man was not one of them.”

She has several attempts at going for counseling, and is taken aback by the therapist insisting the Ms. Plump had to admit to the affair, before therapy could commence.  “Coming clean is essential to getting clean.  To Lillia’s (the therapist) ever-lasting credit, professional and personal, that is where the efficacy of therapy began and not one second before.”

She details the excuses that she trotted out in therapy, such as, “I never meant to,” hoping that these would meet the approval of the therapist, and is shocked a few years later when her husband came forth with the same excuses attempting to justify his straying from the marital bed.

As she climbs out from the shambles of her (married) life she does offer advice, but too late for her.

At B. 655 on the Bookazine shelf, it is in many ways a primer on promiscuity; however, by the time you get to the end, the marriage dissolved, the ex-husband living with his long time lover and their child, Ms Plump changes her tune a little.  The practicalities of a single life, with two teenage boys to look after has put a decided dampener on her previously responsibility free daily duties.  I ended up being a bit sorry for the author, because as she gained maturity, she also gained a realization that life was not all beer and skittles, or in her case wine and hotel beds.