Let’s talk about marriage.

Britain’s most married man has just snared wife number 9.

I know I speak for us all in wishing Ron Sheppard, 68 a hugely successful marriage to his 26 year old bride from the Philippines, just as soon his divorce from wife number 8 comes through at which point he can leave all the restraining orders and many, many children behind him.

You think maybe Ron has been unconsciously repeating the same mistakes over and over again? It’s an easy pattern to fall in to. Maybe his parents were a bit rubbish, or worse, and his capacity for lasting intimacy is diminished by the vast cavity of loss and abandonment that lies deep within his psyche.


I may be projecting a bit. ‘Projecting’ is a psychotherapy thing where you unwittingly smother some other poor soul with your own issues and problems, assuming that if it’s true for you it must be true for them.

I may be doing this because Gwyneth and I are having couples counselling at the mo. It’s ok, Gwyneth said it’s fine for me to blog about it as long as I don’t mention his problem with erectile dysfunction.

I’m KIDDING, people…

A spot of floppy-dick would be a doddle to solve compared to our growing awareness that we are both in need of some deep talking-treatment to fill our emotional cavities.

I’ve lived with mine for yonks. Since I was a kid. Back then I would attempt to fill it with Mr Kipling’s Exceedingly Good Blackcurrant Tarts and a bit of self-harming.

Later I found fags and booze and fellas and the toxic swing between starving and bingeing. When you feel empty, it seemed to me, you are best to either fill the hole, or let it grow ever bigger, denying yourself pleasure so as to replace the emotional emptiness with a physical one.

Of course, there’s no psychiatric dentist in the world that can give you an emotional filling. The only way to solve it is for it never to have been allowed to grow in the first place. For Mum to have been able to love me and stay alive for me, for Dad to have been able to protect me.

In the absence of an actual time machine, your only chance of repair is to get on board a virtual one. You need a really kind, caring and astute soul to steer the ship. Their sofa should be welcoming, their mind open and their fees not so high that a divorce would be the cheaper solution.

You can travel alone. I did for years with a brilliant woman who scooped me up and turned my ship around.

But I have found that making this journey with Gwyneth has been both far more treacherous and also more meaningful.

I am coming to believe that he loves me enough to not deliberately die on me or abandon me and will always protect me. And whilst I hold out little hope for his sudden transformation into the over-weight, junk-food guzzling, chain-smoking, alcoholic fella of my dreams, I know that he is what I really need and who I deeply, passionately love…especially once we’ve sorted out the erectile dysfunction…

Honestly, I’m KIDDING about that guys!

May your weekend be totally cavity-free…