WHY do women find ways to blame themselves when they are cheated on or unceremoniously dumped?
The person who grabs your heart then shatters it into pieces is rarely called to account for their appalling behaviour. Instead, women tell themselves they should have been more attentive, or more attractive, or better in bed.
This week the once queen of the TV jungle, Vicky Pattison, admitted she was wracked with self-doubt after her now former fiancé John Noble “cheated” on her.
She even said sadly that if she was “thinner” he might have remained faithful. This made my blood run cold.
It’s typical that poor Vicky chose to shoulder the responsibility for his infidelity by not being “perfect” enough, instead of directing her anger at his betrayal. Noble was spotted with a string of young women on nights out and Vicky felt publicly humiliated and betrayed.
One minute she was engaged to be married and planning her wedding. Then it all broke down and she was left in floods of tears. In order to salvage some pride, she decided to break up with Noble.
Vicky really thought she had met her soulmate but, instead, it turned out he was just another man she couldn’t trust. She’s utterly devastated, but it’s infuriating her first reaction was not to think he’s a swine and cheat but that, somehow, she was the one to blame.
Now, Vicky is a smart, feisty young woman and I’m sure she realises she was being very silly to imagine that being a few pounds lighter would have changed anything. But on some level she convinced herself she wasn’t good enough for Noble. Of course, if it was the other way around it would be a different story.
Noble proved he was a man-child, a commitment-phobe and clearly in no way ready to settle down. In these days of social media, he must surely have known that if he was chatting up other girls it would end up all over Twitter and Facebook and Vicky would discover what he was up to.
Former Geordie Shore star Vicky says Noble claims he was set up in the photographs taken of him canoodling with a variety of young women, but he has expressed no remorse to her for his behaviour. He hasn’t apologised for breaking Vicky’s heart though he has been back in touch to ask for her engagement ring back.
Vicky revealed that he hinted the split was actually her fault and, with her self-esteem and confidence at an all-time low, she actually believed him. His actions in those nightclubs would appear to be those of someone who wants to be found out, or perhaps he is just supremely arrogant.
Anyway, I think Vicky has dodged a bullet. It’s painful and raw right now but, one day, she will realise she actually had a lucky escape. What if they had gone ahead with the wedding and a few years, and maybe a couple of kids down the line, he turned out to be a serial adulterer?
Vicky is a strong girl and will bounce back from this devastating experience. I hope her next relationship gives her a happy ever after ending. But if it goes awry again, she must not blame herself.
And nor should any woman let down by her partner.
Peter’s support act
“The Pricey”, as Katie insists in calling herself, has been through tough times dealing with her mum’s terminal illness as well as some truly disastrous relationships.
She might appear to be a cartoon character, but she should not be treated as a figure of ridicule. Despite the bold front, I reckon Katie is a mass of anxieties and insecurities and she is very vulnerable right now.
I’m sure she is very grateful to her ex and especially to Emily for their support. I hope she takes time out of the public eye and gets her life back on track.
Couple’s quest so inspiring
I WAS heartened this week by the positive reaction to a married couple who are planning a family together, but whose circumstances mean that their only real option is surrogacy.
So many wished trans couple Hannah and Jake Graf well in their quest – some even offered their services as a surrogate. They are a trailblazing man and wife and role models who have helped young trans men and women in tough times.
Hannah, was the highest ranking transgender soldier in the Army, and was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List.
While actor and filmmaker Jake stars in Colette with Keira Knightley. Dominic West, who also stars in Colette, recommended that Hannah should take over from Daniel Craig as the first female James Bond.
She thought this was flattering and hilarious, but reckons Jake would do a great job in the role. I am so very fond of both of them and in awe of their positivity. Their baby will be lucky to have such kind, loving parents.
Iconic British hero
RIGHT everyone, you know what to do. Vote for Ernest Shackleton as the most influential person of the 20th century on Tuesday night’s BBC2 live show of Icons. My all-time hero is up against formidable opposition including Nelson Mandela, Dr Martin Luther King, Alan Turing, Pablo Picasso and David Bowie.
Shackleton, the famous polar explorer also known as “The Boss”, was at his best when confronted by impossible odds, so I’m hopeful he can pull this off.
When his ship, The Endurance, was crushed in the ice (there is currently an expedition to find the wreck), Shackleton somehow managed to get all his men to Elephant Island in rowing boats.
He then made the epic 800-mile voyage to South Georgia, where he climbed over uncharted mountains, to finally get his crew rescued. I was lucky enough to follow in his footsteps and re-enact that journey, then to pay my respects to The Boss at his graveside in South Georgia, right.
If you don’t know his story then check out his book, South, or download the astonishingly good Channel 4 drama, Shackleton, starring Kenneth Branagh. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday for this truly iconic British hero.
Jack viewing tough
BY all accounts, the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, which focuses on two men who say they were abused by the star as youngsters, is extremely disturbing and difficult to watch. If the allegations are true, then those who enabled such vile behaviour should be brought to account.
Of course, Jackson is not here to defend himself, and he was found innocent of similar charges in a 2005 court case, but the rumours have never gone away.
No one wants to believe such actions could have been committed by the pop genius, whose music is still the songbook of many people’s lives. His fans remain loyal and will not entertain the thought that he might have committed any crimes.
I feel sorry for his kids, especially daughter Paris, who is rumoured to have entered rehab again due to the stress and upset over the documentary.
I can’t imagine how tough this is for a woman who loved her dad, but I suspect we will never really know what went on – and those on either side of the fence will never change their minds.
Andy’s on cue
TENNIS ace Andy Murray shared rather more than he meant to when he posted an X-ray of his hip after an operation to relieve the pain of an injury that has all but ended his career.
The eagle-eyed – and mucky-minded – spotted there was an interesting (ahem) appendage that drew the eye.
Andy, above, might not be able to play tennis at the highest level any more, but he could easily take up snooker with that thing and become a world champion.
Royal born in a flash
IT emerged yesterday that all staff at the maternity hospital where Kate had her three babies have been told not to take any leave in April.
That would suggest that after talking to her sister in law, Meghan has changed her mind about a home birth.
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So we will, after all, get that photo on the steps of the Lindo Wing of yet another proud royal mum looking as though she has just stepped off a catwalk.
No wonder Meghan is hugging her baby bump so tightly.
She knows the little one will be blinded by flashbulbs almost from the moment of emerging from the womb.