Wikivorce's very own Andy Hawkes tells us his experience of marriage, divorce... and style!
As a guy who is always ribbed about his sexuality from”wikipeeps” (I’m very heterosexual by the way!) I think I must be the only straight guy in the world who likes clothes shopping! After being recently divorced from a painful 6 year marriage only being ended in a second marital affair from the woman I once worshipped, I had to start from scratch in rebuilding myself and that included starting again in my 20th century wardrobe. When I was married, I was the only one in the relationship who enjoyed going to the shops. My ex was so bad at dressing herself, (her own admission I hasten to add!!) and would often ask me for her advice. In later years, I would then buy ALL her clothes myself (including underwear!) to which I used to enjoy browsing through magazine after magazine trying to be inspired to look for ideas on how to make her look “fashionable”. In truth, I loved it! It’s no wonder though that when I see her now after being very publicly dumped, I chuckle to myself for she has gone back to the drab, pre-Andy era, making me think I was at good at something in that marriage!
Since a very young age I would always pride myself on my appearance. Growing up in an era of colourful changes in the 1980s, I used to watch in awe as the modern man would strut his stuff on Top of the pops and I would watch fascinatingly at how on earth I could ever afford to look like someone as glamourous as George Michael...
When unbeknowingly my “wife” was having her second affair I was in the bathroom trying to groom myself and look for some never growing hair on my head (I’m bald!) after being stripped of all my self confidence, looking gaunt (I lost 3 stone in 9 weeks – best way to lose weight guys and gals!) balder than ever before, I was looking in the bathroom mirror at myself . My wife, who was still living with me and my daughter, happened by chance to notice me, as I was trying to make the redness around my eyes, from continous crying, disappear. I stated aloud that at the age of 36 who would be daft enough to ever find me attractive again? Her reply, which I now find mildly amusing, shook me to the core back then. “Hmm, not sure, but there maybe someone……” Cheeky whotsit!!!!
My wardrobe had become complacent. It needed a change. For unbeknown to me, I had become my father or worse, Jeremy Clarkson!
A well deserved trip to the shops was long overdue. I remember being on my own at Bluewater shopping mall trying to lift my head up from all the sadness and TRY hard to see if I had what it takes to make the modern woman find me vagely attractive again! Those few hours were torture, I went from store to store barely glancing at anything I found remotely interesting in wearing. I didn’t have a lot of money as I was only working part time and I invested in a pair of Jeffery West shoes from eBay, as I couldn’t afford a pair from the website..
Last March I seem to recall that the weather was beautiful here in rural West Sussex. One Sunday I can recall mowing the lawn in between playing with my then 4 year old daughter, and happened to notice that my ex (who I was trying desperately hard to woo back from under the claws of the “other man”) was secretly “texting” on her “secret” mobile phone whilst pretending to do the weeding. Naturally I was furious, I wasn’t wearing a shirt as I was so hot from all the garden chores but didn’t want to show off my anger in front of my daughter and it was then I saw a reflection in the patio of a man I no longer resembled This man was so thin, looked unhealthy and pained. I was shocked, I had never looked like this.
In recent times I have turned to Marks and Spencers for my affordable wardrobe, yeah I know the younger lads will laugh, but lads,have a quick look at the latest Autograph range and you’ll have a different approach.. I’m 36 and swear by some of the modern polos and sweats they offer at, I think, a very good price.
Older guys would always go to M & S anyway (I’m being led by my father’s opinion here!)
Me? I’ve happily bounced back through time and fantastic support from friends I am so glad I found on wikivorce. I also found the 'look' I was searching for on a budget I had never known existed. My self confidence has returned in a way I never thought it would and I'm more positive on my outlook than ever before. In fact I’d like to think that my now very ex-wife did me a favour and as I am now dating a wonderful girl who is mortified in me on getting my hands on her wardrobe and helping her dress, I’ll stick to my own wardrobe this time – Phew!!