Helen Martin: Worlds apart or better together?

The Scottish Independence debate is much like a marriage on the rocks. Picture: Montage
The Scottish Independence debate is much like a marriage on the rocks. Picture: Montage
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Continuing the tale of Ali and Nicky’s marriage which has hit the buffers, with Nicky claiming she needs to leave her controlling husband Ali in order to gain her own independence and fulfil her dreams.

Ali insists Nicky’s life is fine as it is, she needs him to make decisions for her and they are better together. Things are turning nasty . . .

Nicky: Of all the . . . What on earth does your Uncle David think he’s doing going on Facebook and telling all our friends and family to pressurise me to stay with you?

Ali: He’s perfectly entitled to express his feelings. Unlike you, he’s just supporting me.

Nicky: It’s none of his business. It’s our marriage. When all this started and I wanted to talk to him, he was insisting it was our decision and nothing to do with him. He wouldn’t even talk to me about it, far less Uncle Alex when he asked for a civilised discussion. Now he’s wading in on your side and trying to turn people against me.

Ali: Well, he didn’t think you were serious at first. Even I didn’t think you were serious. You’ve threatened to leave before and nothing’s ever come of it. I just knew your dear Uncle Alex was behind all this. I suppose David’s beginning to realise that us splitting up will affect him, too.

Nicky: And how exactly will he be affected?

Ali: You know what he’s like about keeping the family together and he doesn’t want be embarrassed in front of his friends. A divorce in his family? Unthinkable! It would be a blow to his status at the club.

Nicky: I’m fed up with your Uncle David calling the shots in my life. I have nothing in common with him at all. He’s a snob. And your pal George isn’t much better – he’s a bully. We have to sort these things out ourselves like everyone else does when they go their separate ways. Ali, what are you doing?

Ali: Mmmm? Oh, I’m just sticking labels on things.

Nicky: Labels?

Ali: Yes, not that I think it will happen but in the event we do split up, I’m just marking what’s mine and what I’m keeping. The TV, the suite, the beds, the fridge-freezer . . .

Nicky: But they’re joint assets! My money went into them. They belong to me, too.

Ali: Well, not really. I think you’ll find I signed the cheques and purchase agreements for most of them and anything you signed was in your MARRIED name – that’s MY name in case you’ve forgotten. So in my book, what was “ours” during the marriage is now mine. You’re the one choosing to leave.

Nicky: Fine, have them. Take it all. I think YOU will find the debts are in our MARRIED name, too. So you can take ownership of them as well.

Ali: Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t wriggle out of your responsibilities. Ah, the Charles and Camilla mug set, almost forgot that!

Nicky: That was a wedding present from my great aunt, but you’re welcome to it. She never did have any taste.

Ali: You know, Nicky, you don’t understand what it’s like to go it alone. It would be so much easier to stay together. Think how long we’ve been married.

Nicky: Believe me, Ali, I know how long. I’m fed up arguing. Anyway, I have a tentative offer of a great job with a new company which is due to start up in September, and then I’ll . . . .

Dee ding-de-ding-dingy-ding. .

Nicky: That’s your phone.

Ali: Hello? Hi, Uncle David . . . Yes, Uncle David . . . I am trying, Uncle David . . . No, not going that well at the moment. Twitter? Well, you could try that, too.

In the background, a door slams.

To be continued.