Yes I would count my other half as family member #9 as he came along after my two children. I have spoken about what a great other half he is and how wonderfully well he cares for me and I know at times I must be a darned nuisance but he never complains. He has his faults of course but they are so minor I have no reason to criticize him at all.
He was born in a small village near Coventry in 1929, went to the local village school and then attended the technical school in Coventry. There was a dreadful shortage of teachers during the war years in England but he got quite a good education. It was unfortunate his parents were unable to afford to send him to a grammar school but those are the breaks in life.
As a child he lived through the dreadful blitz on Coventry. The family cottage was only 5 miles outside the town and although damage was done in close proximity to their home they escaped unscathed. MOH remembers going the next day with his mother and father into the devastated city to seek out family members all of whom thankfully escaped injury.
He had several good jobs in Coventry, and also spent two years in the British Army (national service) most of which time was spent in Germany with the occupation forces after the war. He had many and varied experiences in that country, not all of which were very pleasant, and he saw saw so much sadness during his time there.
MOH married in 1954 and he and his then wife emigrated to Australia in 1960. They lived in Adelaide, South Australia for the first two years but neither enjoyed life there so it was decided to move to Perth. They had spent the day here when their ship docked on the way east and both had liked what they saw here.
Unfortunately their marriage was rather rocky and his first wife decided she no longer wished to be married so they separated and divorced several months later. They had no children.
I met him shortly after that happened when he became a casual friend of the family. It was after I had left my first husband that MOH and I began to see each other and realised we had a lot in common and finally we married. My children got on with him quite well and he was a very good stepfather to them for which I was very thankful.
Not long after we first married he confided in me that he had always wanted to further his education but his first wife had not encouraged him to do so at all. I knew he had an enquiring mind and a fantastic memory for anything he had read or heard, and decided if that was what he wanted to do then do it he should. He sat for the adult matriculation examination and scored high enough marks to be admitted as a part-time student at our leading university....the University of Western Australia.
How we handled both of us working full-time, looking after two part-grown children and his attending university I will never know but we did it and he eventually received his degree with a double major in psychology. I felt very proud of him and was so glad I'd encouraged him to take this big step in his life. It didn't increase his career chances (he was a little old by then, being in his late 40s) but it was the fact that he had done it that really mattered to both of us.
We've had our ups and down over the past 46 of so years and we've never been rich at all (in fact the exact opposite at times) but we've nearly always been there for each other and these days I know I would have trouble existing without him. This has definitely proved in my case that the second time around is certainly the best.