I miss the people we were, before we became carers. Vicious words may be said in the heat of a row but putting it away and turning back to face one another as quickly as possible matters to the survival of your relationship. Most nights, the three of us tangled together to sleep; absolute single motherhood was financially terrifying but filled my heart and head with complete love. I am as apprehensive as he is. Sex is the place we can find one another again. More than anything, I want to remember how it feels to love him, and to really see him. The children chatter away to him all the time and I am pushed aside like a silenced scullery maid whose role is to wipe surfaces, find shoes and carry coats. Even when we fight, which happens a lot, I try to keep part of my mind open to the fact that we want, ultimately, to remain married. As a mother I have to pretend to be the person I really am not: patient, hygienic, gentle, good at craft, moderate, rarely anxious, never depressed.