Meet Britain's worst wife - and she's proud of it: Kate won't cook, won't clean and only makes love to her husband (who works AND does all the chores) once a decade
Kate is too busy with her career as a writer to be a traditional wife
So Ben picks up the slack, even though he's the breadwinner
My husband is the kindest, most considerate man in the world. During the seven years we've been married, Ben has done most of the cooking, cleaning and ironing without ever being asked.
He brings me an organic buffalo milk cappuccino every morning in bed and once spent hours making fresh syrup from rhubarb to add to my favourite champagne after I'd given birth. And yes, he works full-time.
But for all he does for me, anxious to make everything in my life better, he gets a raw deal in return.
Unequal partners: Kate with Ben, the 'kindest, most considerate man in the world'
I am shamefully neglectful of my wifely duties. In fact, I am the anti-wife.
The trouble is that I just can't do the subservient partner thing. Ben is more likely to arrive at our home in Twickenham, South-West London, after a hard day's work and find me having a manicure or checking Facebook than slaving over a hot stove.
This may make me sound selfish, but I'm just being honest. At 39, I've never ironed a single item of my husband's clothing. I rarely cook for him either. Why would I bother when he's so much better at it than I am?
Last Christmas, he produced a lavish three-course lunch and booked a 15th-century cottage for our whole family to eat it in. All I did was hold out my champagne glass for him to refill while saying: 'Well done, darling.'
And if you think I reward his sterling domestic efforts with treats in the bedroom, I'm afraid I fail in that department, too. Intimacy is reserved only for his birthdays - and then just the ones with a zero.
I felt occasional pangs of guilt about our unusual dynamic during the first year of our marriage, but now I find it liberating. He even refers to me as the 'household manager' because I'm an expert in the art of delegation.
Unusual dynamic: Ben cooks, cleans, and works, while Kate has a manicure, checks Facebook, or writes
Recently, Ben's job for an organic fruit and vegetable box delivery scheme meant he was away on business for three weeks.
Before he left, I found him packing the freezer with organic ready meals and ringing round for short-term nannies to take care of our children, Ronnie, six, and Stanley, two.
The truth is that I'm just too busy and involved in my career as a writer to be a traditional, caring wife.
I work from home and, like most self-employed people in a recession, I push myself to the limit. I set my alarm for 6am so I can squeeze in an hour of work before the school run and I often write until midnight.
My job often means being away from home during the evenings and weekends, which means the lion's share of the childcare falls to Ben. Even when I am home, I keep one eye glued to my iPhone for fear of missing a work call.
Ben bemoans my inability to achieve a work/life balance. He sees the word 'driven' as a negative, while I think I'm aspirational and ambitious. Now, I know what you're thinking - that I must earn more than Ben. But no, I don't.
He's the breadwinner and a domestic god. But my work is so all-consuming there's little of me left to go round by the time I switch off my laptop. Don't get me wrong - I love Ben very much and regard our marriage as happy. And he could never claim breach of contract because he always knew I was a workaholic.
Newlyweds: Kate felt occasional pangs of guilt about the way their relationship operated during their first year of marriage, but now she finds it liberating
When we began dating in 2003, I was helping to launch a woman's magazine, which required me to be at work from 8am until 11pm.
It was Ben's touching gesture of sending boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the office that made me realise what an excellent husband he'd make.
But when, in the early throes of our relationship, he mooted the idea I might one day be a 'stay-at-home mum', I bristled. 'But my mum stayed at home for the first five years of my life,' he said.
'That's never going to happen,' I replied sharply. The matter was never raised again.
I know my anti-wife stance is unusual and I've heard all the arguments about a happy and harmonious marriage being dependent on shared responsibilities. I understand that if two parents have clearly defined roles - one at home looking after the house, the other out earning the money to pay for it - then life is infinitely more simple and therefore less stressful.
So, if my husband was the sole breadwinner and had married a domesticated woman, he'd doubtless come home to a home-cooked meal and ironed shirts hanging in the wardrobe.
Ben claims he doesn't mind the way our life is set up. But if I'm being honest, it's because of my selfishness that he has to dress the children and make them breakfast while replying to emails on his BlackBerry.
'I'm just too busy and involved in my career as a writer to be a traditional, caring wife.'
It's my fault that he returns home to find no dinner and our children running amok.
But I work hard, too, and that changes everything. While I love my children deeply, wiping noses, bottoms and encrusted beans off the floor doesn't inspire me in the way my work does.
I'm too busy to share the chores. After a day of writing, I feel happy and complete; after a day with the children, I am frazzled.
After the birth of our first son, I went back to my £60,000-a-year job as deputy editor of a national magazine and put Ronnie full-time into an eye-wateringly expensive nursery.
I felt guilty about it, and working 8am to 6pm every day and barely seeing my son just compounded that guilt. But I didn't want to give up work.
You might think me self-obsessed, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for my happiness.
Just before the birth of our second son, I decided to leave my job and pursue a career as a writer after being offered a generous redundancy package.
But instead of relaxing into my new job, I allowed work to seep into all areas of my life.
That is why I ignored cripplingly painful contractions ten minutes apart and carried on writing to meet a deadline.
I was back at work just two weeks after giving birth to Stanley, breast-feeding while conducting tricky phone interviews.
Driven: Ben, pictured with their two sons Stanley, 2, and Ronnie, 6, bemoans Kate's inability to achieve a work/life balance
I think I may be in the minority in my role as an anti-wife. I have many friends who put their husband's needs above all else.
One has sex with her husband every Friday night without fail 'otherwise he'll be grumpy all weekend' and another, who is blissfully unambitious, supports her partner's blossoming business while raising their three children.
'Being a good partner is paramount,' she says. 'I'd much rather be at home with our children. It just works.'
Her relationship is the happiest I know and her children the most content. And I'd be willing to bet her sex life is a lot healthier than mine. But I couldn't be her because I know I couldn't devote my life to being a wife and mother.
It doesn't mean I don't adore Ben. The truth is that I'm in awe of the way he looks after me, our sons and our home. He makes my life easier. And he says he enjoys it.
Does that make me a selfish, slovenly, neglectful wife?
Probably - but it also makes me a happier one.
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