The husband accused of committing the "Lady in the Lake" murder has admitted neglecting his wife.
Gordon Park denies murdering his wife, Carol
Gordon Park, 60, from Barrow, denies killing Carol Park, then aged 30, in 1976 and dumping her body in Coniston water in the Lake District.
During a third day of cross examination, Mr Park said he did not report his wife missing for six weeks after her disappearance.
Carol Park's body was discovered by amateur divers in 1997.
Park, a retired teacher from Leece, said: "If she wanted me to know where she was she would have left a note.
"I had got it into my mind that she had left again, probably with another person, another man.
"Yes, I am guilty of self pity - that's entirely my fault. Yes, had I acted sooner and reported her as a missing person she may have been found in time.
Mrs Park's body was found in Coniston Water
"I am guilty of that, of neglect, of not taking care of my wife."
Alistair Webber QC, prosecuting, accused Mr Park of "bending the evidence to suit your purpose" and asked why he had not informed Mrs Park's family of her disappearance.
Mr Park said he wasn't in the custom of telling people about "our little spats".
The case continues.