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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Oaten wife tells of her 'horror'
Belinda and Mark Oaten
Belinda and Mark Oaten are having weekly marriage therapy
Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten's wife has spoken of her horror at learning of his affair with a male prostitute.

Branding it the ultimate betrayal she said an ashen Mr Oaten took her aside after speaking to journalists, plunging her into "unimaginable horror".

The ex-Lib Dem leadership contender then quit the party's frontbench.

Belinda Oaten told Hello magazine that on learning of the betrayal she hit her husband and threw her rings at him. But their marriage is now recovering.

She blamed her husband's behaviour on the stress of his job which she argued pressed "all sorts of buttons".

They have been undergoing intensive weekly marriage therapy in a bid to salvage their relationship.

On the mend?

Describing the moment Mr Oaten took her aside she said: "He looked very white and said 'I've got to talk to you'. I was in my dressing gown in the middle of cooking breakfast, not imagining anything was wrong.

"He took me into the utility room and said 'It's over for me, it's finished and we're finished', and he went on to explain what he'd done.

"I couldn't really grasp what he was saying. I mean, you just don't take it in straight away."

After being married for 13 years she said her reaction was one of "disbelief and horror".

"It was something almost too big for me to handle. I said an awful lot of horrible things to him at first. I took off my rings and threw them at him, and told him never to come back, and I hit him about three times. I'd lost all respect for him."

She added their relationship was now better than it was and they had just returned from a trip to Disney World and were beginning to resolve their problems.

At the time of the revelations about his private life Mr Oaten apologised for what he called "errors of judgment", saying that his wife and two children were his "priority".

Oaten apologises over sex scandal
02 Feb 06 |  UK Politics

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