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Mary Feely: Word to the wise, Ricky, you're better off without her

Oh, grow up, kid.

What else can you say when you read that soap actress Hannah Waterman has dumped her husband, reportedly because she wants to enjoy life as a newly slim singleton?

The actress, who played Laura Beale in EastEnders, supposedly gained such a boost in self-esteem from weight loss (down from 10 stone 4 pounds to 7 stone 10 pounds in five months) that she's given hubby Ricky Groves the boot.

The couple met while working on EastEnders, where Ricky played Garry Hobbs. They married in 2006.

But all changed, changed utterly, along with Hannah's silhouette. "Hannah seems to have a new-found confidence with her new figure," said one source quoted in news reports. "She's been turning heads and she knows it. It seems Ricky no longer fits into her life. She's enjoying looking sexy and wants to enjoy life as a single woman."

The poor husband had no notion of his wife's, em, evolving world view. He thought their relationship was happy.

Sadly, she seemed to lump him in with all those other bad habits successful slimmers have to bin, such as skipping breakfast or counting crisps as a vegetable. She broke the news on New Year's Day.

Happy 2010, darling.

If there's really no other reason for the breakup -- and by all accounts the ambushed husband was left in tears at the abrupt end of his marriage -- this is amazingly juvenile.

From a 16-year-old girl, giddy with vanity, this might be in keeping. But from a 34-year-old woman who's vowed to stay with this man until death did them part?


She's thrown aside the devotion of man she once planned to spend her life with. And for what? The chance to pull some guys who wouldn't have looked at her twice when she was two stone heavier? Oh, yes, just living the dream. Maybe, just maybe, this would make sense if Hannah had always been hugely obese and missed out on the no-strings shagging most of us go for in our 20s. But she started out at 10 stone -- lots of women would love to reach that weight AFTER a diet.


Anyway, most red-blooded men say they prefer their women to be curvy rather than ultra-thin. In which case turning heads may not translate into unlimited hedonism after all.

By contrast, once Ricky's heartache eases, he could find this actually does wonders for HIS love life.

Think about it. Here's a guy in his early 40s--a great age from the point of view of a woman looking for a mate. He's been married, so that proves he's able to make a commitment.

And ironically, he's slimmed down as well.

He lost two stone from participating in Strictly Come Dancing last year. He sounds like the complete package.

Meanwhile, Irish husbands need to learn from this sad example of the marriage-zapping diet.

By all means encourage your missus if she needs to lose weight for the good of her health. But if she's like a lot of us -- in her mind always just five pounds heavier than the ideal -- leave her in no doubt that you fancy her just the way she is.