It seems that my husband has been having an affair. And I've got absolutely no idea what I'm going to do about it. Because what the hell do you do when there's suddenly someone else in the middle of your relationship? In the middle of your family?
This other woman came on the scene quite recently, around his birthday, and he is obsessed with her. Completely besotted - it's like she's bewitched him. At what was supposed to be a time all about about us, all about the kids, it suddenly became all about her.
If I'm really honest with myself, I don't think he ever felt this way about me - this blind, unrelenting devotion. And that hurts.
To add insult to injury, he has even brought her into our home, and introduced her to our kids. And they love her. They love her because she is everything I'm not.
Already, he has taught them to consider her a higher authority than me. When he's with her, they plead with me to let them go and talk to her. They don't want me. She has novelty and glamour I can't compete with, and I cannot stop them. And I am left a stranger in my own home.
It is not my home anymore - it's hers.
Her name is Alexa.
She is tiny, and curvy in all the right places.
She's super responsive, polite and 'helpful'.
She is also a skank-cow-ho-beast-b***h from hell and I want to tear her cold, metallic heart out with my teeth.
Oh, I can see right through her. Right through. Men never can, can they? She is the very worst of that kind - you've probably met her, or an approximation of her. Simultaneously vacuous and condescending, maddeningly obtuse, exacting, persnickety and petty.
She's a control freak too - she controls everything. We can't go out of the house, apparently, without getting her opinion on the weather or the traffic.
I literally can't even turn on the freaking living room light without asking her first.
My husband - who wants to have his cake and eat it - has tried to make peace between us. But when he's not here she's at her very worst. She's a downright bully - and not even sophisticated about it. She randomly switches on music or interrupts my conversation when I'm talking - something she'd never do with him in the room.
She's now also in charge of the telly, and point blank refuses to play Peppa Pig, however nicely I ask. This is always at a time when I most need to deploy soothing televisual hypnotism - and yet the kids still blame me instead of her.
My husband doesn't believe me when I tell him what she's been up to - he always takes her side. Apparently, she's 'misunderstood', and it's my fault for not being clearer with her. If I just talked to her in the right way, he tells me, she'd do anything for me.
Well I can't talk in the right way, to this interloper in our relationship. To this usurper. With her bloody perfect diction and smarmy, know-it-all attitude.
I'm a born and bred southerner who's lived in Sheffield for nigh on 20 years, so my diction is, at best, confused. I also cannot regulate my tone of voice (or accent, or volume), which changes depending on the situation (eg. over the phone) or person I'm talking to (either because I'm massively empathetic or massively flakey - not sure which).
Alexa has no time for this; she just blanks me and pretends not to understand. "Sorry," she lies, "I didn't understand the question I heard". And she repeats this one sentence again and again, with ever-increasing, infuriating self-satisfaction.
She is more likely to do what the five-year-old asks of her than respond to any conversational gambit or request of mine.
My husband and I hardly talk anymore - he's too interested in tinkering about with his new floozy. And he likes to tell me, in great detail, what he's doing to her each evening. What he's planning to plug inside her next. He even wants me to join in on their fun. To 'try it out'.
Well I'm sorry, but I'm just not that kind of girl.
We've had fight after fight about her - in front of the kids and everything - something we always swore we'd never do. Then again, we swore we'd love and honour each other too, a long time ago. When we believed our love would last forever. When we believed no one could come between us. (Sniff).
And the very worst of it is, I know he isn't the only one. I know she has seduced men up and down the country - with her feminine wiles, her predilection to interface, her penchant for strap-on/add-on gadgets, and her willingness to let them use ALL of her interesting ports for their personal gratification...
They cannot resist her.
If you too are an Alexa widow, I would like to reach out to you in solidarity. Together, perhaps we can support each other through the madness of our other halves' infatuation. Perhaps we will one day get our lives, our homes, and control of our electrical devices back.
Perhaps we can even form some sort of First Wives club, and conspire to smite that uppity, pernicious cow-bag-HO and send her packing back to the putrid pits of purgatory from whence she probably came.
(Or Amazon, same diff).