Clare Macnaughton: The military wife who went to war in print
The wife of a helicopter ace who was tried and acquitted in a high-profile sex assault case has now turned her controversial internet blog about life being “married to the military” into a book.
And Clare Macnaughton admitted her book, a collection of blog posts from more than two years spent confronting the clash between being a feminist and being a flight lieutenant’s wife, had been turned down by a publisher because she “wasn’t very likeable”.
Now living in Wiltshire’s Wylye Valley and separated from her husband Kai, the mother of two began writing a blog three years ago. It charted her issues with juggling life as a mother and wife to a serving pilot with her own career.
She admitted that the blog, and the controversy it stirred in military circles, didn’t help her relationship with her husband and a year ago, the details of a drunken encounter between her husband and one of her friends was publicly exposed when he was tried for sexual assault. He was acquitted, but Clare and her husband are now separated.
Bissell's 8910E Aroma Pro is the ultimate in home cleaning giving you a machine that provides outstanding results when not just cleaning carpets but stairs and upholstery too.
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
Now the book, entitled Modern Military Mother – Tales from the Domestic Frontline, is a candid expose of the battles between army wives and the military establishment.
“I would regard myself as a feminist. I am an independent woman and mother, who just happens to be married and her husband happens to be a serving member of the Armed Forces,” she told the Western Daily Press.
“But the thing is that to the military, I am a dependant, not independent. My husband has no freedom, he has signed up for years and has to do whatever the military tell him, go where they say and work when they say. His whole life is not his own, and therefore mine is not supposed to be either.
“The blog was well received by many people, particularly other military wives and in that community, but it wasn’t well received by the top brass in the military at all, and they would put pressure on him and me to get me to stop writing it. They found they could tell my husband what to do, but they couldn’t tell me – I wasn’t in the military. I am an independent person,” she added.
The trials and tribulations of constant battles with her son, nicknamed The Grenade, her daughter, called The Menace, and her husband – nicknamed Hagar – have produced an often funny, acidic and sometimes poignant narrative.
Mrs Macnaughton pulls no punches, and said that the blog is still causing her estranged husband problems. “There were three people in the marriage, any military marriage – I call the military ‘the mistress’ because my husband serves her.
“The book was turned down by a major publisher because I wasn’t ‘very likeable’. I didn’t want to dilute the copy to make me more likeable. I wanted to write honest reflections of my experiences regardless of whether they are popular or not. This is my truth,” she said. “If you don’t like me then don’t buy the book – it’s that simple.”
Instead, Mrs Macnaughton turned to self-publishing on the internet with Amazon, and the book can be purchased online in both physical and download form.