Ben is no an­gel but Una just nagged and nagged

In­fi­delity ru­mours swirled as Satur­days singer split with rugby star but was there more to it?

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - COMMENT - By Annette Witheridge

UNA Healy and Ben Fo­den’s bick­er­ing over their chil­dren and house­work led to the col­lapse of their six-year old mar­riage, the Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day can re­veal.

The MoS can also re­veal that Una has re­turned to the UK with her two young chil­dren, af­ter ini­tially re­turn­ing to her par­ents’ home in Tip­per­ary in the im­me­di­ate wake of the break-up.

Ac­cord­ing to friends, Una was ‘mil­i­tant’ in her nag­ging about child­care and house­work and the cou­ple, who split two weeks ago af­ter Ben’s al­leged fling with a PR girl, came to light, bick­ered con­stantly and had ‘explosive’ rows over mi­nor is­sues.

Friends say the Satur­days singer, ac­cused her rugby-play­ing hus­band of ‘be­ing lazy’ and com­plained to friends that he ‘an­noyed’ her. She also left stroppy notes on the

‘Bick­ered con­stantly and had explosive rows’’

fridge or­der­ing him to empty the bins and went mad when he failed to buy all of the food on her shop­ping lists.

It’s claimed Ben moaned that he couldn’t do any­thing right in Una’s eyes, even though he cared for the kids while Una was on tour or do­ing TV shows in Dublin.

He also ac­cused her of ‘blow­ing hot and cold’ over their move to Amer­ica and moaned to his mates that she was ‘con­stantly crack­ing the whip’ even when she was hun­dreds of miles from home by phon­ing to nag him.

Adding to the prob­lems in their al­ready rocky six-year mar­riage, they stopped go­ing out on date nights and once the chil­dren were in bed, they just squab­bled in front of the TV over what to watch.

One of their big­gest rows hap­pened around Fa­ther’s Day be­cause Una was away on tour in Ire­land and he sar­cas­ti­cally com­plained he was home alone again in Northamp­ton with the kids.

‘They’ve been hav­ing prob­lems for at least the last three years but the rows have be­come more explosive in re­cent months,’ said one friend of the cou­ple.

‘I’m amazed they even made it to their sixth wed­ding an­niver­sary in June, they bicker con­stantly.

‘Ben is cer­tainly no an­gel but Una just nagged and nagged him, her con­stant re­frain was: “He just an­noys me. He’s so lazy.”

‘She com­plained that she did 95% of the cook­ing, most of the food shop­ping and all the wash­ing.

‘She claimed he was in­ca­pable of go­ing to the su­per­mar­ket and ac­tu­ally buy­ing the stuff on her shop­ping list.

‘She left notes on the fridge or­der­ing him to put the bins out and com­plete other chores.

‘She moaned that he didn’t do things prop­erly, that he’d say he wanted to eat healthy, then come back from the shops with junk food. Or he’d for­get the es­sen­tials, like bread and milk.’

Ex-Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Ben, 33, dubbed his 36-year-old wife ‘the mil­i­tant’, com­plain­ing to friends that she ‘ex­ag­ger­ated’ how much cook­ing she did.

He also con­stantly pointed out that he was reg­u­larly left in charge of the chil­dren while she was away work­ing on her solo ca­reer.

‘Ben cooks for the kids and, like many dads, he takes them to McDon­alds some­times for a treat,’ the friend said. ‘He’s fu­ri­ous that Una claims to do 95% of the cook­ing – af­ter all, she’s usu­ally away at least two days a week.’

He’s also braced for em­bar­rass­ment as Una, their six-year-old daugh­ter Aoife and son Tadhg, three, re­cently filmed a seg­ment of the TV show Big Stars, Lit­tle Stars in which chil­dren an­swer ques­tions about their celebrity par­ents. ‘It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what the kids say about them. They will have heard the rows and bick­er­ing.’

How­ever, Ben will have some time to pre­pare for it, as the broad­cast of the episode has been de­layed. The show had been due to air last night on UTV but the MoS has learned that the sta­tion has now opted to de­lay broad­cast to Septem­ber 1.

The friend added: ‘One of their con­stant ar­gu­ments was over Ben’s ca­reer move to New York. They were sup­posed to all move in Septem­ber but she was blow­ing hot and cold over it for months.’

Una im­me­di­ately scrapped those plans and an­nounced they had split amid claims he’d had a drunken fling with 26-year-old pub­li­cist Becky Milne when she was preg­nant with Tadhg in 2015.

Becky ad­mit­ted she and Ben were friends but de­nied they’d had sex. But Una packed up and moved home to mum Anne’s house in Tip­per­ary with the kids.

‘The New York move was a sore point. Ben just wanted to get out there and get play­ing for the New York team,’ the friend said. ‘But Una was wor­ry­ing about where they would live and where to send the kids to school.

‘Also Una likes to be su­per or­gan­ised – she keeps lists and pins big notes on her no­tice­board and the fridge. And she has sev­eral di­aries to co-or­di­nate fam­ily and work things. She got over-anx­ious about the lo­gis­tics of mov­ing.’

An­other bone of con­tention was the lack of time they spent with­out the kids.

‘Una com­plained that the kids had a bet­ter so­cial life than they did and Ben never took her out on date nights,’ the friend said. ‘If they went out to din­ner, they took the kids with them.

‘Once the kids were in bed they just crashed on the sofa squab­bling over what to watch on TV.

‘They didn’t em­ploy a nanny, it was just them and her mum Anne oc­ca­sion­ally help­ing out. So what­ever they did, the kids were al­ways with them. Ben didn’t think they needed date nights to keep

‘He dubbed her the mil­i­tant’

trou­ble in par­adise: ’He an­noys me’

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