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?
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’