Former Home Secretary turns to dating apps after marriage heartbreak

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Jacqui Smith has opened up on the experience of turning to online dating apps in her 50s. The former home secretary under Tony Blair was left devastated after her 33-year marriage to Richard Timney ended. She famously lost her Redditch seat and position as a Labour MP in 2010 after being embroiled in the expenses scandal in 2009.

Her husband, who had been unfaithful during their marriage, had notoriously claimed expenses for watching two adult films.

While the couple tried to repair the marriage over the years, they eventually split in 2018.

The pair even managed to negotiate the divorce process without lawyers.

However, speaking to Kaye Adams on her podcast ‘How to be 60,’ Ms Smith spoke about the emotional toll of her ex-husband’s betrayal.

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She said: “I thought we were going to be next to each other’s deathbeds, that’s what my picture of our life was.

“I just took it for granted. I thought that’s what happened, you got married to somebody and then you were with them.

“I’m not ‘tradwife’, but my view of marriage was ‘it’s lovely, we depend on each other and we’re going to be around forever’.

“I’d been married over 30 years and I thought we’d grow old together.

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“I felt completely robbed by the fact he was unfaithful and then turned around and said ‘I feel I need something new for the next 30 years of my life’.

“That wasn’t how I had seen my life panning out at all, so that was a massive change for me.

“So, I’ve had to rebuild what my 60s will be like.”

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Ms Smith revealed that she turned to apps to get back on the dating scene.

The former MP, who now works as a broadcaster, compared the first time she had sex with someone after the divorce to her time on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2020.

Ms Smith told Ms Adams: “If you’ve slept with the same person for 33 years, you are stricken with this, supposing I’ve been doing it wrong all these years, supposing there’s something else I should be doing.

“Too much information, but one of the nice things my husband did was say ‘you’re very good at sex, don’t worry about that’.

“So, I thought to myself, how the hell does he know? Well, he did know because he’d been off with someone else.

“That, and Strictly, equally nerve-racking but not quite so many people watching the first one.”

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