Reverend Richard Coles admits his husband David would 'hate' his memoir about 'gruelling time'


Rev Richard Coles admits his alcoholic partner would ‘hate’ his memoir about ‘gruelling time living with him’ but he wanted ‘to help other addicts’ spouses who are going through similar’

  • Reverend Richard Coles’s partner Reverend David died in December 2019
  • He asked David’s family for permission to share his grief in an autobiography 
  • Admits David would’ve hated the book but believes it might help other addicts 

Reverend Richard Coles has admitted his late partner Reverend David wouldn’t have wanted him to pen the memoir that he’s releasing next month.

The 59-year-old, who married David in a civil ceremony in 2010, asked his partner’s family for permission to share his experience of being with an addict in the hopes of helping others in the same situation.

He told The Guardian that he ‘discovered’ how much he wanted to express himself after David’s passing in 2019.

Richard explained his reasons for publishing the book The Madness of Grief despite knowing his loved one wouldn’t have approved, saying: ‘David would have hated this book. Hated it.  I just decided, well, it can’t hurt him now – and it might help other addicts’ spouses who are going through similar things. 

Reverend Richard Coles, 59, has admitted his late partner Reverend David (pictured) wouldn't have approved of his autobiography The Madness of Grief

Reverend Richard Coles, 59, has admitted his late partner Reverend David (pictured) wouldn’t have approved of his autobiography The Madness of Grief

‘When David was at his worst it was so gruelling, so difficult for me as his husband, I felt like I was falling through space sometimes.’

Richard added that although having the opportunity to write is an unexpected pleasure from David’s passing, it doesn’t compare to the loss of his partner.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star and David lived together with their dogs Daisy, Pongo, Audrey and Horatio in the vicarage of St Mary’s in Finedon, Northamptonshire.     

David had come to Richard for advice on joining the clergy when they developed romantic feelings for each other and soon began a celibate relationship.  

Richard (pictured) who married David in a civil ceremony in 2010, has admitted he regrets not spending more time doing 'nothing' with David

Richard (pictured) who married David in a civil ceremony in 2010, has admitted he regrets not spending more time doing ‘nothing’ with David

Having appeared on prime-time shows and gained fame in pop band the Communards, Richard has revealed it took time to find a balance between a husband inclined to privacy and his busy public life. 

David’s death in December 2019 shocked parishioners, as he kept his failing health private while battling illness for more than a year. 

Richard has said David, who had an addiction to alcohol, would’ve ‘loved lockdown’ because it would’ve given them the the opportunity to spend time together at home. 

Reflecting, he added at times people would push David out of the way to get to him, but David took it as a joke. 

Richard has revealed David was determined to keep his health woes private, however there was a public episode involving the police

Richard has revealed David was determined to keep his health woes private, however there was a public episode involving the police

‘I wish I’d spent more time with David. I wish I’d prioritised doing nothing with David more. Not seeing that as a holiday from things, but as the centre of things,’ Richard said.  

David, who became increasingly sick with liver disease, was determined to keep the drinking problem that eventually killed him a secret, however there were public outbursts including one that involved the police. 

Richard details the day David was admitted to ICU in his memoir The Madness of Grief, and his decline before a decision was made to turn off his oxygen.

When asked about feeling guilty about publishing the book, he explained those who live with an addict are often plagued with guilt about if they should’ve done more when the person was alive. 

Friends and David’s mother have shown interest in him meeting someone else, however Richard has said he can’t imagine having another love of his life.  

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