Ruby Wax insists it’s ‘healthy to have your own space in a relationship’ as she defends ‘odd’ decision to spend much of lockdown ‘alone in a one-room lodge’ away from her husband of 33 years
- The comedian, 68, has been married to film producer Ed Bye, 66, since 1988
- Spent part of lockdown living in one-room lodge away from their London home
- Ruby says they travel for work and spending time apart isn’t unusual for them
Ruby Wax has defended spending periods of time away from her husband of 33 years after the pair lived separately for much of England’s first coronavirus lockdown.
The comedian, 68, has been married to film producer Ed Bye, 66, since 1988 and revealed they often spend periods of time away from each other, insisting it can be ‘healthy for relationships to have your own space’.
She spent part of the first lockdown alone in a one-room lodge in the countryside, away from the couple’s London home, and said that she’s never been ‘much of a texter or caller’.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, she said: ‘Some may think it odd that I was away from my husband for so long. But in truth, time apart isn’t new to our marriage. We’ve been together for 33 years.
Ruby Wax, 68, who lives in London, pictured in London in 2018, has said people find it ‘odd’ how much time she spends away from her husband of 33 years
The comedian has been married to film producer Ed Bye, 66, since 1988 and says they often spend periods of time away from each other, insisting it can be ‘healthy for relationships to have your own space’. The pair are pictured in London in 2012
‘My career has involved so much travel, and I’m not much of a texter or caller, so we’re both used to it. I think it can actually be healthy for relationships to have your own space.’
Mental health campaigner Ruby spent her time alone in lockdown finishing her book, A Mindfulness Guide for Survival, which offers advice on how to address issues such as change, uncertainty and loneliness.
Ruby has been open about her battle with clinical depression over the years, and in 2013 graduated with a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Kellogg College at Oxford University.
Appearing on the Crisis What Crisis? podcast, she told how she ‘lost her mojo’ while struggling with her mental health on television, and admitted it severely bruised her ego to be replaced.
In 2013 she graduated with a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Kellogg College at Oxford University
However, the Girls On Top actress went on to stress that she’s glad her showbiz career came to an end when it did, because she may well have ‘harmed herself’ if she’d ended up on reality TV, which she believes would have been the inevitable next step.
When asked about her decision to distance herself from showbiz, and throw herself into understanding mindfulness and her study of psychotherapy, she said: ‘I was thrown out of it.’
When pushed further, she explained: ‘It was a mutual agreement, I started to hit depression while I was on TV, and that made it really difficult.’
The TV personality, whose last book – And Now For The Good News – came out last year- said her mental health meant her ‘brain was shutting down’ and she could no longer perform in the way she used to.
‘I started to do a daily show and then I did some horror shows and then some sell out game show,’ said Ruby.
‘I couldn’t think of any funny lines, which meant my brain was shutting down and someone had to feed me funny lines through the speaker and panic was setting in.
‘It shows I lost my mojo and coincidentally, I was replaced, and that really tears your insides out because of your ego.’
However, Ruby said she is glad she left showbiz when she did, and believes she could have been ‘eating a cockroach on an island’ by now if she had kept on taking jobs.
The actress, pictured last year, went on to stress that she’s glad her showbiz career came to an end, as she didn’t ‘harm herself’ after ending up in reality TV
She explained: ‘If I was still on TV I would be on wherever you eat a cockroach on an island and probably harmed myself in some way because I’m too smart.
‘I would have caught myself saying “look you loser” because as a woman you’re not allowed to age on TV. I have a different technique, just keep moving forward.’
Ruby went on to call her studies in psychotherapy a ‘life raft’, which she finds far ‘more exciting’ than her life in television.
‘If I was doing it now, it would be a tragedy,’ said Ruby. ‘There would be such unhappiness, I wouldn’t come out of an institution you could visit me in there.
‘I know when there’s a life raft, I jumped on that neuroscience like a mother, and it was totally exciting, more exciting than television.’
Ruby told that there was no ‘epiphany’ which helped her overcome her mental health disorder, and that at some points she didn’t know ‘whether to have a manicure or jump off a cliff’.
Ruby recalled a time her husband Ed Bye, 65, (pictured with Ruby in the 1980s) took her from the Priory in her pyjamas to a course on mindfulness
‘I have depression and I don’t think that’s an illness’, said Ruby. ‘You can’t stop that with therapy, you have it.
‘When I got depression 15 years ago and it was a big one, there was no epiphany, when you have depression you have no mind.
‘That’s why it was a waste of time for me to do therapy, because you’re out of town. You can’t decide whether to have a manicure or jump off a cliff, it’s the same, you have to wait for that to pass, for the devil to leave town.’
It was during this period of depression that Ruby discovered mindfulness and cognitive therapy, recalling a time her husband Ed took her from the Priory in her pyjamas to a course on mindfulness.
‘Ed used to come and pick me up from the Priory,’ said Ruby. ‘And I’d put a coat over my pyjamas and everyone would say “You’re so brave” and he took me to a four week mindfulness course.
‘I got the idea towards the eighth week, there is no miracle but I got the idea and the science became so interesting.’
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