Everyone knows that marriage is not for those who do not want to deal with things that are emotionally and mentally demanding. Marriage means having to face ups and downs, twists and turns, and unexpected discoveries that might be too hard to handle. While most couples successfully find a way to work it out, others choose to break up for good.
But this man’s story turned out to be a unique case. Instead of confronting the issue, he decided to run away and live in the woods for FIVE long years.
Malcolm Applegate was your ordinary gardener from Birmingham, England. His life would later turn upside down when he made news headlines for escaping to the forest just to get away from his nagging wife.
Malcolm Applegate: British Man Lives in Forest for Five Years Just to Get Away from Nagging Wife
Malcolm Applegate married his wife thirteen years ago. Like most marriages, things started out smoothly. But when Applegate started to immerse himself in his work, she became so controlling that one day, he decided to just pack his bags and leave.
“I was married to her for three years, but unfortunately it got too much,” Applegate said. “For three years it was all right, we got on with one another and the gardening got too much for her. I just upped and left, I got fed up with her because we used to get so many arguments.”
Unlike most folks who would seek shelter at a friend’s or another family member’s house while waiting for the divorce to be finalized, Applegate decided to simply disappear.
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To be fair, Applegate only changed his mind when things started to go awry. He had initially planned to ride his bike to London. But while making a stop in Oxford, bike thieves got hold of his only means of transportation, and everything went downhill from there.
Applegate finally decided to settle in a wooded area near Kingston, a town that lies southwest to London. He camped in the forest throughout the nights that followed, working on gardens during the day as a means of livelihood.
“There were three of us camping,” Malcolm recently wrote. “They were just camping around with me because at the time I was working in the center and we used to go there for a wash and a shower. No one knew we were there. It’s not well known—nobody would go in there.”
The days then turned into months and the months into years. Before he knew it, Applegate had been camping in the woods for five long years since the day he ran away from his wife. He just contacted his worried family to let them know that he was doing fine.
One day, Applegate finally emerged from hiding. He moved into Emmaus Greenwich, a shelter for homeless people to live, work, and rebuild their lives. Applegate had been living at the center for the past five years.
As for his relationship with his wife, there seems to be no bad blood between the two.
“It had been a decade years since I’d last seen her, and in that time she had been to all of the Salvation Army hostels in the south trying to find me,” Malcolm said. “I think she assumed I was dead. I wrote her a letter once I was settled in Greenwich, and she phoned me up, in floods of tears. We now have a great relationship again.”
With his life back on track—and not to mention a roof over his head—it looks like everything worked out for Malcolm Applegate in the end.