WHEN Hambleden couple Andrew Wallas and Anna Pasternak met in September 2010, they didn’t realise they had found the intimate
WHEN Hambleden couple Andrew Wallas and Anna Pasternak met in September 2010, they didn’t realise they had found the intimate relationship they had both long been searching for.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years and a marriage that has involved laughter and anger in equal measure, they have decided to share the secret of what makes them tick in a book.
The couple believe the brutal honesty they showcase is what makes Call Off The Search the best guide available to finding fulfilment in a relationship.
Mr Wallas, 56, said: “The book is about relationships and truth. It’s about a new model of psychological and spiritual valuation.
“Principally it recommends more truth in relationships, which will lead to more honesty with yourself and with each other.”
Ms Pasternak, 45, said: “We all have hopes and dreams but if they aren’t realised we give up on our dreams. We’re trying to tell the reader to have the courage to hold out for their dream.”
The couple, who both had failed marriages, first crossed paths in a “romantic and explosive” meeting.
Ms Pasternak, who used to live in Fawley with her nine-year-old daughter, was then writing a national newspaper column charting her divorce and her troubles finding a man.
She admits she was at a low point in her life and had taken a number of self-help courses before she talked to Mr Wallas, a psychic counsellor who now runs courses at Hotel du Vin in Henley and from his practice in Hambleden.
A mutual friend had told Ms Pasternak he was the only person who could help her and they soon struck up a bond that has been burning strongly ever since.
Ms Pasternak, who exposed Princess Diana’s affair with James Hewitt in 1994 in her bestselling book Princess in Love said: “After 25 years of self-development I had never come across someone who was so effective in making me realise how heartbroken I was.”
Mr Wallas, who has three grown-up children, said: “Through our journey we discovered a deep connection and sense of love neither of us had experienced before.
“I went to Bali soon after but made this call to her. We hadn’t been on a first date or held hands yet and I said to her I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her — and that’s what I’m going to do. It threw up a number of issues we hadn’t been expecting. We’ve been working through that and in that process we decided to write a book about our journey.”
The couple wrote about their experiences as they happened and they admitted there were times that blazing rows almost resulted in the project being shelved.
Ms Pasternak said: “The week we wrote the chapter on sabotage, we had the most wonderful morning writing and then had a blazing row. I shouted at Andrew that I did not want to write a book ‘with such a selfish bastard’ and we did not write another word for three weeks.”
On another occasion, Ms Pasternak tells us how she came within moments of ending the relationship altogether — but not immediately, as many might expect.
She explained: “Last summer, we were staying in Italy. We had the most wonderful day writing and it had been totally blissful. The following morning we had a row. I stormed off to the pool, got in and said to myself, ‘If he doesn’t get in with me I will leave him. Not now, but in 15 years’ time when he’s happy and I will tell him it’s because he didn’t get in that pool all those years ago’.”
A dual narrative means the reader is able to empathise with both sides of the relationship. Ms Pasternak said: “Having two voices, a man and a woman, makes it really explosive and honest. The reader can identify with both perceptions.”
Mr Wallas added: “What we’re writing about is the optimum way to achieve a partnership in a modern relationship. We laugh a lot together and we cry a lot. We’re working through problems in that way. It leads to more laughter, joy and intimacy. We’re not holding ourselves up as experts in any way. It’s our experience and we’ve written about it to help other couples.”
Call Off The Search is published by Cadogan and available in hardback at £16.99. The Bell Street Bookshop in Henley will be selling signed copies from Monday.