Maybe a little of this?
I thought so.
That's what I've always believed it meant as well.
I've checked every dictionary, online and otherwise, and nowhere was it defined as involving one party who, having previously escaped the confines of the marital home, now turns up sporadically and avoids anything that smacks remotely of responsibility. (Oh, alright...he pays all the bills and buys all the food. Sue me.)
And nowhere in the etymology of 'relationship' does it mention one party announcing at one o'clock on Saturday afternoon 'I'm going to the pub to watch the football' (which, I might add, kicked off at half past five)........
...AND ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE did it give even a vague description of the aforementioned party ringing up ten hours later and saying:
'I'm outside the door. It's p*****g down. I'm soaked...and I wanna come 'ome.'
(No, of course I didn't open the door. What do you think I am? A Desparate Housewife?)
In his defence, he was rather sheepish when he arrived on Sunday.
Did that make me think twice about laying my cards on the table?
'Buck your ideas up, mate, or it'll be ME in the Mare and Foal on Friday night.......
........INTERVIEWING FOR YOUR REPLACEMENT!'
Well, obviously, I'm not going to. Not when every moral and religious fibre of my being screams otherwise.
But.....we don't need to tell him that, do we?
And, judging by the change in his behaviour today......I think I may have been just convincing enough.
Oh....one more thing. If I ever do decide to ignore every moral and religious fibre screaming at me, the Mare and Foal is the last place I'd look for a replacement.
Believe me, compared to most of its regulars, the Father of This Lot emerges as a cross between Saint Anthony and George Clooney.
And that's another sentence I thought I'd never type.