It's a wife, Liam, but not as we know it

Marrrying a rock star is one thing. Keeping him is another. Perhaps Patsy needs a few tips, says Emma Cook

Whether or not Patsy and Liam are married by now - at time of going to press it was still a ubiquitous definitely maybe - Ms Kensit's destiny as Mrs Gallagher is pretty much assured, in fact it's a dead cert. At this stage in the media game, the "when's" and "where's" are now being replaced by the "why's" and "if-so, for-how-longs?" that will presumably plague them for the rest of their marriage.

So far, Kensit's track record with rock stars has been volatile to say the least. Her first marriage to Dan Donovan, keyboard player for Big Audio Dynamite, lasted only 12 weeks while hubby number two, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, made the three year mark. As Patsy tries a third time she rejoins a legion of rock wives who defend their marriages with military- style vigilance.

Pop stars may view themselves as creative rebels, convention flouters in every sense, but domestically they're anything but. The marital dynamics of the rock couple couldn't be more traditional - a fact that rock wives can't help but reflect. For further evidence, look at the strategies this possessive breed employs. Time will tell which style Patsy will model as her own.

It maybe the Jerry Hall "whore-in-the-bedroom" strategy. Though in the light of Mick's many liaisons, this hasn't been a 100 per cent success. Still, after Mick's fling with Carla Bruni in Thailand, chirpy Jerry refused to take the episode seriously and soon afterwards advised: "Even if you only have a couple of seconds, drop everything and give him some sexual satisfaction. That way he won't want sex with anyone else."

Dr Andrew Evans, arts and media psychologist, relates an anecdote told to him by one libidinous rock guitarist who warned, "Never let a one night stand squeeze the pimples on your back. I did and my wife took one look and was furious - it's something she always likes to do herself and she knew immediately that I'd slept with someone else". Evans explains: "It's extremely territorial behaviour - like chimps picking gnats out of each other's fur. But a bit of healthy threatening has been to known to be successful."

If Patsy feels this is all a bit low on the evolutionary scale, she could always try the Rachel Hunter "doe-eyed-doormat" method, which appears to involve a great deal of gooey sycophancy. "You'll never find me in the gym. A husband always helps. It does put a certain glow on a woman's face", she coos about Rod Stewart, some 24 years her senior. "He's still my number one beauty secret ... If Rod needs me I'll tend to him."

Sharon Osbourne, married to rock beast Ozzy for 14 years, has also played the doormat card to great effect. She says, "When we married it was a tough time. Oz was doing a lot of drink and drugs. He tried to strangle me. But I married for keeps. I'm not a quitter. I don't give up". Her reward? Now Oz is off the drink and drugs and says, "Yes, I've cheated several times. But now I love Sharon more every day and I'm not unfaithful anymore". What more could a rock wife hope for?

Perhaps a partner who's so blind drunk he's physically incapable of sleeping with other women. For Victoria Clarke, girlfriend of Shane MacGowan for a decade, this must have been one of the very few compensations when she adopted the "Whatever-it-takes-to-tame-him" philosophy; the rock wives' mantra. She says, "He didn't want to get involved. I thought, well you are going to get involved. And he did. When he finally took his clothes off he had on a pair of red nylon Y-fronts that he'd probably been wearing for about six months. Some girls just manage to have all the fun, don't they?"

Except for the very few - notably Courtney Love who has always been by far the least traditional and most talented rock wife around - it's hard to see why these women fight so hard for so little. The reality is, most rock wives resign themselves to living in their husband's shadows; content to play second fiddle as a model-actress-whatever. As Patsy prepares for marital harmony, it's extremely unlikely she'll break the mould. As much as she probably dreams of emulating the Linda McCartney lo-fi "We're- just-normal-people" approach, it's far more likely she'll qualify for entry to the Paula Yates "instant-pop-star-replacement" school of courtship; the logic being, when one rock star lets you down, simply catch another. Judging by Patsy's track record, she's only just started.

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