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British man says he lived in woods, hid for 10 years to escape 'controlling' wife

'My life is officially back on track'
Posted at 8:59 AM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-17 10:29:45-04

A British man took a drastic step to escape what he called a "controlling" marriage.

Malcolm Applegate, 62, said he decided to pack up and go missing for 10 years.

The Birmingham, U.K. native wrote about his story this month in a blog post for Emmaus Greenwich, a charitable organization that helps Britain's homeless population.

Applegate said he was a gardener for 25 years and that he loved his work but that his life "became increasingly unsettled" after he got married.

"The more work I took on, the angrier my wife got – she didn’t like me being out of the house for long periods of time," Applegate wrote. "The controlling behaviour started to get out of hand and she demanded that I cut my hours."

He said after trying to stay in the marriage for "a long time," he decided to leave and live in the woods without telling anyone. Applegate said he camped in a wooded area for about five years, while working as a gardener at a home for senior citizens.

A person in a similar situation suggested Applegate look into Emmaus Greenwich, which took him in and has been his home ever since.

During his hiding, Applegate said he lost contact with his sister, who "assumed [he] was dead." He said he has since reconnected with her "in floods of tears" and that they "have a great relationship again."

According to Yahoo, there's been no word from his estranged wife since Applegate came forward with his story.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.