I had never really had the reassurances that my husband wouldn’t cheat. When I met him he had a long term girlfriend and was sleeping with someone else. When he made his moves, I made him resolve his situation(s) before anything could happen between us.
But I never had that blind trust in him.
Things moved quickly, we moved in together after a couple of months, got pregnant, got pregnant again, married. His career took off, I was beyond frazzled looking after two young children and his elderly, unwell mother.
My dad got cancer, my world slowed to a slow spin. Then my mother in law died, then my father died. My grief was complete.
I started a degree and a business, I wanted a way back to myself. Then came the changes, so minute they were not observable to anyone else.
And the whole mask slipped, he lies. All the time. About things that don’t even need lying about.
The day I discovered his affair we were sat outside my child’s school when he got a text to his phone. She loved him, she hoped he was well, as if being at home might mean he wasn’t. He left me sat on the side of the road having a panic attack. Two days later we were in marriage counselling.
We moved, we moved back, we plodded, we argued. And the whole mask slipped, he lies. All the time. About things that don’t even need lying about.
I had an affair, it was wonderful and the worst thing I have ever done. I got to see myself through the eyes of another person as the 40-odd year old woman I am, but it’s a bell that can’t be unrung. And I have now done this to someone else.
Christmas 2019, I had a dream, and was told (in the dream) to look for my husbands work phone – I hadn’t seen this phone for months. I found it, hidden in a coat, locked. It was the same woman (apparently, who knows.) He had a nervous breakdown the week we went into lockdown, threatened to kill himself if I left. I hated him more then than any other time.
He left me sat on the side of the road having a panic attack.
We came out of lockdown and my mum died, swiftly, the cancer felt like an act of utter violence. I gave myself a year.
Now he’s moving out, I have lost my mum and my marriage in 12 months. There is of course tremendous sadness, but there is so much space in my life now for other things. I get to leave the worry behind of what he’s doing and with who, what choices is he making that will decimate me. All along, at every turn it has been my fault, he has gaslighted me for years.
Now it’s all over I don’t feel anger, I don’t feel remorse, I don’t hate him. I’m just glad I get to shed the skin of a life that no longer fitted and I can move forward knowing it’s all behind me.
I was so afraid before, now I don’t fear anything.