I never really took much notice of the phrase ‘being blindsided’, there wasn’t a reason for this, other than I suppose I must have thought it wasn’t something that would affect me. When it happened to me I only put that phrase and my situation together after reading Rosie’s article in Red Magazine. I was about 2 or 3 months into something that I never thought would be a part of my life. After 28 years of marriage and children, my very best friend and the person I trusted and admired the most, waited until midnight on New Year’s Eve, as I turned and said happy new year, he said I want a divorce I don’t love you anymore, I want out. We’d been out for the evening, just the two of us, we’d probably talked about the house we had started doing building work on, I know we went into a bar and we both said it would be a great place to go back to.
He wouldn’t discuss in any detail, didn’t want to seek help, work it through – he’d gone.
We started work on the house ourselves over the summer months. Working together to save money, planning together because that’s what we did, talking about the ‘new place’ and the annoying builder! The builder had only begun in November, there had been opportunities then that my ex could have taken to stop, alter or change direction so we weren’t getting into such a big build. He must have known (he did know I learned later) that just over a month later when Big Ben struck he would deliver that news. The upshot of that was me moving back into not much more than a shell, no heating working, no hot water no flooring, in fact there wasn’t much at all, not what we’d planned!
He convinced me, although I think I went along with the story as away of self protection, that we had both decided it was for the best.
I was devastated all through the night and the day on New Year’s Day. When we sat down the next day, all I wanted to do was talk it through, but he didn’t. He’d been planning for weeks, he told me he’d gone into work and done a pros and cons list. He wouldn’t discuss in any detail, didn’t want to seek help, work it through – he’d gone. His manner was beyond belief from then on, I can’t really describe it, other than to say it felt like he had removed any part of himself that could feel hurt, regret or even a sense of what had just happened. It was like he’d just announced he was moving in an elderly relative but everything was going to be fine. He convinced me, although I think I went along with the story as away of self protection, that we had both decided it was for the best. I was frozen with shock and fear. I thought this was going to work out, we would work it out. I tried to talk to him, said this is not what I want but he’d gone and left and just wanted to get the loose ends tied up before he went on his way.
Within a couple of months he was seeing a work colleague, very quickly living with her and her young children, so I guess that wasn’t just two people who found themselves in a similar situation and got together. Although that’s his line for our grown up daughters.
It’s just over 2 years and although writing this is upsetting, I’m so far from that place back then. Still scared about the future but stronger and positive.
Look, we had some issues, some were long standing ones that we’d never fully addressed but had got hidden under life and flared up on occasions. But that said, we were such good friends and there was so much trust. To best describe it I would say, look if my ex husband had turned to me at midnight and said, instead, happy new year, but we need to sort out our issues or our marriage might not make it. That wouldn’t have surprised me at all. It wasn’t perfect I knew that. In fact that’s more or less what I said after wishing him happy new year!
Now I’m right in the middle of sorting the money bit. I feel weak again, a bit useless as I fight to get my fair bit. I stayed at home bringing the kids up, part time here and there. He has a six figure salary and climbing! We’re trying to come up with the agreement ourselves but it’s proving tricky!
It all makes me feel small again but I’m not back where it started. I am much further on. Hopefully beyond this bit is the end and a better future.
That’s my story, thanks for listening.