I am currently reading your book and I can’t put it down. Your story is mine. The words and phrases you use, it’s like me speaking.
He changed almost overnight into a person I didn’t even recognise
My husband and I were University sweethearts, then, after 26 years, 2 kids, a great life, holidays, friends etc he changed almost overnight into a person I didn’t even recognise. He decided I wasn’t ambitious enough (I had a good job) and was too focused on my family and friends. He didn’t feel like that when I took charge of the home and kids whilst he climbed the corporate ladder and completed god knows how many marathons/triathlons/ironman. He was never happy or content with the here and now. He was always striving for something else yet I stood beside him supporting him in all he endeavoured to achieve. This involved many mornings of waking up alone as he was up early training or being sat on the sofa in the evening and him being fast asleep as he was holding down a demanding job plus training for these events. Something had to give and it turns out it was our marriage. When Beverley Turner speaks about her marriage, there are aspects I can relate to in regards to a husband who just wants to achieve and your relationship being put way down the list of his priorities. I don’t think my husband will ever be content or satisfied.
Our Relate counsellor said to me towards the end that he was on a path that he is not going to veer off
He changed beyond recognition over a period of 6 months. It’s like he had a breakdown. He wasn’t the man I married. He was detached, aggressive, mean. I couldn’t understand where my husband had gone. I must have said a thousand time I just want my husband back but he’d already left the marriage. If I said black, he said white, he picked at my parenting decisions when previously he hadn’t been bothered. He literally tore away at my self-esteem over that period and I believe he wanted out of the marriage although he proclaimed he wanted it to work, but by turning into a person I couldn’t accept, in his mind the split was mutual. It wasn’t. He had obviously decided somebody like his work colleague was more appealing as it transpired very soon after our split that he was seeing her.
We went to relate but that was fruitless, I came out crying every week and he just seemed to get colder and more detached, not just from me but from the kids too. I remember our 10 year saying why is daddy so mean to me all the time. Our relate counsellor said to me towards the end that he was on a path that he is not going to veer off. Week after week I dragged myself into work, looked after the kids, begged for us to make it work. He just carried on as normal started staying away the odd night. He even left me sobbing on the bed on a few occasions and went out on his own to social gatherings which we both should have gone to, lying to people saying i was ill. I just couldn’t believe he could act so normal when we were falling apart.
We finally reached the point of no return 5 weeks before Christmas. He said we had to get through it for the kids and tell them afterwards. I said I can’t do that and he said well I can so you’ll have to.
There’s a back story to this, he had actually slept with someone whilst away with work when our 1st daughter was 2 and caught an STD! Not sure if I would have found out if he hadn’t caught that. He actually left our 2 year old with my parents one random evening and drove to where I was working away and handed me a letter telling me that he’d had a one night stand and I might have an STD. I subsequently left that job as I had to tell my boss why I was abandoning my role which is highly embarrassing and I was distraught. Then I had to drive two hours home in the pitch black crying my eyes out. I’ll never understand why he told me in that way.
I didn’t tell a soul about his indiscretion as he said if we stayed together he didn’t want people knowing. Stupid me ! I had to try and recover from that without the help of anyone to talk to. I never trusted him again as he was always flirtatious when he had been drinking and I always felt he could do it again. We did go on to have a 2nd baby girl who I wouldn’t be without but there’s always that nagging doubt that the ‘I’ll never hurt you again’ speech was just rubbish.
We finally reached the point of no return 5 weeks before Christmas. He said we had to get through it for the kids and tell them afterwards. I said I can’t do that and he said well I can so you’ll have to. It was absolute mental torture. My mum and my friends couldn’t believe he was putting me through that. The thing is though he said he didn’t want to spoil the girls Xmas yet, on Boxing Day, he went to watch a football match instead of coming to my parents house (a long standing tradition) so basically our eldest daughter knew, she had already been saying things to friends. As it turns out we told her on boxing day night so what was the point of all the mental cruelty and farce of a Christmas day !! I almost had a breakdown trying to cope with it all.
After he left I discovered he had already opened a new bank account and his December salary had already been paid into it rather than the joint account. He hadn’t even moved out of the family home and he had moved on. I couldn’t believe the calculating and cold behaviour he was displaying. He became like a robot. 6 days after he moved out he sent a long email as though he was at work with his thoughts on contact for the kids. Utterly unbelievable.
Only months after our split he announced he was dating one of his fellow directors at work and then shortly after that he moved half an hour away from us into a 6 bed house with her and her 4 kids. My children were devastated however he held the view that this is the way it’s going to be so they had to accept it and he truly believed our kids were fine with it. The selfishness and lack of awareness of his own children’s feelings was astounding. He was on a mission and he was going to pursue it regardless of anybody else. He told his family not to make contact with me so I also lost my extended family too. I only have a small family, I now only have my mum and my children so I do get incredibly lonely although I do have wonderful friends. My kids have said that they know that their dad put himself and his girlfriend before them and my youngest daughter is so incredibly clingy to me now that it’s heartbreaking.
Why is it he has moved on immediately and just replaced me with someone else and my whole life as I know it has been ripped apart.
We are now in the throes of a divorce and we don’t really speak as I literally can’t communicate with him anymore. I don’t recognise him as someone I even know let alone loved. I have to face the prospect of my future not being what I envisaged it to be. It makes me feel angry, bitter, frightened and bewildered. Why is it he has moved on immediately and just replaced me with someone else and my whole life as I know it has been ripped apart.
There has been some light, I have been dating someone I met on a train through work. It was a natural, romantic meeting and he is just a breath of fresh air. Funny, caring, attentive. Yet the stresses of my life haven’t helped this relationship.
Nothing however can replace losing that ‘family unit’ and it destroys me to think of my children sitting around the table having dinner with him, her and her kids playing happy families.
It’s a brilliant book and I’m finding it so cathartic. Thank you. x