18 months on – Light at the end of the tunnel

Receiving a comment on my last post inspired me to write an update. I know not many people will read this but those who have read my few posts my find it helpful; there is light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. It’s been almost 18 months since my last post and my life has changed dramatically since then. Since then I have experienced the worst time of my life and the most hopeful.

Anyone who read my posts and suspected another woman was involved: you were right. It’s the age-old shitty story of the husband having an affair and the wife refusing to listen to what her gut is screaming at her, “HE’S HAVING AN AFFAIR! FFS WOMAN, LISTEN TO ME!” But like thousands of woman before me, I didn’t listen. I didn’t confront this awful truth until it became so obvious that it was impossible to ignore. I went to the house where he was staying and confronted them. They immediately admitted they were together, and had been for three years! The horrific knowledge of this was a low point in my life. He had been having an affair from about six months after we got married, through a whole year of actively trying for our baby, through my pregnancy, and while I lay dying, with two-thirds of blood pouring out of me, during an emergency c-section, he had been thinking about (and shagging) someone else. This is why I stopped posting. I was completely crushed, devastated, humiliated and embarrassed. I couldn’t face anyone. I stayed off work for eight weeks.

Since then, life dealing with that scumbag has been difficult. There are so many things I’ve dealt with but I feel they deserve their own post. Things like; child maintenance, him letting us down last minute all the time, him refusing to have his son overnight because he cries, taking me to court because I wouldn’t agree to this, seeing him get looked at like a complete idiot in court and trying not to let him walk all over us and treat his son like he is some toy or possession.

However, since the absolute low of discovering who he really is, my life has changed and improved dramatically. The changes started as soon as I went back to work. I went back part-time. Three days a week was a big relief, that was the first thing I was thankful for. Through the hardship of not having him around for chunks at a time and having to do everything myself I have definitely become a stronger person. I don’t rely on anyone except myself.

This September I will not be returning to the classroom. As it turned out even three days was too difficult to manage as a single mother. I’m planning on re-training in another field. I can’t wait to learn something new and once again feel like life is full of opportunities. I’ve lost weight, I eat better, I sleep better, I exercise and I’m a good mum. I put us first.

I’m no longer trying to support two children.

When I think that I could still be with that low-life with dreams of a nice holiday every three years, working my arse off to support him and putting up with his shit I vomit a bit in my mouth. Instead, I intend to expand my mind, my life and my opportunities. I’m out to get what I can and experience new things.

The world is my oyster. The possibilities are endless. I’m excited about my unplanned future.

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Becoming a single mum

It has been three weeks since my husband left. My son turned one just over a month ago and my husband walked out shortly after. I was shocked.

I couldn’t understand how a man I had laughed with, cried with and grown up with could suddenly leave me stranded with a child. And think it was ok! The day after he left the baby developed a chest infection. Hello two weeks of no sleep. So, as a working mother (a secondary school teacher) I was having no sleep, then getting up and getting us both ready for work/nursery, doing a full day in work, cooking tea, doing the bedtime routine, then working some more and preparing everything for the next day before getting to bed myself. Get up at 6.30 (5.30 on a bad day) and do it all again.

In my time of need I turned to the internet to see if there were other mothers in my situation and I was shocked by the sheer volume of posts from new mums who had been left by their husbands. I really think there is something imprinted in men’s DNA that tells them: once you have fathered a healthy child it’s time to move on. Obviously there are men who deal with this better than others, but for those if us who are married to cavemen it comes as a complete shock. Husbands who have shared everything with us, had completely modern attitudes to marriage and relationships, suddenly can’t cope. There is no way of identifying these duds before the event. We have been together for thirteen years and I never suspected he would abandon me with child.

When I spoke to a male colleague in work about us struggling he asked me, “How old is the baby?” When I told him he said “Yes, men get itchy feet about that time. They’re scared of what the rest of their life will be like.”

I recently asked my husband if he had put himself in my shoes and considered how I was coping, to which he replied “No, you seem alright. The baby is happy.” At this moment he was very lucky I did not have a sharp object handy to impale him with! I never knew until now I had married such a selfish toad! “Of course the baby is happy because I would never put my needs before his like you are doing now!”

And so, it’s laugh or cry. Count your blessings or wallow in despair. I choose the former of the two. Yesterday I fed, washed and played with the baby as well as washed the dishes, hoovered and polished, put a wash in and showered and washed my hair, all before 9 am. In the words of Katy Perry “I went from zero to my own hero”.

Mums are superheroes.