Category: Background stories

A background story – I didn’t think you would come…

Heart new love

The courtship 1998 – 1999

I first met Rich when my mum was gravely ill. I was in a nightclub with my friend and she knew Rich; he came over to chat to us and as the night wore on he kept kneeling on the floor and singing to me; I was just ignoring him. I didn’t even know if I fancied him at the time; but I gave him my number and he called me on exactly the night I had asked him to.

When Rich called I explained that I was a single parent and that my mum had cancer and was gravely ill; he seemed to understand and was  really easy to talk to, and although I was still not sure if I fancied him, I agreed to go out with him the following Sunday night. Although I wasn’t sure about the attraction I needed a distraction from all of the pain and sadness that I was going through at the time.

But when the Sunday arrived Rich didn’t phone when he said he would. I was a bit surprised and pissed off really, I thought that he was really keen. So instead I decided to spend some time with my mum and sister; little did I know that it was the last time that I would go out to the pub with my mum, and the last time I would spend quality time with her because she died just weeks after.

A year later virtually to the day  I met Rich again in the same nightclub; it seemed as if it was destined because I was out with the same friend! This time I did find him attractive and  we spent the whole night together kissing and cuddling; and although I refused to give him my number again  Rich called my friend for my number and  rang me the next day. We agreed to go on a date the following week, and on the day of the date Rich called ‘just to check’  that I still wanted to go. I found that really sweet, that he liked me that much he was worried I would not go.

We went to a pub near to where I lived and as we chatted  I asked Rich why he had not called the year before; he said that he felt I had too much going on to take him on as well, and that he was not sure if I really fancied him or not. It urprised me that he had obviously picked up that vibe from me; and I liked that. He made me laugh all night and came back to my house for coffee, and, yes, he stayed. But now, looking back, he could not perform he was so nervous.

By now I had left my career because there had been so much shit in my life over the last year: my dear dad having had numerous strokes and now in a care home, and my beloved mum dying wihtin months of my dad’s first stroke; life had been really hard for all of us.  I knew that I  needed to spend more time with Tom, my son from a previous marriage,  so I took the redundancy that was being offered from a job I had been working in since my teens, and it seemed that so much had changed in my life in such a short space of time.

From our first date I felt that Rich would never let me down. I needed someone who would be there for me and support me. I was sick of trying to support myself and Tom, sick of all of the crap that had happened in my life; so when I met Rich I found what was a kind, caring man, who obviously really liked me. I was very careful who I introduced to Tom,  but I  knew that this time I wanted to introduce Rich to him, it all just felt so right.

Tom loved Rich’s fun loving ways and the fact that he liked computer games; and Rich and I became inseparable with Rich staying most nights and going to work from my house. Within weeks  we  had decided  that we wanted to live together, and Rich moved in six weeks after our first date. We were engaged four months later. “All I want is my ring on your finger” he said. “I love you so much.”

And I loved him too, so much….

What have you done to me
I can’t eat, I cannot sleep
And I’m not the same anymore, no, no
I don’t know what to do
‘Cause all of me wants all of you
Do I stand alone at the shore
Now once I could turn away
From everything I feel today
But now I wanna walk through your door

But I’ve got to know, oh, body and soul
That you’ve got no doubt, inside and out

Body and soul, soul Written by Rick Knowles and Ellen Shipley Performed by Anita Baker


A background story – You need to be careful….

holding hands

Building our idyllic life. 2000 – 2007

My mum had died a year before Rich and I became a couple and I had given up my career of nearly twenty years to spend time with Tom, who was seven at the time; death and illness tend to be the biggest lessons that life sends us – reminding us that material things are not everything – if only we would all listen sometimes.

Despite the fact that Rich was a courier and on a low wage , or that I did not work, we worked so well together as a team.

We had been living in my home that I had from my previous marriage, but now that I had married Rich I had to sell it as part of the divorce settlement and move into a rental property.  Although we struggled for money, as all people do, we were invincible, we always pulled together.

Rich wanted to support Tom and I; it was important to him to provide for us.  But it was important to me to own my own house again, and to do this I had to return to work. Rich worried that he could not give me what I wanted, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give you your dream” he had once said, but I was not prepared to give up; six months after we married I went back to work full-time in a very stressful job, and Rich got a different more reliable and stable job in a factory where he worked so hard there that he was promoted and taught to drive fork lift trucks, enabling him to earn more money.

We both worked hard to save our deposit and get our feet back on the property ladder. It was only thanks to a close friend of my mum’s that we were able to achieve this because she allowed us to buy her house at a lower price than market value, and live in it rent free for five months to help us save; and I will always be grateful to her.

In 2001 I  changed my job, and worked closely with my boss James; there was only he and I in a small office and because of this I would talk about him often when I came home. I can remember my friend saying  “You need to be careful you talk about James a lot”.

“It’s only because I work so closely with him” I said.

“Yes, but you sing his praises all the time, and you are making Rich feel insecure.” She said.

I laughed. “Don’t be stupid, I love Rich, he knows that.” I said. And I did love Rich more than I could ever say. What I didn’t realise was that Rich couldn’t believe that.


How do I get through one night without you
If I had to live without you
What kinda life would that be
Oh I need you in my arms, need you to hold
You are my world, my heart, my soul

If you ever leave
Baby you would take away
Everything good in my life
And tell me now

How do I live without you?
I want to know
How do I breathe without you?
If you ever go

Songwriters: Diane Warren

How Do I Live lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Realsongs

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Remembering Past Conversations

puzzle pieces of the brain

When I decided to write about our experiences it was to help others; I have lost my mum and my dad, good friends and colleagues to death but I can honestly say that I never in all those times, felt pain like I felt at this time. It has been proven now that people who experience infidelity in their lives can often suffer from a form of PTSD for a long while afterwards.

I also know from the research I have undertaken that one of the things that the person who has been betrayed (and yes, they have been betrayed) struggle with is putting the pieces of the jig saw together and understanding. At first this is because we are so fucking angry that we cannot understand anything, there is nothing to understand right?! The people that we love(d) have hurt us in a way we would never have imagined and it is all their fault, there are no circumstances that should have led them to where they were and that’s it!

Then there is the fact that we would not have done it to them – aint we lucky!?

This is a memory from before ‘The War’ just after I had received her text directly to my home phone in the March, when Rich had returned from work the next morning after she had tried to cause trouble. When we had sat opposite each other at our breakfast bar and Rich had looked me in the eye and said ‘Did I really think that he would cheat on me with anyone let alone someone like ‘Her’, he actually said “because she is no comparison to you.”

Here is what else he said. He told me that he never thought that he would keep me. He had never understood why I was with him, that I was so pretty, so clever, too good to be with him.

Rich explained then that every day when he came home from work he would expect me to not be there anymore; for me to have packed up mine and Tom’s things and gone. He told me how he noticed other men look at me when we went out and that he knew in his heart of hearts that one day one of them would take me off of him. When I asked him how long he had felt like this he said “ever since we met.”

I was shocked and just could not understand why he would think this, I loved him so much. Everything I did was for him, we had an idyllic life ..

Well I know now that leading up to the war I did have an idyllic life, but Rich was terrified all the time, through nothing I had done, just because of the wonderful story telling spin doctor in his head.

I have written this little piece because of questions others have asked and to help you start to understand.


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Happiness and contentment

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In the three years since we had lived in our beautiful house we had worked so hard on it, putting a new kitchen and bathroom in, decorating every room, including our beautiful bedroom that went across the whole width of the house, where you could step out on the balcony.

As usual Rich and I had worked hard, by now I had changed my jobs and started to work part-time, the rest of the time I worked late into the evening renovating the house whilst Rich was at work. That is what we did, we supported each other and if Rich was working hard then so did I.

Rich wanted me to work part-time, he wanted to be the main breadwinner and support me and I loved the fact that he did. I would often be asked at work why I did not pursue a career because of the skills that I had, but I was happy and said that I didn’t want that any more, I just wanted to support Rich in his career.

When Rich had finished work we would sit in our snug in the evening, singing Donny Hathaway songs to each other.

We loved our new life, with the sea on our doorstep. We loved to shop together, and wander around the pretty little medieval streets of Canterbury, Rich would find me beautiful things to wear and encourage me to buy clothes because he loved to see me dress up. When we were going somewhere special I would try on different outfits and he would choose which one he wanted me to wear. I remember he cried once when I came down the stairs in a black dress, and said how beautiful I looked and he could not believe I was married to him. He always made me feel so special, so good.

(I have to say now ‘Fuck Me’ I had lost my fucking brain!!)

Sometimes we could not believe how lucky we were, to live where we lived and to love each other so much. We always held hands, everywhere we went, I would even rub his back in the supermarket as we shopped.

We were contented, and as time went by we put weight on, as people who are contented do, but we were so happy it did not matter to us.

Our house was finished, we had worked so hard on it, I had worked hard on it. I remember telling a friend at work that I wanted to put it into a magazine, I was so proud of it.

Yes Rich was working long hours to pay for the repairs and decorations but I knew that he loved it as much as I did. We worked together as a team.

Life was good.


You were meant for me
No one else could come between this love, I know
Cause I’ll never let you go

You and me…it seems
Never have a problem we can’t overcome
Cause you’ll always be the one

Never thought I’d be so happy
Loving you has made feel so fine
I can see my friends turn green with envy
Every time I tell them, I’m so glad you’re mine

‘You were meant for me’ performed by Donny Hathaway Written by William James Peterkin • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc



The Background Story – The Build Up to Hostilties – April 2007

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April 2007

It was one of the days that I didn’t work so ‘She’ came round to ‘have a coffee and a chat.’ ‘She’ asked if Rich was at work and if it was okay for her friend to drop ‘Her’ little girl off to her at my house after picking her little girl up from school.

When ‘Her’ friend arrived ‘She’ asked if ‘She’ could show her friend around the house, and how I had designed and decorated it. I went with them and when ‘She’ got to our bedroom ‘Her’ friend exclaimed how lovely it was, ‘She’ said “Yes, I know, I cannot wait until it is mine.”

I looked at ‘Her’ questioningly and ‘She’ quickly said “I mean, until mine is like this because I am going to copy it.”

After they left I found myself checking my bed for blonde hair, I was starting to go insane because at that point I had started to question myself as to whether I was listening to all of the warning signs.

But then I told myself I was being stupid! Convinced myself I was imaging things.




March 2007 – The Build up to Hostilites begin

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March 2007 

It was Saturday night and Rich was on a night shift.  I was watching T.V.  in the living room, half asleep, when Tom came down and said  “Mum, there’s a weird message on our phone”

I listened to the message it was a text message and I could hear my blood start to pound in my ears as I listened to the robotic voice say “Been thinking about you all day today, can’t stop. I can’t wait to be with you, I want you so much.”

I sat up, Tom was looking at me. “What does it mean mum?”

I lied and said “Probably the wrong number.” But after he left the room I redialled and listened again. Then I checked the number, it was “Her” number. I called Rich, “Why is ‘She’ sending text messages to our landline that say that she wants you?” I asked.

I could hear the panic in his voice. “What? I don’t know! What does it say?”

“I told you to be careful of her, I told you she could cause us damage.” I said. “Is there something going on between you?”

“No darling, there is nothing going on. I don’t know why she sent a message to our house. I have said before that I think we should stop having anything to do with them.”

Rich had suggested that we stop spending time with them, but then ‘She’ would come over for something and Rich would change his mind.

Ten minutes later my phone rang, it was ‘Her’.

“I’m so sorry, I think I sent a text to your landline number by mistake. It was meant to go to this man that I have been seeing. Please don’t tell my partner as I have been doing it  behind ‘His’ back. Please don’t tell ‘Him’ will you?”

My gut told me not to believe ‘Her’so I was cool to ‘Her’ and told ‘her’ to “just forget it”

Later that night ‘She’ knocked at the door, she was pissed, she kept saying how ‘sorry ‘She’ was. I told ‘Her’ to just go home; but I didn’t sleep that night.

When Rich got home the next morning I was up waiting for him. I said how I had warned him that ‘She’ was unhappy and dangerous to be around. We both agreed that we did not want to spend time with them anymore.

We sat at the breakfast bar in our beautiful kitchen and Rich stroked my hand and looked me in the eyes and said “Seriously darling, do you really think that I am going to risk all that we have for someone like ‘Her’? I would never risk losing you I love you so much.”

I believed him. I wanted to.

The following week ‘She’ invited us to their house for a meal to celebrate my birthday from the previous January; because they had not been available to come out for the celebrattions, and to say how sorry ‘She’ was for the text ‘She’ had sent.  Rich said it would look rude if we did not go.

As per ususal ‘She’  kept topping up my glass with wine, I never managed to finish a glass before ‘She’ poured some more. As the evening wore on ‘She’ and Rich went outside for a cigarette, as they always did, and I saw ‘Her’ reach out and stroke him, it was how she touched him, and I knew! I knew!!

I lost  my temper and accused them of having an affair but  they cried me down, telling me I was imagining it. Although I had  accused them of seeing each other, they both denied it and her partner just stood there watching, he did not seem bothered and I thought that it must be me.

Rich took me home, and told me I was imagining things, that I had acted like an idiot and then returned their house without me.

I was in my pyjamas, wandering around the house like a mad woman, muttering to myself that they were trying to make a fool of me, I clearly remember shouting at the poor dog, “They think I am some sort of stupid cunt, but I know”. . I went back over to their house; I was in my pyjamas and dressing gown and  I must have looked like an insane woman as I crossed the road, I was convinced that I was going to catch them out.

But when I burst through the door all three of them were sitting there having coffee. ‘She’ was holding court, as ‘She’ had all evening, saying how ‘She’ had lost weight, how ‘She’ measured us all  to see who was the shortest, me!

But I looked like even more of a fool, standing there in my nightclothes, as they all sat together drinking coffee and it just reinforced the idea that I was imagining it. But now I know I should have gone with my gut!!


Knew the signs
Wasn’t right
I was stupid for a while
Swept away by you
And now I feel like a fool
So confused,
My heart’s bruised
Was I ever loved by you?

Out of reach, so far
I never had your heart
Out of reach
Couldn’t see
We were never
Meant to be

Catch myself
From despair
I could drown
If I stay here
Keeping busy everyday
I know I will be OK

Out of Reach by Gabrielle Songwriters: Jonathan Shorten / Louisa Bobb

The Background story – Making a new life and there are clouds on the horizon…

clouds on the horizon

2005 – 2006

Over time we got to know all of the neighbours and we would occasionally go out with the couple who lived near to us.

I had been warned by other women to be careful of ‘Her’, because she always seemed to be after somebody’s husband or partner. I was not worried because I knew that Rich loved me so much, I was safe, we were safe.

From looking at ‘Her’  it came across to me that ‘She’ was the type of woman that flirtedwith every man because ‘She’ had to know that every man fancied ‘Her’ believing that ‘She’ could get one over on any other woman especially the wife!

But I knew that Rich, loved me so much.  I had never had anyone love me as much as Rich, and I knew that he would never stray…. Or I thought I knew…..

We started to go out with them often, and would go to parties at their house where ‘She’ and Rich would go outside together for a cigarette. Despite my confidence in Rich I did warn him to be careful of ‘Her’, because it was clear that she fancied him. Rich just shrugged off the idea that ‘She’ liked him, and said that I had nothing to worry about as nobody could take him away from me; and I believed him.

In the June of 2006 our boiler went wrong, we came home from the beach one evening and there was water everywhere. ‘She’ offered for us to use their shower whilst we were waiting for the part to fix it. We were conscious of not intruding on their hospitality and went over there separately to shower; I can remember now how Rich was gone a lot longer than I was; and even then I had my doubts; I should have listened.

In the July of 2006 we went to their house for a drink. ‘She’ was not there but when ‘Her’ partner told ‘her’ we had come over when he called ‘Her’  ‘She’ rushed home and went upstairs to get changed. When ‘She’ came downstairs ‘she’ was dressed in silky pyjamas. ‘There nice pyjamas, are they new?” Rich said.

I look back now and can see so much.

There were other times when alarm bells rang:

At a party at their house in the July of 2006,  and I was talking in the kitchen and came outside to see ‘Her’ dragging Rich onto the makeshift dancefloor that had been  set up in the garden, I went over and pulled Rich away; I was angry with Rich because  we had talked about  ‘Her’ behaviour towards Rich only that morning, and how it was clear that she fancied him. Rich had just laughed, but it hurt me that he had agreed to dance with her. Alarm bells were ringing, and I wasn’t listening.

I trusted Rich. Didn’t I?

For our wedding anniversary, Rich bought me a red glass heart, the card with it said to take care of it because it held his love for me. Little did I know how fragile that love really was.

We often had parties at our house and planned a big party for Halloween in 2006. But by this time I had started to grow uneasy about Rich and ‘Her’. They seemed to be having more and more smoking time outside, leaving me with ‘Her’ partner. ‘She’ seemed to be more and more competitive towards me, she lost weight and would suggest that our heights were measured because she was at least two inches taller than me. I had let myself go, weighed well over fifteen stone, and had started to feel insecure about my looks.

On the day of our party Rich and I  had a serious talk about ‘Her’ behaviour and how she was making me feel. I asked Rich to be careful of ‘Her’, that I thought she was trying to cause trouble between us. He just laughed and said that I had nothing to worry about. He had bought me a new dress to wear at the party, with a pair of black leather calf length boots so that I could dress up as a glamorous witch.

But on the night of the party she arrived dressed as a black cat, with shorts on and black cat ears.   As the party wore on I could not find Rich anywhere eventually finding him  sitting on the sofa, with her sitting on his lap. I had drunk so much I went mad, and pulled her off. When I look back now I wished I had punched her as well!

I told Rich that if I ever found out that he was cheating on me I would do it back to him tenfold and I would always have my revenge. I stormed out of the party; but Rich did not come after me, which he had always done in the past, in the pit of my stomach I knew that we needed to get out of our relationship with ‘Them.’

By now my gut was screaming at me, and I was ignoring it! What had happened to me?


gut feelings