Tag: Pride

Journal Entry – 3 months of recovery: Own It!

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Sunday 29th July 2007

It’s over. I have to let it go.

I have to let go of what happened and look at what we can create new, better even. I do actually believe that.

I have come to a lot of conclusions this week, and all in all, since about Wednesday it has been a very difficult week.

I could not get out of my head what Rich had done; why Rich had done it; the deceit.

I know how much I have changed over the last three months…… so much.

When Rich first came back I had written in this journal that he wanted back what we had, and that he wanted the same. But now I know that we can never have that back; ever!

It has gone, died; Rich killed it by what he did.

I am different, stronger, me again. I know that I don’t need Rich for materialistic things, because I could sell up and buy a really nice flat on my own. – But, also that is why I stay. I love him, and ironically, despite what happened, I know that Rich loves me.

But I have also realised that I needed to talk to Rich about the ‘Why?’  Why did he do it? All of it? Tell him how it made and makes me feel. For the first time in my life take the monkey off my back and put it onto someone else’s – Rich’s, because he put it there in the first place.

So on Friday I did that; I told him that we can never have back what we had (I don’t actually want that back anymore. But Rich does because he is distraught at what he has lost.)

I know that really hurt him, but tough!! I never asked to be where I am, and I do feel, at times, that I have been pussy footing around Rich and working so hard to make him feel alright that I have forgotten about me.

Now the time has come to sort me out, no matter how hard Rich finds it.

It helped putting the monkey on his back, a lot!

It upset him but there you go I am upset! And there was a time, not so long ago, when no-body worried about me.

I made Rich talk to me about Grays and why he went to meet her there in the October; I asked why he started seeing ‘Her’ again in February; told him when I thought he was lying, asked him when he thought of me! I know it really upset him, and perhaps part of me was happy he was so upset.

Toni came up from Cornwall this weekend and we went to see Mary. I went out to show Mary Rich’s new car and we were talking. Rich’s face when we came back into the garden – he looked so worried, so alone. I don’t want him to look like that, so I went over and kissed him. But later I started to think about the answers he gave about Grays; and there have been three different versions so far! The one thing I need Rich to be now is honest, as he has lied to me too often and too long. And then that fact gets to me!

When he got home we ended up arguing over it. I ended up really upset about it all – it all came out, if you like. I told him how he wanted to run away from this part of our recovery, wanted to pretend and ignore it; but it is my head all the time, and I can’t ignore it, and he put it there!

Rich got defensive, the worst thing he can do. So I told him it was over, that I can’t do it. Rich needs to make amends for what he has done and not keep being afraid. I gave him back my wedding ring.

One of the things that gets to me is when I am upset Rich just stands there. I used what had happened in Mary’s garden today as a comparison. It should not, cannot be me who does all the consoling and reassuring. Rich fucked it up! Rich has to fix it, not me!

So I told him that was his last chance to have the courage of his convictions and face his fears. I walked away from him, and he came after me. He had my wedding ring on his little finger, and asked me to put it back on.

But I have said it all now; got all of my demons out. Rich has been honest, must still deal with his guilt, and I will help him, if he wants me to. But ultimately it is his problem.

This is a new beginning, a new relationship. I need to let go of what happened because it was in the past and I don’t want it to affect my life anymore.

I always pride myself on being able to get a grip, and I need to now. I need to stand up to the line, have the courage of my convictions and look at what I have now.

I need to practice what I preach.


Reflections 2018

I don’t know if you have ever heard of ‘the monkey on your back’: This is where other people give you their problems which then, in their minds become your problem and not theirs; it is a good analogy in fact I still use that analogy in my life now. I know now that in psychology terms this is actually recognised as ‘transference’ when someone else’s problem suddenly becomes your problem and not theirs. Does anybody recognise this? You try to give someone a solution to a problem they have told you about and they keep putting obstacles in the way?

This entry marks a major turning point  in our recovery: I was right I had to think about me, and ensure that I was alright first, and part of that was giving Rich his monkey back – making him own what he had done, and making him accept that it was his responsibility that we were where we were.

In this journal entry I have started to see how much effort I was putting in: facing up to everything, trying to put solutions into place, whilst Rich just cowered in the corner frightened of what he had done.

There I was carrying the responsibility, working to try and heal us, not saying how bereft and distraught I felt; not challenging the lies he was telling me just so we could survive. So I was right: Rich did have to take responsibility for what he had done, and face his fears, one of which was that he did not like himself, because he had let himself down.

By this time I’d had enough driving myself insane and I had started to feel as if I was clinging onto something that was only making me miserable. I had got to the place where I had nothing to lose; so I gave Rich his monkey back and told him to own it by telling him how I felt, what I needed, challenged his lies, and refused to cower to his defensiveness and anger by giving him my ring back and walking away. I took a chance because I could not stay with it the way it was.

Rich and I got to where we are eleven years later by learning from our mistakes and owning them.

At the time I wrote this entry I had still not fully realised that pride was my deadly sin; and that pride was the thing that was making me keep asking Rich about what had happened; I had to know, I must know! I could not bear the thought that he was still lying to me because I had believed his lies before; and this made me feel as if  I was the one who had let myself down because I had turned a blind eye to the things that were screaming at me that something was wrong; and now to think that Rich was still lying to me directly impacted on my pride.

So I kept asking about the episode in Grays that he told me about when we met in the car park before he came back (The Surrender Part 2….. ) because in my mind this is when it had all started; when they had started to play me for the fool. As I have said things were not adding up, I had heard three different versions already and as we all know when that happens it just makes you ask more and more. You will see later in my story that was still not the truth, and I still don’t know the truth now! The only difference is that I know that I never will so I have made up my own mind about the truth (as always it is a recurring theme in this book) and  I’ve moved on.

This entry does show that after this discussion Rich did face up to his fears, of course or I wouldn’t be writing this now! He started that night by coming after me with my ring on his finger and asking me to put it back on. That told me that Rich had listened to what I had said.

I faced up to my fears: Which was namely that Rich may leave again, and I challenged him in the future whenever I thought he was lying to me and whenever he got defensive. I overcame the fear that he may leave because I realised that that worst had happened he already had once and that I had survived once I could do it again! I had started to find myself again so I started to practice what I preached, I stepped up to the plate and looked after me first.

To understand how we now live happily together in France keep reading there are more stories to come, and more entries to share.

If you think this blog will help someone who is currently going through the madness of infidelity then please share; that is why I am sharing our story.


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Coping Mechanisms – My Saviour – Music

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Driving in the car was one of the hardest things for me; I remember dreading going to my car at night after work, because, as I had said to my sister, “The Demon is waiting for me every time.”

I Imagined it –  sat in the passenger seat, a little green ugly bastard, who was ready to say hello, and then torment me all the way home.

It was when I was alone that The Demon was at it’s strongest; and the car was a  little world where no-one else could intrude, so that was his main domain. The Demon would ask me questions, ‘Why are you having him back? Do you remember when he walked you back from their house and told you were being stupid? And you believed him, even though you knew! You were SO fucking stupid!’https://makingthisbetter.com/2018/10/08/march-2007-the-build-up-to-hostilites-begin/

He would remind me of all the times ‘ she’ and Rich had made a fool of me: of the times  ‘she’ would measure me to show how much taller than me ‘she’ was;and then The Demon would remind me that I fucking let her!  He would remind me of how many times ‘She’ and Rich would stand outside smoking and laughing together, and then he would tell me that they had been laughing about me. All the way home that Demon would run a film of what had happened through my head on a never ending loop.

As I pulled up outside my house it would tell me how people thought I was stupid for having Rich back, for believing him in the past, for feeling sad for him now; reminding me of how ‘she’ and Rich had treated me as if I was a fat silly bitch, and, again, how  I had let them.

I often felt as if it was literally poking me in the head head and asking me if I was listening. It knew to tap into my deadly sin, pride, and I could often feel my blood literally start to boil and hear the beating of my heart because it was so loud and I was so, so angry.

By now  I was buying CD’s like they were going out of fashion, and the songs I chose to play would all relate to what I was going through at that time; and although  I would cry to so many it was my main way of stopping The Demon from getting into my head, it was by all accounts my saviour for a very long time.

There was, and still is, one particular song by the Sugar Babes – ‘Stronger’ – that I played all the time; it is a song that will always mean something to me, no matter where I am in my life; and it can still bring tears to my eyes because I will always be ‘the one who stands here longer than the rest.’

The song resonated with me because I knew one thing for certain, I was strong; and all of the other players in this comedy of errors had made one big mistake: They had underestimated me! That song was the angel in my head reminding me of what I had gained because of what had happened: I had lost myself along the way and now I had got myself back.

‘I’ll make it through the rainy days

I’ll be the one who stands here longer than the rest

When my landscape changes, rearranges
I’ll be stronger than I’ve ever been
No more stillness, more sunlight,
Everything’s gonna be alright’

I also knew that although I was with Rich I was all alone, that was a fact! We had to build something new and what we had right now was simply based on what we used to have, which I knew had to change because it was never going to be enough.

I was alone until I could believe and trust Rich again, and I couldn’t do that until  I was stronger.

I’m all alone and finally
I’m getting stronger
You’ll come to see
Just what I can be
I’m getting stronger

Of course I know, now, that what we were going to have was going to be new, but it was going to be based on what we had learnt from this life changing, mind blowing, excruciatingly heart breaking and painful experience. To do that, as I always say, Rich had to face his fears (that I might leave), he had to step up to the plate and be brave, be sorry, and show it.

I know that there’s gonna be a change
Better find your way out of your fear
If you wanna come with me
Then that’s the way it’s gotta be

In an earlier journal entry  I had written how Rich had sent me a text and called me his ‘beautiful wife’. This was important because he was so afraid to approach me in many ways, even to call me a nickname he had used  before ‘The War’.

Rich had always called me his ‘Beautiful Wife’, in all the time we had been together, and he had me saved in his phone under ‘Beautiful Wifey.’ But when they had been together ‘She’ had found my details in his phone and insisted that he save ‘her’  under a special name in his phone book. When  I found it, (it was Gorgeous Girlfriend) I went fucking ballistic. I told Rich that I just wanted him to save me as Moira in his phone and nothing else (he was still not allowed to call me Mois – See ‘Day Nine – I started to fall out of love with you’ ) https://makingthisbetter.com/2018/10/11/day-nine-wednesday-i-started-to-fall-out-of-love-with-you/ So Rich having a name for me was now also ruined!

For Rich to call me Beautiful Wife in a text was, in a small way, Rich facing one of his fears: He knew that I could have easily told him to fuck off! That it could trigger so much and that he could come home to me waiting for him with my bags packed. But to Rich I was his Beautiful Wife, and he wanted back some of what he had before, so he faced his fears and used the name he had been forbidden to use. Seems like a small thing but it was immense because I knew how brave he had been, and that he had listened; and I listened too.

I also know that ‘Mois’ who wrote this journal did not know any of what I know now, but she still hung on to hope. It is essential, if you don’t have hope then you have nothing and why are you there?

‘Sometimes I feel so down and out
Like emotion that’s been captured in a maze
I had my ups and down
Trials and tribulations
I overcome it day by day
Feeling good and almost powerful
A new me, that’s what I’m looking for’

This song always meant so much (still does) because over time  I could see that I was a different and stronger person when I was not with Rich; I was ‘my own person’ which I would learn was fundamental to our survival  because I could never feel vulnerable again. I still don’t!

I didn’t know what I had to do

I Just knew I was alone

People around me

But they didn’t care

So I searched into my soul

I’m not the type of girl that will let them see her cry

It’s now my style

I’ll get by

See I’m gonna do this for me

‘Stronger Performed by The Sugababes  Written by Jony Rockstar, Marius de Vries and Felix Howard

Get a song….. Not an angry one, one that moves you forward and listen to it when your head is telling you stories.


Coping Mechanisms -The Demon

I Image result for images for goblinsIn the May that Rich returned I went back to work towards the end of the month. I wanted to take on the extra hours and I needed, in my head, to be independent financially from Rich. (See my entry after our first visit to the counsellor together and you will understand why – Counselling – It is he who should be sorry not me! )

But every day I struggled. I was still not eating and permantly had tears in my eyes; O l kept finding myself in the toilet crying; although I could cry in front of any of my colleagues I just did not want to keep putting my misery onto them because they had all been so understanding; they knew that although Rich was back we were on a knife’s edge of surviving.

I felt such a fool, so humiliated, and a voice in my head kept telling me that I should not be here now, sitting at my desk with tears in my eyes, and telling me it was all Rich’s fault. (It was!)

It told me that if I left him now I could have my sense of pride back and people would not be pitying me any more, that I would not cry any more. I started to believe it; I just wanted to stop crying, to not feel a fool, I wanted my self respect back and I believed that all of that was impossible to achieve all the time I stayed with Rich.

Once a week a man from another department, we’ll call him Josh, would come to our offices for his weekly meeting with his boss. He was a lovely, gentle man who had a strong sense of faith in God; and he came in to see me to give me a hug and some moral support for what had happened.

Josh said that I had done the right thing in having Rich back, that trials are sent to test us, to help us become stronger and different people.I told him I was struggling, and I explained that it was as if there was a voice in  my head, a demon, that was constantly whispering to me to  leave Rich, telling me what a bastard he was, how he didn’t deserve me, more than anything reminding me of the fool that they had made of me: how they had laughed at me.

Josh looked at me and said “I am glad that you have called it a demon, because that is exactly what it is: It is evil.

Evil does not want you to be happy, does not want Rich to be happy, it doesn’t want anyone to be happy. It will tell you that if you leave Rich you will feel better because your sense of pride will come back, because you will have distanced yourself from what Rich has done. It will tell you that you will feel better because you are not with Rich anymore and that you will be able to leave the situation behind. But will you?  Will you feel happier? Will you stop crying? Will you get your pride back? Just remember, evil wants to destroy any possibility that you have for happiness, destroy the possibility of anyone else’s happiness, and the only true possibility for happiness is to stay with Rich and try.”

And this is where my strong personality came into it’s own: I thought about it, about what Josh had said and I knew that it was true. If I left I would not feel any happier than I did now; I would still be broken hearted and so would Rich. Tom’s life would be affected, as would everyone who was supporting us. What was I going to achieve by leaving? Just more devastation! I could move away from Rich, sell our house and walk away but I also knew that I would be consumed with bitterness for what Rich had done to us, and that over time that bitterness would destroy me; whether Rich was with me or not.

I was not prepared to let that happen to me; I did not want to become a vindictive vicious person who trusted nobody. I was not going to let that bitch do that to me.

After my conversation with Josh, when the voice started to whisper in my brain, I would imagine it as a green evil, imp like demon. Something that just wanted to cause mischief, hurt and pain; I knew  we had all been through enough of that already and I could see what it was trying to do, it was clear it was lying to me. Now getting this demon under control was hard, trust me it was so hard, but visualising the demon to whom the voice belonged  helped me tell it to ‘FUCK OFF’. I would literally shout it out loud when I was in the car.

My advice to anyone going through this now: get a coping mechanism for that voice in your head; and be careful who you talk to because they may (just may) want you to fail and will enhance that voice and it’s message. It’s your voice take control of it! Imagine it as what you like but don’t let it beat you.

What happened to us all those years ago led me to read many psychiatry books, ‘Counselling for Toads’ being the first  (for those Wind in the Willows fans – careful you will never look at the in the same way again!) I know now that the demon was in fact what psychiatrists now refer to as the left hand side of your brain. Byron Katie gives an explanation in her book: ‘Loving What Is’:

“perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: That the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth.”

In the same book there is a  quote from Michael Gassaniga:

It is like ‘having what amounts to a spin doctor in the left brain…’

For me over the years I have learnt that it is in fact your ego, which most times in life is your worst enemy.

So call it what you like, a demon (it still is to me but only as a memory now because mine died years ago!) a spin doctor, whatever; I can tell you now that yours is going to run riot if you are in the situation that I was in at that time. So my advice is get a coping mechanism and don’t let that bastard beat you!

Stay Strong, be in control even though it is hard.

It was the first coping mechanism that I put into place because of his advice and  I know if I had not listened to him Rich and I would not be here today. We have a lot to thank that man for.

As always I hope this helps, and if you know someone it might help then please, share it with them.


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Counselling – It is he who should be sorry not me!

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The day after Rich got back I called the counsellor to tell her and ask if I could my next appointment so that we could  attend the counselling sessions together. But the Counsellor said that she couldn’t see us both together until she had seen Rich on his own first. I couldn’t believe it! Why? What right did Rich have to anything? Surely this was about me, about what Rich had done to me, and how he could make it right. What a fucking cheek that he was being given any help when he deserved everything that he got!

But the counsellor was insistent so I reluctantly booked Rich in to see her the following week. Neither of us were back at work so I booked Rich in for an afternoon session.

When Rich went to the session I was on tenterhooks all the time Rich was gone. What would he say to her about me? Would he slag me off and laugh about me as he had done in the past? Was he going to talk about ‘her’ and how much he still loved ‘her’? After all he wouldn’t say a word against ‘her’, despite the fact that ‘she’ had now started to call his work trying to contact him.

When Rich got back I immediately asked him what they had talked about; Rich said that the Counselor had told him that he was not allowed to tell me what had been discussed, or anything that he had said; that were  things that he didn’t want to tell me or feel comfortable telling me. What the Fuck! Here I was, I had been lied to for months, I had been made a fool of, Rich had sided with someone else against me, he had talked about me and laughed at me with someone else, and now he was telling me that there were things that he still did not want to tell me. So what the fuck had he come back for? What was the point of it all if there were still going to be secrets between us, more lying, more covering up? Why, if Rich wanted me back could he tell the counsellor and not tell me?

At that moment in time I realised that I needed to seriously consider my position and whether I really wanted to be here; I started to realise that what we had was goneand  it wasn’t coming back. In fact I did not know if Rich was worth swallowing my pride for any more, I already felt as if I was choking! It pissed me off that instead of being really honest Rich had now gone to MY counsellor and talked about me behind my back again.  I was starting to really dislike this man that had come back and questioned whether I was making a massive fucking mistake, and wasn’t it just going to be easier to walk away?

I think that Rich could see the thoughts going through my head and knew that I was on the verge of getting out of the hellhole he had dragged me into; so he said that one of the things that they discussed was that he did not want a joint bank account anymore; that he thought that I only wanted him for the money that he brought into the house. I was shocked, because I thought that we would just be what we were, and more and more it was becoming clear that we would never be that again, in fact, it made me question if we were ever what I thought we were in the first place.

What could I say? I had to agree, he had set up his own bank acccount by now and it was clear that he no longer wanted to share one with me. I was so hurt that he had thought that I only wanted him for the money that he was brining into the house, when I had loved him so much; he seemed to forget all the times I had worked hard and done overtime; he seemed to forget that it was he that wanted me to work part-time. I wondered if he understood me at all.

The following week when we went to the counsellor together  I felt alienated because  Rich and the counsellor had a secret that I did not know aboumt and that they did not want to share it with me; pretty much like the last year really!! I didn’t feel that I could trust the counsellor because I felt as if she was on Rich’s side;  I just started to cry.

The counsellor asked Rich to tell me what he had told her, the things he was frightened to say to me. I could not understand why Rich was frightened of me! Why Rich got to tell me about what was upsetting him, what about all the pain he had put me through? What about my pain?!

So Rich proceeded to tell me how he thought that I was only with him for the money that he brought in every month, the money to pay the mortgage and pay for renovations, that I only wanted the house and not him. He brought up the fact that I only worked twenty hours a week and that I did not want to work more hours than that, and about how this put so much pressure on him. He said that he felt  that I did not listen when it came to the house.

I felt like ‘this Rich’ who had come back had never really liked me in the first place. Here he was saying all the things that had made him want to leave and I just felt ganged up on and alone. I remembered when Rich had told me that he had been falling out of love with me since the previous year, and now he was sitting here saying all these things. I didn’t understand because Rich was the one who had always told me that he wanted to take care of me, Rich was the one who moaned if I worked extra hours at work, why did he do all of that he if thought that I should work more hours, bring more money into the house?

But it was when Rich then told me that he felt guilt towards ‘her’ for leaving ‘her’, abandoning ‘her’ in the rented property; and that he was upset that he had let ‘her’ down, that my world started to reel. Rich had just sat there and slagged me off, he hadn’t given a fucking shit about me or Tom and now he was telling me that he felt sorry for ‘her’!

Rich went on to try and explain that he felt as if, because of his actions,  he had destroyed two people’s lives nowand that it was all his fault. Finally something that was his fucking fault, I am surprised that he didn’t try and blame that on me as well! I was literally gob smacked!! How could he have feelings for her equal to the ones that he supposedly had for me? How could he not see just what a manipulative cow ‘she’ had been? Checking his phone all the time, deleting texts I had sent, lying to Rich and telling him that I had told ‘her’ I had an affair just to turn Rich against me? But no! Rich telling me all of the things that he did not like about me, that had made him leave, but not seeing anything wrong in ‘her’.

I thought that when he came back Rich would just be so sorry, just want to make things up to me, as he always had done in the past, but it seemed as if this was not the case; that he thought that it had all been my fault!

By the time I left the counsellors office I was crying so much I could not drive so we just sat in the car,  Rich in a terrified silence, whilst I just sat and sobbed.

I couldn’t do it,  I could not have him back! So I turned to Rich and told him I couldn’t do it, and gave him  back my wedding and engagement ring. I meant it, I was worth more than this.

For the first time since Rich had come back he  started to sob, big, heart wrenching, struggling for  breath sobs. He was holding onto my rings so tightly they cut into his hand.  As I sat and watched him I knew he was in pain, and yes, I felt glad that he was finally showing the pain that I had been feeling for the past seven weeks. Cry me a fucking river!

But as I looked at him, a crying a wreck in front of me, I knew that I could not break up with him; although I still felt such anger, I still loved him and I knew I had to try, I knew that if we were going to survive it would be me that took us through.

I drove us up to the Downs where you could see the sea stretching out into infinity; it was quiet, and we just sat in the car in a stunned silence. There is something about looking out to see, the infinity of sea and sky that enables you to understand that  you are just a blot on this world, a tiny little pinprick, and all the things that you think are important don’t mean anything at all compared to that vast expanse in front of you

It made me realise that we should try an overcome our problems, because you only get one life and I had to give it my best so that if I walked away in the future I would know that I did all that I could.

So I asked Rich to just talk to me, that I would listen and would not interupt.  Rich asked me not to leave, to wear my rings, he just kept saying how sorry he was. I said how I just felt as if I did not know him that I did not know if I even liked him anymore. But I told him that for what we had in the past I knew that I had to try, and that was all I could do, try.

Over the coming months the ‘Down’s would become somewhere that would become a sanctuary for us both, together and separately. It helped to ground me when I looked out at that expanse of ocean and sky, it helped me to bring my thoughts under control.

That night Rich went to work  for the first time in weeks, and the next day as he lay in bed my head went into overdrive; I had not realised at this time that  the thing it  was a  ‘demon’ in my head that was whispering to me and that this was just the start of a long, long conversation  that would go on for years to come. It was telling me not to stay, telling me I was better than this, telling me I would be so happy if I just let Rich go. I was in turmoil, going over and over what Rich had said, that he clearly still had some feelings for ‘her’ and I was struggling. I have to admit that at that moment in time the main thing that kept me there was that I was not going to let ‘her’ win.

I called the counsellor to make another appointment to attend a session on my own, and she had said that in actual fact she was just about to call me. She explained that she felt that she needed to see me on my own because she did not think that the previous session had been good for me and that she had not fully understood what a strong personality I had! So I went to see her that afternoon; I did not leave a note for Rich to tell him where I was, I hadn’t known where he was for three fucking weeks so now he could sweat for an afternooon. If he thought that I was always going to leave him before then that would be nothing to what he would feel now!

It was the start of the turmoil I would find myself in for nearly a year to come where one minute I was so, so angry with him I would want to punch him the face and  the next I could be calm and rational; understanding that I was the key that was going to keep us together. But I was insane so I would do things like let him think I had left him, leave him to worry and wonder where I was. It was revenge, pure and simple.

At the session with the counsellorshe advised me to  consider if staying with Rich was going to be the right decision for me, because she thought that I was going to move on without him; she explained that I clearly had such a strong personality that she was unsure if I would be able to stay. But this triggered something in me and   I came away realising that pride was my deadly sin, and I was fucked if I was going to let it beat me!!

You told me you love me
Why did you leave me all alone
Now you tell me you need me
When you call me on the phone
Girl, I refuse
You must have me confused with some other guy
The bridges were burned
Now it’s your turn, to cry
Cry me a river
Cry me a river
Cry me a river – Justin Tiberlake
Songwriters: Scott Storch / Timothy Mosley / Justin Timberlake


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Day one – (Tuesday) War is declared…

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Tuesday 10th April 2007

I couldn’t believe Rich didn’t come back; Den came back to the house without him and told me how he had tried to persuade Rich to come back but said that Rich was too afraid to face me;  then ‘She’ had walked past them and Rich had followed ‘Her’.

I couldn’t believe that Rich had not come back to comfort me,  I went down to the seafront to see if I could see him. I did not believe for one minute that Rich would have gone with ‘Her’ and had convinced myself that he would have been so distraught, because he loved me so much, that he might have tried to commit suicide because he thought he had lost me. I really thought that he had thrown himself in the sea because he was so upset!

I must have looked like a mad woman, walking up and down the seafront calling for Rich. I just didn’t believe he would throw it all away. I came back to the house in the hope that he would be there, but he wasn’t so I called his mobile a hundred times, but it just went to voicemail; I left messages in them I begged him to come home, told him we could work it out; but he never answered and he never called me back.

By five in the morning I was so afraid that he had done something stupid, I called the police. When they arrived I could see the pity in their eyes, here was this overweight woman, with a bloated tear stained face whose husband had clearly been playing away behind her back. They looked at me with sadness (they must have seen it so many times before)  and said that there was nothing they could do; Rich had chosen to leave and that they did not think he was missing.

I’ll never forget the look in their eyes, even now I can see them standing there, two young men who look so sad that they cannot help me; because they are seeing something that they must see over and over again, people destroying each others lives.

I didn’t sleep all night. I looked out at the debris from the BBQ, sausages and burgers burnt to a crisp, paper napkins strewn across the garden, plates and serviettes piled high; I could not bring myself to go out there, to go into my own garden.

I was going mad with not knowing where Rich was, not knowing if he was with ‘Her’, not understanding how my life had gone from holding hands with my husband yesterday morning  to him being with someone else today.

I needed to make sense of it but didn’t know who I could turn to, the people that Rich and I relied on, since moving to the coast four years before, had been each other; and now he wasn’t here!

I went across to a friend Della’s house, and just broke down in tears for me. She hugged me and said that she would go out in her car and look for Rich; she could not believe that Rich had done what he had done, did not believe that he would go off with ‘Her’.  She said ’She’ was no comparison to me and surely Rich knew that!

Della drove all around the town but could not find him. I could see that she just did not know what to do to help me; she just stood in front of me not knowing what to say; the pain that I felt at that time was so palpable that others could actually feel it.

I went back to my house in turmoil, I had no idea what to say to Tom who seemed to be swinging between anger and denial at what Rich had done. So I did the only thing I could do and I started to load the dishwasher; it was a simple, normal thing to do in the world of madness I had now been thrown into.

At ten o clock Rich called me from ‘Her’ mobile. He said that did not have his mobile with him, that it had been on silent which is why I hadn’t heard it ringing; and I realised that I had not heard his phone for weeks now, it had clearly been on silent for weeks, if not months now to ensure that I did not know when she had been texting him.

I could not believe that he was with ‘Her’, I asked him what he was doing, was he with her (a stupid question when he had called from her phone, but I just didn’t want to believe it.) He said that he was with her and coming to pick up his stuff. My heart came into my mouth, I could feel it beating so hard that I thought it would burst; I felt physically sick.  I couldn’t believe what he was saying, why was he coming to pick up his stuff? I asked him what did he mean and Rich said that he was leaving with ‘Her’.

I started to cry, and Rich  hung up on me, he did not want to discuss it. I hated that they were both together, laughing about me, the stupid fat lump who could not see what was in front of her eyes. I hated them for it, but most of all I hated myself for it, for what I had allowed myself to become, someone so caught up in love that they could not see how vulnerable they had become.

When Rich came to the house he knocked on the door, he did not use his key. When I opened the door he would not look at me and he was cold towards me, I didn’t recognise this man, he was not the kind and loving  man that I had just spent the last nine years of my life with.

I was crying as  I begged and pleaded with him to stay, but he would not listen, he started to cry and said that because of what he had done he knew that I would do it back to him, that I had told him that at the Halloween party ( The Background story – Making a new life and there are clouds on the horizon…) and that he would not be able to bear me being with someone else, that he was so afraid of that. Oh the irony!! I just looked at him in disbelief, he was telling me that he was going to leave because he could not bear the thought of me doing to him what he had done to me!!

I was so fucking angry that I just flew at him, and punched the shit out of him, I just kept punching and punching, and Rich let me.

I rang Rich’s  mum and she asked him to think about what he was doing, he was crying but just kept saying that he had to leave, that he couldn’t stay.

He went upstairs and I heard him moving about packing some things. When he came down the stairs he told me that he was meeting ‘Her’ in the park and leaving with ‘Her’. I asked him why and he said because  it was best to go with her than stay with me waiting for me to get my revenge.

I heard myself begging, promising that I wouldn’t make him pay, promising him anything; and then I suddenly heard myself, begging, and I stopped. I wasn’t going to do this; I was worth more than this, I was not going to beg. I was pleased that I he had the start of a black eye, good he could look ugly when he met ‘Her’.

Rich was sitting in the chair, crying; Snowy the dog jumped on his lap, as if to say ‘please stay, please don’t do this’ but he pushed him off, and made his way to the door. He looked at me and I said “just go; I am not begging you to stay”, and I walked away from him and went upstairs.

I really thought at that point Rich would stay, that he would come after me and say it was all a terrible mistake; So I couldn’t believe it when I heard the door close and his car start up, heard his car pull away.What the fuck had happened?! How did we go from being so happy to this? How could it be the end; the end of something so beautiful?

I stood there in shock, and something within me told me to get it together, I had to survive for me and for Tom. It was as if a fire had been lit and little did I know then, but I was getting back the person that I used to be before my mum died, and that the fire inside me would never be put out again.

I called my friend Toni in Cornwall, she had always been there for me when I needed her; she couldn’t believe it, said that it couldn’t be happening and that she would come straight away, drive through the night if she had to and be with me the next day.

Tom rang my sister, who I had not spoken to for six years, and she was immediately there for me, told me to go to her in Essex, but I knew that there was something I had to do first:I had a shower and washed my hair! Made sure I looked my best …. for me.

I checked our bank account on line and could see that Rich had already drawn out his daily limit of two hundred pounds; I was so angry, I knew then that he didn’t give a shit about us, and now he was taking our money! And I knew for Tom and I to survive I needed to fight back  and the only way we would do that was for me to stay strong and to move fast.

I went to the bank and opened my own bank account, I then went home and transferred all our savings that we had saved for our holiday from our savings account into it.  We had  our joint current account and I transferred all of the money from that into it as well. Rich had only been paid the Friday before and virtually all of his salary was in the joint account that we had together, so I knew that they were well and truly fucked because Rich had no control over my account in just my name that I had opened.

I then called the bank’s general line and told them that we had split up and could they freeze the joint account.  Tom and I needed money to survive and it wasn’t going to happen on a part time secretary’s salary! And that was it done! I had left Rich or ‘Her’  without any money.

How I kept it together whilst I sat in that bank I don’t know. I never let it show that anything was wrong, or that I was upset in any way, I knew what I had to do, and that kept me going.

Whilst I was in town I realised that I could not wear my wedding or engagement ring anymore, so I bought myself a commitment ring, a huge cubic zirconia, a commitment to Tom and I, because this was all I had now. All the time my eyes were brimming with tears.

I also called Rich’s car insurance and told them that he didn’t live at our address anymore; they said that it made his insurance null and void if they did not have an address for him, and that it would be cancelled straight away. I hoped that they had a fucking  accident! The lady on the phone must have had something similar happen to her because she said ‘let’s cancel the insurance, let’s make him pay!’

My friend from work, Sherri, called and said that all of the girls in the office were worried about me, what could she do? I was just crying and talking gibberish and she said  that she would come to my house that evening. I asked if she could come the next day as my sister had told me to go to her for the night.

I went upstairs to our bedroom, and looked at the bed; I felt as if I was in a nightmare that I was going to wake up from if I tried hard enough, but I couldn’t make it happen because what was happening to me was real. I went out onto the balcony and looked down at the empty space where Rich’s car had been parked and reality hit me like a wave, he was gone, he wasn’t coming back.

I changed the bedding, I could not bear to lie in a bed where Rich had lay with me, all the time making a fool of me. Only this time the tears brimmed over and I could not stop them I sobbed, and sobbed, great big howling sobs, I was gulping for air because I could not stop crying for long enough to be able to take a breath.

‘Her’ partner, came over, said that ‘He’ had put a trace on their phones and ‘He’ knew that they had been to the shopping outlet nearby and been shopping, that they were somewhere in a nearbye seaside town.

When her partner  left I just sat there in a state of shock; shopping was one of ‘Her’ favourite pastimes, ‘She’ loved the shopping centre near to us, went there at least twice a week; and now ‘She’ was there with my husband. My husband was shopping with another woman, how could that be?

Tom went to his friend’s house, I don’t think that he could bear to be in the house, it felt so sad, in fact there was just a stunned silence in the air.

I could feel the strength throbbing through my veins, actually hear it pounding in my ears.  I knew that I had to survive, so I got into my car and drove to Essex to be with my sister, and sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed whilst I drove the car down the motorway. I didn’t care who saw me; as I sat in the queue for the Dartford crossing I knew that people were staring at me, let them stare, my fucking heart was broken.

When I got to my sisters the first thing she did was hug me, even though I had not seen her for six years; whilst I just sobbed in her arms.

Rich’s sister called my mobile;  she was crying and saying that she could not believe Rich had done this, saying that she would call me the next day, come down to see me to make sure that I was alright. I was grateful that she had called, I hoped that if Rich saw how upset she was it  might make him see sense.

My sister asked me to go through what had happened, tell her about our life over the last six years. She said that she was surprised that Rich had left me, because she always thought that it would be me who left Rich.

But when I explained to her that I worked part-time whilst Rich worked every hour he could; that in the past two months he had worked for eighteen days without a break, all different shifts, sometimes finishing work at six in the morning, coming home and going to bed, and then going back to work at ten at night, she looked at me and said “Who are you? Princess Fucking Tippy Toes?! You need to get off your arse and go back to work full-time! No wonder ‘She’ was able to use things against you!!” And  I knew at that moment that she was right.

My sister and her partner gave me some wine, and some “paracetamol” for the headache that was competing with the pounding in my heart; it felt as if they were trying  to see which one of them could cause me the most pain. I knew it had been caused by the floods of tears that I had cried since the night before, and took it gratefully. But in fact it wasn’t paracetamol my sister had given me something to knock me out and help me sleep.  I had not slept in nearly forty eight hours; and my sister knew that I was going to need all my strength to get through this.

I woke up at one o clock in the morning; I could hear my mobile phone bleeping, alerting me that there had been a missed call and when I checked it  was from an unknown number. I knew it had to be Rich because I could not forget the look on his face when he knew I had found out. I knew that despite the way he was behaving he was heartbroken; I can honestly say that I could feel his pain. But I could not face calling his mobile  only for him to ignore it, because, although I knew in my heart of hearts it was him that had called I could not face that humiliation again. I told myself that I wanted to believe it was Rich, but to face reality, he had left me, made it clear that he did not love me, so just let it go.

“………People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfil my needs

A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity…………”

The greatest love of all – George Benson

Written by Linda Creed, Michael Masser