This post took me forever to write – it is a well edited ramble of the crap that has whirred through my head the last 6 months. Friends and family have heard it a million times so I needed to dump and organize these thoughts onto paper so they are free from my mind. I can’t afford a therapist and I’m sick of these thoughts. I also wanted to write about my experiences to hopefully help others in a similar situation – even it is just to inspire them not to be bitter. Bitterness is a heavy load that I don’t want to carry. So, if my friends are reading this and I ever mention my ex and what he did again – just tell me to ‘shut the fuck up!” (in the nicest possible way of course). I’m getting on with my life……..
I hated being pregnant. I was exhausted, I was grumpy and I mourned my old life where I could do what I want when I wanted and I could play sport or get drunk and have fun with my husband, who was my best friend. Suddenly, we went from doing everything together to hardly anything. Instead of staying in and adapting with me, he found other people to do the things we did as couple. My moodiness was not all the time but occasional, although was exacerbated by a husband who wouldn’t adapt with me. But we had sweet times too, or so I remember and I genuinely thought my husband understood the burdens of pregnancy. My change was temporary. There was an end and a goal that we both wanted in sight. Apparently not. By the time I was 6 months pregnant I could feel him slipping away and distance himself from me. I swept it under the carpet, telling myself that all couples like us must go through the same and that pregnancy and being parents naturally changes a relationship.
It is six months on from separating from my husband after finding out about his affair and he still tells me that it was partly my fault and that it is ridiculous to just blame pregnancy in order to absolve me of any blame. But yes, it does. Try it. Before I had been pregnant, I don’t think I understood the burdens of pregnancy or how vulnerable you are or fragile in the early days of motherhood, where I most definitely had the baby blues. The hormones & anxiety coupled with sleep deprivation and the physical exertion of pushing a human being out of my body was overwhelming. I was not myself. Yet, he still doesn’t understand. He has said he waited for the old me to come back: what a joke – 3 weeks after watching me give birth he jumped into bed with another woman.
But I suppose it’s easier to blame his short comings on me than admit to himself what an arse-hole he was to his partner of ten years, his wife, his best friend and mother of his child. What I will take the blame for is not talking about our fears and worries. I just told him to stop moaning as I was doing all the hard work. Although, would talking have helped? I used to tell him I felt lonely and seemingly he didn’t care. And I was doing all the hard work – he should have just grown a pair, played the long game and honoured his vows.
But there was more to it than my change in pregnancy. He was shitting himself. And I knew it. He thought his life was over. No more freedom, no more amazing holidays. He didn’t understand the long game of parenthood and thought that my change was permanent. He went out more, I had more anger and hormonal outbursts due to loneliness and so we both grew to resent each other. I didn’t like him much at this point but love is stronger than like and I figured we’d get through it once the baby came and the initial hard early days were through. We’d been together for 10 years and everyone said adjusting to a baby was hard. But how wrong I was. It just goes to show that unless you talk things through you can never know what really goes on in someone’s head. He totally did and emotional runner from our relationship and couldn’t even persevere for our amazing past, our potential future, our family and his own flesh and blood. He used to tell me he was the ‘King of manning- up’. What a joke. And then whilst drunk or hungover he made some very stupid and shortsighted choices….
6 months on and we are civil for our wonderful daughter’s sake but it has been a rollercoaster ride getting to this point. I know he regrets his actions every day. I know this because he tells me. He’s not a bad person just flawed and weak. He also tells me that he knows he should have been stronger when times were tough and recognizes that my change was temporary. He also tells me he is not that happy and now our daughter is growing more wonderful he misses her and regrets it more as he wonders what could have been. He has also told me that he is not over me yet and seeing me twice a week when he collects our daughter leaves him in bits. I know he still loves me and I him. We have a beautiful daughter together. You cannot switch off 10 years in 6 months. But it’s not the right kind of love and that rage I feel will always be between us. It will die down but what he did will always be there. The betrayal is huge and he is right that I would never really trust him again. And sometimes love is not enough. You have to like and respect the person you are with too.
Maybe he is just telling me what I want to hear. They’re just words. It doesn’t change anything and we both know it. I could never be with someone that weak and selfish having had to be so strong for myself and to raise our baby single-handedly. Ultimately, I have my wonderful daughter everyday and her love and joy is pure. She makes me happy and I still have love in my life.
In the mean time he is in a relationship with the person he had the affair with. My ex is very persuasive and could persuade you that black was white. I have no doubt from the beginning he has convinced himself and his immediate family that he loves this girl and therefore couldn’t stay in his marriage. As if it’s beyond his control. Love conquers all. So what? I’m sure he does love this girl now. He has put all his eggs in one basket and has little else and I know he doesn’t feel for her what he once felt for me. However, loving this girl doesn’t make him any less of an arsehole for what he did to me and by proxy his daughter by not giving her the stable family she deserves. And it certainly doesn’t make her any less of a home-wrecking bitch. Hopefully, he can redeem himself by being the Dad he claims he wants to be and our wonderful daughter can make him a better man.
From my experience 6 months on, my biggest advice to anyone in a similar situation would be to take your time in a divorce of this nature. I rushed into making decisions when I was still in shock and adjusting to motherhood. Before I knew it, I had thrown out my husband and had put our house on the market. 6 months on it’s sold, I live in a lovely rented cottage and now we are discussing divorce papers. I only consulted solicitors a week ago and I finally felt fully equipped with knowledge to go forward so that my daughter and I are not ripped off. It also helped to wait to so that I was in the right emotional place where by discussions with my ex were just that and not blazing rows which get us no where.
I have also always thought it important to strike a balance between what is moral and what is legal. I need to be true to my nature and if I had listened to solicitors, some friends and my Dad I would be taking my ex to the cleaners in spousal and child maintenance. This is where I would also advise taking your time. Don’t make a rash decision in bitterness unless you are financially insecure, to shaft the other party. In my eyes, he is part of my life through my daughter for at least the next 18 years and so I don’t want further bitterness because I dragged our divorce out over hot coals in the courts. He is a good Dad, albeit part time and I can see the love for him in our daughter’s eyes when we are together. I will never bad mouth him to her or come between that love. She is too important to me. I suppose I am also fortunate that I am a professional with a well paid job and so is he, so the maintenance I receive will be more than adequate and that is even before the spilt of monies for the house. I’m sure others are not as fortunate. And I’m sure divorce is never easy, even if the ending of the relationship is mutual and not in such terrible circumstances as mine, whether solicitors get involved or an agreement is made amicably.
Discovering my husband’s affair when I was feeling so vulnerable as a new mum was totally devastating and it has hardened me. I suppose the strength I have had to find raising our daughter almost single handedly is not always positive and I have also not enjoyed not feeling myself in that respect. So, 6 months on I finally feel a sense of peace and relief that things are tied up and our futures are sorted financially. And my future in other matters – well, who knows….I’m enjoying getting my mojo back and attempting dating……Hopefully, there is someone out there who can soften my edges again. I wonder how many more adventures on my list I can tick off and how many more I can add. It’s only been 6 months. The world is my daughter and mine’s oyster!