When I left my first husband, I got custody of the dog and the car (with loan attached).
It was a mistake, two individuals who had nothing in common, and as it turned out, he’d asked me out on a dare anyway.
I was so hurt at failing, my confidence took a nose dive, but I had the support of friends and family so I dealt with it to the extent that we were civil when we met at the local divorced and separated group some months later. I even offered to buy him a drink and for him to join us, but he left early.
When Hubby and I bought our first house in 1990, he lived in the next road, but we didn’t know that. He remarried the same year as us, and has a child, though I’m not sure if it’s a boy or girl as it inherited his curly blond hair. I wish him well.
The relationship that followed was the breaking, and making, of me.
I learnt a lot in those 8 years, made a lot of mistakes and realised that what I thought I had was a far cry from the truth. It just took me a while to find out.
I suffered what was termed ‘acute reactive depression’, and in short I went to pieces.
But in those six months, I saw my real self, and didn’t like it much. With my boss and GP in my corner until I could turn to family, I rebuilt my life, my expectations of it, and decided I was not where I wanted to be or even like the guy I was living with.
In previous years I had toyed with the idea of leaving, but had nowhere to go and he would always manage to reverse my resolve and question myself.
After my breakdown, everything was laid bare, and it wasn’t just me who saw things as they really were. He lost a lot of friends over those months.
The day I left started as a normal day for everyone. Dad, Bro and a friend arrived with the van at 10 am and loaded me up. I cleaned the house, prepared the evening meal, wrote letters of explanation and gave the keys to partner’s mother who lived opposite. She was somewhat confused as to what was going on and wanted to know who would look after the kids. Says it all really, especially as that was the first thing the ex-wife asked when he took them up for the weekend. (He assumed I’d gone to my parents and rang them to speak with me. Dad said I wasn’t there, but he’d pass on a message. I rang him back and got the full sob story.)
I have never regretted moving out, never questioned my actions, and never asked myself ‘If Only…….’ as I know in my heart I had tried everything to make that relationship work.
Every silver lining has a cloud, and my cloud was the relationship. My silver linings were fostering and meeting my best friend whose husband, MOH, kept in touch after she died in 2000.
As for him?
He was surprised, but even more so when he got no sympathy from ‘his mates’ when he went up the pub as usual that night. They all knew I was leaving and no-one had said a word.