I married my husband the father to my 2 youngest children in 2007 the day we married I was so very happy and although we had been together over 10yrs I loved him with all my heart even though at times things weren’t easy.

Whilst I was pregnant with our daughter in 1999 I discovered he had a friendship/affair with another woman to be honest it was the start of years of depression I long suspected he was having an affair. I was blissfully happy after our son was born and I was shocked to find myself pregnant before he was a year old, as soon as I was pregnant he started staying out late, being late home from work and generally being secretive. We began to have silent phone-calls which caused me a great deal of stress in the early months of pregnancy they  never happened whilst he was home but happened almost the minute he left the house, back then it wasn’t so easy to trace calls as it is now and BT suggested changing the number. The day the number was changed the phone-calls started again I worked evenings and didn’t arrive home till 1am and he told me that no phonically happened when I was out but yet I had given the new number to no one, so only he could be responsible for the calls. one evening I had my children to the brownies sports night with my elder daughter and pushing the pram with my  son in along the road with my older 2 walking beside me on a lovely summers evening my husband was standing outside where he was working talking to a woman and  as I approach I almost blinked and she was gone, I asked who she was and where she had gone and he made some excuse but I could tell he was lying. over a period of months whilst I was pregnant my partner had me think I was losing my mind and it was all in my head. when we were on holiday and I was 6mths pregnant he kept going to the call box but was very shifty when I found him there and asked who he was calling. Anyway with no firm proof at that time and three small children and a baby on the way  I accepted the situation. The day our daughter was born I was so happy but he was distant and I felt he wanted to be elsewhere I was later to find out he had rang his girlfriend from the hospital to let her know he was a father again.

Life was busy with our children I quickly had to go back to work after my daughters birth even though I had had a c section but money was so tight because gambling was a priority in his life. Our daughters christening day was the day it was confirmed he was/had been having an affair with someone called carol who was a married naval wife I spoke to her the day after the christening and the chat was intersting and made me feel sick to the stomach when she decided to share the details with me. I easily could have thought she was lying but why would I think that? she was basically confirming so many things I already knew. Our daughter at this point was 9mths old and our some just over 2 yrs old so why did I stay? a question I ask myself so often I felt I wouldn’t cope alone or rather he made me believe no one else would have me so I would spend my life alone and that scared me!. After this he was ok for a while and life was normal I was desperately unhappy but in time I just learnt to live with it but I couldn’t forget.

When he asked me to marry him I thought it would prove he loved me I didn’t hesitate in saying yes and I really did love him he was hard working and a good father even if all he ever did is make me feel small and shout at me for anything I did wrong,

We married abroad and I remember feeling incredibly happy and content at that time but I would say I never felt that I trusted him completely, my trust had been broken and because we had never really talked and dealt with it properly I found it difficult to move on. On the night of our wedding my mum looked after the children so we could an evening in the hotel together this was actually the first time since before our two children were born that we had an evening alone, we enjoyed our wedding night as most couples do but the following morning I went to breakfast alone as he refused saying he wasn’t hungry but I had to get up and collect the children from my mother so I sat downstairs drinking coffee with my hair still pinned up and wondering why he wouldn’t even get up and share breakfast with me the day after we vowed to spend the rest of our lives together.

I can’t say our marriage was all bad because it wasn’t but I did spend a lot of time alone and a lot of time feeling unloved, the year after we married we jointly bought a villa in turkey with my brother and his wife, it was agreed that we would spend as much time as possible there whilst the children were small over the years my husband rarely visited the villa but encouraged me to take them alone which I did along with a friend of mine. He then would turn things on me by saying I used the villa more than he did which indeed was true because I took the children alone like a single parent, I told him to take the children alone but he never would. I used to ring him every day and also send many txts in a day but I couldn’t make him happy he would still snipe at me because I was away but having encouraged me to go away I was often confused on what more I could do to please him

I discovered a breast lump and I have to say I was beside myself with worry as any mother would be I had to wait 2 wks for an appointment at the breast clinic but I didn’t get any support I took the children to school and then took myself of to the clinic alone whilst the room was full of husbands supporting their wives. The lump was thought to be suspicious and also the found a second lump that I didn’t know was there so after a scan and a mammogram they performed a needle biopsy on both breasts and told me to go and get a coffee and then come back for the results I was terrified to even ring him as I knew when I rang him at work how much he would shout at me so I chose the just sit there and wait to be called back in. The results of the biopsy were inconclusive and a core biopsy was preformed on both breasts which was incredibly painful and I needed stitches in both sides. The results were going to take 2 wks instead of one because it was over a bank holiday. When I got home I did ring him to let him know how I got on as usual I got very little support from him as he was busy. That night he came in from work jumped straight in the shower and then went straight out to play in a snooker match without even asking if I was ok. inside I felt I was dying from to total lack of love and support he showed me, but I was so worried that I had cancer I couldn’t think straight for the 2 wks awaiting the results which again I went on my own for and thankfully they turned out to be fine! relief was unbelievable

Another occasion was when I was called by the Anthony Nolan trust to say I had been matched to someone who was going to die without my help, I agreed to donate my stem cells which involved 2 trips to London and 5 days worth of injections to cause me to over produce stem cells in my bone marrow. The injections made me quite poorly and on day 4 after the injection was administered by a private nurse I went to London kings college hospital where the cells would be harvested my friend came with me because my husband wouldn’t be able to take time off work to come with me. after 2 days I returned home feeling elated and proud having saved someones life but also very sore and exhausted from the procedure. On the way back he rang to say that our

train  was later than he thought so he couldn’t pick us up as he was playing snooker.

things like this in the last few years became a regular occurance and although I know im not the easiest person to live with I did make an effort I always took care of myself making an effort to look good, keeping the house clean and tidy, working hard, being a good mother and trying to always make sure there was a decent meal on the table for him when he came in from work. Snooker took over his life and he would run in from work shouting often he was late to play and off he went people often saw it as a joke the way he went on.

After our sons arrest I tried so hard to battle depression but it was to much and almost 5 yrs on my depression is still something that dominates my life. initially my husband was as shocked as I was and I think both of us are good parents and we vowed to stand by our son. Looking back my husbands way of coping initially was to shut me out and spend as much time away from me as possible. my way of coping was to shut myself away and often spend hours upon hours crying sometimes screaming in empty rooms when I was alone. I became very insecure not wanting to be alone for any period of time and whilst my son was on bail terrified something would happen to him, my love for him scared me my tears would not stop and I couldn’t sleep for the fears I had. My husband used this time as an excuse to be out of the house even more and I craved him to spend some time with me but no matter how much I screamed and cried he would walk in shower and walk out. If I had been particularly distressed he would promise to return after his match at 10 ish instead of 12. Never without a fight though him saying he had no life because of me and I should be grateful he didn’t drink.

After my sons trial things got even worse we pulled together in from of the youth offending team and the secure centre but our marriage felt empty im not saying I didn’t love him of course he was the man I married but I was no longer in love with him and his constant shouting at me went from me wanting him to stay home with me and put me before the bookies or snooker to being happy that he had gone out so he couldn’t make my anxiety worse.

His shouting was at a point that I would literally beg him to stop because I couldn’t breathe and almost wish he would just hit me and then it would be over rather than him shouting the way he did, on evenings when I was alone I often took myself to be at night rather than sit on my own as sitting on my own my mind would be racing so it was easier to try and sleep I initially would sleep with the help of wine but then would wake at 2am and sit downstairs crying and thinking again alone until it was time to get up this left me mentally exhausted and often unable to think straight I was so tired. No matter how distressed I was and tired I worked hard often only getting through with the help of diazepam and then as soon as my working day was over collapsing in floods of tears but becoming an expert at putting on the brave face no could see through.

One I realised whilst son was being looked after in a secure unit that he didn’t care about me I started to then start not to care either I had no fight left in me for the last year when we were together after my son came home we didn’t argue as much because I stopped caring I rarely challenged him if he wanted to go out which could be 4 or 5 nights a week I just ignored it to the point where I would be surprised when he stayed home I had loved him with all my heart but once I accepted he no longer loved me there seemed little point in fighting. My son was to spend 1 year on licence which was equally as difficult for me due to my anxiety and depression.

I had little help from the doctors initially as I think I managed to make them believe although I was struggling making them believe I was ok. I was referred to talking therapies initially which I didn’t find helpful at all they were trying to get me to worry less about my son as this is where a lot of my distress came from but no one could ever make me worry less I was a mother whose child was taken by the police and our lives changed forever that day and I couldn’t then or now begin to come to terms with the events that followed.

Relate was the next step where I met with a lady who I reduced to tears when I told her my story in no way did I find that helpful

EMDR therapy this therapy focusses on eye movements desensitisation to get bad memories processed and forgotten the NHS is brilliant and I absolutely know how stretched they were. I found this to irregular to be of benefit and I worked myself up so much before a session she spent most of the time trying to calm me down. She then decided it was to traumatic to go through these memories at the present time.

My decision to leave my husband was not something I took lightly and looking back now I wish I had done things differently but I was weak and not in a good place mentally. I had secretly saved some money and the opportunity of a flat came up and I took it im so lucky to have some very supportive friends who have supported me from day 1 and continued to do so throughout my decision to leave in no way did they influence me but they supported me. I had been telling my husband for some time I wasn’t happy and I wanted to part but he ignored me and just presumed it would pass.

I told him I had found a flat and he again didn’t believe me and basically said that I didn’t have the guts to leave. I had hoped that we could tell our children together but he made it clear that would never happen my daughter came home one lunch time and I blurted it out and she left to go back to work and then broke down. I deeply regret the way I went about things at that time but mentally I wasn’t myself and I behaved in a selfish way not waiting I secretly hoped my children would come with me but deep down I knew they initially wouldn’t