Twelve years ago my husband left me for a woman ten years younger than me; this happened two months after the birth of my son when my hormones were raging like mad, and I was three stone overweight. I was devastated, to say the least. My safe little universe had irrupted like an angry volcano, and I felt that it was the end of my loving world. My comfort zone had suddenly disappeared into oblivion, and there was not much that I could do about it. Only wait and see how the events unfolded. My main priority was to find out the truth as I felt that I had been a good wife, friend, and mother. This made me value myself enough to fight for some dignity. On that same night, I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror, the first thought that came into my head was, “Am I not pretty enough?”. In a way, I was questioning everything that I thought was good about myself, inside and out. Somehow, I felt guilty about his infidelity as I believed that I had let myself go. Maybe I hadn’t spent enough time running on the treadmill trying to get my body to look like my old twenty-year-old self. I know how unrealistic this sounds after giving birth, but it was all I could think about on that given moment. I was crushed and didn’t know who to turn to. All I could do was cradle my tiny baby boy while nursing a broken heart. I was emotionally exhausted, and I desperately needed to find a way out.
My now ex-husband had two running mobile phones at the time. One for family life, and the other for sweet unfaithful encounters. It sounds crazy, I know, but he planned it very well so that he could have the best of both worlds and never get caught. For about two months before I found out, I knew there were things somewhat different about him. He smelt better, not that he was smelly in the first place, but he began wearing a lot of expensive perfumes. When I asked him about it he would say it was to make me fall in love with him all over again. To ignite the romance and passion. Looking back I think about how selfish he was and how little he cared. Another clear sign was how much time he would spend in the bathroom. I mean half an hour is ok by me, but when it goes past the two-hour limit things become a lot more suspicious. He bought a lot of unnecessary clothes for no significant reason. We just had a baby, and that was meant to be our priority. I remember I didn’t buy any makeup until my son reached the age of one, I just never found the time. In between all the sleepless nights, changing nappies, breastfeeding, work and house duties. I had enough on my plate already, and was utterly exhausted. “New clothes?” I would ask him with slight curiosity, “Yes, I want to look nice for you” he would reply. There were signs everywhere, I was just in denial like every other new mum would be. I wanted our love to last forever. I was confident that I had found the love of my life, but I was so wrong.
One evening while my son was at my mother’s house, I decided to look through his mobile phone while he went into the shower. It wasn’t hard finding it, as he was always a very predictable man. I found the first phone inside his trouser pocket and the second only by chance. The big coat that was hanging on the upper perch fell on my head, and I felt something hit me. I quickly grabbed it and found another phone in one of the pockets. It was on, and the screen had just received a text message that read, “Lovely seeing you again, your kisses are heaven, and your touch is on fire, I’m falling deep”. I scrolled through other texts that were sexually explicit and spoke for themselves. I felt a dark cloud take hold of me and felt my heart collapse on the floor. I ran and knocked on his door, I screamed at him and told him what I had found. He came out after twenty minutes without uttering a word. Then he said, “I think you are going crazy and imagining things that are not true”. I begged him for the truth, and five whole days he denied it until finally, he came clean.
By then, I had summoned enough energy to wake up and smell the coffee, realizing the magnitude of what had happened and how much he hurt me. When I finally got a chance to speak, this is what I had to say, “We have been married for ten long years, and I always trusted you and believed in our love. I was the best lover, friend, wife, and mother. I supported your dreams and aspirations; I loved who you were; I loved us. Now things are different because you let me go, and I am not coming back. I am not going to allow you to make me feel ugly and invisible because of your careless actions; I am a mother who gave birth, and I love and admire my body because of it. I know how to love, and sadly you lost sight of you and me. You will not make me feel worthless. I will always feel beautiful because I love me for who I am. There is nothing you can do or say to change that. Focus your energies on being a good father for our son, as far as we’re concerned. It’s over”.