This morning I woke up with that sinking feeling in my stomach. I had to crawl out from the protection of my duvet and face the day. It helped having children to get up and off to school, but I still had surges of wondering “what’s the point of it all?”

Of course the point is my kids. But I used to have a husband, and a family life. That life made sense, it felt right. We had a future together. I had an idea of my future, with someone I had shared my life with for a long time. It wasn’t a perfect marriage, but I think those are very rare.

I had recently stopped work due to depression, we had moved to France and I was getting used to being a stay at home mum. I had significantly slowed down my life and was starting to enjoy it again, after years of chasing my tail trying to be the perfect working wife and mother. I couldn’t do it anymore. I could no longer be the women who had it all and it was my doctor who put on the brakes when she signed me off work. It made me stop and look at my life and I realised I no longer knew who I was. I’d covered up the cracks and voids with activity.

So, new beginning where I could start to find myself again, at a pace that suited my health.

For the next 2 years I began to come out of my protective cocoon of depression. Then my husband told me he needed to have some time alone to think about what he wanted. He wasn’t happy in his life, but he didn’t want to talk to me about it. I couldn’t understand, as now that I was no longer at work I was there for him and the children. 6 weeks later he emailed me to say our marriage was over.

Back into the cocoon again. Gradually I climbed back out. He continued to contact me and to come & see me, which was confusing. Despite me asking, he wouldn’t leave me in peace (like I had him) to get over him.

10 months later I got an email I will never forget. From his girlfriend telling me she thought I deserved to know who I was married to. The ex-girlfriend he had apparently aborted a child with a year earlier. We eventually met up for him to confess what he had been up to for 10 years of our marriage. He’d had 3 affairs before her. She said he’d told her 8. But I still loved him, and for 3 months we got back together. I hoped now we could be honest with each other and reconstruct the relationship we had started with. At first it was good, but then I started to see a person who I didn’t recognise. It was early days, I was still working out who I was; but one day he was angry – I could just feel it – and I tried to slow things down. We were in the middle of selling our French home, and I was going to move into a rented cottage with the kids whilst we started over.

I had started to realised no longer knew him, and I wasn’t sure if I liked this new person. I didn’t know who I was, or what I wanted anymore. So I thought if we could slow things down we could work out whether there really was anything worth saving.

He had decided otherwise, and just as I moved in he sent me an email saying it was over. I later found out he got back with the ex pretty much after he dumped me, and she had left her husband for the second time to be with him. And 9 months later, after she refused to put him on the mortgage of her house, he dumped her and got together with his current girlfriend. Who he’d met 1 month after our youngest son was born, 9 years earlier.

Suddenly life really had no point. Apart from the children who were my lifeline. But the future I’d thought I had was no longer there. My life had been turned on its head, I had no idea what my future was and it scared me. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.

That was 2 years ago, and as much as I know I’ve moved forward, I still get moments when I wonder what the point of it all is. For so many years I’d worked at creating and supporting our family, our future together. It’s not there any more. Sometimes I get excited that I am free to be me. It feels like a chink of light at the end of this tunnel. Sometimes I’m scared by the uncertainly of it all. Mostly I try to live in the present, to stop reliving the past, but there’s clearly still a lot to get out of my system.

I never trusted easily – I always kept boyfriends at arms length emotionally. He was the only one I let my guard down with, the only one I let into my heart. The fact that he so completely abused that trust makes it hard for me to believe I can ever trust again. I hope I can, but the end of the tunnel still feels quite a long way away.

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