“Right from the start you were a thief, you stole my heart”

TRIGGER WARNING – Please take care, some of this content may cause upset and distress. Reach out for support if needed. 💜

“And I your willing victim”

Sound familiar? Yes that is a P!nk song

I had heard of people relating this song, ‘Just give me a reason‘ to a (damaging) relationship. However, I had not really thought about it. If I’m honest I could not really relate, although I love the song!

Looking back now, the song is actually pretty relevant to me. From the start of my last relationship, my heart was stolen by a kind, attentive and charming person. I had been back in the country for just over a year after spending 6 months away volunteering and nearly 2 years post relationship with my first serious boyfriend, who I thought I would marry and spend my life with. Within two weeks of seeing this person, totally infatuated, I accepted a drunken proposal. Despite it being nothing like I imagined-after double checking they remembered actually asking I said yes!!

Two years later we married.

Again, looking back before actually marrying I can see how I was totally attracted and won over by the charm, happy moments and love I felt. Ignoring the red flags and brief explanations for situations. Hiding myself and not telling my future in laws about our engagement, even going as far as her renting another room in the house (only used for storage) “just in case” anybody asked or visited. Because they “could not know.” By the time they knew we had moved to Wales and my ex had said she had cut out her family. I was the bad person who took her away from her family. Which was far from the truth. I wish I questioned this more at the time. Another red flag missed.

During the engaged-married phase we had good times, with very few disagreements. I shared stories, history and wounds. I felt happy and comfortable. I let someone gain my trust.

I identify with these words more so with the later experiences in the relationship, but definitely at least 2.5 years of the relationship. Feelings, events, emotions and even generalised facts that turned out to be true came out during sleep. Inconsistencies appeared, but I was persuaded that anything said during sleep was “not real” or “related to previous trauma” which I was told had “nothing to do” with myself. Everything had an explanation or excuse. For some reason, I just accepted these.

A barrier began to raise. Chemistry began to reduce, feelings changing. Nothing like the early stages of the relationship. Another major Red Flag missed.

Again, looking back, I was hooked. Love made me stay. It made me ignore anything that upset me, confused me or hurt me.

Like a circle, patterns and behaviours went round and round. Pain was fixed by promises and persuasion, kinder words, acts or gestures seemed to put a plaster over the issue. Things would plateau, before beginning the cycle again.

I was hooked.

Life revolved around happiness, experiences, sex and pleasure as well as a connection. Before switching back to negativity, tension and silent treatment. Where again, one small gesture or kind word seemed to fix things. Or so I thought.

Things on several occasions got to the point where I would sit there and think of reasons to stay. Reasons to fight. Reasons to change.

And then there is gaslighting

A person I loved. A person I trusted using my own trauma, my own insecurities and my own weaknesses to their advantage. Unknowingly being insulted and manipulated into thinking my feelings did not matter, that my concerns and genuine gut feelings were wrong. Even when having justification and evidence.

I was made to feel crazy and paranoid.

At the time I thought the stresses of life, bills, work and ill health were causing tension. Things felt empty. But yet I still was being made to believe my actions led to the situation. They obviously did not help and contributed but was definitely not the major issue. I wanted to fight, blinded by love. I thought we would be together forever. Despite looking at other couples and longing for their connection with my own wife.

Fast forward and behaviours continued, false promises made – resulting in “I don’t love you anymore.” Of course I came back within 24 hours – with the hope of change, false promises and a “mistake” being made. Yet things continued and the truth came out. There was someone else who had all the love that I was no longer being given.

Walking away was hard. But it had to be done. My wife at the time was in love with someone else, portraying me to others as someone I wasn’t.

It is amazing what information people come to you with, once a relationship is over. Finding out about things that have been said and done. Money saved away and plans to move others into my home. Expecting me to leave with nothing.

I wish I noticed the Red Flags sooner. I really do. Part of me also wishes I left sooner, before the added issue of her falling completely head over heels in love with someone else – like we did with each other years ago. If I had walked away sooner, perhaps the emotional damage would have been less?

These are just some of the reasons I find myself relating to this song more now, than following the release. I may be losing a marriage, my home and the life I knew. But I no longer have to;

  • Lie,
  • Withhold information,
  • Follow others rules in my own home,
  • Be silent,
  • Push myself when in a flare,
  • Ask permission to do certain things,
  • Play happy families,
  • Hide my chronic illnesses,
  • Sit silently while others call me the “friend” or the “partner” and allow people to not call me by my correct name or write the wrong name on cards without letting them know it is not correct,
  • Be manipulated, treated like rubbish and told I am imagining things, being crazy or paranoid.

I can start trying to be me again. Find myself and heal. I can find someone who does love me for me and protect me, rather than damage me.

I hope.

One step closer to finding me again.

Please note that any advice I give and explaining of processes may differ for you. I am not a legal professional and this advice relates to my situation. Please get legal advice if you need further support.

February 12th, 2021.

Having been made aware that the acknowledgement of the Divorce petition had finally been sent in, naturally I have been checking the online system daily for an update. I wasn’t expecting a quick update as it had been sent in via post, rather than submitted online. However;

After 58 days there is a response.

Things feel a bit more real now.

I was hoping this bit would have happened before Christmas. When that didn’t happen, the next date I was hoping for was by my Birthday on the 4th of February, however it didn’t happen by then either. Compared to some people I count myself lucky, many people are forced to wait not days or weeks, but months and even years to get to this stage.

I am not out to gain everything and take everything as some have been told. I want all this to be done as fairly as possible and as quickly as possible. For one simple reason. To move on.

Whilst I was not (as the phrase says) “beaten black and blue.” I have gone through an emotional hell for some time. I told a friend today I felt guilty because my pain wasn’t visible. But she explained that emotional abuse is still abuse and can be just as damaging to the mind. Part of me still feels guilt as there are others worse off than me, including people still stuck in a place they cannot leave, whilst I am more free than they am (despite still being trapped in other ways).

I have been warned that it can be harder to leave and divorce, than to be married. So I have been bearing that in mind, so far the advice has been pretty relevant. Although I do still note I am luckier than many others, but things haven’t moved very smoothly so far.

One thing I have experienced-Which I am sharing to raise some awareness to those going through a similar situation and one thing I also warn you of.

Prepare for the telling of lies so YOU look like the bad one. (No matter how nice they seem).

Also be prepared for people to come forward with behaviours, things said or seen. Don’t be angry at them, they had their reasons for not coming forward. Usually it is because they were made to believe you were the problem.

This week I came to our jointly owned home. To sort through things, work and cat sit. I would like to point out that this week, my wife was not at the property, so I felt safer. Part of me was anxious and scared that she could come back any time, however due to other events, I was reassured that this was unlikely to happen. I planned to sort out so much more than I have, however when looking at the piles of boxes and thinking, I had to go through every single item in every single box, as they had just been put in my room without being gone through. So even though only two bedrooms are done (apart from one bedside table unit) it was actually more work than it looks. Although this does mean I will have to sort other times to come and sort things. Whilst also finding cheap van rentals and storage- I can keep some items and boxes where I am, certain larger items such as my piano needs storage.

Now for the next stage….Getting a Decree Nisi.

The next stage to divorce is applying for a Decree Nisi. Still meaning I am married, but once this is issued the 6 week and 1 day countdown to applying for the final Decree Absolute can start-which means we would then be divorced. Whilst applying for the Decree Nisi it needs to be decided whether a hearing needs to be done in court. I have been told, as well as reading online that in the UK the majority of cases don’t need a hearing, but I will just have to wait and see. The date that the 6 weeks and 1 day until a Decree Absolute can be applied for will be on the Decree Nisi documentation.

During tough relationships you need to make sure you are safe. Despite what may be said, by leaving an abusive relationship (emotional or physical abuse) you should not lose the right to your home. The home can be looked at by legal professionals, it matters that you are safe.

As previously explained, the reason I am sharing my experiences is to raise awareness, offer advice and a real life account of divorce and things that come along during a divorce. The purpose of my accounts are not to lie, share false information or make me look like a good person as there are two people in a marriage. I am being honest. Writing also helps me feel like I can support others that may see this and be in a similar situation, as well as help me process things in my own way.

Fitness Update

TRIGGER WARNING

Please be warned this post will include details about my health journey, including weight loss.

I have been trying to get out and do some exercise including walking and running to build myself up (I will do the London Marathon One Day!!)

I would also like to point out at this point I do see Medical Professionals on a regular basis and my weight loss is monitored – it is also advised by doctors due to my health conditions and in order for me to get certain hospital treatment I have to me the NHS BMI requirements ( do not get me started on my opinions on BMI!!)

But here is my progress:

The fitness scores at the bottom involve using a piece of machinery at the gym I visit to measure certain strengths, I believe the idea is to increase those scores. My goals are to reduce fat % and increase muscle % as well as lose some weight (kg).

Please don’t judge me, I know my weight is very high.

14/05/2018 05/06/2018
Body Composition
Weight (kg) 122 121.85
Fat (%) 45.22 44.04
Muscle (%) 26.6 27.42
Hydration (%) 41.89 42.67
Fitness Test Results
Overall 81 99
Lower Body Strength 1 3
Lower Body Endurance 108 200
Upper Body Strength 150 180
Upper Body Endurance 200 200
Explosive Muscle Power 41 103
Balance 70 104
Speed Ability N/A N/A
Heart Rate Recovery N/A 6