At an age where so many of my friends are getting engaged or married, starting their families and making progress in their careers, I find myself on a very different path.
After eight years of marriage, 10 years together and two beautiful children I find myself navigating through the murky waters of divorce and separation.
When I met James*, I had been working in the mining industry roughly three years. I was just 19 years old.
Side note: Here are our relationship deal-breakers. Post continues below.
He was tall and incredibly handsome but what caught my attention was that unlike so many other men in the camp he wasn’t trying to get my attention. He was quiet, reserved, and I liked that about him.
Working on a mine site you’re well aware of the extracurricular activities that occur after your shift ends.
It wasn’t unusual to hear about people having work wives/husbands on site and then going to home to their significant other and families at the end of the swing.
I always loathed that side of the industry and was very cynical about FIFO relationships. One night over a few beers James and I discussed this and when I discovered he was on the same page as me, I felt more comfortable spending time with him.
I hung out with him any chance I got. I'd pop into his office, sit with him in the dining room. I'd even get up hours before my shift started just to catch the bus to site with him.
Just a few things to show how truly smitten I was. After months of flirting, one fateful shift change and one too many beers we consummated our relationship.
From that day forward we spent every moment we could together and spent our evenings sharing his single bed until we were able to acquire a couple's room.
Life was easy. We were inseparable both at work and on our breaks. The hard lesson I would soon learn is there is a difference between being together and being on the same page. Sadly, I learnt this lesson too late.
James* proposed a few months later and though our friends and family raised their concerns, we would brush them off stating, "If we can work, live and travel together then we can handle anything in life."
A year passed and a few weeks before our wedding, we found out we were expecting our first child. It was a huge shock at 22.