Marriage did not turn out the way I expected. Just three months in, I was already fantasising about divorce.
But nothing prepared me for how difficult it would be, nor how long it would take to recover. Everything was set up for the relationship to fail, but all my hopes were pinned on a happy ending.
Watch: Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow share why their first marriages were big mistakes. Post continues below.
I dreamed of being married to the father of my children, along with the white picket fence, a cute little house and a garden filled with flowers. Oh, and a dog.
Dangerous signs were there right from the start, even in the initial honeymoon phase, and these cracks quickly eroded into crevices.
I ignored the fact we couldn’t even enjoy walks on the beach together because I like to walk briskly and he liked saunter slowly – really, really slowly so I could hardly contain my rising hysterical frustration.
It didn’t occur to me that the nine-year age gap would pose a problem.
Perhaps it didn’t, but his youth made me feel embarrassed and awkward in public, and I was unable to respect him.
He was organised and systemic; I am spontaneous and slapdash.
I am an extrovert, and he was a hermit who disliked people. He needed a partner to put him on a pedestal and financially support, cook and clean for him. Unfortunately, so did I.
So once the first flush of romance faded, disappointment and resentment set in on both side. I wanted children; he didn’t.
But within three years of meeting each other, I had helped myself to TWO sons, and all my love went to them.
Soon, divorce was the beautiful place I promised to visit when I had a bit of time, energy and money – the calm place I went to when my chest was tight with dislike and despair.
It was where I went to be happy. But when our marriage finally limped to an end eight years later, I was completely and utterly devastated.