10 years ago, when our kids were 13 and 11 years old respectively, my husband announced he was leaving.
We'd been together for 18 years, married for 15. Not only was he leaving me - leaving us - but he was moving overseas to Asia (where we as a family had lived the last four of the previous five years) to be with the woman he'd been seeing for the past 18 months.
Since we'd returned from Asia he had been on numerous "overseas business trips" for his new job. Later I found out his new job had no business travel as part of its brief (his previous job had, which is why it had raised no red flags to me.)
Yes. He'd been travelling to see the other woman.
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I felt so foolish and betrayed. I had truly felt like we were a team. While I held everything together on the home front, we moved from state to state - and eventually overseas - so his career could flourish.
As he rose in the corporate world, I thought we were a solid and supportive couple with a happy little family.
I looked at other couples and families breaking up and felt sorry for them. I was forever grateful that we weren’t ‘them’.
Hindsight is a wonderful, enlightening thing!
There I was explaining to my daughter that her dad couldn't be there to help out with her birthday party, asking her big brother step in, because their dad was stuck working overseas, sad he was missing out.
Meanwhile, my husband was with his other woman.
Boy, had I got it wrong. In reality, he had conveniently forgotten about us.
And when I confronted him, he even had the audacity to tell me that he'd got a bit of a thrill from living his double, 'James Bond life'.
After we split, and I was trying to gain traction in my life, I remember thinking I had been practicing the role of a single parent for many years in reality and that for my kids heavily relying on me was the norm rather than the exception.