Content warning: This post contains mentions of emotional manipulation, miscarriage, and abuse and may be triggering to some readers.
Years later we reconnected and started a relationship. By then he was an investment banker. I’ve always been attracted to men who’ve got ambition. His work wanted him to move from Brisbane to Sydney so eventually I moved down to Sydney too.
Sydney really changed him. He lived that “banker w*nker” kind of lifestyle of going out to strip clubs three or four times a week with clients, cocaine and everything like that. I was very naive at first – I thought it was bipolar, that kind of up-and-down mood – but then I realised it was drugs.
Team Mamamia confess: When we knew our relationship was over. Post continues below.
I opened up a beauty salon and we lived above my salon. I was working 80-hour weeks, so I was doing long hours, but he was doing even longer hours than me. He would have a go at me for not working hard enough. He was constantly putting me down, calling me fat and ugly, telling me I should go to the gym, saying there were better-looking people on the beach than me. Not that it should matter, but I’m a size 10 to 12.
We rarely had sex. He would say, “You’re revolting, get off me.” It was such a drag for him to have sex with me, such a chore. He would use it: “If you clean the bedroom, I might give you sex.”
He knew how to make sure I didn’t have a support network. I had moved to Sydney with a group of friends, but I’m no longer friends with any of those girls because of the way he treated them. He humiliated them at parties. One girl in particular, he would try to get really drunk so she’d do silly things.
He was coming home at four o’clock in the morning, constantly, and there were a couple of nights he didn’t come home at all. I knew that he worked late, but I was thinking, “There has to be more happening.” I watched him put his PIN number into his phone, and every morning when he was in the shower, I’d go through his phone.
I found dating apps he’d downloaded: Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, Ashley Madison. I’d see names like Candy and Tiffany, and I’d go through the messages: “Hey, we want to you come over, we can pay this amount.” I don’t know if they were strippers or escorts or what. There was a group chat he and his workmates had, and they would constantly talk about cheating. It was pretty awful, hearing about their boss putting away someone on their office table, when I knew he had a fiancée.