A bit of background first.
I am 44 years of age and have been married for the last 14 years. I thought, and still do think, we had a very good, happy, strong marriage with 2 boys conceived through many years of IVF. Life was good. Very good. Ordinary. Boring almost. Both of us working. Boys were happy. Finances were good, ok a pay rise wouldn’t go amiss but we were managing and didn’t do without although I am more George than Gucci. Then came the knock…
Early on a Tuesday morning. 22nd Nov. The day my life changed… forever.
I was just out of the shower and the door went. I went downstairs to answer as I thought something must be wrong. A group of plain clothes police officers came in looking for my husband. I explained that he had already left for work. They then proceeded to caution me. And explained the reason why. I was shocked but put on my super mum face. My boys got themselves ready and I got dressed whilst getting watched by a female officer. I wasn’t allowed to make any phone calls except to arrange the children getting took to school. Once they were gone the shock flooded through me. The officers/forensics were only there until 10.30 but then I was left alone in my own world of limbo. They then went to my husband’s work and arrested him there. I obviously had no contact with him and was basically in shock. My heart was pounding and my stomach was in knots. Our lives were about to change forever.
At approximately 2.30 the police liaison officer returned to tell me that my husband had been charged with a conversation over 2 days with a 13 year old girl, who was actually a police officer and an image of himself in his underwear.
And so my journey begins…
He was kept overnight in the cells because he was on suicide watch and I was to pick him up at court the next morning. About 2pm in the afternoon he appeared before the judge and pleaded guilty. I had nothing to do with this decision and it turns out he never sought legal advice. He just decided it was the right thing to do. I have since raged about this but what was done was done. And was he right? …I will never know.
My husband left that court room a broken man. I vowed to stand by him and not to make any decisions regarding our marriage for at least 6 months. He needed help. He was gaunt, lifeless, heartbroken .He had no answers for me. He was ashamed, horrified and dare I say it… suicidal.
Basically he had been visiting a chat room called Kik and had been talking to other women, many other woman! Some of these ladies even sent photos of themselves but he had never responded until that fateful day. In the first line of the conversation, the age was said. Did he choose to ignore it? Did he even see it? Was he carried away with the anonymity of it all? Your guess is as good as mine. He doesn’t recall this conversation specifically, but he then carried it on the next day. Am I naïve to trust him? Probably.
Court was set for the 20th Dec.
We spent the time in between talking and visiting Stop It Now! Scotland. Each of us on our own hurtful journey. We were both off work. Both put on antidepressants and living a life full of turmoil. The court date loomed but we had faith we would get through it.
It came and he was sentenced. We felt relief that that part of our journey was over, if only we had known what was around the corner. The news broke on Facebook and in the press a couple of days later.
We received a death threat! Were advised to leave our home. Twice! But it was Christmas. Where was Santa going to go? Explain that to 2 young boys. So we returned home but lived behind closed doors! Curtains closed tight. No-one knew where we were. Up until that point only close family knew what had happened. I had managed to try and live a normal life whilst friends were commenting “had I buried my lovely hubby under the patio?”. No one else needed to know and I was ashamed that we were going through this. This awful… awful thing… I couldn’t make sense of it so how could they? And I didn’t have the time or the mental energy to explain, or defend. I was exhausted.
Christmas was bloody awful. Apart from the kids opening their presents. It was dreadful. I think I cried most of it and spent the rest of the time scared. There was no help at this time because it was Christmas. Everywhere was closed for holidays and this was so hard. No one to turn to. No advice. No comforting words. The rest of the world was celebrating while we were living a life of hell. We were on our own in every sense of the word.
So now it’s March. I am still here. I am still with my husband. Just now. I do not know what the future holds. He has finished his community service and is talking about returning to work. His employers have stood by him for which I will be eternally grateful. I’ve been back at work a month now. It helps cos very little people know my story here. I don’t know what they think but I try not to over think it. I just try to take each day as it comes. Some days are better than others. Some nights I sleep but I don’t rest very often. My mind constantly runs and questions this life I am now leading. It is a very lonely and sad place to be and I feel betrayed by the person I thought loved me.
I am in the ‘hurt’ stage just now. I want answers but in reality I doubt I will ever get them. I attend weekly counselling and it helps a little bit. I don’t trust people any more. I’ve become very cynical but on the other hand I don’t sweat the small stuff. I have lost many friends and others are quite rightly struggling with my decisions BUT I have gained new ones. My hubby is trying very hard to make amends. He is so, so sorry. I doubt he was trying to hurt me. He risked everything…
As I said… I don’t know what the future will bring. I just feel broken and sad and worry for our future together, apart or as a family.
Call the Stop It Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900, 9.00am – 9.00pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9.00am – 5.00pm Fridays, if you are concerned about:
- Protecting your own children or others
- Require help and support after a family member has been charged or convicted of an offence against children
- Are concerned about your own thoughts or behaviour in relation to children.
- Victims of abuse can find help here.
Find out about the Campaign in our What's Happening Campaigns section.