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When I ended it after 14 years, I said I should be grateful he never cheated

The last straw in Claire Lodge’s marriage was not finding out her husband was cheating – there wasn’t a whole bunch of secrets or secrets.

In fact, a friend told her she should be ‘thankful’ her husband didn’t stray and wasn’t addicted to gambling.

Claire has decided to end her marriage to David even though everything seems fine

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Claire has decided to end her marriage to David even though everything seems fine
A friend told her she should be'grateful' her husband didn't stray and wasn't addicted to gambling

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A friend told her she should be ‘grateful’ her husband didn’t stray and wasn’t addicted to gambling

Claire decided to end her marriage to David*, when their daughter was seven years old, even though everything seemed fine.

But six years on and with her final divorce last October, Claire says it was the right decision and has helped her become a better mother.

The 46-year-old communications director from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, urges other women to follow their hearts if they are stuck in unhappy marriages.

Claire said: “I was thinking about ending things for at least two years before I did, but I continued to struggle with it because I didn’t want to hurt my husband or children.

‘The spark is gone’

“Then one Sunday I couldn’t be physically active. I know what to do, but I don’t have the energy or the energy to deal with it. I can only lie in bed.

“Finally, I got up, as I promised, to bring my parents up. But I’m on the verge of a panic attack.

“My heart was pounding, I had needles and needles pricked my arm. I could hear my parents laughing and joking in the back seat of the car, still very happy after 40 years of marriage and thinking to myself: ‘That’s all I want, to be like them.’

“I dropped them off in Leeds and as soon as I got home I told my husband I was ending our marriage. I don’t want to but I have to.

Most read in The Irish Sun

“Nothing terrible happened – we’re not one of those couples who argue all the time, we still get along very well and can laugh out loud.

“But the spark was gone and I was extremely unhappy, feeling trapped and panicking all the time.

“When I broke up with David, he still wanted things to be okay but he was very calm.

“He might think I’m going to change my mind again, but I know it’s not going to happen.”

For the first six months after their split, Claire and David, 50, remained together, while also selling their home.

Claire said: “It was painful. We moved into separate bedrooms. Christmas is difficult. But we passed for the sake of our daughter. “

After that, Claire decides to move into her apartment and slowly starts rebuilding her life.

She said: “I felt so guilty, that it was all my fault.

“I’ve ruined our lives and my daughter won’t have another home.

Nothing terrible happened – we’re not one of those couples who argue all the time, we still get along very well and can laugh out loud. But the spark was gone and I was extremely unhappy, feeling trapped and panicking all the time.

“But then I felt so much relief.”

Claire is telling her story during ‘divorce month’ – when marriage breakdowns spike by more than 300% each year.

In fact, 25% of divorced couples started planning to break up in January.

Claire was 27 years old when she married David in April 1990 – after 3 years of dating, met through mutual friends.

Before their split, the couple, who have a 15-year-old daughter, had survived three brief separations.

“They were instigated by me,” said Claire, “but David understands that and is moving out to live in his friend’s apartment.”

But she will always go back to the marriage, assuming that things will get better.

Sadly, they never were.

Claire said: ‘We went on holiday, we finished the housework and even tried to have another baby, to no avail.

“If I could use autopilot until my daughter was older, I would, but I can’t.

“My mom and sister always said if an old picture of me showed up on Facebook, it would make them sad because I looked so unhappy.

Most read in Relationships

“I didn’t know who I was in those pictures, I couldn’t connect with that person because I was so numb at the time.

“I often have panic attacks and extreme anxiety from the moment I wake up until the time I go to bed.

“I know deep down that my problems are related to my marriage.”

To cope with her anxiety, Claire “anesthetized herself with food and alcohol” and gained weight, between days 11 and 14.

“I didn’t bother taking care of myself,” she said. I thought: ‘What’s the use of taking care of my appearance? That is my least concern. ‘

“I no longer own a pair of pounds but I know I am a lot healthier than when I was married.

“I really hate myself for being unhappy in my marriage, because I feel like I shouldn’t be.

“Now I hate the thought of other women who need to go but can’t because they feel so selfish.

“That’s why I’m telling my story. I want women to follow their hearts and their hearts, because everything will be okay.

“As a woman, there is this insinuation that you should be ‘happy with what you have’.

“I remember someone said to me, ‘He doesn’t gamble, he doesn’t have a job, so what’s wrong with you? “

Recreate the love of life

“I thought: ‘Is that the pinnacle of my expectations?’

“Women suffer from dissatisfaction or unhappiness more than men.

“Being a mother is also hard to leave.

“There was a lot of pressure to be together for my daughter, but that was the pressure I put on myself.

“You feel like you’re getting frustrated and becoming another statistic.

“It is never easy financially to leave, but I knew it was important to make a fresh start so I rented my own place.

“Because there’s no bullets or resentment, it’s easier to separate at first.

“In the end I thought, ‘God, we better do this housekeeping now’ and did the paperwork to make it official.

“But there is no despair in getting a legal divorce, because we have always had a pretty good relationship and there are no financial disputes.

Women suffer from feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness more than men. It’s hard to walk away as a mother.

“We don’t feel the urgency that many other divorced couples feel.”

Today, Claire dyed her black hair a fiery red. She has a new love of life, a gym membership and absolutely no regrets about the way things turned out.

“Once I got through the first few months of feeling horrible, I immediately became a better mother,” she said.

“I joined a gym, got healthier, started taking care of myself and enjoying life.

“Finally, my daughter can see me living my life to the fullest.

“I don’t know what she saw when she looked at me at seven, but I hope she was too young to realize how unhappy I was.

“I am right where I am supposed to be and I have forgiven myself.

“I’ve been trying for a long time to make it work – no one can say I ended my marriage lightly.”

Even though Claire has dated, she is still scared of commitment.

She said: “I was on Tinder and Plenty of Fish but both were terrible.

“I deleted them two years ago, after four years of trying and won’t come back. I’d rather wait to meet someone in real life.

“I was scared to get stuck in relationships.

“I panicked, thinking, ‘I’m going to really hurt him,’ like I did with my ex-husband.

“But it’s been a while, so I hope when I meet the right person, I’ll be able to be happy.”

* David is not her ex-husband’s real name.

Even though Claire has been dating, she's still scared of commitment

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Even though Claire has been dating, she’s still scared of commitment
Woman reveals stomach-ache moment when she ‘discovers partner cheating’

https://www.thesun.ie/fabulous/8227533/divorce-told-grateful-never-cheated/ When I ended it after 14 years, I said I should be grateful he never cheated

Fry Electronics Team

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