DIVORCED MOTHER: I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY KIDS WOULD THINK OF ME

I’m 30 this year, and a divorcee with 2 children. I had an affair with a colleague *Zac who was more than 5 years my junior, and came clean with my ex husband when he started raising his doubts slightly more than a year ago. Zac and I each knew of our existence at work but never really got acquainted till we took part in a common sport. Barely 2 weeks later, I found myself falling for Zac, and eventually I confessed my feelings. I felt Zac wouldn’t reciprocate as I he knew i was married with kids, and I too felt it was just for fun anyway. To my surprise, Zac revealed he felt the same way about me – and everything else is history but i was still laughing and telling a few close friends and colleagues that no way I would give up my family for Zac. At that point in time, it just seemed impossible.

Things got out of hand, and I got a divorce in February this year, with the kids following their dad. I signed the custody of my kids away. I thought signing the papers would lessen the arguments between Zac and I, as I felt it should have given Zac a little more security. But no, the quarrels got more and more often, and we were soon fighting – exchanging blows. Of course, I was the only one who sustained injuries. Guilt ate at me daily, for single-handedly destroying my own family. I started lying and hiding to both my ex and Zac, to keep things afloat – only to have the lies exposed each and every time. But despite all the lies, Zac still gave me many chances though I had been hurt him again and again.

My ex got attached a few months later, and i felt my guilt lessen. But the relationship between Zac and I continued to worsen, and the arguments got more often. Trust was non-existent, and I felt suffocated. I got caught in a lie by Zac, and suffered kicks, slaps and strangles for the first time in a relationship. It wasn’t the first abusive episode, but definitely the worst. Our parents had even met up on a few occasions due to the frequent abuse and had to get us to end the relationship. It was also when Zac’s parents found out that he was dating a divorcee with 2 children and while they apologized for his behaviour, I wasn’t spared nasty remarks from them such as being childish, wilful, and irresponsible towards my children.

It’s been over a year, and I don’t recall any real happy moments. I don’t remember what it’s like to be really happy, or what does peace feel like anymore. We still argue so very often, but I’ve learned to also slowly let go of things. In between, the court order was varied and the kids now follow me. I don’t know what they’ll think of me when they grow older, when they ask me why they do not have a complete family and even worse still – when they see the document that showed their mum signing them away to their dad. Deep inside, there’s a voice telling me that Zac and I will never work out, and this relationship was wrong to begin with. There was every reason to leave, but leaving was the hardest thing to do. Whenever we quarreled, Zac would dig out all my lies and wrongdoings and blamed everything on me. I was to be the source of all the problems. Time has passed and I still feel the knot, and despite knowing what needs to be done, I still don’t have the courage to do so..

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