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26.8.11

Free to Forgive

My Friend’s Story

I got married young and had the usual fairy tale notion of marriage in my head of skipping away together into the sunset and living happily ever after. The man I married, Jason, had a son from a previous relationship, which was a bit of a thorn in my flesh as he obviously kept in contact with his son’s mother and it didn’t help that his ex was not over him and used their child fully to her advantage. There was nothing I could do about it however, my husband assured me that he loved me and would never cheat on me so there was pretty much nothing I could do. 

I became pregnant and life was going rather well. Rumours started to circulate about my husband being unfaithful to me with his ex. Of course he denied it. By now I was paranoid about him picking up or dropping off his son. We had fights for months about this issue. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The rumours didn’t stop. And by this point the rumour was that his ex had had another baby – his baby. 

I was devastated. I asked him straight away and he denied it. He said if she did have another baby then it was nothing to do with him. He would get really angry when I’d question him and tell me to let it go. Time went on. The rumours continued and I just had to find out the truth for myself. I confronted his ex, who confirmed that yes, she had another baby and that my husband was the father. Jason eventually admitted it after I cornered him by bringing his ex to our house. My life was completely shattered. I had put everything into this man, into this relationship. 

I had gone against the advice of my family to be with him and had walked out of home to set up a home with Jason. I was completely isolated and now the very man I had put all my hopes and dreams into, had betrayed me completely. Not only did he have a baby – another baby – with this woman, but the baby turned out to be six months older than our daughter. So we had both been pregnant at the same time for three months, from the same man. I was sick to my stomach. This man had wooed me completely off my feet, my very world had revolved around him and now it had come crashing down around me. 

I tried to kick him out but he wouldn’t go. He begged and pleaded for forgiveness. He told me he had made a terrible mistake and had been too scared to tell me. I ended up giving in just because I didn’t have the strength to force him to leave. I refused for his youngest child to darken our doorstep and forbade Jason from visiting him – I simply would not hear of it. After all, his ex had just fallen pregnant to try and get him back and I would teach her a lesson. I was consumed with jealousy and hatred. Now he had two children with this woman – it was a double blow – we would never get rid of her now. Jason asked me how he was supposed to have a relationship with his oldest son and not the younger one. 

I didn’t know and didn’t care, I told him. As long as he wanted to be with me, his second child with his ex simply didn’t exist. The only way I could deal with the problem was to pretend it wasn’t there. We fought all the time. I started drinking and smoking excessively to blot out my anger and resentment towards Jason and the whole unbelievable situation. 

The humiliation was too much for me to bear. An affair maybe I could deal with as I could brush it under the carpet and ‘forget about it’ – but living proof of it to haunt me forever more? It was an inconceivable thought.

A Fresh Start

An opportunity arose for us to move from South Africa to the United Kingdom. This was the fresh start I needed. We could run away from this whole horrible situation and it would just be us, just the way I wanted it.

We moved to the UK. I was still really angry at Jason for what he’d done – there was just no way I could forgive him for it no matter how many times he apologised and begged for forgiveness. I could also see that he was upset at not being able to see his children, which rather annoyed me. But life continued. When I’d get angry about what he’d done I would just push it to the back of my mind again and tell myself everything was great again and we had a new life now. 

Almost a year later, we got a call out of the blue from Jason’s ex’s mother who was in South Africa, where we’d been living before we came to the UK. She was crying and told us that her daughter (Jason’s ex) had gone to hospital for a minor operation but her intestine had accidentally been cut, spreading poison to her entire blood system. She had gone back into hospital when she started feeling pain but it was too late, all her organs shut down one after the other and she died. The children had lost their mother.

And they would have to come and live with us. It was like a nuclear explosion had happened. I was in total shock. Yes, it was sad that she had died at such a young age. And it was heartbreaking for the poor children to lose their mother at such a young age. But them coming to live with us? It was unthinkable. A lot of my husband’s family lived in the UK as well and plans were made to get the children across as soon as possible. I wasn’t even consulted as it was all about the children. I was in complete disbelief. 

Again my whole world had come crashing down. I thought I’d run away from the problem and now it was back, and this time it would be right in my face day and night. I would have a constant reminder of my husband’s unfaithfulness. Not only would I have a constant reminder to torment me but I would have to play mother to this child! How on earth could I live with this? Given the whole situation and the fact that I was surrounded by Jason’s family who would all descend on me like vultures if I dared oppose the idea, I kept quiet about it and slipped into complete and utter depression. 

Find out how my friend found freedom in forgiveness and built an amazing life in my new book 'Free'. More chapter snippets will follow soon, full details about this book are available here

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