from Melbourne, left her husband for her lover. Her husband had often attacked her for gaining weight and losing her looks. “The ugly duckling. Fat. A turn-off – a few of the labels my husband gave me. After four children, I gained 20kg and the manicures and pedicures fell by the wayside. I knew I wasn’t as attractive as my friends. Rob often reminded me that someone as ugly as me shouldn’t have the nerve to go out with those more glamorous friends. I heard it for so long, I believed it.
Gerry was a family friend – he and my ex met through our local motorcycle club. Gerry’s wife left him before we met and he’d had a few relationships. He knew how Rob treated me – he was at the barbecues when he put me down.
After one nasty attack, Gerry told me I shouldn’t be with someone who degraded me. His words were so kind and the kinder Gerry was, the more I realised Rob’s behaviour showed he didn’t love me.
Our affair continued for three years. Rob never believed anyone else could want me so never suspected. About 18 months into our affair Gerry wanted us to live together but it took me another 18 months to leave. My mum and dad were married for 50 years and I felt I’d be a failure if I divorced.
I also worried about my daughter but when I told her I was in love with someone else she said she didn’t know how I’d tolerated her father for so long. Her blessing gave me the strength to leave. Rob has kept a low profile since we split.
I could have spent the rest of my life being told how ugly I was but this ugly duckling now feels like a swan!”