Good Health (Australia) - - Good Relationships -

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!”

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