Why I’m mar­ry­ing a cheater

Melissa has for­given her fi­ancé for his be­trayal, but her fam­ily can’t for­get...

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - Melissa Moussie, 29, Townsville, Qld As told to Sarah Firth

As the dark-haired man sat down next to me, I in­tro­duced my­self. I’d no­ticed him around the of­fice, but to­day he was us­ing the desk next to mine. ‘I’m Aalden,’ he smiled. As we got to know each other, I re­alised Aalden was like an open book.

‘I have to be care­ful about gam­bling,’ he ex­plained, say­ing he’d some­times got car­ried away at the pok­ies. But now, he was re­cov­er­ing. It was re­fresh­ing to meet some­one so hon­est.

Invit­ing him to my birth­day drinks, I de­cided to seize the mo­ment.

Pulling Aalden to­wards me, I leaned in for a kiss.

Thank­fully, he was thrilled. Turns out he fan­cied me too!

Af­ter that, we started dat­ing and when I in­tro­duced him to my lit­tle girl, Mikayla, then five, they re­ally hit it off.

‘He seems like The One!’ my mum, Jill, now 53, said. ‘You should marry him!’

My sis­ter Rachael, 32, was a fan, too.

When I fell preg­nant, just nine months af­ter we started dat­ing, we were both sur­prised but over the moon. Aalden was by my side as we wel­comed lit­tle Coen into the world.

At first, we set­tled hap­pily into fam­ily life. But slowly is­sues be­gan to emerge.

Hav­ing been be­trayed in the past, I found my­self wor­ry­ing where Aalden was and what he was do­ing.

‘Will you be out tonight?’ I’d ask.

‘Yeah, I’m go­ing to my mate’s place,’ he’d say.

I des­per­ately wanted to trust him, but my anx­i­ety got in the way. So I’d quiz him about his night.

Although he never got into debt or ate into our bill money, he some­times lapsed with his ad­dic­tion re­cov­ery and played the pok­ies.

He al­ways felt gen­uine re­morse af­ter­wards, but things started to get rocky.

Aalden was hurt that I didn’t trust him, and I needed more re­as­sur­ance.

When we were both left dev­as­tated by the sud­den death of a friend, things got tougher.

Then, one night, Aalden went for a drink with his mates. By the time I went to bed, he wasn’t home.

Where is he? I thought as the hours ticked by. Had some­thing ter­ri­ble hap­pened?

The next morn­ing, he came home look­ing sheep­ish. See­ing his face, I knew the truth.

He’s cheated on me, I re­alised, com­pletely floored.

‘Do you want to ex­plain?’ I asked him.

That’s when he ad­mit­ted he’d spent the night with an­other woman.

‘I’m sorry,’ he said.

He told me it was a huge mis­take, but an­gry and hurt, I couldn’t be­lieve his be­trayal.

‘You have to move out,’ I told him.

We’d stay re­spect­ful for the chil­dren but I couldn’t be with him any more.

When I told Mum and Rachael, they were out­raged.

‘How could he do that to you?’ Mum said.

‘You de­serve bet­ter,’ Rachael said.

As I nursed my bruised heart, Aalden and I still spent time to­gether with the kids.

He’d come to their birth­day par­ties and we’d take them to the park.

De­spite ev­ery­thing, our old spark was still there.

When we’re to­gether, ev­ery­thing just feels right,

I thought.

So, ear­lier this year, we de­cided to give it an­other go.

Sit­ting down with the kids, then aged 10 and three, we broke the good news.

‘We’re back to­gether,’ I said, and they beamed in de­light.

Rachael and Mum weren’t so pleased. They thought Aalden was a cheater and a gambler and that I should show him the door for good.

When he came to fam­ily events, it was awk­ward.

They’d be civil to him, but they couldn’t un­der­stand why I wanted him back.

‘If he loved you, he wouldn’t have cheated,’ Rachael said.

It was one mis­take, I thought. I’m over it, they should be too. I trust him.

Then, Aalden and I went out for a boat trip.

Sit­ting side-by-side star­ing at the ocean, he started mum­bling ner­vously.

‘You make me want to be a bet­ter per­son...’ he said.

They thought I should show him the door

for good

Then, he got down on one knee.

‘Will you do me the hon­our of be­ing my wife?’ he asked. ‘Yes!’ I cried.

It felt ab­so­lutely mag­i­cal and I couldn’t wait to share our happy news.

But Mum was up­set.

‘This is in­sane,’ she said. ‘Melissa, what are you do­ing?’

I loved Aalden though and I knew in my heart we should be to­gether.

Plan­ning my wed­ding, I des­per­ately wanted Rachael and Mum to sup­port me.

I loved them and wanted them by my side, and I dreamed of Rachael be­ing my maid of hon­our.

So I de­cided to share my story on the TV show Bride & Prej­u­dice.

Now, I’m hop­ing my fam­ily will be there when I say ‘I do’ to the man of my dreams.

I’ve for­given him, I hope they can too.

To see if they do, watch Bride & Prej­u­dice, Mon. to Wed. at 7.30pm, on Chan­nel Seven.

My mum Jill and my sis­ter Rachael don’t ap­proveI was so happy whenAalden pro­posed

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