He left me for mistress hours after Mum died!
I’d just lost my beloved mum, when my hubby made a shocking confession
Nicola Funnell, 44, Heathfield, East Sussex
Leaning towards my mum’s wheelchair, I planted a goodbye kiss on her cheek.
‘Great to see you looking so happy again,’ she smiled.
Glancing at my new bloke Ian Roberts, then 40, I had to agree.
It was autumn 2011, and I’d been really excited to introduce my lovely mum Marion, 74, to Ian.
We’d been dating for a few months and I’d already asked him to move in.
I hadn’t felt all that sure at first, though.
On our first date, Ian had admitted cheating in a previous relationship.
‘I’d never do it again,’ he’d said.
For me, a single mum to a son and a daughter, it was a red flag.
But Ian had persisted, until I’d eventually agreed to a second date, and the spark had been undeniable.
Now it meant so much to have my mum’s seal of approval.
While her age had caught up with her recently, she was as funny and sharpwitted as ever.
Not long after, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body – after struggling with severe muscle discomfort.
The medication, and my inability to do exercise, meant my weight ballooned.
But Ian was so supportive. He couldn’t do enough for me, sorting out my medication, cooking meals. He was great with Mum, too, helping her and my dad with odd jobs or mowing their lawn. In June 2013, Ian and I married and it was the happiest day of my life. ‘You look so happy,’ Mum had whispered, as we posed for pictures.
Over the following four years, Ian and I had our ups and downs, but we were in love. Then, in February 2017, Mum went to hospital with suspected gall stones. But further tests revealed she had pancreatic cancer. Sitting in the examination room, we were all speechless. Then we found out that she had only months to live.
I struggled to imagine my life without my mum.
‘Don’t worry,’ I said, shakily. ‘I’ll look after you.’
When I got home later that evening, I was in tears.
‘What’s the matter, love?’ Ian asked.
‘Mum’s dying,’ I sobbed. Ian gave me a hug, reassured me that everything would be OK.
Mum’s cancer progressed quickly, she lost weight and became frail.
Palliative care was her only option.
For the next few months,
Dad, my sister and I spent most evenings at Mum’s bedside in Conquest Hospital, near Hastings.
Ian kept the house going, ferrying the girls around.
At night, I’d get home exhausted and weepy and he’d have food on the table.
By July, Mum was barely conscious, dosed up on pain medication.
When my sister rang in the early hours of 24 July 2017, I knew straightaway.
‘She’s gone,’ she told me.
I immediately called Ian on his night shift, delivering for a bakery, and he hurried home.
But, even through my grief, I noticed that he was oddly distant. Then my dad and sister arrived to take me to see Mum, to say goodbye.
Only, as I was leaving, Ian picked a fight with me.
‘Why are your family walking in as if they own the place?’ he snapped.
‘Mum has just died,’ I said, aghast. ‘I told them they could come straight in.’
I was too low to worry about his foul mood.
The next day, I went into my job at a care company to organise compassionate leave.
On the way home, my daughter called me.
‘Ian’s packing all his things,’ she gabbled. ‘He says he’s leaving.’ What? Stunned, I desperately tried to call Ian, but he wouldn’t pick up.
Finally, I got hold of him.
‘Where are you going?’ I asked, feeling furious.
‘I’m not happy,’ Ian declared. ‘I’m leaving you.’ Is this a sick joke?
A day earlier, I’d lost Mum. Now, my husband was leaving me, too.
I got home to find Ian’s side of the wardrobe empty.
My girls tried to comfort me, but I was inconsolable.
I had no idea where he’d gone or why he’d left me.
Planning Mum’s funeral as my marriage crumbled gave me panic attacks.
And, when Ian messaged one evening saying he wouldn’t be coming to pay his respects, it was like a knife through my heart. I was shocked. Things hadn’t been the best between us, but I’d been focused on Mum. I thought he’d understood.
At Mum’s funeral, people wondered where Ian was, but I was too upset to care.
Standing in the church without my husband at my side, I’d never felt so lonely.
A few weeks on, Ian agreed to meet at a pub to talk.
And I finally found out why he’d upped and left.
‘I’ve met someone else,’ Ian told me bluntly.
I sat there, stunned, as he nursed his pint telling me how he’d got chatting to an old flame on Facebook.
And he’d been secretly seeing her for six months. My stomach dropped. The entire time I was nursing my dying mother, he was betraying me.
‘We’re in love,’ Ian said. ‘I’m sorry, Nicola.’
Too angry to speak, I stood up and walked out.
I cursed myself for not ditching him on our first date when he’d admitted cheating.
I’m saving for a divorce now. Ian and his new woman are still together.
I’m just glad Mum isn’t here to see what Ian’s done. Her heart would break.
She’d be proud now, though. I’ve picked myself up and met someone else.
I’ve even lost 9st after having a gastric sleeve op.
In a funny way, Ian did me a favour. Without that cheating rat, I’m happier than I’ve been in years.
I was too low to worry about his foul mood
Mum only had months to live
Me and Ian on our wedding day
Ian and I had our ups and downs but were in love...
Me today: happier than I’ve been in years