I married my first boyfriend, Mark and have never lived with anybody else apart from my parents. I guess you could say I didn’t know any different so it just felt natural that we would get married, and it wasn’t anything I was that thrilled for.
He was my first and I thought he’d be the last man in my life. But things just didn’t work out.
Things got really bad in my marriage when he developed a gambling problem. He’d spend all his spare time playing the pokies instead of being with me and it got worse when we had our son.
He would find any excuse not to be with us and go to the local pub and play for hours. He promised me he would stop and I think he did for a while. But then I was suspicious that he’d started again and I thought I should get to the bottom of it.
One night I got my mum to babysit my son and I went out looking for Mark. I felt very sneaky but he’d told me that he was going to a friends house and I didn’t believe him – I knew he was going to gamble. So I borrowed my mother’s car and I followed him and saw him pull up outside the pub and go inside.
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I knew he wasn’t there to drink, he doesn’t even drink very often.
I got out and looked into the windows and I could actually see him playing the pokies. It took all my self control not to go in and confront him for being a liar. Instead, I went home and cried.
But the next day I told him I’d followed him and he said he was ashamed of himself. He promised to get help for his addiction and I think he did see a support group for a while but that didn’t last long and he went back to his gambling.
A year later, he left me and I wasn’t even upset. I was relieved and now I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. My son and I live in a lovely townhouse with a small garden while Mark lives just a few blocks away.
You could say that we are very happily divorced. I love that I have my own time when my son goes to stay a weekend with Mark, and I’ve been able to indulge in hobbies I’ve neglected for a long time, such as my art. It’s great to get back into that.
I wouldn’t say divorce ahs been too traumatic for our son, he is only two so he doesn’t really understand. But one day I will try to explain to him about the reasons why our marriage didn’t last. I know it’s not ideal for him to grow up in a broken home but in my opinion, it is much better than living with a father who had a gambling problem.
Divorce was never my plan but anything is better than being stuck in a relationship with a man who wasn’t going to change. He tells me he doesn’t gamble anymore and he has a new girlfriend – as far as I’m concerned, he is her problem now, not mine.
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