I CAN can still remember that awful feeling when, at eight weeks pregnant, I found out that my husband of a year had been having an affair.
As the panic rose and tears stung my eyes, nausea stirred in the pit of my stomach.
The worst part was that it wasn’t the first time Scott had strayed. Even so, I’m still with him now.
I know some people will call me a mug, and I’ve even lost a close friendship because of my decision, but nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.
Scott and I had known each other since we were kids, but we only got together at a mutual friend’s party in May 2012.
By then I had my son Jack, now six, from a previous relationship, while Scott, a 33-year-old carpet salesman, was sharing custody of his two sons, Reuben, now seven, and Ally, six, with their mum.
Until then, I’d been quite happy as a single parent, but that evening we spent the whole night catching up.
He was still as good-looking and funny as I remembered, and as we said our goodbyes we shared a lingering kiss and I invited him for a meal at my house the following week.
When Scott turned up for our dinner date, he never went home. We’d really clicked, and as we already knew each other, we didn’t see the point in wasting any time.
But as Scott had the boys a few days a week, having three kids in the house meant that the romance of holding hands on the sofa was very quickly replaced with the boring domesticity of the washing-up and school runs.
When Scott proposed on February 28, 2013, I was over the moon – it was the perfect way to cement our family. And on our wedding day in March two years later at our local registry office in front of 100 family and friends, I was sure that Scott was The One.
I believed he’d never do anything to risk our relationship. But just a few months later, in December 2015, he proved me wrong.
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Scott was out with his friends letting off some steam after having some issues with his ex, which had taken an emotional and financial toll, when I received a text from a friend.
Opening it, I instantly felt sick. It was an image of Scott passionately kissing another girl. Underneath it, my friend had written that she’d pulled him off her and reminded Scott he was married.
It just didn’t make sense – hours earlier he’d told me I was the most amazing wife in the world.
My mind whirring, I forwarded the image to Scott, and he instantly rang me.
I ignored his calls, and when he came home I refused to let him in, so he was forced to sleep at his brother’s house.
As I pored over every detail of the photo, humiliation turned to rage, and in a fit of fury I posted a Facebook status saying I was no longer married because one of us didn’t know how to keep their vows.
Over the next few hours, the comments came in thick and fast. Some said he was a pig, while others jumped to his defence saying it was only a kiss.
The next morning, I tried to hold it together as I got the boys out of bed, but I can barely even remember getting them breakfast. All I could feel was a burning sense of anger and embarrassment.
Over the next week, Scott made endless attempts to contact me. I eventually let him move back in on New Year’s Eve because I felt I couldn’t keep him from our home and the kids, although I insisted he slept on the sofa.
I still couldn’t bring myself to speak to him, and didn’t want to hear his explanation of how drunk he was and how he couldn’t remember what happened.
The atmosphere proved so tense that by February, we both agreed it was best for Scott to move to his mum’s house nearby, as I still needed time.
Deep down, I knew I still loved him and the amazing little family we had, but I was also utterly heartbroken.
It was hard on the boys having to stay with Scott at his mum’s, but we tried to keep things civil for all of them, as they were too young to really understand what was happening.
We were apart for two months before we agreed to go to a friend’s wedding together. That night we ended up having sex at the hotel where we were staying.
The next morning Scott acted like everything was back to normal, but it wasn’t for me.
However, a month later, I discovered I was pregnant from that night. I was delighted that I would be a mum again, but nervous about bringing another child into our now fractured family.
Being a single mum didn’t scare me, but did I really want to live the rest of my life without Scott?
When I told him about the baby, we decided to give our marriage another go, and for the first time in ages I felt positive about our future.
But then, out of nowhere, a friend told me Scott had been sleeping with an older woman for the past few months.
In that instant, my world shattered all over again. He’d been begging for another chance while having sex with someone else at the same time.
It was such a betrayal. I called Scott and he didn’t try to deny it. So the next day, I dropped Jack off with my mum and went to stay with a friend in London to get my head together.
I knew some people thought I should ditch Scott, but I still loved him – it was as simple as that.
After a week, I came home and we spent the next three days talking about our relationship.
Desperate to find a way to make our marriage work, we took advice from Relate.org.uk, which recommended avoiding blame and making an effort to really listen to each other without interruption.
Scott begged for forgiveness, saying that the kiss was just a moment of drunken stupidity – he didn’t even know the girl.
But I’d reacted so strongly, he felt pushed away, which is why he looked for affection elsewhere.
He assured me that he’d deleted the woman’s number and would never contact her again.
It was hard to hear, but I knew that if we were going to make things work, I’d have to take some responsibility.
Perhaps I’d overreacted to the kiss. We also agreed that going straight from just one date to the drudgery of family life hadn’t given us the most solid foundation for a relationship.
After much soul-searching, I agreed to forgive Scott and give our marriage another chance.
The following week, Scott took me out on a proper date – something we hadn’t done since we met.
As we sat across from each other in a restaurant, it all felt so strange, but in a nice way.
We spent the evening getting to know one another again, just chatting about ourselves rather than what the kids had for dinner.
In September last year, Scott moved back home. It was so different from our life before he cheated.
We were making time to be affectionate, kissing each other goodnight and holding hands on the sofa.
Neither of us are the same people we were on our wedding day.
Yes, Scott’s cheating hurt, but life’s too short to throw away something worth saving.
I know it’s hard to believe, but I totally trust him despite all he’s done. I have to, or we’ll never move on.
Thankfully, most people we know are supportive, although I have lost one friend who made it clear he thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life, and we haven’t spoken since.
Our daughter Molly was born in January this year and she represents a new chapter for all of us.
We’re a family, and despite having been married for two years, our relationship is only just working how it should. From here we’ll only get stronger.”