A year ago today I found out my boyfriend of four years, whom I lived with in a flat we bought together and had a cat (yeah, it was serious) had another life. He had another girlfriend for the past six months we were together, before I found out. I wrote the below a year ago, when it all happened, maybe as a coping mechanism? and I have decided to publish it. Sometimes you think you’re happy in a situation, it’s only when you’re no longer in that situation when you realise you weren’t happy at all.
Now, I’m more than happy.
(names have all been changed to protect identity- Dick being the main character..!)
Saturday 18th May 2013:
Today was the first day my boyfriend was home after a month of being in Cyprus with the forces. I was so excited to see him. We spent the day shopping for a tuxedo for him, then I had planned a meal on top of the Heron Tower at SushiSamba to celebrate his 30th birthday which would be on Monday.
While at the restaurant I presented him with proof of purchase of tickets to see his favourite band- Mumford & Sons. We had a lovely night and he wanted to go home as in his words ‘I spend enough money on it and I’m never home’.. this will become more relevant in Sunday’s post….
Sunday 19th May:
We got up early and made breakfast together before deciding to go to the cinema to watch The Great Gatsby. Afterwards we came home and cuddled on the sofa. I said to him ‘do you want to be with me forever?’ ‘Yes’ he said, yes of course..
All weekend he was quite cagey with his phone, whereas we’d usually be very open with phones, just leaving them out. Anyway, he went to the toilet had put my phone upside down and slyly slid it under the sofa, clearly thinking it was his. Obviously I then had a sudden urge to look at his, which was also upside down. All I did was turn it round- not even press a button- and a Whatsapp message appeared from ‘Emma’: Worried about you, hope you haven’t had any more stitches’. Or something along those lines.
While in Cyprus he was in a scrap and got a cut on his head, meaning he got stitches. So my first question to him was ‘Who’s Emma?’ to which he replied: ‘I don’t know anyone called Emma*alarm bells ringing* ooookay, so how does a girl called Emma know you had stitches and why would she be worried about you? So what I did next was call her..but then what happened shocked me, as I pressed ‘call’ it came up as ‘calling Paul iPhone’… Paul???
With Whatsapp, when someone messages you it comes up as the other persons username, which is different to what you’ve saved them in your phonebook as. So, next question ‘why would you save a girls name under Paul if you don’t know who they are??’
We went round in circles, I left a message on Emma/Pauls phone simply saying ‘this is Dick’s girlfriend of 4 years and we have a house together, just seen a message from you but he’s saved your number under a guys name, so that’s the reason for my call. apologies if this makes no sense to you’… he snatches his phone back off of me.
I give him the perfect opportunity to explain himself, me being extremely calm under the circumstances. He says I obviously don’t trust him and twists it round to be my paranoia. Emma is apparently a girl that works in a bar in Bournemouth- where he’s based with the forces. He ends up leaving after sitting in silence for half an hour. He’s gone.
All I’m left with is the knowledge that the other girl is called Emma and works in a bar in Bournemouth.. and my tears.
Monday 20th May:
Today is his 30th birthday. I don’t hear from him and I don’t attempt to make contact. I do spend the day searching ‘Emma, bars, Bournemouth’ obviously getting absolutely nowhere. Torturing myself and having nothing else to go on I then get a text from Dick’s mother, Rose.
She had sent him a photobook which commemorated all of his finest moments up until the age of 30, obviously a lot of the book features myself. He opened it on Saturday night and threw it aside because he was so disappointed that his mum had got it for him. ‘This is basically for you, I’d rather have got nothing than this shit’ he said. How ungrateful, I thought to myself before asking what he would’ve been grateful for instead, he said what I had got him- his favourite bands tickets.
Anyway, the reason for Rose’s first text was to see if Dick had opened his present. I don’t reply. The second text tells me she has had a reply from Dick and he told her that he hadn’t yet opened it. Lie. She goes onto ask me about Saturday’s plans..I had organised a surprise party for him with all his best friends and family and now we need to know exact numbers to sort out the food. I reply to Rose telling her I have no idea what’s going on, briefly telling her what had happened the previous night. She says she will tell the venue we need to cancel as he has to work. I let his friends all know the same, covering his back. God knows why.
Luckily my dad is over from America this week- perfect timing, and we go to dinner and put the world to rights over a bottle or two of wine. He tells me not to be too hasty with decisions as I don’t yet know all the facts. I agree, but tell him I’m not stupid and I know there’s something seriously wrong here.
Tuesday 21st May:
I have a brainwave. This brainwave leads me into finding a hotel confirmation forwarded to Dick from a ‘Miss E White’ ..E? Emma. This is her, this is bloody her.
Facebook. Find her. Message her. I got a reply stating her mobile number and she desperately urges that I call her asap. I do. We talk for over an hour and exchange stories. She had no idea about me, she’s upset as she has now introduced Dick as her boyfriend, he’s met her friends and family and they’ve been together for five months. Yep, that’s right. How did he get away with it?
Well, I’ll tell you how.. being in the forces, everything he does is secret, so he would tell me he’s waiting at work as things are kicking off in the Middle East which he may have to attend to. ‘Of course darling, your work takes priority, just stay safe’, so while I’m at home trying not to worry if his head’s going to be blown off, ironically his head probably is being blown off, in another context..
There was one week he was home on leave though, so Emma asks me if he was in the field that week. Nope, he was home with me, but he was in the field the week after, right? Wrong, the week after he was at home with her. So he had two weeks leave, one week spent with me, the other with her. He played us both.
So now, we both know what he’s done, but he doesn’t know we know.. how can we play this? Suggestions were fired around. ‘Let’s meet up for a drink in Bournemouth, I’ll get him to meet me and he’ll walk in to see both of us together’ was her first idea. I know him (well, I thought I did) and knew he would take one look at us then walk straight back out again. He can’t do confrontation. He’s a coward.
So, she sends me all the texts he’s sent her, one of which is extremely explicit so I paste it onto my phone and hit send..to him.
I would’ve done anything to see his reaction when he received that message from me, the very message he sent to her the morning he was coming back to our home.
Now he knows, I email him an extremely civil message and BCC my family and friends in as evidence. I state that I know everything and now we just have the matter of sorting out the flat. Our flat.
I get nothing back.
I meet my dad for dinner again, this time he says ‘remember I told you not to be hasty. Forget I said that. This is no man, you can do a million times better, you know the facts now, do what you need to do’..I break down.
Wednesday 23rd May:
Emma messages me to see if I’m ok and holding up. I feel so positive today, I don’t want someone like him in my life and my feelings have turned to numbness. She tells me that all of his friends are the same- not one is single, however.
She also tells me she has spoken to one of his friends from his hometown in Cornwall. He only has one friend there, I text him ‘did you know about Emma?’ I don’t get a reply, but he ‘likes’ my Facebook status later that day when I change it to ‘cant wait to go home to see my friends and family’. I take that ‘like’ as a confession that he knew. His loyalties lie with Dick so I don’t hold it against him.
I get another message from Emma saying that Dick has just text her asking to meet up tonight and talk. I can’t believe that I still haven’t heard anything from him, so I bite the bullet and text him. I say ‘nice to know you want to meet and talk to Em, but still no word about the flat’ he replies.. my jaw dropped.. no ‘I’m so sorry’ no no, but this: ‘you two are right little buddies now aren’t you. I’ll be in contact about the flat when the time is right.’ I can’t believe that this is the first time I hear from him and that’s all I get. If I didn’t think he was heartless before, this just confirms that he has no feelings. Have I just wasted four years of my life with this ‘man’ ?
Thursday 24th May:
I tell his mum everything. She can’t believe it and it’s clear she’s hopeful but the more I tell her, the more she realises her son is not who she thought. She says she doesn’t want to believe this is the son she brought up and knows and loves. Unfortunately, he is.
I think of the positives. I’m 24 years old, not married or with child, now single and living in the best city in the world (in my opinion), where’s the best place to be single?? London of course! I’m going to have a ball. He had two girlfriends, two houses, two lives and is 30. Now he has nothing but a single bed and a camp to go ‘home’ to. I’m not the mug here.
I go out tonight and wonder if I have ‘I’m single’ tattooed to my forehead. I’ve never gotten so much attention in all my life, then again as a friend points out, I never noticed it because I was blinded by love, I ignored any attention because I was loyal and faithful, committed to one relationship. Now I’m going to have fun!!
I’m off to Devon on the weekend to surround myself with loved ones and my dad and brother are coming with me. My family have arranged a garden party to take my mind off things.
The weekend comes and goes and I still haven’t heard anything more from him. I analyse every time he was away and work out that the weekend I arranged for us both to go to Paris to watch David Beckham play for PSG, Dick called me the day before telling me he has to work as things are all kicking off and that’s all he can tell me as it’s top secret. I lost £500 on the tickets, flights and hotel but it didn’t matter because it was his job (I was bloody gutted). A few weeks later Becks had retired and that was my last chance to ever see him play. I even told him on the Sunday that I found the message, that I would never forgive his work for making him work on that weekend as Becks has now retired.
Thing is, he wasn’t at work..he was with Emma that weekend for her nieces christening. Yep, she told me.