Tuesday 28th June 2022

Women of Courage Series. #36. Anonymous. 33/2020.

Women of Courage Series. #36. Anonymous. 33/2020.

Trigger warning: Marital Breakdown, Psychological Harm, Mental Illness.

Woman of Courage #36  has chosen to be anonymous.

There will be no replies from this poster.

She will, however, be reading and I will be responding as I always do to readers’ comments.

Thank you for your understanding.


Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

I do know the person who has chosen to be anonymous. She is in her early 40s.

I am in awe of her courage and was honoured when she decided to share this in this on-line space. Thank you. 




What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

Late one night, when I was lying in bed beside my husband, I asked him if everything was okay.

He’d been acting strangely for a couple of days and I was becoming worried about him.

He sat up in bed and told me that no, everything was not okay.

He told me he didn’t love me and that he was having an affair.

Within 15 minutes of blindsiding me with this news, he left and never came back.

I spent the rest of that night vomiting and shaking from shock.

My parents were overseas and I didn’t want to wake my siblings.

I honestly did not know how I was going to make it through the night, act normal for the kids in the morning and drop them to school.

There had been no, I repeat, no indication that my husband was unhappy in our marriage.

All aspects of our marriage were normal.

We rarely fought.

I loved him with every inch of my being and from the words he’d told me and the cards he’d written me (even up to three months prior) made me believe he felt the same way.

We’d been together almost 20 years and I had thought we were the best of mates.

In those early days, I wouldn’t say I was courageous at all.

When I wasn’t catatonic, I was in survival mode.

I was simply going through the motions with the kids and trying to make sense of why and how my life was suddenly tipped upside down.

I leaned on my family and friends.

I sought professional help, got a lawyer and prepared to fight against someone, I realised that I didn’t even know.

Even though my husband was the one who had the affair and didn’t want to work on repairing our marriage, I was made out to be the ‘bad guy’.

It became clear that I was dealing with a narcissist and I was continually getting mentally beaten down.

My self-esteem was non-existent and I was torn apart, and still am, seeing my kids suffering.

In those moments when you feel like you just can’t go on anymore, you need to find courage.

You need to dig deep, otherwise hurt and pain and suffering will swallow you whole.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

The breakdown of my marriage crushed me. I very nearly lost myself, but I have been clawing my way back.

I have become stronger than I ever thought possible – mentally and physically.

Sadly, I know my ‘fight’ is not yet over and my ex and I will have ongoing issues.

I am stronger than I was at the start though and can now stand up for myself and do what it takes to support my children.

I am more relaxed now with the kids.

As a (virtually) full-time single mother with a full-time job, I need to be kind to myself.

Who cares if they skip a shower or we have Uber Eats more than we probably should?

I’m doing what I can to get by.

I’m finding real moments of happiness again now and know that there’s more to life than my ex-husband.


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

Sometimes you need to find courage from others.

Find your support network and lean on them.

Let them carry you for a little while until you are strong enough.

I also found journaling incredibly helpful and I sought professional help from a psychologist.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Yes, I do feel that I’m able to be more courageous now.

I’m determined to live my life to the full and ensure my kids grow up in a happy and stable home.

I’ll be damned if I let anything get in the way of that.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

Again, lean on those around you. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Let people in and let them help you.



I so appreciate the thought and decision that went into this post from Anonymous.

Thank you for sharing this.



The following information may be helpful to you or another. These are Australian-based.

  • Your Family G.P. can be a helpful person to listen and make referrals.
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636
  • Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details
  • Qualified Psychologists can be found by visiting https://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/
  • Australian Counselling Association is on 1300 784 333 to find a counsellor



Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

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  1. Denyse I find this post so heartbreaking. It’s very similar to the way my marriage broke up suddenly and her words took me back to that time, but I didn’t have children to care for at the time. I can’t imagine the difficulties of going through this while at the same time caring for children. I can understand why your guest chose to stay anonymous. Please past on my best wishes and my awe in the way she has come through this, while making a new life for herself and her children.

  2. Thank you for your kind words of care and understanding.

    I know that she will pop on it at times and read the comments too.

    I am sorry this was also something in your life that brought you back to “not great times.”

    Take care.


  3. What a heartbreaking post and thankyou for sharing it with us. My husband also went told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore about 5 years ago. It completely gutted me too. Fortunately there wasn’t a 3rd party involved and our children were grown and gone. It was an incredibly difficult time for me but we eventually worked through it and our marriage survived. To not have that resolution and to have the acrimony and hurt that will be an ongoing battle would be soul destroying. Good on you for pushing through for yourself and your kids and for leaning on others – we need our friends and family when our world falls apart. Wishing you all the very best for a brighter future.

    • Oh Leanne, thank you for sharing your time as well. I am, of course, glad you were both able to move on once that awful situation arose. A major tribute to you both and your determination to heal and recover.

      I am privileged to have this space for those who need to safely share a story of courage.

      I am honoured that today’s writer took the chance too.

      Take care,


  4. I can’t imagine going through this & having to be present for the kids. Thank you for sharing such a heart-breaking story. #MLSTL

    • It was, as is said, a blindside alright.

      She is very courageous despite how awful it was (and can still be) for her.

      Take care.


  5. This is a very sad story but in other ways it’s an uplifting story of courage and I feel for your guest Denyse. To have to go through all of this on your own and continue to care for your children and work as well, is just so hard. I commend you for your courage and resilience. Leaning on friends is such great advice and I’m so glad to know you were able to do that. What a generous and brave gesture to share with us. Wishing you well on your journey. Thanks Denyse for another great post in this series.

    • I agree with your comments too Debbie.

      I know that the writer will be reading the post and comments and will be helped to see how others also can understand the shock and then the ways in which she is seeing her life with the 2 girls as she moves forward.

      Take care.


  6. Hi Denyse, having been through a marriage break-down I understand how gut-wrenching it can be. For me, the situation was different but still traumatic and I also didn’t have anyone to really confide in about my feelings as I walked away. At the time, you think life is over but digging deep and with time we can rebuild our lives. Leaning on friends is great advice. I wish I had done that. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome but it would have certainly provided some level of support. Thank you for sharing at #MLSTL.

    • Thank you Sue for such a heart-felt comment and one where you clearly identified. I think in the decades past it was not something we did share with friends…or family as the spectre of a marriage relationship not working out for one reason or any others, were in-built shame producers.

      I would like to think we have, as a society, moved on from that but for those of us who are so-called Baby Boomers, and the generations before us. it would have been all but impossible to admit some aspects of going against society’s norm.

      Thanks so much for sharing and for yours and Leanne’s regular Link Up.

      Take care.


  7. Thanks Denyse and the woman who shared this. It would have been so devastating and needed so much courage to get back up again. I think asking for help requires so much courage too. A situation like this undoubtedly triggers so much shame, so much self-blame and courage can become so hard to find. Much love to this woman and others out there in similar situations x

    • Thanks so much Sanch.
      Your comment encompasses much of what can be helpful to know and accept in a situation like this. I so appreciate your caring words.

      Take care.

  8. Oh wow. My hairs are standing on end and yes, stories like these do create triggers even if our story is not the same. The mere thought of being blind sided, being psychologically and emotionally attacked, being made out to be the bad guy by others who have their own selfish agenda and finding out you may never truly know a person. All of that. I am lucky to have (what I believe to be) an incredible marriage, but I also know that could change in an instant. You never really know do you?

    Whoever this amazing woman is, I just want to say “you are amazing”. The journey you have been on, the war you were thrown into, the need to carry on. You are amazing and I thank you for sharing your story. xoxo

    I do hope you are OK. This does not define you. You are so much greater than the circumstances in which he through you into. What an arsehole.

    (Just had to throw that in).

    Much love and many hugs