We’re moments away from a shiny new year and I’ve always loved the opportunity it offers to make peace with what has been and to look forward to what can be. This year that feeling is especially true and especially necessary.

I’m still struggling to get my head around how differently this year has ended to how it began, and how I can reconcile a year of incredible personal achievements with one of the hardest experiences I’ve had to get through.

I started 2017 alongside a husband who showered me with love through his words and his actions. Who celebrated my promotion with me and repeatedly told me how proud he was of my success and hard work. Who sweetly booked us a holiday as Mr and Mrs for the first time, to encourage me finally change my passport name 2 years after marrying. Who organised everything so that we would do that long agreed second wedding in Cyprus in front of all his family. Who raised glasses to our love with both our families around us and accepted gifts from them to help our future. Who talked with me of the babies he wanted and the plans we had for the life we were building together. Who gave me no reason to do anything but love and trust him.

But I ended 2017 with a husband who had cheated on me in the same month I got that promotion. Who was willing to put my health and safety at risk by having unprotected sex and keeping that secret for 6 months; thank goodness I am not dealing with life altering consqeuences. Who was able to look me in the eye in front of our families at that Cypriot wedding, knowing he had done that. Who when he wanted to leave, blamed me for the ambitions he has failed to achieve and told me his unhappiness and infidelity was my fault, rather than acknowledging his own failings. Who walked out on me on the weekend of my 29th birthday with only a whatsapp message to let me know, because he couldn’t look my pain in the face. Who refused any marital counselling to try and save our marriage, because ultimately he just didn’t want to be a married man any more. Who broke every vow he made to me, even though I believed he had the integrity to follow them through.

Even though I started 2017 with what I thought was a loving husband, I am ending it filing for divorce from a man I no longer recognise.

The last 3 months have been full of pain. To have the person you trust most in the world hurt and betray you is an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But, I have lived through pain before and I know the light is showing on the other side. I am starting this new phase of my life so grateful for everything and everyone I do have; it has given me strength to I know I’m not alone. It has been a balm to be surrounded by love when my heart was breaking. It heals to hear what I know is true: this is his loss.

So, with this new year, I am going to do what I do best; survive and thrive. I have built a good world around me and  I am determined to use this time to grow, to succeed, to heal, to be happy, to trust again and to move on, without him.

Here’s to 2018 and here’s to my new future.