What happens after spending years together with someone and then suddenly feeling like you aren’t happy with you anymore?
It happens in lots of relationships and it’s sad because when you marry or commit to someone for life you hope that you both will grow together, not apart.
The reality can be quite different as celebrity Louise Redknapp has proven. She’s admitted to currently living apart from her footballer husband saying she’s spent most of her life pleasing others and is finally coming back to who she is.
She came away from the limelight, raised two children before taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and finding a new confidence. It’s hard sometimes not to feel like ‘just a mum’ or ‘just a wife’ and when a woman puts her family first there are bound to be points where she feels like that’s all there is to her.
Then one day the kids don’t need you as much and there’s that fear that creeps in and you don’t know what to do next. I have a friend who has decided to go back to work for that exact reason – she doesn’t want to end up with nothing eventually.
I have another friend who didn’t work whilst raising her two babies. They are now at school and her confidence is so low because she’s been at home for such a long time she’s struggling to put herself back out there.
Her predicament is not helped by the fact her husband doesn’t want her to return to work and of course it causes a lot of resentment and friction in their relationship.
I don’t agree with anyone telling their other half they can’t do something, it’s controlling behaviour which is never healthy in a relationship. Everyone deserves a supportive partner who will help him or her to achieve their goals whatever they may be.
Being at home during the week can feel overwhelming at times and even though I work part time and I have meetings during the week I still moan sometimes about cleaning up after everyone!
I wanted desperately to spend more time with my daughter and husband and have another baby so I wasn’t even concerned with what I was giving up when I left full time radio.
I know I’m happier and healthier for not enduring 4am alarm calls and stressful environments and I love taking my daughter to school, picking her up, baking with her and generally just having more time for her. Of course I can’t wait for baby number two to arrive this Christmas and I feel lucky to be able to expand my family unit.
However I would be lying if sometimes I don’t think ‘what next?’ ‘Is that it for me?’. I often chat with my hubby about things and he always reminds me how lucky I am to have such a good balance. Chris would love to be at home full time and reminds me regularly that if he could swap with me tomorrow he would.
My husband is much more successful than me in the radio industry. He has worked so hard to achieve his goals and although I absolutely live in his shadow I am extremely proud of him. I feel like we grow stronger together all the time and no matter what is going on I never feel estranged from him.
I imagine somewhere along the way Louise Redknapp felt like what she had become wasn’t a person she connected with. I firmly believe that you have to be happy with you in order to be happy in a relationship. It must be incredibly hard to walk away from the person you’ve spent most of your adult life with in order to find yourself again and learn how to make yourself happy again. It’s a brave thing to do that’s for sure and not an easy option.
I’m sure many people stay stuck because the not knowing is the scariest part, if you jump but then regret it, what next? There will always be times in your life when you have to put yourself first.
When it’s your time to try something you have always wanted to do the people who love you the most will be right behind you willing you to succeed.
Women’s right to choose
The singer Paloma Faith has openly talked about how she’s been to hell and back after a terrifying ordeal during labour with her first child.
It’s refreshing that a celebrity is happy to be so honest and not afraid to say her experience was nothing liked she hoped for. It can be really depressing for women who endure difficult pregnancies and labour especially if they feel like they’re the only ones. Paloma has spoken of how she planned a natural birth and wanted to be seen as that type of ‘earth mother’ but sadly it didn’t go that way for her and she ended up having a very different birth. With my daughter I did a weekend hypno birthing course. I planned a birthing pool with no drugs and in my head it was all mapped out. Well like Paloma’s experience and thousands of other women out there it didn’t happen like that at all for me. I was four days overdue, had no contractions after my waters broke and it was clear my body did not want to work at all.
I ended up having a C-section after 10 hours of trying and failing to have Ava-Lilly naturally and I had to accept very quickly there was going to be nothing ‘earth mother’ about me. I think I really struggled after her birth to come to terms with what had happened to my body and I definitely had a bit of depression. This time with Baby two I’m opting for a C-section so I’m ready, I know what’s going on, what my recovery will require and I’m more confident as I’m prepared. Every woman has the right to choose. Mothers make the decision they feel is best for them and their baby.
Praise for brave women
I have nothing but praise for the brave women who’ve recently spoken out about the sexual harassment at the hands of Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
It’s heartbreaking to think that someone has abused his power in such a horrifying way for so long. The actress Ashley Judd is one of the main actresses who has spoken out and the support for her from fellow people in the business is growing by the day.
It’s so sad to think this man has got away with it for so long and whilst you can hear some people saying ‘well he’s old and comes from a different generation’ I’m afraid that just doesn’t cut it. It’s all come back to bite Weinstein finally and he is getting what he deserves, short, sharp shrift from Hollywood and those all important, influential people.
Victims of sexual harassment and assault deserve to have the utmost support and some will need others to speak up on their behalf.