In love again after health scare... but will it last?

On February 5, a few hours after returning from a nightmare family break in Majorca, my husband was taken seriously ill with blood-stained vomit and dreadful chest pains.

I rang 999 for an ambulance, immediately. He was taken in for a scan which found that he’d got an oesophageal tear. He’d somehow broken his food pipe. We don’t know how it happened, but that’s not the point. In 75 per cent of cases it can be fatal.

You have to get to, and operate on it quickly or the leak spreads contamination into every organ.

Anyway, over two months later, they might finally discharge him last week, and he’ll be coming home. The hospitalisation has changed everything. We’re both divorcees. He has a 16-year-old daughter, I have an 11-year-old son, and we have another son together. He’s six.

On the holiday, I decided I had to leave him. He was vile to my son, didn’t give his daughter (who’s a rebel in a big way) any guidance on drink and men, and just kept scoffing the all-inclusive, and encouraging our son to eat too much. He lost his temper all the time. I knew I couldn’t go on with his aggression and control.


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But throught the long recovery process he’s become a different person. He was so pleased to see me each time I visited. But something else happened.

On my own, I got closer to my son, to our son, and amazingly, to his daughter, who has never liked me. I stopped her boyfriend coming round for casual sex. I stopped her drinking. And four weeks ago, she thanked me for stopping her going on a self-destruct mission.

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We are, for the first time, a real family. So, what happens when he comes home? I’ve realise I do love him. I am now so desperate not to lose him, despite the anger I’ve had to put up with from him. Will he, once he’s home, turn back into the person he used to be? Will he hurt us again once he’s well and completely on his feet? Is there any hope that we’ve turned all this around?

Barbara says: Yes, there’s every hope. For the last two months, in dealing with this near-tragedy, you’ve been in charge. And isn’t that a success story? You’ve worked wonders. Things will never, thankfully, ever be the same again. You have a team on your side. And strangely, that includes him. Don’t, though, make him an outsider. Include him in. You’re doing this beautifully. Well done!

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