The day I found out my husband was having an affair (via his repeated Ubers late at night from the same roster of hotels), my world as I knew it crumbled. I couldn’t get out of bed. I could barely bring myself to speak to friends, and focused instead on simply functioning.
I can’t imagine this happening with the world’s media standing at the garden gate, watching your family’s every move, as Victoria Beckham implies in her candid response to the Rebcca Loos scandal and an alleged affair in the Netflix Beckham documentary.
Part of my recovery was to hide away from friends and family to try and deal with it in private, picking the mess of our marriage apart from our two very different perspectives. Our situation felt as straightforward as it could under the circumstances, when your life is turned upside down by the person closest to you. We got to make a choice and quickly resolved that we both wanted to try and make it work, rather than split immediately. Like David and Victoria Beckham at the time of the Rebecca Loos headlines, we had young children in the equation.
That decision, to stay in the marriage and work at it, felt at odds with what I thought society expected of me—to up and leave, outraged. But to be frank, I felt way too confused and crushed to make that type of rational decision in the days that followed the affair discovery.
The reality is that marriage and long-term partnerships can be hard, and infidelities are a surprisingly common occurrence. As I went through the healing process, I realized I couldn’t hear the voices of the women who chose to dig in and sort through the hard stuff.
I did wonder at the time how women in the public eye, whose partners were rumored to have strayed, got through, under the scrutiny. I understand why they wouldn’t share intimate details, but hearing those voices might have helped me, or at the least made me feel less isolated as I navigated the emotional upheaval.
It’s why I’m appreciative of Victoria’s candid acknowledgement of how hard that time in their life was, and how they’ve worked through it. So to the cynics who have accused them of revealing it all now to boost the authenticity of Brand Beckham, I say: Try to live this experience even without the media spotlight, and see how you fare.
I also know from personal experience that the healing process takes time—it took me over a year of intense and often uncomfortable therapy to deal with all my emotions; to be honest with myself and also my partner. It took me five years to be able to tell others about our experience, to have the space from the intensity of the heartache, and the ability to discuss it without breaking down!
Our relationship has changed forever, and now—with some time and perspective—I feel proud of how hard we both worked to stay in our marriage. I can imagine the Netflix premiere, with all the family together, was a proud moment for the Beckham clan, too. When you’ve worked hard, I understand it’s something to celebrate.
This story originally appeared on glamourmagazine.co.uk.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com
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