REAL LIFE

Scandal at the school gates

When Serena's man offered to take the kids to school, she was thrilled. But not for long...
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Serena Anderson, 27, Grantham, UK

There was a 14 year age gap between us, but the moment I saw Kevin I was smitten. As soon as we locked eyes back in April 2009, I felt my stomach start to flutter with excitement.

I’d been having a quiet drink at a mate’s house at the time. As a busy single mum to my boy Shaun, then three, romance was the last thing on my mind. But that’s when Cupid struck.

Kevin, then 35, and I started chatting, and even though he was much older than me, the attraction was electric. ‘Can I have your phone number?’ he asked with a smile. I gave it to him happily, and when he took me on a date, I knew it was the start of something special.

Within a matter of weeks we were practically living together, and soon after Kevin began to suggest we start a family of our own. It was quick, but things felt right. So I decided, why not?

A little while later, a pregnancy test confirmed what we’d both been hoping for. ‘You’re going to be a dad,’ I choked, my eyes filling with tears of joy.

It was quick, but things felt right.

We’d only been together for three months when Kevin dropped to one knee after taking me for a romantic dinner. ‘Serena,’ he said. ‘You make me so happy. Will you marry me?’

I had to catch my breath. I felt like I’d been swept up in the kind of love story you see at the movies. ‘Yes,’ I replied, and Kevin bought me a lovely white-gold diamond ring.

In April 2010, little Ruby came into the world. ‘My special princess,’ Kevin cooed as he stroked her head.

She was perfect, but of course having a newborn is tough. As we planned our wedding, the sleepless nights began to take their toll. Kevin and I had our ups and downs, but that was just family life, I reasoned.

Booking our big day for May 2011, we sent out invitations to 100 of our friends and family. I bought burgundy dresses for my seven bridesmaids and adorable outfits for Ruby and Shaun, our flower girl and page boy.

‘I walked down the aisle to see my hubby-to-be beaming with pride, my fears evaporated.’ (Credit: supplied)

Still, on the morning of our wedding, as I climbed into the strapless cream grown I had chosen, I suffered a moment of panic. Had we rushed into things?

‘No,’ I told myself firmly. ‘Kevin loves me. It’s meant to be.’And as I walked down the aisle to see my hubby-to-be beaming with pride, my fears evaporated.

Six months later, I discovered that I was pregnant again, and in August 2012 little Reggie was born. But sadly, just when our family was complete, our relationship came under strain like never before. Kevin was looking for work and I was balancing all of the household chores with night feeds and the school run.

‘I’m totally exhausted,’ I sobbed to Kevin one night. ‘I need you to start helping out more.’

At first, Kevin was annoyed I’d suggested he wasn’t pulling his weight, but he soon softened. ‘You’re right,’ he agreed. ‘It’s not fair. Why don’t I start doing the school run?’ I was thrilled.

Kevin and Serena (Credit: supplied)

Having a spare hour in the morning to get organised would make a massive difference. And from that moment, as promised, Kevin got up early to take Shaun to class, meaning I had time to concentrate on Reggie and Ruby and get the chores done.

After five months, I felt able to do a bit more myself. ‘I’ll pick the kids up today,’ I said one afternoon. ‘You can have a break.’

I thought he would be pleased, but I was wrong. ‘No,’ Kevin said, firmly. ‘It’s my job.’

I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I felt like something between us had shifted. And was I imagining it, or had Kevin been sprucing himself up more than usual in the mornings too?

Soon Kevin was spending more time away from home on his days off. When I questioned him, he told me he was seeing friends and that I needed to relax. I wasn’t sure, and in February 2013, something happened to fuel my fears.

Sean, Ruby with Serena, and little Reggie. (Credit: supplied)

Kevin couldn’t do the school run one day so I went instead. I happened to bump into Louise*, another mum I knew. I hadn’t seen her for a while, but she had some news to tell me.

‘This is probably none of my business,’ she began hesitantly.

‘What is it?’ I asked her, my stomach knotting with dread.

‘I’ve seen Kevin doing the school run,’ she said. ‘He’s always laughing and joking with Karen*.’

‘W-what?’ I stammered. Karen was another mum.

Already suspicious of what Kevin had been up to, Louise’s words set alarm bells ringing in my head. And that wasn’t all.

Another time I accompanied Kevin when he dropped Shaun at school and, sitting in the car, I saw my husband’s behaviour with Karen myself. Kevin had a huge smile plastered on his face, while Karen’s little girl seemed really upset. ‘What was that about?’ I asked as Kevin returned to the car.

‘I was just joking about taking her mum out on a date,’ Kevin said, laughing. Well that wasn’t funny.

The more I thought over the situation, the more suspicious I became. If something really was going on with Kevin and Karen, it might explain why my hubby was so distant, why I never knew where he was…

Desperate to know the truth, I finally confronted Kevin. ‘What’s going on with Karen?’ I asked him one evening. ‘We’re friends, what’s wrong with that?’ he said, shrugging. As much as I wanted to believe him, I simply couldn’t.

I never knew where he was…

 We argued more than ever and after a tense few weeks, I knew our marriage was over. ‘I want you to move out,’ I told Kevin. ‘This isn’t working.’

He didn’t accept it at first, but finally we parted ways and I did my best to break it to the children. It wasn’t easy, and a few weeks later something happened to leave me shattered. Kevin had news for me. ‘There is something you should know,’ he said. ‘I’m with Karen now.’ What a surprise…

We’d only just called it quits, and my husband had moved on with another mum. I’d been right all along, there was something suspect about Kevin doing the school run. And even though part of me felt like shouting and screaming, I just didn’t have the energy.

‘You’re welcome to each other,’ I spat. Kevin and I got divorced in October last year, and although I’ve been deeply hurt, I recently met a wonderful man who makes me very happy.

I never imagined my hubby would betray me at the school gates. I thought I had left playground politics behind when I was a teenager. I guess I was wrong.

*Names have been changed

Kevin says…
‘It was a loveless marriage. We didn’t have an affair. You can print what you want, I don’t care.’

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