I’m married to a Turkish guy, everything was great but there were a few cultural issues I should have picked up on. I’m a strong, independent woman and I’ve always achieved what I wanted to. One of my goals was to be a HR Director by age 35, which I achieved. Not long after I walked out of corporate life and set up my own business. We got married four years ago and when he came to the country, he was a different person. He used to be a big fish in a small pond but when he came to London he lost his ability to walk around and be the ‘big I am’. It seemed like everything went to pot, like everything I touched just wasn’t working. In the relationship he was being abusive and drinking an awful lot. Work was unsettled and eventually I found it tough to earn the income I needed to keep us both going. I’d completely lost myself not seeing friends or family, I became a shell and stayed in the house, putting on four-stone. The relationship generally made me feel bad about myself. It took me a year to build up the courage to do it, but I eventually kicked him out.

He told me he wanted to continue applying for the Visa but of course the divorce was in process. I lost my strength and I pulled the divorce. He asked if he could come and stay; two years later he’s still here. It’s little baby steps. Making the decision to do something is the hardest thing in the world. I’m getting stronger and stronger. I decided not to involve him in my life and I don’t tell him what I am doing. I don’t burden myself with his issues or take them on as my own anymore. If he tries to shout at me, I now just walk off. We are ok, we get on.

I got connected to an amazing global community in Personal Development, setting up my own business as a partner with them and they’ve supported every little step I’ve made so far. Don’t ever think that someone else has control over your life, words matter and can hurt, you must recognise which words count and ignore the rest. Don’t let a negative story become reality.