"I was a victim of bigamy and I was emotionally scarred, but it doesn’t define me and I chose not to stay a victim," the woman said
One can't imagine the pain this woman felt when she realized her husband was a bigamist who had been living a secret life 100 miles away. Yve Gibney, now 60, remembers staring in disbelief at a photo of her spouse getting married to another woman.
The Mirror UK wrote about the woman's story saying that she had met her husband Maurice in Nigeria and they had married after a three-month romance. After being married for 17 years, Gibney discovered that her husband had met another woman who lived in Stourbridge, Worcestershire. Gibney a resident of Wirral, Merseyside, is now speaking out about the "absolute betrayal". The husband, Oil worker Maurice, is still married to the second woman, Suzanne Prudhoe, and had received a suspended sentence for the crime in 2014. Apparently, both the women were blissfully unaware of the other. Suzanne claims that she was told that he was divorced.
Gibney who is documenting her experience in a book said, "The overwhelming emotion is one of absolute betrayal. It’s not just an affair. Marriage is a declaration of love and commitment. When you believe you’re in a contented relationship it’s not something you can ever contemplate. I was a victim of bigamy and I was emotionally scarred, but it doesn’t define me and I chose not to stay a victim. The best thing that came out of this, is that I and my sons are free of him." Gibney explained that her marriage with Maurice was never conventional, as they had to spend long periods apart due to his jet-setting work. It was when their marriage was at the brink of ending that she got to know about his deception.
"With hindsight, for us to have lived apart we had to have a tremendous amount of trust. It wasn’t the traditional marriage, but for us, it worked. I trusted him and loved him unconditionally and I felt that he loved me back in the same way," she said.
Gibney met Maurice when she was working as a nurse and he was a quantity surveyor.
Both were single parents but neither had been married before. They had begun life as man and wife overseas before Gibney returned home while Maurice continued to work in the Middle East. The arrangement seemed to work at least for Gibney who had absolute faith in her husband and their relationship. Seventeen years passed by and for the first time Gibney became suspicious. "His trips home became shorter and more infrequent which he put down to the pressures of work," she recalled. Maurice met another woman, Suzanne, a teacher in Oman in 2011. They got engaged eight months later and married in 2013. It was apparently a lavish £45,000 ceremony. Two months before the wedding, Maurice had talked to Gibney about ending their own marriage, legally they were still married.
Gibney still remembers the dreadful day she discovered her husband was marrying another woman. "I was looking at some of his family’s Facebook pages and I saw his sister wearing a fascinator and his other sister all dressed up in wedding attire. I had this bizarre gut feeling that my husband had married someone else, but my friend said, ‘don’t be ridiculous'. But I couldn’t shake that feeling. "I knew it was him, but I couldn’t believe it was him. I rang my friend and said, ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing," she recalled. Gibney's gut-feeling was accurate and she eventually got to know the truth.
Gibney unraveled the mystery or rather the betrayal. "I was getting worried because he wasn’t replying to texts and had said he was feeling quite depressed. He told me he was too depressed to come home. It turns out, he actually was in England and had registered a hire car to an address in Stourbridge. I searched the names online and found the guy who lived there on LinkedIn. He was a partner in a gas and oil construction company that had offices in Birmingham and Oman which was the field my husband worked, so I assumed they were friends and he had gone there to recover while he was depressed. I rang the family in Stourbridge and made up a story about the car hire. In the conversation he said to me, ‘Maurice is my brother-in-law’. It didn’t make sense. He then said, ‘when Maurice comes back to England he always stays with us’. His new family were completely unaware of my existence, he had told them we were divorced for several years and had kept it a secret to protect our son," she said.
In hindsight, everything suddenly made sense to her, "For Maurice’s first Christmas in Oman, my son and I travelled 3,000 miles to spend the holidays with him, but he told us he had to work in the desert. I later discovered, after tracing email IP addresses, he had actually spent Christmas in Stourbridge with Suzanne Prudhoe and her family, having only met her three months before. He left me and my son in Oman even though we had flown out to be with him," she recalled. Gibney's book is expected to be released in late March.