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I swore revenge on the woman who stole my man I had it all but my life was one big lie; REAL LIVES: The incredible stories of three desperate housewives who found new strength byte housewives who found new strength by refusing to be crushed by their despicable husbands.They told DONNA WHITE how they did itnds.They told DONNA WHITE how they did it.

Ainsley's story

DOTING housewife Ainsley Sanderson thought she had the perfect marriage.

She had two children and a loving husband whose only interests outside the family were the Territorial Army and his computer.

But that all changed one Sunday after Mark, 30, returned to their home in Largs,Ayrshire,from a TA weekend.

As she read their children - Morgan, seven and three-year-old Kerr - bedtime stories, she heard Mark bashing away at his computer.

Curiosity got the better of her and, later, she sneaked a look. She found two emails Mark had sent after his supposed training weekend.

One said: 'Missing you terribly. Wish I were with you. The sex, I hope, made - and makes - up for it. Love Mark.' Another began: 'Hi, sexy' and ended: 'Love always, your sex slave if you want me.'

Ainsley, 27, immediately threw her husband out and planned revenge.

She said: 'I drew up a list which I called my 'sanity list'. It featured everything I needed to do to be able to carry on with my life.'

The list was: #Find out all about the affair. #Track down the mistress.

#Tell her parents what she's done. #Inform her boyfriend of her betrayal. #Tell her bosses what she's been up to.

Ainsley said: 'As far as I was concerned, I'd spent many years doing my job - building up my family.

'And in one weekend, this woman had torn it apart.'

Ainsley believed the best way to get revenge was to destroy the reputation her love rival had spent years building. rival had spent years building. After a bit of detective work, she a bit of detective work, she discovered the woman's name wasred the woman's name was Yvonne Mackay, 28, a social worker Mackay, 28, a social worker and a member of the communityember of the community council in Durness, Sutherland.in Durness, Sutherland.

Yvonne occasionally worked behind e occasionally worked behind the local golf club's bar and staff there golf club's bar and staff there gave Ainsley her home phone number.sley her home phone number. Sordid The young mum pretended to be anng mum pretended to be an old friend when she spoke to Yvonne'sd when she spoke to Yvonne's parents and they revealed what she and they revealed what she had been up to - even telling Ainsley n up to - even telling Ainsley the name of her boyfriend in Carlisle.e of her boyfriend in Carlisle. Ainsley then wrote to Yvonne'sey then wrote to Yvonne's bosses, revealing how the mistress revealing how the mistress had used her office and her work d her office and her work computer to conduct her sordid affair.r to conduct her sordid affair. Ainsley said: 'Ask anyone whoey said: 'Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you lying ise and they'll tell you lying is completely against my religion. But Iely against my religion. But I felt I'd been deceived so badly that Ieen deceived so badly that I didn't care.' But Ainsley admits she did feel guilty when she told Yvonne's long-term boyfriend of her betrayal.

She said: 'He sounded utterly shell-shocked. I knew just how he felt.'

Ainsley got Yvonne's mobile number and after a few slanging matches, the pair talked.

Ainsley said: 'She answered all my questions and told me all the details of the affair.

'She'd been fed the usual line - 'My wife doesn't understand me'. She believed I deserved the truth.'

Yvonne ended the affair with Mark shortly after his wife found out about it.

For Ainsley, it was a bitter end to her nine-year relationship.

She met Mark when she was 16 and fell pregnant with their daughter Morgan at 19. The couple married when Ainsley was 21.

Mark joined the Army and served in the Gulf. He was away for months at a time and became stroppy and sullen when he was at home.

He didn't show much interest in his daughter and Ainsley became used to being alone with Morgan and, later, their son Kerr.

They had a nice house in Largs, Ayrshire, and Ainsley wanted for nothing.

Mark, a joiner, left the Army in 1998 then joined the Territorial Army, which took him away at weekends.

But Ainsley was happy to have him home during the week.

She said: 'I thought things between us would improve and we'd live happily ever after.

'Mark could be very attentive at times and although it sounds strange to say it, I know he adored me.'

But it seems that wasn't enough. During weekend manoeuvres in Durness, he was moving in on Yvonne Mackay. Ainsley now works shifts in a hotel and has filed for a divorce.

She said: 'So many women are forced into forgiving their husbands because they don't know how they'll make ends meet without them.

'At first, I was terrified and I thought I'd have to take him back. But I'm paying my bills and managing fine.

'Mark truly believes if he hangs around on the sidelines for long enough, I'll forgive him.

'He can't understand why I don't accept his apology and take him back.

'But he would rather have a tart on the side than the loving home I provided for him. And that's fine by me. If he doesn't want me, I know I'll eventually find somebody who does.

'I forgave him a lot when we were together. But I can never forgive his betrayal.'

Brenda's story

WHEN Brenda Harris met her first husband, she was searching for the love and security that comes from a picture-perfect family life.

She got a man who drove her to such depths of self-hatred she became addicted to anti-depressants and lost custody of her kids.

Brenda, 36, said: 'We had a nice house, two cars, luxury holidays and two beautiful children. But the marriage was a lie.'

Brenda's mother had abandoned her to be raised by grandparents.

She met Brian, 10 years her senior, when he joined her church group and they married when she was 22.

She became the doting housewife while he climbed the ladder at GlaxoSmithKline. They had a son, now 10, then a daughter, seven.

Home was a smart three-bedroomed detached house near the beach, in the most affluent part of Montrose.

But Brenda was a virtual prisoner who wasn't allowed to have a career or friends.

'Brian was bossy and overbearing but I thought that was normal,' she said.

She soon realised her husband was involved with a married woman.

She now suspects he only married her to boost his corporate image.

The marriage ended after seven years when Brian left.

In October 2001, Brenda's GP prescribed anti-depressant Seroxat to combat low self-esteem but she claims the pills turned her into 'a zombie.'

Brenda said: 'I'd have blackouts and come round in a police cell not knowing where I was.'

She managed to stop taking Seroxat in November 2002 and has remarried.

But her ex-husband has the couple's children with his lawyers claiming her behaviour made her unfit to care for them.

Brenda has now joined a group action to sue GlaxoSmithKline over Seroxat, which the company denies has serious side effects.

Margaret's story

FOR more than 20 years Margaret McDade was a devoted wife and mum - only to find out her husband was a bigamist.

Computer expert Derek McMurray, 47, worked long hours and Margaret knew he'd cheated on her once.

But for the sake of their children, Graeme, 25, and Fiona, 15, she forgave him.

But after he took a job in England, he met another woman and moved in with her. Five weeks later they married - though he was still wed to Margaret.

Margaret, 47, who has now remarried, said: 'I gave up the chance of a career to concentrate on our family, then he left me high and dry without a penny.

'Derek fled to Saudi Arabia so the law could do nothing about his bigamy.'

Margaret, of Kilmarnock, married Derek in 1979 and after a spell in England they moved back to Scotland in 1997 where Derek set up a computer consultancy, earning pounds 100,000 a year.

A contract meant he had to be in Cambridgeshire during the week, though he came home at weekends.

One day he arrived home and told a stunned Margaret: 'I'm leaving you.'

During her court battles for maintenance, she found out he was living with a 35-year-old called Tania.

Then her lawyer discovered Derek had remarried in Las Vegas in February 2000-but he and Margaret weren't divorced until 2002.

She said: 'I believed in standing by my man and carried on like my life was perfect, when it wasn't.

'I wish I'd left him after his first affair.'

Margaret confronted Derek and his new wife after they sneaked back into Britain to have their son christened and stayed with Tania's parents in Wales.

Margaret flew down to confront him but Derek wouldn't even look her in the eye and hid behind Tania. Disgusted, Margaret threw her wedding ring at him.

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Drug battle: Brenda
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 30, 2005
Words:1506
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