When Naledi Maleeme (29) got married in 2012, she never thought her marriage would end just six years later.

In 2018, her, now ex-husband, cheated on her in their home while she was asleep with a known family friend.

This is her story.

I fell in-love with my ex-husband in 2012 when I was just 22, we met through mutual friends and became inseparable almost immediately.

Although we had an age difference of 13 years and he was previously married, our relationship felt natural and evolved quite quickly.

My mother was initially concerned about our relationship because of the age difference but I put her mind at ease. I hardly spoke to any of my family members about my relationship because I’ve always been quite a private person.

As months and years went by, my ex and I spent a lot of time together because I’m the kind of person who didn’t have a lot of friends. My social life revolved around his social life, I basically got absorbed into his life and his friends.

A few years into our marriage, I became less involved in his social life and I think that’s when the cheating started. I hardly went out with him anymore, so the friendship element of our relationship faded away.

In 2014 I suffered a miscarriage and he was hardly there to support me. He went on with his life and I went on with mine even though we were still married.

That’s when I began to see messages from women on his phone, but I chose to let it slide because there wasn’t any physical proof.

In 2017, it was my ex-husband birthday and I hosted a dinner for him where one of his friends invited their older sister. I thought nothing of it at the time, but it wouldn’t be long before I’d see her again.

A month later we were invited to a wedding but decided to in separate cars. I decided to leave the wedding around 9PM because I came with my four-year-old son and 14-year-old step-daughter.

Around 4AM in the morning I heard my ex-husband come home and he came to bed after a while with his pants off. I wondered why he didn’t have pants on, but I quickly let go of the thought as he got into bed and charged his phone beside me.

After that I struggled to sleep again so I decided to wake up early, and that’s when I made the discovery.

A woman’s underwear, clothes and earrings were in my lounge and I later found her shoes in the garage.  I then went into the guest room and there she was, comfortably sleeping in my house. She was the woman from his 40th birthday party, his friend’s sister.

I was in so much shock that I closed the door and headed straight to ask my ex what the meaning of all of this was. He just looked at me and provided no explanation.

He was later fetched by his friend and left me with his mistress in the house.

When she finally woke up, which was around 11AM, she was very friendly and comfortable and even joined my children and I for breakfast.

I didn’t have any will power to fight so I served her breakfast and even drove her to her brother’s house after because she didn’t have a car with her.

The incident wasn’t brought up again and for the following few months, my ex and I lived like strangers.  In March 2018, I decided to pack my things and move back to my mother’s house with my child.

My mother was disappointed, but she understood my situation and welcomed me home.

Sometimes I feel that whatever happened was so fundamental to my growth.

My advice to other women who are going through these things is that they should speak out more and they shouldn’t worry themselves about what other people will say about their failing relationship.

Be comfortable in your own truth, in all situations the power always rests in you, also seek professional help.

One of the things that I found out during my healing is that mental therapy is very much needed, the same way we take care of our bodies by eating healthy and exercising, your mind also needs the same.

I am now in such a better place and my ex-husband still supports his son financially.

I am also in a new relationship which is serving me well.