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Monday 1 May 2017

‘I hit her and threatened her with a knife’ – Man who assaulted his wife when he discovered she was having affair speaks of his regret

The couple are now back together

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Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A man who served prison time for assaulting his wife when he discovered she was having an affair has spoken out about his regret.

The man, referred to as ‘Francis’, said he has a hard time trusting people due to being sexually abused as a young boy, and was devastated when he found out about the affair six years ago.

“It’s a terrible thing that I done,” he told RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline.

“I couldn’t have handled the situation any worse than I did because I put my wife’s life in danger, my own life in danger and it was a huge explosion in our relationship.

“For me, I had bad issues with trust down to being severely sexually abused as a child. Also within the relationship, I suppose we weren’t communicating that well at the time.

“I just went off the rails completely over a stage of twenty-four hours. I just couldn’t believe someone I trusted so much, whom I put so much faith in, had done this.”

The couple, who have three children, are now back together after attending marriage counselling.

Francis also attended a number of anger management classes.

While his wife, referred to as ‘Anne’, says she has forgiven him, not everyone had the same reaction.

“People can be very unforgiving even though the people that are in the situation can forgive each other and move on.

“It was very difficult because I wanted to reconcile with my wife and she wanted to reconcile with me but we had the law involved.”

When he found out about the affair, he physically assaulted her and threatened her with a knife to find out the name of the man she had been having an affair with.

Also speaking on Liveline this afternoon, Anne said the two have worked out their differences.

“I tell you, Francis never, ever laid a finger on me before this. He was a total different man when it happened.

“I realised I made a mistake. I loved my husband and I just wanted things to go back but I wanted to take it one step at a time and so did Francis to make everyone happy.

“It’s hard to explain. I know a lot of people think ‘oh, you are mad’ but six years down the road, Francis hasn’t laid a hand on me since and it is all down to the good people who worked with us to help us to get to where we want to be.”

While she is standing by her husband, she admits it is still difficult to talk about what happened that day six years ago.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear it all back again. It’s sad for him as well.

“It was horrific. Nobody was put on this planet to be assaulted. It did happen. None of us are denying it. It did happen.

“I wanted marriage counselling, so did Francis. Francis had anger management too.

“You have to work on this thing together if you want to get back together.”

Explaining their reasons for going on national radio about the assault, Francis said he wanted to ensure no man makes the same mistakes he did.

“Myself and my wife are moving on with our lives. The reason we came on your show is to help anyone. For some of us out there, our lives can be repaired.

“There is loads of help out there so don’t be afraid to use it. The most important thing is to do what is best for yourself.”

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this videos contact the Women's Aid Helpline on 1800 341 900 or visit www.womensaid.ie.

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