The chat box appeared on my screen, I knew it was wrong, I was a married woman yet the impulse was too great. I was falling in love with a man I had never met. I had met Matt on a music site online, we got chatting and swapped email addresses, months passed and we talked almost daily he had become my best friend.

I ended my marriage, not because of the new man in my life, he still was just an online friend but he had given me the courage and the support to finally realise I did deserve better. I had been open and honest with Matt about my life, my husband, my career and my 3 children, he was also the only person to know my big dark secret, I was an abused and beaten women.

For those looking in I had it all, 3 beautiful kids, a large home, flashy car and my own clothing shop, a man who doted on me and then behind closed doors that man would degrade me, insult me, beat me and much more. Matt was the only person I had revealed my secret too. I would later find out it was no secret, friends and family all knew something was not quite right, but never intervened, 11 years I had spent living in fear.

It was 6 months after leaving my abusive husband when Matt and I finally arranged to meet for the first time. We met in a night club, I was 27 years old and clubbing for the first time in my life, I spotted him from across the room and ran to him, I threw my arms around him and sighed, it was as if he had always been in my life, not the online stranger he really was. The night ended and we went our separate ways, we lived two and a half hours away from each other.

Things happened rather fast after that, the following week Matt came to meet my 3 children, the following week he returned and met my family, the following week, he packed his things, handed in his notice at work and moved in with me. Within 6 weeks we were expecting our first baby together.

I would love to say the story has a happy ending and it does to an extent, but and yes there is always a but; I have had to face many difficulties to overcome my past. It took me at least 2 years to finally accept that not all men hit, to learn to trust and not jump when he raised his voice. I was diagnosed with Bipolar, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and both a sleep and eating disorder in 2009, Matt stood by me every step of the way.

He does get angry at me sometimes as he sees how I punish myself for the guilt I still carry inside. Domestic violence and mental illness stole my self-worth, my confidence and almost my mind. I thank Matt for seeing past that lost young women who had so much baggage because he has shown me that I do deserve to be treated with respect and most of all I deserve to be loved.

We have been together for over 5 years now and we have 3 children together, Matt is an amazing daddy and step father to my 3 eldest children, we married last year and I am very grateful to him for making me see for the first time in my life, that I was worth something.

Can online dating work? It did for me.

About the Author:

Emma is the brains and beauty behind The Real Supermum Blog. The Real Supermum is a mom to 6 and runs a support network for moms who have suffered troubled pasts. She also blogs in the hope of ensuring no other woman ever has to feel alone and frightened as she once did. You can read her open and honest blog to find out more.

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