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But we didn't care, telling ourselves that it wouldn't be long before we were earning more and able to afford weekly treats and a bigger home where we could bring up the babies we had planned.
Struggling should have brought us closer together, and at first it did.
I would urge those who are considering walking away from such riches to think again.
How different things would be for me now if only I'd listened to Matthew when he pleaded with me not to leave him in 1997, tears pouring down his face.
I think about the times Matthew and I talked about having children, even discussing the names we would choose.
But as time went on, and my magazine career - and salary - advanced, I started to resent Matthew as he drifted from one dead-end job to another. I stopped seeing all the qualities that had made me fall in love with him - his fierce intelligence, our shared sense of humour, his determination not to follow the crowd. 'I hated the fact Matthew was suddenly putting another woman before me. Over the next few weeks, I'm ashamed to say I vented my spleen at both of them in a series of heated phone calls'I encouraged him to find a career and was thrilled when he was accepted to join the police in 1995.
It should have heralded a new chapter in our lives, but it only hastened the end.
I was crying too, and it tortured me to watch the heart of the man I loved breaking in front of me. Matthew and I met when we attended the same comprehensive school in Essex.
We started dating just before Christmas 1987 when I was 17 and studying for my A-levels.We went from spending every evening and weekend together, to hardly seeing one another.