Emma Kenna: Why my husband did me a favour by having an affair

April 10, 2017

Emma KennyNC

Emma hasn’t looked back since she met Pete

The day Emma Kenny discovered that the two people she trusted most in the world had betrayed her, her life was turned upside down. After six years of marriage and two children, Emma’s husband Andy cheated on her with her best friend. 

“I felt as though I’d been punched in the stomach,” says Emma. “I was scared and vulnerable and I felt like the world didn’t make sense any more.” 

She lives in Manchester, is a psychologist and TV presenter who regularly appears in the media. 

After meeting through mutual friends when she was 26, Emma and Andy married two years later. 

Yet after the birth of their second child, the passion in the couple’s relationship began to fade. 

Emma KennyNC

Since the affair, Emma has forged a successful career giving relationship advice

I felt as though I’d been punched in the stomach

Emma Kenny

“Andy and I were good friends but that spark had gone,” says Emma, 44. 

When feeling down about her relationship, she would confide in best friend Catherine. The pair had met through their children at the school gates and formed a special bond. 

“We became very close in a short space of time and we would have dinner parties together,” says Emma, who is mum to Tyde, 14 and 12-year-old Evan. 

So when Catherine began to spend more time at their family home when her own relationship began to break down, Emma says she didn’t mind. “She would hang out at our house. But I was naive and had no reason not to trust her,” she says. “She was somebody I valued a great deal.” 

Yet during a weekend break to Lytham in Lancashire, Emma began to suspect something was amiss. 

Emma KennyGETTY

Emma asked for a divorce the moment her husband had confessed

“We all shared a caravan and one night Catherine, who had recently left her husband, stayed up with Andy while I went to bed,” she says. 

“But unbeknown to them I was awake and could hear them whispering.” 

When they returned from the holiday, Emma’s suspicions grew. 

“Over the next six weeks they spent more and more time together,” she says. 

“Then one night he was at her house. I rang him to tell him that our little boy was ill but he didn’t come home until two in the morning.” 

She was furious and confronted him. “When he walked in I said, ‘I know you are having an affair’, but he replied, ‘I am not’,” she says. “But then he owned up and told me it had been going on for a month or so.” 

Heartbroken, Emma immediately told him to move out and asked for a divorce. She then tried to confront Catherine – who refused to see her in person. “She called me but all she could say was ‘sorry’,” says Emma. 


She admits that by helping others she has healed herself

“It was devastating that my friend could do that. While my relationship with my husband might not have been perfect, mine was with her and I really loved her and cared for her.” 

In the aftermath of the affair, Emma struggled to cope. 

“My life completely turned upside down,” she says. “The affair changed everything for me. I had no money. I was so angry.” 

Falling into a depression, she hit rock bottom. “I used to run six miles a day but after that, I couldn’t go out. I didn’t have a social life and suddenly I had to look after two small children on my own. 

“For a couple of weeks, I shut myself off from the rest of the world.” 

Yet for the sake of her two young boys, Emma knew she had to carry on with her life. 

“I was determined to keep on going for the sake of my kids. I had to be resilient.” 

By reading every self-help book she could lay her hands on and starting a routine of gentle exercise, Emma slowly began to feel better. 

Little by little, she learned to love herself again. 

“I spent hours alone and it was amazing because I realised that I liked myself a lot more than I ever thought I did,” she says. 

“I also found that I was a lot stronger than I ever knew and finally I also realised that I wasn’t bitter.” 

When Andy begged to come back in the weeks following the affair, she knew she had to move on. “One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You will never be able to afford this house on your own’, and I remember saying, ‘I will make sure that I do’,” she says. 

Emma admits she had no choice but to make her situation work for the sake of her sons. 

“From that moment on I put in place a very specific budget plan and started cooking cheap and healthy meals. 

“When you have two young children, you don’t have an option because everything you do affects them,” she says. 

“I was committed to being a single mum.” 

It was sitting at her kitchen table one night that Emma came up with an idea to help other women going through the same thing. 

“A single mum, I was sitting at home thinking how on earth I was going to motivate myself to stay healthy and exercise every day,” she says. 

“I decided to set up my own website that was all about health, fitness and nutrition.” The result was makeyourswitch.co.uk, which provides advice from doctors, psychologists, dieticians and fitness instructors on how to be healthier and happier. 

Emma retrained as a psychologist herself and has forged a successful career, working on TV and appearing in magazines, giving advice. 

She admits that by helping others she has healed herself. 

Then five years ago, at work, she met Pete, who runs his own production company. 

“He akked if I could call him. He was down because his wife had left him,” she says. 

“I remember putting the phone down and thinking he had a really nice accent.” 

Within three weeks the pair began dating and a year later they were married. 

Emma says she has never looked back. “Being with Pete is a million miles away from what I had experienced before. He has given me a whole new view of the world,” she says. 

Although she and Pete, 42, suffered heartache after losing a baby last year, they still hope to have children together. 

“Ironically, after having the affair Andy and Catherine never saw each other again,” she says. 

“My ex-husband has also moved on and remarried and now has a two-year-old daughter. 

“We both now know that we are definitely with the right people. I know Pete and I will spend the rest of our lives together.” 

Emma says she has forgiven both parties for the affair. 

“I bear no malice to Catherine because she has done me the biggest favour. 

“In fact, I have never felt or looked better. I can genuinely say that I am in the best place I have been.”

To find out more visit makeyourswitch.co.uk

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