"Forced into victimhood by a story that flung her into the public eye, Humphries’ funny, heartfelt and brave memoir is an unflinching look at why she stayed with Him and how it went from being fairytale perfect to one of the most public break ups ever after a Strictly affair."
Rebecca Humphries is not a victim. She changed that when she turned to Twitter in 2018 after her famous boyfriend was caught kissing his Strictly Come Dancing partner. She'll never forget those words that turned her world on an axis, "The Sun have got pictures of me and the dancer kissing". As Humphries' says: "How is it that the coolest, cleverest, sexiest women allow their brilliance to be drained in the name of love?"
How does any woman?
The cheater is never named in the book (I still don't know His name), but I suppose that is the point. Humphries and the cheater met on the set of a TV Show. It was a whirlwind romance, like a dream come true. They had an urgency for life, for mischief, for being famous. Fun.
Until it wasn't. Until the mischief, the fame, the fun was focussed on someone else.
Her ex's dishonest, manipulative, controlling behaviour wasn't new. Multiple affairs came out afterwards. But for the first time his behaviour forced her to lift the lids of boxes in her brain that she had squirrelled away, too scared to confront. The book maps two timelines, chapter by chapter and it's a rollercoaster of emotion, of revelations, admissions, painful truths, of strength, of bravery.
She stayed because it was perfect, because she was "lucky", because she has a sense of humour (and didn't mind being the butt of his jokes), because of money, because she had nothing else (after she became isolated), because she was made to feel psychotic.
She left because enough was enough, she knew the truth, she is capable of much more, her friends supported her through it, because it wasn't love.
This could have been done so differently, but it's done with grace, with honesty, with empathy. “This isn’t a story about how a monster corrupted a princess,” writes Humphries. “It’s about how a relationship began to change as a result of two people’s sense of self-worth, and I have empathy for both parties.”
Free of the toxicity, Humphries began to rebuild her life. She has since appeared in multiple high-profile TV shows, written for Vogue, Elle, The Guardian and The Telegraph and has spoken at the House of Commons about gaslighting and the media.
But there was one question that was posed of her that day in 2018 on Twitter: "If he was so bad, why did you stay?" It's a question that has never left her, a question that she felt compelled to answer, a question that Humphries more than answers with this book.
Why Did You Stay? is a story of empowerment, of taking back control of your life, of giving hope to others who feel lonely, trapped and oppressed. It's a story of self worth, of getting back your sparkle and I am sure it will help others. And it's more than that, it's a bloody good read. Humphries is funny, she's fierce and I have no doubt that she has more brightness on the horizon.
|Primary Genre||Biographies & Autobiographies|