The former Blue Peter presenter, who announced she had split from rugby player Richie Myler, felt ‘isolated’ as she lifted the sticks and moved to France when he changed jobs ‘team.
Helen Skelton made a sacrifice for husband Richie Myler – but it left her feeling “crushing loneliness”.
The former Blue Peter presenter, who married the professional rugby player in December 2013, announced they had broken up and he had moved on.
The devastating split comes just four months after the couple welcomed their third child, Elsie Kate, and they are also parents to boys Ernie, six, and Louis, four.
“Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has moved out of the family home,” Helen wrote in a moving statement posted to her Instagram Stories on Monday.
“We will do our best to co-parent our grandchildren.”
The couple broke up after eight years of marriage, during which Helen left everything she knew for her husband.
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When Richie switched to the Catalan Dragons, Helen and their sons moved with the rugby league star to France in September 2015.
They moved to Perpignan in the south of the country, but the Countryfile presenter admitted it was a ‘tough learning curve’ living in a completely different country.
‘I didn’t speak the language and felt so isolated that I used to go to the local tourist office just to talk to someone who spoke English,’ she told the Daily Mail’s You Magazine in 2018.
“The loneliness was overwhelming even though French wives and girlfriends invited me to their parties, which was nice.
“I was trying to keep up with laughing and nodding – then someone was asking me if I understood and I was saying no. They thought I was nuts.”
While in France, Helen said she learned a lot about motherhood and the different attitudes towards children, such as the baby foods they use.
She explained that French mums have no problem pulling out jars of mash if they’re busy, but UK mums “feel they have to apologize” if something isn’t organic or homemade.
Helen also found that the French women she dated ate a lot during mealtimes, but she never saw them “fun on a bar of chocolate” or get takeout.
While in France, Helen gave birth to her second son Louis in April 2017 on their kitchen floor.
Firefighters arrived but had no experience of childbirth, but luckily her friend was with her when she gave birth.
“I was in France and my husband was in England, and nobody got to me in time,” she told the Mirror.
“So I gave birth with just my three-year-old next to me, repeatedly hitting me on the head with a plastic sword, because he thought we were playing dinosaurs.
“Terrifying. But I had no choice, I just had to keep going.”
The pair returned to the UK in June 2017 when Richie signed a three-year contract with Leeds Rhinos.
They have created their dream family home in the Yorkshire countryside, launching an extensive project to renovate a stunning 1850s cottage in 2020.
“When we lived in France, we had a huge island in the kitchen, and all of our friends would come over with piles of plates of food and dive in and out. That’s what we wanted to recreate here,” he said. she says to Hello! reviewed last year.
In December last year, Helen gave birth to baby Elsie but kept the news quiet for a week while sharing the first few days with her family.
Alongside Richie’s photo, Helen wrote: ‘Can always count on Dickie….of all the things he said (there’s been a lot) ‘don’t worry I’ll be your lido…’ on the way to the hospital maybe my favorite. The man meant Doula. From the mouths of men. (picture from earlier this week – I just didn’t post in part because my mum likes the family what apps need to be ahead of insta but mainly because i still can’t find proper words of thanks for our @nhsengland @nhsmillion….captions are thriving).”
Helen has often opened up about family life and revealed that she is not a strict mother.
“I should be – they don’t listen to a word I say,” she confessed to The Mirror in 2019. “I’m a tomboy mum.
“To me, if my kids are dirty and tired, they’re having fun. But if I tell them to move on, they laugh in my face.”
Helen also revealed that her friends who have very well-behaved children call it “the house with no rules”.
“It’s because I was raised that way,” she explained. “I was trapping feral cats in the house and trying to tame them. I was always in the trees, covered in mud. That’s how I like my kids to be.
“I’m not saying that’s the way to raise kids, and it’ll probably bite my ass, but we’re having a great time.
Unfortunately, Helen announced that she had broken up with Richie after eight years of marriage.
Helen’s statement came shortly after the mum-of-three shared a cryptic quote about the struggles of motherhood.
The Countryfile star seemed to suggest she was going through a tough time when she shared: “A mum is always full of emotions, full of love, full of anxiety and worry, full of exhaustion and lacking in energy, full of mom’s guilt and doubt, full of pride for her children, full of pure joy.
“She feels everything, it’s her beauty, she carries everything too, and yet she gets up every day and starts again.”
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