Amanda Abbington (pictured) cried every day for a week after splitting from her on-screen Sherlock husband Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman’s ex-partner has revealed she cried every day for a week after their 16-year relationship ended – but came out of the other side stronger than ever.
Amanda Abbington split from her on-screen husband and father of her two children in 2016.
The pair had met on the set of the film Men Only in 2000 and went on to play formidable duo John and Mary Watson in the acclaimed BBC drama Sherlock.
But when they broke up, hopeless romantic Amanda was terrified of being a single mother in her 40s and the separation was one of the darkest times of her life.
‘I had thought Martin was the love of my life. This wasn’t meant to happen to us,’ she said in an interview with Red magazine.
‘I would wake every morning with a sudden lurch. “Why do I feel sick?” I’d ask myself, in the darkness of the bedroom I no longer shared with my partner.
‘And then, a split-second later, I’d remember what had happened. “Oh,” I thought, as the tears started to fall. “That’s why”.’
She added: ‘During that long, lonely week, I had to keep things together for the sake of our children, Joe and Gracie, who were then 10 and eight.
‘They needed to be looked after. I had to wake them up and make them breakfast and take them to school and, in a way, the normality of that routine kept me going.
‘It got me up in the mornings.’
Happier times: Amanda (right) told Martin (left) it was over when she returned to their Hertfordshire home after visiting him in Puerto Rico with their children in February 2016
‘I had thought Martin was the love of my life. This wasn’t meant to happen to us,’ she said in an interview with Red magazine
Amanda had told Martin it was over when she returned to their Hertfordshire home after visiting him in Puerto Rico with their children in February 2016.
He had been filming the financial crime drama Start Up.
‘We realised we had been papering over the cracks for a long time,’ said Amanda, lamenting the lengthy periods they had spent apart working on separate projects.
But after their split, the 44-year-old picked herself up, talked about her troubles with friends over endless cups of tea and immersed herself in looking after her children.
At the end of the dreaded first week, she was starting to get back on track.
‘The break-up was incredibly hard, but it taught me so much about myself because I was forced to confront my worst fears,’ she said.
Worries of not being good enough, coping with the bulk of the childcare and earning enough all threatened to derail her progress – but she didn’t give up.
Amanda continued: ‘I would wake every morning with a sudden lurch. “Why do I feel sick?” I’d ask myself, in the darkness of the bedroom I no longer shared with my partner
‘Once I faced them, I realised they no longer had any power over me,’ she said.
‘It was one of the darkest moments of my life but, although I didn’t know it then, it was also to mark the beginning of an extraordinary journey of self-discovery.’
Amanda began by spreading herself out around the house she and Martin used to share, sleeping diagonally across their double bed.
One evening she scoffed a whole Marks & Spencer strawberry trifle while watching Celebrity Big Brother.
The actress gave herself a makeover, cutting her long blonde locks short and dying them dark.
She joined a gym and started cycling and running 10 kilometres every morning then going for a swim.
The actress began by spreading herself out around the house she and Martin used to share, sleeping diagonally across their double bed
The star also had her ears pierced and began buying more risky clothes in stores like Zadig & Voltaire and The Kooples.
She even got a tattoo of two magpies on a telegraph wire inked on her left forearm.
‘It’s still hard,’ she said. ‘I still have massive wobbles but that’s understandable I think. I’m human. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody.’
For the last six months of 2017 she worked on new Netflix show Safe, which is due for release in May, alongside Dexter protagonist Michael C Hall.
She says Hall, who plays serial killer Dexter Morgan in the popular Showtime series, is ‘the nicest guy you can imagine’.
Amanda and Martin at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre Awards in London a year before their split
Out now: The latest edition of Red Magazine is available now
And she is still on very good terms with Martin, with whom she shares ‘a great friendship’.
‘We still love each other – even if we’re not in love with each other – and neither of us sees our relationship as a failure,’ she said.
‘We had 16 great years together and have two fantastic kids. We still talk and we still give each other advice.’
The actress, who has scores of credits to her name, said she has struck a good balance between working and being a mother.
Most importantly, she is enjoying life again.
‘If I had to describe myself now, I’d say I am happier, lighter, more energetic, more open, more confident and less frightened of life,’ she said.
‘I have love in my life that I’m careful to protect and nurture and I feel more myself than ever.’
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