News, Culture & Society

Former AFL star Jaryd Cachia wanted to end his life through marriage break down

Sophie Cachia (right) and her former husband, AFL star Jaryd Cachia (left), reveal painful moments of their split in new book

Mummy blogger Sophie Cachia’s ex-husband has revealed he was contemplating suicide – while she having sex with women and enjoying an ‘amazing’ period of self-discovery in the final months of their marriage. 

AFL star Jaryd Cachia, 30, was always supportive of his wife – from the first time she realised she was sexually attracted to females to her first kiss with a female footy player she was totally obsessed with. 

And while they smile in front of the cameras now with their new partners and functional ‘blended family’, both admit the happy ending has been hard won.

‘As happy as I was to support her, I was still not doing well mentally, dealing with my own lack of purpose in life,’ he wrote in the opening chapter of Sophie’s book Then There Was Her.

A blended family: Sophie and Jaryd are now great friends and share snaps of their gorgeous family online. He is now in a relationship with a woman named Jacinta (right), who has an eight-year-old son, Max (front right)

A blended family: Sophie and Jaryd are now great friends and share snaps of their gorgeous family online. He is now in a relationship with a woman named Jacinta (right), who has an eight-year-old son, Max (front right)

Jaryd said Sophie’s decision to end their marriage came as a shock to him even though she had been exploring her sexuality for months.

He said they still had a great sex life and things felt ‘almost normal’ but it was he who ended up pushing for an official divorce, noting that while she could easily meet women he was ‘one of the most recognisable husbands in Melbourne’ and couldn’t do the same, even with Sophie’s blessing.

‘Soph knew I was struggling, but I never told her how bad it got – that it got to the point where I thought about taking my own life. 

Jaryd, pictured with Sophie and their children, son Bobby, 8, and daughter Florence, 5, said he contemplated ending his life which had 'no purpose'

Jaryd, pictured with Sophie and their children, son Bobby, 8, and daughter Florence, 5, said he contemplated ending his life which had ‘no purpose’

Sophie, pictured with her fiance and partner of 18 months, Madeleine Garrick, said discovering her new sexuality at 27 was difficult

Sophie, pictured with her fiance and partner of 18 months, Madeleine Garrick, said discovering her new sexuality at 27 was difficult

‘It was always the thought of my kids that kept me going, because I love being a dad so much. But the hatred I had for myself when I looked in the mirror. I couldn’t stand the person I saw looking back at me,’ he wrote.

Sophie, who shares two children with Jaryd, Bobby, eight and Florence, five, told FEMAIL she was shocked to find out he had been struggling so much while she was enjoying one of the happiest periods of her life.

‘It is difficult to read about how much he was hurting at the time, that he was hiding his feelings to protect me,’ she said. 

‘I was not completely naïve to what he was feeling but I was open and transparent and he put on a brave face, it must have been very difficult for him to do that, and it is really beautiful that he has been so open now.’

Sophie, 31, said becoming sexually attracted to women at the age of 27 after leading a ‘very straight’ life was also hard for her to process. 

‘It was certainly a shock to the system, I had never been attracted to a woman and never looked at anyone other than my husband romantically for years,’ she said admitting she contemplated ignoring her feelings.

Sophie Cachia opens up about first sexual encounters with the woman who sparked her lesbian desires 

Sophie Cachia doesn’t hold back in her book where she describes the AFLW player who sparked her attraction to women.

Sophie had been invited to speak on an AFL panel, she had given birth five weeks prior and was flustered because she was running late, and sweaty.

She briefly remembers being introduced around the room before meeting the woman, who had a girlfriend, that she would become obsessed with, she writes: 

When you hear about people throwing out phrases like ‘the world stopped’ or ‘I saw stars’, I always thought it sounded like a bit of bullsh*t. 

But as I shook this woman’s hand, the electric current that ran between us was instantaneous. 

Energy ran between us – or perhaps just coming from my end. It was as close to an out-of-body experience as I could have ever imagined – and I’d never felt anything like it before in my life.

Time stood completely still – and, yes, I am now one of those people who says that stars surrounded her in slow motion. My mind was racing as she introduced herself.

Who is this woman? I need to know her. Oh my God, look at her arms . . . they’re so . . . sexy….

This wasn’t just me objectively taking in her looks. This was intense attraction – and I had never been physically attracted to a woman before in my life. 

So while one part of my brain was absolutely enraptured by this gorgeous, intriguing, powerfully sexy woman standing in front of me, shaking my hand, then the other half of me was thinking, What the f*ck, Sophie?

Why are you attracted to her? Why are you attracted to a woman 

Jaryd wrote about his wife’s first kiss, which he learned about when she came in at 5am on the morning of her son’s birthday after partying all night:

She came in to talk to me while I was in the shower a couple of hours later. She was hunched over, clearly feeling like sh*t, but she had this little smirk on her face. ‘I’ve got to tell you something,’ she started. 

‘You kissed her, didn’t you?!’ She burst out laughing. ‘I’m not an idiot,’ I laughed. ‘I knew something was going to happen, the way you kept talking about her! So . . . what was it like?’ Again, that’s just how we were – we told each other everything. 

She was hungover as all hell telling me about it, sharing exactly what had happened, and it was so clear in that moment that things were going to change – and they were going to change quickly. 

Back then, she was so straight, so for her to then be kissing a woman was big. I just knew it wasn’t nothing.

 That first kiss opened the flood gates, according to Sophie.

Things went from zero to 100 after my first kiss with her. Suddenly, it was like I had a girlfriend and a husband. I’d wake up to messages wishing me good morning, texts saying things like, 

‘Hey, beautiful, when am I going to see you again?’ 

‘Did you have a good day?’ ‘When do you want to catch up?’ 

‘I want to have sex with you . . .’ 

Our texts to each other as we made our way home after our first kiss were pretty steamy. 

Weeks later, while her husband was out of town they had sex for the first time: 

I led her into the room I shared with my husband and sat on the bed. She was uncomfortable.

‘Jaryd sleeps here,’ she reminded me, as if I wasn’t already acutely aware. But there wasn’t anywhere else to go. 

‘Well, I don’t really feel like having sex with you on my son’s bunk beds,’ I laughed nervously. 

Sophie details in her book how petrified she was to ‘touch a vagina’ and was planning only to receive attention from her crush.

But as things heated up she changed her mind, and realised how much she liked having sex with a woman. 

EXTRACT: Then there was her 

Jaryd said he felt his world was crumbling around him. He had finished his career as a professional athlete, had been rejected from the police force and was watching his wife fall out of love.

‘I’d wake up in the morning and I’d be in a f***ing foul mood for no reason,’ he admitted.

The changing dynamic in the couple’s house as Sophie explored her attraction to women was difficult to cope with. 

‘She’d have her girlfriends from footy over more and more, and some nights when I’d get home from work, I felt like I wasn’t wanted in my own home,’ Jaryd said.

Sophie says whilst she never meant to hurt Jaryd, she is now happier than she has ever been and proud to have been able to show her kids that hard choices are important

Sophie says whilst she never meant to hurt Jaryd, she is now happier than she has ever been and proud to have been able to show her kids that hard choices are important

But he hid his pain as he watched the woman he loved buzzing with happiness thanks to her newly discovered bisexuality, thriving career and growth as a mother. 

‘I could have been a real pr**k about it. But I have too much respect for her as the mother of my children and as a woman to not help her and support her,’ he said.

Despite pushing Sophie to ‘scratch the itch’ and work out her sexuality, when she told him their marriage was over after a year of experimenting with women, Jaryd admits he hadn’t ‘seen it coming’. 

In fact neither had Sophie – for a long time, she believed her attraction to women was a phase. But she’s glad she followed her intuition. 

‘I’ve found sex with females for me to be more intimate, more emotional – wild and dirty at times, yes, but also more spiritual,’ she wrote in her book. 

Sophie explored her sexuality while married to Jaryd, with his permission and had a number of girlfriends before Madeleine

Sophie explored her sexuality while married to Jaryd, with his permission and had a number of girlfriends before Madeleine

‘Whilst morally and in society’s eyes it would have been much more appropriate to stay in my marriage and live to my vows it went against my true core,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘And while at times it was petrifying and confusing and daunting I knew it was important to follow what I was feeling.’

Sophie, who is now engaged to her partner of 18 months, professional basketballer  Madeleine Garrick, 30, said her journey has been ‘really difficult’.  

I never intended to fall out of love with Jaryd, and to accept that you are falling out of love when you don’t want to is really hard.

‘But I wasn’t scared about telling Jaryd what was going on, or following my instincts, because I knew we would never lose our connection.

‘I was completely honest – there was never any deception in the process  – and he has supported me through the whole thing which comes down to the high quality human that he is,’ she said.

Sophie, who now describes herself as sexually fluid, and attracted to 'humans' said she has never 'come out to her family or friends'

Sophie, who now describes herself as sexually fluid, and attracted to ‘humans’ said she has never ‘come out to her family or friends’

The couple were faced with rumours following their split and cruel comments on social media, where Sophie has a huge following.

‘I guess the rumours can stop now that I have given Jaryd the opportunity to speak his truth and put the lid on all the stuff people assumed was going on,’ Sophie said.

She said the critical comments from strangers never bothered her.

‘People who see the Sophie from the internet think they are in the position to know about my private life,’ she said, addressing the cruel comments she copped following her breakup.

‘But I barely read them, I lived my truth and I don’t need validation from random people on the internet.’

In fact Sophie, who now describes herself as sexually fluid and attracted to ‘humans’, said she has never ‘come out to her family or friends’.

‘I would just introduce them to women I was seeing,’ she said. 

The mummy blogger said her father, a former AFL coach, has been one of the most supportive people in her life since the breakdown of her marriage to Jaryd.

‘One day dad came over to my house, and a woman I was seeing was there, and he just asked “so are you gay now?”,’ she said.

‘I said, “well I am dating a woman at the moment, so if you call it that”.

‘It was very sweet, he has always supported me but just wanted that clarification.’

The 31-year-old who is now engaged to partner of 18 months, professional basketballer, Madeleine Garrick, 30, and sees the book as a closing chapter to her relationship with Jaryd

The 31-year-old who is now engaged to partner of 18 months, professional basketballer, Madeleine Garrick, 30, and sees the book as a closing chapter to her relationship with Jaryd

Jaryd and Sophie say they still love each other, but as family, and have been able to maintain their mutual respect.

Both parents say they were focused on their children and developed a good base for them during the emotional rollercoaster.

‘They see mum who had to make some difficult decisions, to do what we are always telling them to do, to do what made her happy,’ Sophie said.

The mum-of-two described being able to write a book as 'surreal' and says it has been her life dream - though she never expected it to be this story

The mum-of-two described being able to write a book as ‘surreal’ and says it has been her life dream – though she never expected it to be this story

Jaryd is now in a relationship with a woman called Jacinta, who has an eight-year-old son, Max.  

Sophie says this book marks the closing of their chapter together, and the beginning of hers with Madeleine.

‘Watching him fall in love with Jacinta has been really beautiful, I just want him to be happy,’ Sophie said of her ex. 

She said being able to write a book was ‘surreal’ and her life dream – although she never expected it to be this story.

‘Somewhere deep inside there is an excited little girl who has had her dream come true,’ she said.

‘It is amazing to see it in the shelves, but it is also exciting, scary and makes me feel vulnerable.’

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk