'My husband had three year affair… and a decade later I'm still not over it'



Dear Coleen

About 10 years ago, my husband had an affair with a colleague that went on for a long time – nearly three years. It was devastating and humiliating, as pretty much everyone else knew about it apart from me.

In anger, I kicked him out and we were apart for about 18 months, although we saw each other to drop off and pick up our two kids.  

Eventually, we got close again and resumed our relationship, and he moved back into the family home.

Since then, things have actually been great and we’ve grown closer than ever. 

What’s bugging me though, is that over the lockdown I started to think a lot about his affair and now I can’t get it out of my mind.

Although we talked about what happened a lot when we got back together, I suppose I still have ­unanswered questions and it hurts that he was leading this secret life for so long.

I don’t want to ruin what we have now by dragging everything back up again but, at the same time, I feel I need to explore why I’m feeling this way. Do you have any thoughts?

Coleen says

Yes, it happened a decade ago and things are good now, but he had a serious relationship with this other woman – it wasn’t just a quick fling. So of course it’s going to hurt that he felt something for her.

I think we’ve all had a lot of time over lockdown to think about stuff and assess our lives and what we want in our future, so maybe that’s why your thoughts turned back to the affair.

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Also, although you talked about what happened, I wonder if you really got to the heart of why he had this affair and what he felt for this woman?

Did you take a really honest look at your relationship to work out what needed to change?

You still sound hurt and maybe you’ve done a good job of burying these feelings because you want the marriage to work.

But, the truth is, you can’t ignore how you feel for ever. You have to confront painful emotions to really deal with them and move on.

Tell your husband how you feel and if you don’t think you can work through things on your own, then consider couples’ counselling. Visit relate.org.uk to find out more.





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