DEAR DEIDRE: ON the surface, I’ve moved on from my husband’s infidelity – I’ve remarried, I smile, I have a good life.
But every day I feel the sharp pain of his betrayal as he walks by our marital home, often holding the hand of his new wife — my former friend and neighbour.
I discovered his affair 15 years ago, when the caravan park where we kept our static van phoned to let us know the door was unlocked.
I insisted it couldn’t have been us who had left it open but they explained that the manager had seen our car there all weekend.
My ex was meant to be on a golf trip and I was at home all weekend. When I quizzed him he admitted he’d been there with a “friend”.
Eventually he confessed it was my friend, who lived across the road from us.
The worst part was that our only child — our daughter who was only 15 at the time — knew about their affair. She had walked in on them once when I was at work.
She had kept the secret for four years, for fear of upsetting me and causing a family break-up.
I am now 55, my ex is 59, and my daughter is 30. I know I should have moved on by now — but I can’t.
My new husband, also 55, treats me so well and looks after me. But I need answers to explain why my ex’s affair happened. I feel depressed and might even be having a breakdown.
I’m struggling to concentrate at work, which is dangerous because I’m a midwife. I also snap at my husband.
My ex and his wife show no consideration — they walk right in front of our home, even though there are other routes they could use.
My life would be so much better if I had closure.
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DEIDRE SAYS: What a heart-breaking discovery this has been. Your husband may well feel ashamed about his affair, which is why he has never wanted to explain what happened.
Looking to him for answers is risky, as any response may well hurt you more or you could get drawn back in. Any new information will have the opposite effect of “closure”.
And of course he may refuse again to talk to you – then leaving you feeling humiliated once more.
You would be better off talking to a counsellor, who will help you accept the past – the only closure you truly need. Get in touch with Tavistock Relationships (tavistockrelationships.org, 020 7380 1960) who will be able to help.
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