My lover promised me he'd leave his wife but now they're renewing their vows

DEAR DEIDRE: WHY is it OK to promise one thing but do another?

My lover told me years ago he was going to leave his wife yet he’s still playing happy families.


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I’m 54 and divorced, while he’s 61. We’ve been dating for three years after a casual meeting at a garage led to coffee and a chat.

We dated for about six months, with him always staying at mine, before I realised he was married.

I was putting on some washing and checked the pockets of his jeans before putting them in the machine.

Inside was his gold wedding band.

When I confronted him about it, he begged me to forgive him.

He said he’d always known he would have to come clean with me but he wanted to tell his wife he was leaving first.

He promised to do it within a month, so I agreed to wait.

A month turned into two. Then it was the end of summer.

Then it was after Christmas, in the New Year, after the celebrations had died down… Then came the pandemic.

He said he couldn’t leave then because his wife’s anxiety was at an all-time high.

But last month, I was at a yoga class and realised the woman next to me was my lover’s wife.

She was friendly and warm, nothing like the “cold and vicious” person my lover had told me about. She mentioned she was hoping to tone up before September.

When I asked her why, she said: “My husband and I are planning to renew our vows.”

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I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It didn’t fit with the story my lover told me about them being at each other’s throats.

Now I feel like a fool. How do I tell him this really is his last chance? Either he leaves his wife or he loses me.

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DEIDRE SAYS: This is a horrible situation to be in. You were sold a dream and repeatedly reassured that it would become a reality.

But this man is a total fake and is simply stringing you along.

Slow down and think about what you really want. Will you be able to trust someone who has lied so many times to both you and his wife?

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Talking this all through with a counsellor could help you work it out, so contact tavistockrelationships.org (020 7380 1975).

My support pack Your Lover Not Free? has some more useful information and signposts places to get support if the conversation does not go as you hope.

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