Dear Coleen

I’ve been seeing a gorgeous woman for about a year now. We’re both divorced, in our late 40s, and have teenage ­children. The relationship is good and our kids have met and get on well. However, I have this nagging doubt about whether I can really trust her.

The problem is, she’s a huge flirt and gets a lot of male attention, which I can tell she enjoys. But more than that, she’s admitted to me that she had numerous affairs when she was married, which led to divorce.

She’s justified it by saying she should never have married her husband and they weren’t right for each other, but they had kids so stayed together.

I realise it’s in the past and she’s told me she would never do that to me – she says she’s learnt from her mistakes. However, when we’re out together and I see the way she talks to other men and how they flock round her, it really bothers me. I’ve even wondered if she has cheated on me.

What do you think? I’m not usually the jealous type.

Coleen says

OK, you don’t have any evidence she’s cheated on you or to suspect she may be lying. She’s been honest about her past – she could have lied about the affairs – and, if your relationship is to be successful, you can’t keep punishing her for what she did before you even met. You’re not her ex-husband and it’s a totally different relationship.

If this is eating away at you, then I think you have to look at your own insecurities and ask whether you can withstand being in a relationship with someone who comes with this kind of relationship baggage. Will you drive yourself mad, wondering if she’s ­interested in other men?

It sounds like you were drawn to her because she offered something exciting that may have been missing from your last marriage, but it doesn’t mean you’re right together long term.

You have to be honest about whether you can put her past behind you. Throwing it back in her face every time she talks to another guy is only going to drive her away.

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