DEAR DEIDRE: WHEN I found out my husband had been having an affair, I was devastated but we worked hard to put our relationship back together.
Five years on, I’ve discovered he also had a child with this woman. How can we recover from this?
I am 41 and he is 43. We have two daughters, aged ten and eight, and have been married for 20 years.
I first suspected something when he began acting out of character. He would take phone calls in the garden and started to get fit.
But he wouldn’t admit anything so I drove to his office and sat outside in the car park until he finally appeared — late of course.
He got in his car and his PA got in the passenger seat. My heart broke as I watched her lean in and kiss him full on the lips.
I drove home but he didn’t turn up for another three hours.
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When I told him what I’d seen and threatened divorce the colour drained from his face.
He grovelled and apologised, promising he would never do anything like it again.
I decided to give him another chance and forgave him. I thought that was the end of it and things seemed better than ever.
But recently I was looking for my spare sunglasses and found a photo of a little boy in the back of his bedside chest. The child looks the image of my husband.
The affair was supposed to have ended but he obviously still has some contact with this woman. I feel so confused and hurt all over again.
I feel like leaving him but I cannot imagine life without him. I know my children would suffer. They adore their father.
DEIDRE SAYS: Trusting your husband again is going to be really difficult.
Tell him what you have found. Explain you want your marriage to survive but that this is impossible until he acknowledges the truth.
He has an ongoing responsibility for this child, which will almost certainly mean some contact with the mother.
That’s something you are going to have to contend with on a regular basis, so could you live with that? It’s something you need to be absolutely clear about if you intend to try to save your marriage.
It will help you to talk through your feelings with a Relate counsellor (relate.org.uk).
I hope you can find a way through this mess that takes into account that an innocent child is involved.
Think carefully about whether you can have a relationship with this boy, especially as your children are half-siblings.
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