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My partner is having an affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 15 April 2016
Three months ago I discovered my partner was having an affair - I was devastated. I adored him and thought he felt the same way. He even brought her to our house, though he denies this. I went to see her. She has a long-term partner, but he is completely clueless about the affair - maybe I should tell him. She cried, apologised and said that I was lovely and nothing like my partner had told her, and that he didn't deserve me.

I don't know which way to turn: there is still love there, but it's not the same. I now check his phone and emails- there is no trust left.

He gets annoyed with me and says I should be 'over it ' and it was a big mistake. Apparently the woman he was seeing said he had admitted to cheating on me a few months before with another.

We are both in our 50's and left our long term marriages for each other. I can't face having to sell our house and start again. We are talking about getting married, but would it be marriage for the wrong reason?

Patricia Marie says...

It is devastating if the person one loves has an affair, as everything previously felt and shared with each other is thrown into question, even if the unfaithful partner ends it and says they still love and want to be with the betrayed spouse. Alternatively, if their lover meant little to them, and is dismissed as just a passing fancy, it can be equally traumatic.

It sounds as if your partner's love for you is inferior to yours for him. You only discovered his infidelity three months ago, so it is totally unreasonable to be expected to 'just get over it'. As he has little empathy for your pain and lack of trust, caused by his adulterous behaviour, he would seem to be exhibiting little regret or respect for you. Trust can sometimes be rebuilt, although never easy to regain completely, but healing a betrayed heart is a lengthy process and perhaps should only be considered if you both can truly see a future together.

You mention that you visited his lover, and are now considering disclosing the affair to her partner. This is a natural reaction, but would not serve a purpose, especially if you are intending to work at your relationship. Perhaps you may benefit from attending Relate, as this type of counselling could help you both explore why the partnership has faltered, and could ultimately create a bond stronger, wiser, and more resilient than ever before.

If your partner has a history of affairs, the risks are high that the cycle could be repeated, and it may be better to walk away. However, if you do believe you can make this work, I suggest you put thoughts of marriage to one side for now, until things are more settled between you. If you do then decide to marry, it should be because you really want to be with him, and he feels the same way, not because you can't face selling up and starting again.

I recommend: After The Affair: How to Build Trust and Love Again, by Julia Cole with Relate.
Relate: 0300 100 1234 www.relate.org.uk

New Year Problem

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Monday, 04 January 2016
Dear Patricia Marie

New Year is a difficult time for me. My wife told me about an affair she was having with my best friend last year on New Year's Eve. She admitted it wasn't a good time to tell me, but couldn't go into another year unhappy and wanting to be with this other man. They are still together and I hear from a reliable source that they are very happy, which hurts me very much, as I have not only lost my wife, but my best friend too. I have tried to move on with my life, but nothing feels the same. I don't know what to do.

Patricia Marie says...

I am so sorry for your loss, made particularly worse for you because of your wife choosing to leave you for your best friend. When you lose someone important to you, it is natural to feel sad; that is an essential part of the recovery process. The problem with broken-hearted people is that they often relive their misery over and over again and the pain becomes a mental habit. This habit can and must be broken. A good start is to break connections. Don't listen to idle gossip, as what you don't know, can't hurt you. Turn off the music that reminds you of your ex, and make your home look and feel different from when you lived there together.

Take up a new hobby or activity, which will help create new friendships with common interests. Making changes isn't just about leaving the past behind, but also about embracing the future. However painful this may seem, this could enable you to move on with your life in a positive productive way. Your negative association with the New Year is understandable, but next year you will feel stronger, and you could plan to do something enjoyable on that New Year's Eve, which will help dilute emotions surrounding this time of year. And finally, believe that you can love again. There are many people who have had their hearts broken only to find even greater happiness with another. I wish you a very happy new year and hope 2016 becomes a memorable one for all the right reasons.

I recommend you read: How To Mend Your Broken Heart by Paul McKenna and Hugh Willbourn

Suicidal thoughts

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 31 July 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
Two years ago, when I was pregnant (unplanned) with my third child, I found a note in the pocket of my husband's suit, which transpired to be from his secretary, who had, I then realised, been his lover for the last five years. My whole world disintegrated.

When I told him that I knew about his affair, he was not in the slightest apologetic, and seemed relieved that it was now out in the open. He said he loved her and that he had stayed with me for the sake of the children. It was obvious that he intended to keep seeing her.

I felt trapped, as I did not want him anywhere near me, but I was pregnant with his child, and had nowhere else to go. I sank into a deep depression and found it almost impossible to continue with a normal life. He forbade me from speaking about his affair with anyone, and so my friends, and especially my children, had no idea why I had become so withdrawn and desperately unhappy. My doctor prescribed strong anti-depressants, but these made me feel totally detached and still troubled.

My husband began to stay away for longer periods, and started to treat me with contempt. And I just became a shell of my former self. I gave birth to my son, but found it very difficult to bond with him, as he was so demanding. Since then, I have been trying to cope but as I am so down all the time most of my friends have gradually drifted away and I am left with no support and feeling suicidal.

It has taken me a few attempts to write this email as I don't really know how to put this into words or what I expect you to be able to do to help me. But I remember one of my friends some months ago telling me about you and that you had really helped her with her problem, so I thought I would try.
I do appreciate you taking the time to read this.
Thank you

Patricia Marie says...

Women with children stay in trapped marriages because leaving is so complicated - but nothing can be worse than living as you are. You have allowed yourself to be treated appallingly, with neither love nor respect. I urge you to set yourself free from this intolerable situation. Your husband wants to be with this other woman, yet is too cowardly to make a complete break. My advice to you is to take control, pack his bags and tell him it's over. There is no other choice. By standing up to him you should hopefully regain your self respect and no longer feel open to his abuse. Ask a family member or someone you can trust to be in the house to support you when you confront him.

Having to deal with so much emotional trauma has resulted in you suffering from depression. You could be associating your son with the exposure of your husband's infidelity, causing you to struggle with bonding. With the right help, you can get through these difficulties. Make a call to your GP right now and explain how you are feeling. Clearly the antidepressants he prescribed are not working, but you can work together to find the correct medication, which will make all the difference to how you feel.

Women's Aid are there for victims of domestic abuse, so phone them without delay. They can offer you legal advice, as well as individual and group therapy to improve your self worth and help you move on from this destructive relationship. They can also refer you to Home Start, a charity run organisation, which could assign you a dedicated helper to assist you at home with all your family concerns. In addition, if at any time you are experiencing feelings of suicide, please, pick up the phone and call the Samaritans. They offer excellent support at times of distress and loneliness.

In time you should begin to feel stronger and believe that life is very much worth living again. Focus your mind on a new door opening on to the rest of your life, free from the past heartache and misery - then bravely walk through to the new chapter that awaits you.

Women's Aid: 0808 2000 247 www.womensaid.org.uk
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 www.samaritans.org

I am having an affair with my best friend's husband

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 20 November 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,
 
I have done something unforgivable and I feel so bad about it. I am having an affair with my best friend's husband.
 
It started in April and I want to finish it, but he is my soul mate. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but I can't stand the worry of my friend finding out. I know she would be devastated if she knew, but I just cant help myself.  I have been on my own for a year or so, and the three of sometimes go out together.  I knew he was keen on me, but it was me who instigated the affair.
 
I love him so very much. Should I just carry on seeing him and act like nothing is happening, or should I tell my friend and ruin our friendship?

Patricia Marie says...

Women do tend to believe they are in love when they have an affair.  Men can be more opportunistic, but women need to feel more emotionally engaged - and the effect can be devastating.

You say this man is your soul mate, but the reality is what sort of man has an affair with his wife's best friend? If he means what he says about wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, why have you not run off into the sunset together?

Many mistresses wait forever for their lovers to leave their wives, and when forever never comes, they are left heartbroken. How do you know your not just a bit of escapism for him - just a bit of fun?  It may not be the first time he's had an affair and promised his mistress the world.

If your friend did find out about the affair, there's every chance your lover would go running back to his wife, and you'd be left with nothing. I urge you to find the strength to end this relationship before this situation becomes destructive. Consider shifting your energy into finding your very own man, rather than waste your time on somebody else's. We can't help who we fall in love with, but everyone is worth more than being someone's mistress.

However, if you two are genuinely in love, then he should do the decent thing and tell his wife, who deserves to know her husband has cheated on her and her best friend has betrayed her.

You need to be sure he's worth it because you are set to lose your best friend forever.



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.



In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I'm being humiliated by my married lover

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 16 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

I'm being humiliated by my married lover. He and I work together and have been meeting for sex since 2011. Everyone in the office knows about us - his wife is the only one who doesn't. But now he has started to see a younger colleague. He's taking her out for drinks and I'm sure they are sleeping together, even though he denies it. As well as having to endure the most dreadful atmosphere in the office,  I am now getting lots of amusement, pity, and total lack of respect from other members of staff, which I can't bear. How could he do this to me? What is wrong with him?

Patricia Marie says...

As you function in your own little world at work, married people may not seem very married, but the reality is, they are. Serious involvement with a married colleague means a future that is either very limited or very complicated. Nevertheless, there are times when those in failing relationships embark on another within the work place, and against the odds secure a happy ending - after all, we can't always help who we fall in love with.

However, in your case, I'm sorry to say, your married lover sounds like a Casanova. Some people are serial lovers and not happy unless they make regular conquests. They attract the vulnerable with their flattery and charm. However, once the thrill of the chase is over, they become bored and then its on to their next victim. This must be painfully obvious to your colleagues who are able to see right through him, hence, the tension you are feeling at work.  Naturally, now that your your lover is paying attention to another woman you are feeling angry and betrayed. But a man who can cheat on his wife can cheat on his lover too. Remember that saying "when a man marries his mistress, he creates a vacancy".

He has never made any proper commitment to you and his latest escapade should come as no surprise. Do not continue to feed this man's ego for a minute longer by showing you care. Instead, retrieve your dignity by finishing with him. As well as helping to regain the trust and respect of your co-workers, it will enable you to draw a line on this declining situation and find someone new who is worthy of you.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

How do I get my wife back?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 11 September 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am writing as I need some advice on a terrible decision I think I have made. I am a 45 year old man, I had a lovely life, an excellent job, comfortable home and three adorable children along with a doting wife. I met a younger lady and after some time I left everything for her. Six months on, the excitement of being with somebody new has worn off and the grass is definitely not greener on the other side. I have just ended the relationship with my new girlfriend and would do anything to have my old life back, but am so ashamed and embarrassed of what I have put my family through. My wife refuses to answer my calls, and ignores my texts. Her mother drops the children to me when they come to stay, so I don't even get to see her. My sister-in-law contacted me recently to tell me my wife still loves me, but at the same time despises me for what I have done to her and our children.

With your professional guidance I am hoping that I can fix this and my family. Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Patricia Marie says...

The decision to leave your wife and children for another woman would almost certainly have had a huge effect on your family, and you cannot expect everything to fall back into place just because things haven't worked out for you. Wanting your wife to conform to your wishes so soon after the hurt you have caused her would be unreasonable.

The commendable thing is that you have not only seen your errors, but have understood the consequences of your actions. However, you are going to have to do a lot of hard work to convince your wife. I would suggest you initially write her a letter of which she would be able to digest in her own time. Explain that you do not want to put any pressure on her at all, but would love to meet up to tell her in person how very sorry you are for the hurt you have caused.  You've learned a hard lesson, and hopefully you can give some consolation to your wife by accepting and owning your share of the blame, and most importantly, whatever the outcome, be able to continue a positive relationship with your children.

A huge concern and something you need to ask yourself is: why did you feel the need to walk away in the first place?  Clearly something wasn't right between you and your wife and this needs to be addressed before any thoughts of a reconciliation, otherwise, you could end up in the same situation as before. Perhaps before any life-changing decisions are made, you could both benefit from attending Relate (relate.org.uk) as having professional help would enable you to explore any issues that contributed to the breakdown of your relationship. And do remember, sometimes we search long and hard for something that we fail to realise we already have.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I think my husband is having an affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 07 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

Please help. I fear that my husband of 15 years marriage is having an affair.

He is spending so many extra hours at work, including weekends, and pays me very little attention when he is at home. He has become very possessive over his mobile phone and bank statements.

One day last week he failed to come home at all. He said he'd spent all night in the office, though I later found a receipt for a hotel and for a meal for two people. When I asked him about this he claimed he'd had dinner with a co-director, but I'm not so sure. I'm still so in love with him, and am scared of losing him. How do I go about confronting him?

Patricia Marie says...

It seems to me after questioning your husband about his whereabouts and the change in his behaviour, you are trusting your instinct rather than believing what he says.

You need to make it clear to your husband that you need to have a proper talk and be honest with each other. Make him aware of how unhappy he is making you feel by the lack of attention he shows you, and the secrecy he displays which is causing you to feel insecure. He may be under the impression you are accepting of this and have no idea of your concerns.

Have you avoided confronting him because you may not want to hear what he has to say, or is it that if he confesses to you that he has met someone else, the situation becomes real?

Until you talk to him about how you are feeling, and open up to him, you won't be able to move forward with this.

Listen to what he has to say, it may be that he's not being disloyal at all. You seem to have drifted apart, which is typical of many relationships when there is no communication. When this happens couples don't recognise each other anymore.

You say you adore him, so whatever the outcome, wherever it has gone wrong, if you both feel the relationship is worth saving you can start to work together towards a more positive future.

I believe you may benefit from some professional help. Ask him to go to Relate with you for some counselling sessions, which could prove helpful (relate.org.uk)


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Devastated by his affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 10 April 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

Three months ago I discovered my partner was having an affair - I was devastated. I adored him and thought he felt the same way. He even brought her to our house, though he denies this. I went to see her. She has a long-term partner, but he is completely clueless about the affair - maybe I should tell him. She cried, apologised and said that I was lovely and nothing like my partner had told her, and that he didn't deserve me.

He had been running me down to her and our friends. I don't know which way to turn: there is still love there, but it's not the same. I now check his his phone and e.mails- there is no trust left.

He gets annoyed with me and says I should be 'over it ' and it was a big mistake.

We are both in our 50s and left our long term marriages for each other. I can't face having to sell our house and start again. We are talking about getting married, but would it be marriage for the wrong reason?

Patricia Marie says...

If the person you love has an affair and falls in love with someone else, your world falls apart. Everything you thought you felt and shared with each other is thrown into question, even if they end the affair and say they still love and want to be with you. Alternatively, if they say their lover meant little to them and dismiss them as just a passing fancy, that can be equally devastating. They have put the relationship at risk for some meaningless pleasure. On top of this, he was running you down. It sounds as if he does not love you as much as you love him.

You only discovered his infidelity three months ago, so its quite unreasonable to think you should 'just get over it'. Trust can sometimes be rebuilt, although never easy to regain completely.

He needs to talk about why he had the affair, and show you that he really loves you and sorry for what he's done. If he has a history of affairs, the risks are high and it may be better to end the relationship. If you do decide to marry, it should be because you really want to be with him and he feels the same way, not because you can't face selling up and starting again.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

News of an affair

Posted by Mum About Town
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on Tuesday, 21 January 2014
He came home with some ‘news’ last night. Over a city lunch, a friend had confessed his ongoing affair and announced that he is leaving his wife.

‘What!’ I exclaimed. ‘I thought they were so happy? What about those poor children?’

‘Yes they were,’ he confirmed ‘ before he met someone on a deal he was working on… now he’s going to move in with her.’

Just like that, there it was. All the information I was going to get - or in fact need.

I quickly started rustling up some dinner (from a bare fridge), asking how the rest of His day had been. Then, when the Smalls came down whining of insomnia, I ushered them upstairs leaving Him with His whisky, evening paper and the football on.

After I had cleared up our dinner, I (even) asked him what he’d like to watch on TV. AND didn’t touch my laptop nor phone. Avoiding the subject of the cost of the fake grass I’m currently lusting after and the trip to New York I’m planning, we sipped our chamomile tea.

Perfect wife. Perfect home. Perfect life. Anything but the thought of a perfectly awful affair.



You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Should I leave my husband?

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 15 November 2013
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been married to a lovely man (who I have known for over 15 years) for over 3 years, and together for 6 years before that, although I was away at university for 3 years, during which time he stayed loyal vowing to wait for me to complete my studies, which he did.

The year after I returned from uni we bought a house together. Life was wonderful. We both had good jobs, and financially we were comfortable. We got married, had lovely holidays, and a great social life.

Recently I had to take on more hours at work, including night shifts, which meant we didn't see much of each other. I employed a male member of staff to ease my workload, and shortly after he shocked me by dumping his girlfriend and stating he had feelings for me.

I was spending a lot of time with him, more so than my husband, and my feelings for him have grown stronger, and we have shared kisses, and recently spent the night together when I said I was at work. His ex-girlfriend has started phoning our house, leaving messages asking when I'm going to tell my husband what's going on.

I've fallen in love with my work colleague, but not sure he's worth leaving my husband for, even though my life with him has become dull and boring. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

Your marriage was good when you were financially secure, enjoying holidays and having a good social life. You are now working long unsociable hours, spending less time with your husband, maintaining life with him is dull and boring.

A successful marriage is not just about sharing the good times, but dealing with the difficulties life brings and bonding from such experiences.

Rather than deal with the problems in your relationship, it was easier for you to fall into the arms of another man who could offer you some escapism.

You say you love this man. I would like you to consider your perception of love. Is it someone who gives you the excitement you crave, or the one who shows loyalty and commitment your husband displays, who you describe as being a "lovely man" and not sure the other man is worth leaving him for.

I believe you may have found your own answer. If you feel you do want a chance to save your marriage, it would be really helpful to spend some quality time with your husband, work on the relationship together and decide how you can make things better between you.



Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389

I think my boyfriend is having an affair

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 08 November 2013
Hello Patricia Marie,

I was thrilled to see The Lady now has an Agony Aunt, and wondered whether you would be able to help me...

My boyfriend of 3 years seems very different lately and I feel he may be having an affair. I absolutely adore him and don't know how I would cope if I found this to be true.

He frequently comes home late and is unavailable on his phone. He is far more appearance conscious lately, buying himself new clothes and wearing aftershave.

Also our sex life has dwindled so that I feel I am pushing him to make love to me and he keeps saying he is too tired. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

From the contents of your letter, I take it you haven't approached your boyfriend with regards to your suspicions or challenged the change in his behaviour. If this is the case, he may be under the impression you are accepting of this and have no idea of your concerns.

Have you avoided confronting him, because you may not want to hear what he has to say? Or is it that if he confesses to you there is someone else, the situation then becomes real?

Until you talk to him about how your feeling, be honest and open up to him, you won't be able to move forward with this.

Listen to what he has to say, it may be that he is not being disloyal at all.

You seem to have drifted apart, taken each other for granted, which is typical of many relationships when there is no communication. When this happens, couples don't recognise each other anymore.

You say you adore him, so whatever the outcome, wherever it has gone wrong, if you both feel this relationship is worth saving, you can start to work together towards a more positive future.

If you feel you may need some professional help, ask him to go with you to Relate (relate.org.uk) for few sessions with a counsellor, am sure this would prove helpful.

Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389


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