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‘My husband hates talking about his affair – and it’s making me fear the worst’

Dear Coleen

I’ve been married for nearly 20 years and my relationship is in a good place.

However, 10 years ago my husband had an affair with someone he met through playing tennis and it lasted for about 18 months.

A mutual friend told me what was going on and I kicked him out, but we got back together after a few months.

Since then things have been good, and he’s pulled out all the stops to be a great husband and father.

We never talked about it much and things gradually got back to some kind of normality. Just recently, though, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s my age (I’m 48) or the fact I’ve changed careers recently, but it’s bugging me and I now feel quite resentful.

I have told him how I’m feeling and we did talk about it, which was good, but it’s not enough. He hates talking about the other woman, which makes me worry he’s still in love with her.

I feel so insecure. Can you help?

Coleen says

It wasn’t a one-night stand, the affair lasted for 18 months, so you know he felt something beyond a physical attraction for this woman and, of course, that really hurts.

You also say you didn’t talk about it much at the time and I think that’s partly why these feelings are ­resurfacing. It’s really important to talk honestly about what led to the affair and why your marriage was vulnerable to something like that happening.

It’s also important that he answers any questions you have – however difficult that might be.

Although he’s made a huge effort to be a good partner and given you no reason to doubt him over the years, I think there’s been a certain amount of sweeping under the carpet when it comes to what was behind the affair.

However, he sounds as if he’s open to talking about it now, so why not go a step further and have relationship psychotherapy?

I don’t know what’s triggered these feelings now, but that’s ­something you could explore in therapy – it could possibly be your age.

You can try relate.org.uk or visit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy at bacp.co.uk to find a qualified therapist in your area. Good luck.

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