DEAR DEIDRE: I HAD a night of drunken sex with a younger female colleague 18 months ago and my wife has been paying me back big time ever since.
At the time my wife was being snappy and we hadn’t had sex for weeks. I was low and miserable, and it was a relief to be away from home for a few days on a team-building workshop.
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This new colleague was on my team. I was 35 and she was 24 but we had a similar sense of humour and really hit it off.
The workshop was taking place in an old country-house hotel and we all hit the bar before and after dinner.
This girl and I got talking in a corner together and admitted we were very drawn to one another.
We were the last in the bar and, when she could be sure no one else would see us leave together, she invited me up to her room.
The sex was wild and lots of fun but we both had headaches in the morning — physical ones and emotional ones. We agreed that we’d tell no one.
Unfortunately, my wife and I had a row a couple of weeks later when I boiled over about the lack of sex and how rejected I felt. I blurted out about my one-night stand, saying she had driven me to it.
My wife told me it was my fault I’d cheated and she’s been paying me back ever since.
Until the lockdown she was leaving me looking after our children while she saw another man. She’s 31 and our children are six, four and two.
FEW of us have ever been directly affected by such acrisis as thepandemic.
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I know she and this bloke have had sex but she also had dates with two other guys she met online. I know all this because I’ve been checking her phone.
We are still living together with our three children but the atmosphere between me and my wife is so cold and hostile — worse now we’re stuck at home so much.
I tell her I love her and want us to try to save our relationship but my wife insists we are over and there’s no going back. But she won’t agree to any plan to move us forward.
I don’t want to go to court, as surely we should work together, but I feel stuck.
DEIDRE SAYS: Your wife’s furious with you but clearly has no realistic picture of separated life, and was maybe enjoying seeing you stuck and miserable while she took her revenge with other guys.
Tell her you are sorry for cheating, that it was very wrong of you, but living for months on end in this antagonistic atmosphere is very damaging for your children. If only for their sake you must move on.
See the Family Mediation Council to find mediation options near you (familymediationcouncil.org.uk). Many offer support online.
My e-leaflet Thinking Of Divorce? suggests many sources of support.
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