A lover has put a spark back into my unhappy married life – am I wrong to see him?

DEAR DEIDRE: TWELVE years ago my husband walked out of the delivery room when I was in labour, saying he was off to the pub.

It’s been an unhappy marriage but now a lover has put a spark back into my life.

I’ve been married for 13 years. My husband is a big drinker — every evening and from midday at weekends. I am 37 and he is 38.

For years, I’ve wanted to leave and I’ve told him so. But I haven’t had the money to make a life for me and my daughter and he refuses to move out.

Late last year a lovely man messaged me. He is the father of a boy who was at school with my daughter and we used to chat (and flirt a bit) at the school gate.

He said he’d heard on the grapevine I was unhappy and that he’d broken up with his partner. He wondered if I would like to meet to commiserate.

We met while our kids were at school. I only work part-time and he is his own boss so can arrange his hours to suit himself. We got on really well and it was lovely to talk openly. He’s 35.


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It turned out he hadn’t actually left his partner, because of his son, but said their relationship was over and they don’t have sex.

We’ve managed to keep meeting most weeks. It’s been hard to have sex when the kids are off school but we’ve managed to when they are not around. It’s wonderful to feel wanted.

The downside is he is like Cinderella. He has to be home by 3pm when his other half gets in from work. He never rings me when she is around and never texts in case she looks at his phone.

I am OK with this, though, as nothing better is happening in my life and he makes me laugh and feel special.

Am I wrong to see him? We are both unhappy at home but make each other happy. I don’t think I could bear to walk away.

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DEIDRE SAYS: I do understand how unhappy and trapped you feel in your marriage.

But readers’ experiences tell me an affair like yours is likely to lead to more misery in the longer term – and these days it also risks transmitting coronavirus in the short term.

Either you will be found out or your lover will move on.

Meanwhile, your daughter is growing up in an unhappy home with an alcoholic dad. At least for her sake, explore what support you can find to help you make a new and happier life for her and yourself.

Start by contacting Gingerbread single parents’ support (0808 802 0925, gingerbread.org.uk).

Meanwhile, my e-leaflet Dealing With A Drinker will help you look at your marriage and check you are not inadvertently enabling your husband’s abuse of alcohol.

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