DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE discovered my husband has been leading a double life for 20 years – and paying out huge sums of money to support his secret family.
He always told me he was supporting an education project near Johannesburg — now I realise he was funding his mistress and two children in South Africa.
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This has come as a total shock. I don’t know which way to turn.
I am 56 and he is 58. We married 30 years ago in our village church and had a perfect wedding day.
We have a grown-up daughter and son. We’ve been happy over the years, despite my husband spending long periods working overseas.
Our sex life has always been good and I’ve never had reason to suspect he had strayed until I stumbled across an email from his other woman asking for extra funds.
She signed off, “Love you and can’t wait to have you home again.”
He could not give me a proper explanation when I confronted him, but he finally admitted starting the affair because he was lonely on his work trips abroad.
They have two boys aged 15 and 17. I could not believe my ears. He has been cheating on me for two-thirds of our married life.
His work as an engineer has always taken him away a lot and I kept things going at home.
But he has been paying his mistress large sums of money all this time.
It makes my blood boil to think how our children could have benefited from those funds.
I told him he had to finish with her or lose me.
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He told me he’s moving in with his brother for the time being to think about it.
I am so confused and angry. I still love him but am seriously thinking about starting divorce proceedings.
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DEIDRE SAYS: You both have pain to work through. If he wants to be back with you, he’s going to have to work really hard to rebuild the trust.
And if you want him back, you have to be able to believe he is finally being honest with you.
That’s a tall order and you’re likely to need help from a counsellor if you are to release all that anger safely.
There are many questions to be answered. He must have known that one day you’d discover the truth.
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As difficult as it will be, please consider that his other children are not at fault here and don’t deserve to be punished for their parents’ affair.
Ideally, go for counselling together, via relate.org.uk. My support pack, Cheating: Can You Get Over It?, explains self-help.
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