CAN WE MAINTAIN OUR SPECIAL BOND?
I had an affair with a lovely, caring, interesting and fun man in my social group. We talked about leaving our partners, but couldn’t go through with it as we both have young children, so we reluctantly agreed to end it. We still see each other and meet socially with our mutual friends, but nothing sexual has taken place since we ended the affair – even though we’re both attracted to one another. We have agreed that we want our special friendship to continue. Is this acceptable? When is an affair not an affair? The wonderful anticipation of secret meetings; intimate conversations; a flirtatious kiss, hug or touch of his hand; a lingering caress that makes your heart skip a beat. With the sexual tension mounting when you’re in each other’s company, could you really settle for just being good friends and not fall back into bed together? Even if the fling was not sexual, an emotional affair can be just as damaging to a marriage and both of you would still be deceiving your respective partners. How would you feel if your husband had a similar relationship with another woman? There is also the possibility that you could be caught out. I receive so many letters where an affair has been discovered because of an indiscreet text or email. Also, when you are socialising, either one of your spouses could pick up on the intimacy between the two of you and suspect an affair. So you could be putting your marriage at risk. Would it not be better to work on what might be missing in your marriage, which made you turn to an affair in the first place? learning difficulties. What should I do? This must make you deeply unhappy and I am so sorry for you. It is devastating to feel unloved by a parent, especially as your mother is the only one now that your father has died. Sadly, it is not always possible to repair fractured relationships with a parent. It seems as though your mother favours your brothers and sister and their spouses and children, and is constantly pushing you away and letting you down. This is hurtful and possibly also makes you angry. Could you talk to any of your siblings and ask them why your mother treats you this way? Perhaps they could explain to her how much you are hurt by her constant rejection. If nothing changes, ask your siblings if you can turn to them for support. You don’t mention whether you have a partner or friends, who could help you a lot. Ask your GP for a referral for counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy to help you to build the confidence to develop these areas of your life – and for support with this distressing situation. Also contact the Samaritans (samaritans.org, 116 123).