Sunday Mail - Body and Soul
From dangerous liaisons to other vexing issues of a personal nature, clinical psychologist Jo Lamble answers questions from readers looking for expert advice
I had an affair many years ago, when I was young and stupid. It was one night and I have regretted it deeply ever since. Recently, the man I had the affair with has come back into my life, through friends, and I am worried he will say something to my husband. He hasn’t indicated he will and we don’t see him very often at all, but I am still worried. I love my husband and I don’t want to hurt him. Should I just leave things alone and hope that this stays buried?
I can hear your remorse and the love you have for your husband. Some people try to rid themselves of the guilt after an affair by telling their partner what has happened. But that only leaves the partner with a massive sense of hurt, betrayal and doubt. If you do decide to tell your husband, you’ll need to be prepared to patiently support him through his pain while he processes the information and decides what he wants to do about the marriage. Many people say they would want their partner to come clean if they cheated, only to later wish they hadn’t been told. If this man hasn’t indicated he will say anything, the chances are he won’t. Hopefully he can see now that you love your husband and you’re committed to him. You’re obviously not flirting with this guy and, clearly, you’d rather not see him. So, unless he is the type of person who likes to throw a grenade into someone else’s relationship, you should be able to relax in time. The deep regret you feel should protect you from making the same mistake again.
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