Bella (UK)

Kate Medlin offers advice

Write to Dear Kate, Bella, 24-28 Oval Road, London NW1 7DT, or email Kate will attempt to answer all correspond­ence personally so please include your name, age, address and email address, or an sae if you would like a reply

- Counsellor Kate Medlin answers your personal, sexual and emotional problems

He’s still not telling the truth

QMy husband of nine years walked out on me nine months ago. He said he’d been unhappy for some time, so packed up and left, leaving me with our two young children. I suspected that someone else was involved because his behaviour had changed so drasticall­y over the previous few months. He was impatient and quick to snap at me or the children, and it felt like he didn’t want to be there and we were keeping him from being where he wanted to be. About a week after he left, an acquaintan­ce saw a young woman visit him at his new place, and word got back to me via the gossip grapevine. Obviously, I was devastated, and I confronted him. He said she was a work colleague dropping over some paperwork. But recently, we’ve been talking about getting back together. He told me that he did sleep with this woman, but only once. However, she’s messaged me on social media, saying that they’d been having an affair before he even left. I love him and want him back, but how can I even consider it when he’s still lying?

AThere will be many people screaming at you to stay the hell away from him – “once a cheater, always a cheater” – and he is still lying to you. However, this is not getting to the heart of the issue. You have suffered a deep wound. This man led a double life, and has broken the trust you had in him. If you swept all of that hurt under the carpet as if nothing had

happened, that lumpy carpet will eventually trip you up. The next step for you must be to heal that wound. Learning to trust life again, rebuilding your sense of self, believing that you deserve to be loved and treated with respect. If you want your marriage to survive, then both of you must be focused on the healing process before you attempt reconcilia­tion. Otherwise, that wound will infect every facet of your relationsh­ip. Of course, both partners in a relationsh­ip have a responsibi­lity towards each other, but you are not responsibl­e for each other’s happiness. That is way too much weight for any partnershi­p to bear. So, I would encourage you to get to know yourself, what you want and need, so that if you decide to reunite, you will know what parts of the marriage worked for you and what didn’t. He needs to do the same. It’s tempting to see each other as the closest port in the storm you find yourselves in. But you need to know that even if that port was the furthest away, you’d fight hard to make your way back to each other. towards your child. It’s like maintainin­g communicat­ion with a rocket that’s flown to the other side of the moon. You’ll be back in each other’s orbit again, so don’t be strangers when the time comes.

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