My husband said it's my fault he had an affair
DEAR DEIDRE: MY husband says I’m at fault over his affair – but I know it happened because he is having a midlife crisis.
I have now left him, after 25 years of marriage.
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He’s 55, I’m at 54 and I was sick of being his long-suffering wife.
It all began when he turned 50. We’d been fairly happy up until then, with few problems and a nice, comfortable life together.
He suddenly became more interested in his appearance and started researching hair transplants.
Then he joined a gym, bought new clothes and — like the middle-aged male cliché that he’s become — decided to buy himself an expensive sports car.
I was fairly amused by all this until he started acting secretively, and I smelled an affair.
It wasn’t long before photos on his phone of a much younger woman proved me right.
He denied it at first, saying she was just a friend from work.
But he’d hidden her number under a different name and it was clear she was his bit on the side.
I was devastated and felt so betrayed. If he had been contrite, I might have forgiven him.
But instead of admitting he was at fault, he blamed me, saying he strayed because I wasn’t interested in him.
Apparently, I didn’t massage his ego enough, while the other woman made him feel sexy and handsome and clever.
I think he’s lost the plot. I’ve now asked him for a divorce.
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Last week, I found a studio flat for myself and packed my bags. But he’s begging me not to leave.
I feel so sad and don’t know how I’ll get over this.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Your husband needs to take responsibility for his affair. It was his choice to stray, and his alone.
Instead of talking to you about his feelings and saying he was unhappy, or wanting to make changes, he decided to find comfort in another woman’s arms.
He’s clearly in denial and behaving not so much like a middle-aged man but as a petulant child.
You have given him 25 years of your life and although it sounds like you still love him, you are right not to go back until he owns the mistakes he has made.
It’s natural that you’re feeling sad and conflicted. If you want to try to sort things out, consider couples counselling.
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You can find some support through tavistockrelationships.org (020 7380 1960).
My support pack, Mend Your Broken Heart, should help you to heal.
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