DEAR DEIDRE: MY wife, during a split from me, had a fling with her nephew and moved him into our home.
Now it’s over, she wants to repair our relationship. I do still love her and don’t know what to do.
She’s 53 and I’m 57. Her nephew (by marriage, not blood) is 31.
My wife has been having a mid-life crisis since turning 50 — dressing younger, wanting sex all the time, and dissatisfied with everything.
She told me I didn’t appreciate her enough.
The affair with her nephew began when we went to a wedding.
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We were on the same table, with her seated next to the young man.
They got on like a house on fire. After the wedding, they were messaging every day.
It clearly wasn’t a normal aunt/nephew relationship.
She started to meet him too. She’d come home in the early hours, looking dishevelled.
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It was clear they were having sex. I told her it was disgusting and she was making a show of herself.
She said horrible things to me about my sexual performance, then told me to leave the house.
I was only too happy to get away, and to think about divorce.
The next thing I heard, she had moved him in.
Of course, the it didn’t work out and my wife ended it — probably because of the shame when her family and friends stopped talking to her.
Now she’s asked me to come home.
We were married for 30 years and it’s my house too, so I have agreed to return.
But I’m in the spare room and wonder if we should divorce.
DEIDRE SAYS: Your wife’s affair with her nephew wasn’t the cause of your problems, but a symptom of them.
She was clearly very unhappy before that, both with your relationship and her life in general.
Now she’s perhaps realising her foolishness.
Shame is a powerful emotion too.
You say you still love her.
Whether you can forgive and forget is another matter.
If you think that’s possible, then you both need to work on repairing your relationship.
But she must be honest with you about why she ran off with her nephew, and agree to resolve your problems together, or your marriage won’t last beyond an initial reconciliation.
Some relationship counselling would benefit you both.
Contact Tavistock Relationships (tavistockrelationships.org) who provide online help as well as face to face.