Life

Ask Fiona: My husband's affair has made me feel suicidal

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on a husband's affair, a best friend and a brother who always row and a woman who fantasises about a film star in bed

A partner's affair can trigger a full-scale depression

FIVE years after my husband's affair, I'm still heartbroken, and some days I feel like taking my own life.

We have a young family and I just can't get over him doing this to us.

He seems to be getting on just fine, but he doesn't know how I'm feeling, because I don't want to revisit the pain all over again.

I feel like I can't leave because it would destroy my kids' life, but I cry every single day.

Even though I love my kids, I'm so unhappy. What am I going to do?

I still love him, but I hate him so much for doing this to us.

Please Fiona, am I ever going to come out of this?

KH

FIONA SAYS: I'm so sorry you are still feeling so intensely about this, even after all of this time.

I suspect this has gone beyond what might be considered normal feelings of anger and sadness about a partner's affair and triggered a full-scale depression.

I am also amazed that your husband doesn't appear to notice the fact that you cry each night and are clearly unhappy.

Has he (or anyone else) suggested that you might need to seek help?

I believe you need two kinds of support here. The first is medical help, so you can cope with the depression you are feeling, and the other is psychological - to help you resolve your feelings.

For the first, please talk to your doctor, as anti-depressants or counselling will help you deal with the tearfulness and sadness.

They won't get to the root of the problem though, as I believe you may have been masking your feelings for quite some time.

I suspect that you probably feel quite a lot of anger towards your husband that you've never expressed, so I think you should seek relationship counselling together.

Relate (relate.org.uk) can offer you a safe space where you can really talk openly about how this affair has made you feel and explore all the different emotional effects it has caused.

If you didn't express your anger at the time of the affair for fear of driving him away, then you've bottled up your feelings and that's causing you all kinds of pain.

Ideally, it would be good if your husband went for counselling with you at some point, as he needs to understand the affect his behaviour has had on you.

He has stayed with you and has seemingly moved on from this affair without any obvious after effects.

However, neither he nor your children are living in an emotionally healthy environment right now, and for everyone's sake, you need to take steps to heal.

It may take time and several sessions of counselling, but if you still love this man and want to re-establish a good, loving relationship with him, then you do need to move forward.

Please recognise the importance of seeking the help you clearly need.

Finally, please don't forget that at those times when feelings overwhelm you and you feel like taking your own life, the Samaritans are there for you.

 

My husband's parents undermine everything he does

My husband's parents are spiteful people and constantly undermine everything he tries to do.

They were against us getting married nine years ago and every time we see them, they remind us of this fact.

They are always rude and hurtful and my husband is getting so fed up with their attitude that he wants to have nothing more to do with them.

He is seriously thinking that we should move abroad. Whilst I'm not against the idea of living overseas, I'm concerned that any children we have will be deprived of grandparents.

My parents are both deceased so there isn't anyone else to take on that role, but am I right to think that it would be unfair on them?

CN

FIONA SAYS: It's commendable that you're thinking of the feelings of children you don't even have yet, but what sort of example would grandparents like this set for them?

Would you really want your children to see their father belittled in this way?

Are they likely to be the loving role models you'd want your children to have?

From what you have said, I think not. If the children you don't even have yet are the only reason you to keep in touch, perhaps it's time to make a break.

If you are able to move abroad, it would make the break in such a way that you could always come back to visit your in-laws in the future, should you want to.

It would be a "softer" parting of the ways than telling them you don't want to see them anymore, which is another option.

With the very real possibility of losing contact with you completely, your in-laws might have a change of heart... but I wouldn't hold your breath.

 

I fantasise about a film star in bed

I know this might sound silly, but I'm 27 years old and I have a huge crush on a famous film star.

I find myself fantasising about him all the time – even when I'm with my husband who is a loving and generous man and would probably be devastated if he knew.

We've only been married for nine months; I'm worried there must be something wrong with me.

I can't be bored with married life already, surely?

EL

FIONA SAYS: I wish I could say to you that it's impossible to be bored already, but if you find your loving, generous husband boring – then you will feel this way.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a fantasy as long as it doesn't dominate your everyday life.

If you were to take steps to spice up your relationship and concentrate more on your husband, you might find he'd reciprocate.

For the long-term success of your marriage, you need to work at changing the way you see your husband.

If you find yourself thinking about this star at times when you should be thinking about your husband, try and think about him doing something revolting – you can decide what.

A fantasy-man can be allowed an occasional appearance, but this one is appearing far too regularly in your life and needs to be banished.

 

My best friend and brother always row

I'm planning a party to celebrate my 50th birthday and I'm inviting all my family and friends - around 80 people in all.

However, one of my oldest and closest friends and my brother absolutely hate each another.

I know that if I invite them both, there is bound to be trouble - or at least a nasty atmosphere.

I could leave one of them out but I don't really want to. While I'm sure this seems very trivial to you, it's really upsetting me.

G. B.

Fiona says: This doesn't seem trivial to me at all, but you shouldn't have to choose between two adults (who should really know better) on your special day.

I suspect any atmosphere these two create around each other is likely to be lost in such a large gathering and if you want them both there, invite them both.

Make it clear that the other will be there and that – should they accept your invitation – it's on the understanding that you expect them to behave.

After that, forget about it and enjoy yourself.

If you're still worried, you could ask another strong-minded friend or family member to keep an eye on things – someone who would be willing to wade in and defuse any problems if they arise.

These are two adults. If they can't be trusted to behave on a special occasion like this, they can't care very much about your feelings, can they?

If you have a problem and you'd like Fiona's advice, email help@askfiona.net.

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