DEAR DEIDRE: Finding out my late wife had an affair has devastated me.
I now feel like my entire life with her was a lie and I am angry and heartbroken.
I’m 60, and she died of breast cancer four years ago, aged 53. We were married for 25 years and had two children, now grown up.
As far as I was aware, our marriage was a happy one. She was the love of my life and I believed I was hers.
Losing her so young was incredibly painful, and I never thought I’d get over it.
Just as I was starting to cope with my grief, I found a secret stash of photos, cards and gifts while sorting through her things.
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They were hidden in a box at the back of the wardrobe and were sent by a man whose name I didn’t recognise, over a period of a year, 12 years ago.
There is no doubt she was having an affair, as some of the messages were very sexually explicit.
Others spoke of his love and yearning to be with her. The gifts included sexy lingerie and even a promise ring.
When I found them, I was so shocked, I threw up.
I can’t talk to anyone about this, certainly not my children, as I can’t destroy their memories of their mum.
The worst thing is I can’t confront my late wife, so I’ll never get any answers.
How could she do this to me and let me believe she was faithful and loved me?
I nursed her in her dying days, never knowing she’d lied for years.
DEIDRE SAYS: You are under-standably heartbroken by your discovery of your late wife’s betrayal.
But try not to let it destroy all the happy memories of your marriage.
The affair ended and she stayed with you. People do make mistakes.
Perhaps she didn’t tell you because she didn’t want to hurt you, or lose you, and she believed you’d never find out.
You’re now grieving not just for her but for the marriage you thought you had.
Not being able to talk to her about this or get answers is eating you up.
Please talk to a professional counsellor who can help you work through your feelings.
Contact Cruse Bereavement Care (cruse.org.uk, 0808 808 1677).
Also read my support packs on Bereavement and on Counselling.