Dear Virginia,

I fell into a disastrous marriage 15 years ago, but just as we were thinking of separating, my wife got pregnant and we now have a five-year-old who we both adore. My wife has often told me how miserable she is with our marriage and although we are polite to each other we live in a kind of emotional prison. However, a year ago I fell in love with someone else. She is sexy, amusing, we work in the same business and have lots in common. Naturally she wants me to leave my wife and I would give anything to set up home with her. But my wife, rather than be relieved that I am going at last, has gone mad, throwing violent scenes and saying that if I go I will never see my son again, though I don't think this is true. I can't understand this reaction. Would I be selfish to leave and grab some happiness for myself? I love my son dearly and I am not sure if I can cope with missing him so much. I would love to hear from wives, fathers or sons who've been in the same position.

Yours sincerely, Tim