Virginia Ironside: Dilemmas

 

I have been having an affair with a married man for more than a year, and recently he left his wife and children to move in with me. My problem is that his wife has now phoned me and she wants to meet me to talk about things. In one way I would like to meet her because I feel it will make arrangements with the children easier in the future – and also I'm curious! – but my partner is dead against it and flies into a rage if I suggest it. I'm tempted to see her behind his back. What do you think?

Yours sincerely, Charlene

Virginia says...

What an excellent move on the part of this man's wife! What an operator! Simply by suggesting that you meet, she's started a row between you both, and it's one that's going to run and run. Because if you see her behind your partner's back and he finds out – which he surely will – there'll be hell to pay. And yet, if you refuse to meet her, you will forever be worrying about what it was she wanted to talk to you about.

Her suggestion of meeting has, therefore, inflamed your suspicions, his guilt, and your ability to go behind your lover's back. Are you really certain you're suited to each other? Clearly neither of you trusts each other an inch and if your lover gets so apoplectic about the idea of your meeting, it must show that he has something to hide.

How stupid is was of him to go up in flames at the idea of this meeting when, of course, he should just have shrugged his shoulders as if he couldn't have cared less, and said to you: "Go ahead. She's mad. I'd prefer you didn't. But it's up to you." Then you wouldn't be tempted to go behind his back. But then this woman knows him through and through. She knew he'd blow a fuse at the suggestion, and that that would unnerve you.

If it were me, I would be unable to resist meeting this woman. I wouldn't do it secretly, however. I'd tell my partner what I was going to do and see what happened. If you follow my example, I suspect he'll immediately start defending himself about the charges that he knows his wife will bring against him. This in itself will be revealing.

My only experience of having an affair with a man who was living with another (older) woman was salutary. She rang me, quite coolly, and just explained her side of the story. There were no histrionics. But suddenly I could see everything from her point of view. Once I understood the whole picture, I was unable to continue the affair. The truth simply made it impossible.

You could, however, decide to draw a line under everything and start afresh with no rumours or accusations in the background to undermine your trust for one another. If you can do this, fine. But won't you always be wondering what it was that your partner didn't want you to discover?

I suspect that your partner's wife is, at this moment, holding all the cards. And I bet that, after a few months, you'll find yourself alone again.

Readers say...

Don't patronise her



Well, he saw you behind her back, didn't he? So I would go for it if I were you. He has earned no loyalty from anyone due to his betrayal of his family. My concern is that you show not the slightest remorse at what you have done and are simply wanting to see her out of "curiosity". How patronising to a woman who clearly has every right to meet the "other woman". I am surprised it has taken her so long to contact you. She is now showing dignity and courage and I suggest you do the same. Meet with her, say sorry and ask her for forgiveness. Talk about her children. I suggest you ask her husband to do the same. It's called accepting one's responsibilities, and it is what mature people do in the real world.

Susie Courtault By email



He's just scared

Of course he flies into a rage. Were the two of you to meet and exchange notes, the whole story of his marriage and the truth behind its end will come out. His version will be shown to be what it is – his version. You may well learn much more than you expect or want.

Hillary Pepler By email



Next week's dilemma

Dear Virginia,



My husband has the opportunity to take a job in the West Indies for a long-term contract. We estimate we should be there about ten years. We have no intention of settling there for ever. The problem is that we have two small children. My husband argues that a change of culture will be good for them and will broaden their minds. My fear is that they will grow up rootless. And of course there are all the grandparents to consider, who are understandably upset about the idea of our going. What do you think?

Yours sincerely, Joanna

What would you advise Joanna to do? Email your dilemmas and comments to dilemmas @independent. co.uk, or go to www.independent.co.uk/dilemmas. Anyone whose advice is quoted will receive a £25 voucher from the wine website Fine Wine Sellers ( www.finewinesellers.co.uk)

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

    Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

    Early Years Educator

    £68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

    Nursery Nurse

    £69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

    Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

    £117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam