DEAR DEIDRE: WHEN I suspected my husband was having an affair, I never dreamt his lover was the mother of my son’s best friend.
My son, seven, and this boy are inseparable, and he will be devastated if I stop them from playing together.
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I’m 36 and have been wed to my husband, 38, for nine years.
My son met his best friend on the first day of nursery, and they have been joined at the hip ever since.
They play football together at weekends, are always at each other’s houses and had a joint birthday party.
I liked his mother, 37, and welcomed her into my home.
My husband and I have been having some problems lately. I tried talking to him but he became withdrawn.
He started going out a lot on his own, saying he needed space to clear his head. I soon started to get suspicious.
When he said he had to go to stay with his brother for the weekend, I agreed. But that same weekend, my son’s friend’s mum cancelled their playdate, saying she had to go to her parents.
A sixth sense told me this wasn’t a coincidence. She’d been avoiding me for weeks, not staying a minute longer than necessary when she dropped off or picked up her son.
I confronted my husband and, after a tearful row, he admitted they’d slept together and were planning a weekend tryst.
He says he is confused and doesn’t know what he wants, but that he still loves me and doesn’t want to break up our family.
My instincts are telling me to cut this woman out of our lives forever if my husband and I are to have a shot at repairing our marriage.
But how can I do that without stopping my son from seeing his friend? I feel so torn.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Your desire to protect your son from this is natural. But you need to guard yourself from reminders of your husband’s affair.
If you want your son to be able to continue his friendship, you must be strong.
Talk, or write, to this woman and say you can never be her friend again, but you want your children to retain their relationship.
If she agrees, say you’ll continue to host her son in your home, but she’s not welcome.
Make it clear your husband will no longer be involved in any arrangements.
Encourage your son to make other friendships too.
As for your marriage, if you want to save it, you need him to be open about why he cheated, and discuss the changes that need to be made.
My support pack, Cheating, Can you Get Over It? should help you to move forward.