Couples fight
Couples fight

Dear Coleen,

I’ve been married for six years and my husband and I have one daughter.

Before we got together, he’d been having an on/off relationship with a woman he’s known as a friend for years – it was basically a friends with benefits arrangement.

When neither of them was in a relationship, they’d hook up for sex and then drift apart again when one of them found a partner.

He was very honest about this and it didn’t bother me at the start. But when we had our daughter, I told him I’d prefer it if he didn’t contact this woman – I guess I had an underlying insecurity that if he got bored of me or our marriage was struggling, he’d go back to her. After all, he’s always gone back to her in the past.

Anyway, he agreed to do this, but recently I found emails between them on the iPad. There was nothing to suggest they’re having an affair, but it really annoyed me because he said he’d back away from the friendship.

I haven’t spoken to him about it – any ideas on how I should react?

Coleen says,

Yes, speak to him about it and tell him what you found. But I wouldn’t do it angrily. Just explain you’re hurt that he lied instead of admitting that he still wanted a friendship with this woman. Now you’re suspicious and it’s feeding your insecurity.

I understand where you’re coming from as far as this woman goes.

If she were just a platonic friend, then it wouldn’t be an issue, but because it’s a friendship where sex has been the main feature, it puts a different spin on it entirely.

I always recommend getting a partner to put themselves in your shoes – how would he feel if you were still close to a guy you’d had a no-strings sexual relationship with over many years? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be cool with it.Don’t be scared to bring it up with him. You might be worried that if you put pressure on him, he’ll leave you. But if he doesn’t respect your feelings, it’s a huge problem for the relationship.

He doesn’t need that kind of ­relationship any more because he has you and a daughter. The situation is different now. After all, he must have other friends he could chat to.