Dear Coleen,

To my utter shame and ­embarrassment, I slept with a mate’s wife recently.

I’ve always fancied her physically and been very attracted to her as a person, but of course never imagined anything would ever happen, as we’re both in relationships.

I’d always got the impression that she liked me too, but wouldn’t do anything about it.

I enjoyed the flirting, which I thought was harmless. Then one night I went over to their place to drop something off when my mate was on a late shift and that’s when it happened.

The sex was great, but I’ve never felt so bad or guilty in my life, and don’t know what to do about it.

I don’t know how I’m going to look him in the eye and keep making excuses about why I can’t meet him for a pint.

It’s not something I’m going to do again and I’m pretty sure she feels terrible, too, and doesn’t want to take things further.

We haven’t been in touch since. I’m also in a relationship, but not married. What would you advise?

Coleen Nolan is the Mirror's resident agony aunt
Coleen Nolan is the Mirror’s resident agony aunt

Coleen says,

Well, I am afraid it’s guilt that is eating you up and you are going to have to live with it if you don’t tell your friend what happened.

That’s the pay-off. I’m pretty sure his wife won’t want you to confess.

I think the friendship will peter out because you won’t be able to deal with the guilt, the stress and the awkwardness of being together in the same room.

So I kind of think either way – whether you tell him or not – it’s the end of the friendship. You’ve been rubbish mate. If you can do that to him, you don’t respect him and you don’t deserve his friendship.

I think you’re also trying to justify what happened by talking about “harmless” flirting and showing up when your mate happened to be at work. Did you actually know he was working a late shift, so only his wife would be at home?

So I think if you’re honest, maybe the intention was there and you found a way to make it happen – it wasn’t just opportunism and a bad call in the moment.

I think all you can do now is learn from this. Remember how bad you feel and don’t get yourself into that situation again.