Six years later, I contacted her on a visit home and we were both swept away. We managed to slip away together for an intense few days. We agreed that each of us would tell our spouses we wanted to divorce.
I left my wife, moved home and visited her whenever I could. We believed her husband didn’t know about me, as he travelled for work frequently. We’d meet at a health spa where she went to rest a couple of times, or she’d come to my place.
Seeking Honest Closure
A: You have the memory of your secret love together. That’s the legacy she left you. The way for you to protect these as a part of your past is to get much-needed grief counselling from a professional therapist.
But you’ll not find closure through her husband. Trying to do so would be cruel. He has the rights to his own image of his wife and to his memories of their life together, plus its store of images involving their family and friends.
It’s very awkward. His ex always hovers around them, criticizing or doubting everything he says to his daughter. She’s even hinted to the girl that she shouldn’t trust being alone with her dad, as he “could be abusive, you never know.” My husband actually heard this slur, which is preposterous!
Not to mention that he pays considerable child support and many extras.
A: The likelihood is that his daughter will be more open to seeing her dad on her own when she’s no longer living under her mom’s roof. He should strongly encourage her education and be positive and supportive about her going away to university in a few years.
Meanwhile, he must keep up the visits, plus email and phone contact so she knows he’s committed to maintaining their relationship. If his ex persists in suggesting that he’s abusive, and especially if his daughter shows mistrust, he should send a lawyer’s letter warning her of potential slander charges.
He can also arrange through the courts to have supervised visits with his daughter that are not at her mom’s house but rather, say, in the lawyer’s office. It’s not a casual environment either, but at least there’d be no insults and added tension in the background.
TIP OF THE DAY
If airing secrets can devastate an innocent party, find a private way to vent.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ellie chats at noon Wednesdays at thestar.com/elliechat. Follow @ellieadvice.