Dear Coleen: I’m alone after my boyfriend and my secret lover both dumped me

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Dear Coleen

I’m a woman aged 28 and I’ve basically ruined everything for myself with my own stupidity. I’d been seeing my boyfriend for eight years and we were living and working in different cities, and I had an affair with someone else.

I suppose things had just got a bit boring with my boyfriend. We’d been together since we were only 20 and I’ve always had this nagging doubt that I’d missed out on playing the field a bit.

I met the guy I had an affair with through a friend and he is very sexy, confident and clever.

After a night out, I went back to his place and we slept together, which was great. I’d forgotten what it’s like to feel really turned on.

To cut a long story short, I’d been sleeping with him for about a year when my boyfriend discovered what I’d been up to and he dumped me.

Then the guy I was having the affair with also dumped me – he ran off, terrified that I’d now want to have a serious relationship with him!

Have you any advice? I realise I’m old enough to know better, but I’d love to have the chance to try again with my boyfriend. I love him and miss him, and feel terrible for how I’ve behaved.

Coleen says

I think what’s happened is that you haven’t paid attention to your relationship – you haven’t nurtured it and sorted out your issues and the result was your affair.

It sounds as if your relationship was in a rut and then it became long distance, so it was easier to avoid all those niggling doubts and problems.

For some people an affair is a wake-up call for the relationship and they become determined to stay together and work things through.

For others, it’s a deal-breaker and it sounds like that might be the case for your ex. All you can do is tell him how you feel and that you’ll be waiting if he wants to talk about a reconciliation.

Bombarding him with calls and messages isn’t the way to go – he’s hurt and angry. He needs time and space to process what’s happened and how he feels about it – and about you.

If he’s not interested in making another go of your relationship, then I’m afraid you just have to use what you’ve learned from this as you move forward with your life.

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