Caught in the act...

Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been having some problems in my marriage, and a couple of weeks ago did something really stupid- I had a one night stand. Apart from the fact that I know what I did was wrong, and that I have broken the trust my husband placed in me, I now have added anguish as I was seen leaving the hotel with the man by an ex-friend of mine. She is a spiteful, jealous woman and very capable of wrecking my marriage by disclosing my tryst. I am totally unable to sleep, and keep conjecturing how much damage it will do if she tells my husband.

The fear has made me realise just how much I want to work at my marriage and make it good again. What can I possibly do now to save it, and will my husband ever trust me again?

 Patricia Marie says...

This woman is not worth the fear and anxiety she is causing you. Act now. To not tell your husband about your one night stand, and for him to find out from another source, could cause him to never trust you again, which is why I believe you need to confess.   

Explain the reasons for your behaviour, apologise profusely for the hurt you have caused, and let him know how much you wish to save your faltering marriage. But don’t expect him to forgive quickly, as he may well feel devastated and need time to consider his feelings. By communicating honestly, hopefully in time the effect will be to create a sense of closeness, and ultimately replace suspicion with trust.  

Nevertheless, the reasons why you embarked on the one night stand need to be addressed. Many people become unfaithful for escapism, a need to prove one's attractiveness or worth, or just because they crave the excitement they can no longer experience in their relationship. All too often outside liaisons begin because of a general sense of dissatisfaction within a marriage.

Infidelity is often a symptom, not a cause, for problems in a relationship, and enlightening your partner may force you to address the underlying issues. Of course you are overwhelmed by guilt, but marriage is a partnership, and both of you have to take responsibility for making it work. Something has clearly gone wrong, and your confession may be the catalyst the two of you need to create a fresh start and make necessary changes.  

For professional support and guidance, Relate offer a couples counselling service, which you may find beneficial.

Relate:  0300 100 1234 

Patricia Marie, our Agony Aunt, wants to hear your problems, dilemmas, and quarrels. Just email them to