DEAR DEIDRE: MY husband thinks so much of himself – and I must have “fool” written all over my head as I even helped organise his affair for him.
I’m his long-suffering wife of 20 years. I’m 45, he’s 46 and this man is all I know. But I do realise how self-obsessed and mean he is.
He met a married woman at the pub and because he’s not good with technology, asked me how to get her number from a WhatsApp group and save it to his contacts.
He’s not careful with his phone and I have the code, so I could see them arranging to meet for drinks, meals and then, of course, sex.
He keeps me sweet, to the point where he thinks the occasional box of chocolates will let him continue to live rent-free with me.
At other times, he’s beaten and ridiculed me.
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He’s hit me in front of our teenage daughters and held me up, with his hands around my throat.
Amazingly, I’ve forgiven him and allowed him to walk all over me. I’ve asked him outright to stop this fling, but he says it’s all in my head.
When I’ve shown him their disgusting messages, he calls it “banter”.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve got the impression things have cooled between them.
He has not spoken about this woman or disappeared without telling me where he is going in ages.
He’s got his feet back under the table without saying a word. We’ve had no conversation, no sex, nothing.
Meanwhile, I put up with his awful treatment and continue to cook and clean for him.
Do we have a chance to get our relationship back on track if she is out of the picture?
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DEIDRE SAYS: This calm will only last until he finds someone else. Do you really want to continue with a man who has such little regard for you?
A person who is supposed to love you wouldn’t want to hurt you. His abusive treatment is also so damaging for your children to witness.
They may grow up thinking this is normal behaviour and go on to find abusive partners for themselves, as we learn so much from our parents.
My support pack Addictive Love explains more about why you accept being treated so badly.
You can also find help via The National Domestic Abuse Helpline. See nationaldahelpline.org.uk or call 0808 2000 247).
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