DEAR DEIDRE: MY gorgeous seven-year-old son gets on brilliantly with his dad, my lover, but it hurts that after a ten-year relationship I am still living a lie.
No one knows about my son’s father. We met when I was taken on at his dry-cleaning business. He’s 45 and gorgeous.
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He’s got three dry-cleaners. When he started spending more time with me than in any other shop, I knew that there was a connection.
I was just leaving one evening when he said, “Can you stay longer and have a drink?” so I did.
We had some wine and talked about our personal lives. He told me that he fancied me. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.
I stayed late again the following evening and we had sex in the back room.
I hadn’t had a relationship for years and being physical with a man made fireworks go off in my head.
Can’t pick between your mistress and your Mrs?
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He told me his wife was controlling and did nothing except enjoy spending his money.
His wife is 40 and I’m 36. I found out I was pregnant and was scared to tell him, but he was delighted and stayed with me for the birth.
He said it would give him the push he needed to leave his wife.
He’s spent more time with us since the pandemic.
My son loves his daddy and asks why he doesn’t live with us but I tell him we’d be too cramped in my little flat.
But because my son is kept secret, I have never met any of my partner’s family.
He tells me he’s unhappy and he’ll “leave soon” but doesn’t do anything about it.
Is he telling me what I want to hear?
Some days I wonder who he’s trying to convince more — himself or me?
DEIDRE SAYS: He’s had so much time to leave his wife but he’s never done it.
How long are you prepared to wait?
Your son deserves two parents who can be there for him. He shouldn’t be anyone’s secret.
He’s missing out on family life with his paternal grandparents and extended relatives.
Actions speak louder than words so if your lover is serious about leaving his wife, he’ll do it and be with you full-time.
Find a moment to tell him you’ve had enough of being the other woman – and he needs to step up and be fully there for his son.
Give him some space to talk to his wife about what he wants and for them to get some counselling if needs be – even if they are to separate.
My support pack called Your Lover Not Free explains what you can expect if you continue to be second-best.
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