My wife had a fling at the work Christmas party

Sally Bercow,Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Sally Bercow,Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
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Q: My wife was unfaithful last year with one of her colleagues at a Christmas party but has only just admitted it. She says it didn’t mean anything, but I am devastated. What should I do?

A: There must be a maelstrom of emotions running through your head, after this news. Only you can decide whether you are able to accept her apology and move on, whatever anybody advises you. Are you content she can distance herself enough from the colleague at work? It is quite common for workplace affairs to occur - this is also complicated by your marriage. Some people are able to compartmentalise sex from love, and one can indeed exist without the other, although it is always preferable to have both in a full-time relationship. As a precaution, please ensure you both have a sexual health test - available free at your local Sexual Health Clinic 0114 276 6928 - to rule out any possible diseases, as protection is not always fail-safe and not all diseases have symptoms. There is no shame in attending, it is your duty to look after yourselves. Next for damage limitation to your relationship. You need to discover why she behaved in that way. Was it an inebriated flirt that went too far or was there an underlying problem in your relationship she had not voiced? Once the air has cleared, you will both feel raw and vulnerable. Betrayal is hard to overcome but this is where you both need to be brutally honest with yourselves. Before finding this out did you have a relationship worth saving? If this had never happened would you have been happy carrying on as you were? If you have children to consider, please try to keep a stable environment whilst you are resolving the matter. If there has been a lack of intimacy on either side, it would benefit you to find other ways to express affection. Even if one of you might not be able to get totally into the spirit of things, you could help to fulfil your partner’s desires in other ways. The important thing is to keep lovemaking within your partnership. If lack of intimacy was not an issue, then there are still things to be worked out as your partner has betrayed the marriage. Return to intimacy will take time, as resentment is no aphrodisiac. There may also be deep-seated issues you both need to overcome. Even if you manage to recreate an amicable partnership, why not try marriage counselling? - try Relate 0300 100 1234 - to ensure all issues have been ironed out. Resentment has a nasty way of resurfacing in hard times. I wish you the best of luck.