DEAR DEIDRE: UNTIL I bumped into an ex, I thought I was happy with my partner.
When our eyes met in a supermarket aisle, I knew I still wanted to be with her.
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I have left my girlfriend for this woman twice already and both times my partner forgave me.
Now, I want to leave her again but don’t know how to tell her.
I am 44 and have been with my partner, who is 42, for 20 years on and off. We have two teenage children together.
Three years ago, we were having some problems. So when I met this woman, who is now 30, in our local pub, it felt like an escape from the arguments at home.
What began as friendship quickly turned into a passionate affair.
When my partner found out, she was heartbroken.
I felt so bad, I ended things with the other woman and my partner and I agreed to try again.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about my lover. She told me she felt the same, and we started meeting in secret.
After a huge row, my partner threw me out and I moved in with the other woman. After three weeks, I realised I’d made a huge mistake.
I begged my partner to take me back and she agreed. That was two months ago.
Since then, things have been going well, although not great in the bedroom. Then, last week, I bumped into this ex at Tesco.
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The moment I saw her, I knew I had to be with her. There’s something electric between us.
So I think I have to leave my partner again but I don’t want to hurt her. I know I’m not being fair to her or the kids but I can’t just switch off my feelings.
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DEIDRE SAYS: I’m going to be frank: It’s time to grow up and stop acting like a bored child who can’t decide which toy he wants to play with.
Don’t treat your partners like toys. They are people with feelings. You can’t pick them up and put them down at will.
Worse, you are messing with your children’s lives. It could have serious consequences for their development and for your relationship with them.
See my support pack, When Parents Fall Out, to learn more about this.
If you’re not happy with your partner, agree to split. But if you want to make things work, remove your ex from your life and work on your sex life.
Things didn’t work out with your ex twice, so your attraction to her isn’t enough.
Perhaps it’s time to be alone, until you know what you want.
Talking to a counsellor could help. Contact relate.org.uk.
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