I never told my husband about my ex-lover | Agony Aunt

Dear Fiona: I never told my husband about my college lover

By Fiona Caine
Monday, 20th December 2021, 6:52 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 6:52 pm
Students holding hands on campus.
Students holding hands on campus.

Some ten years ago while I was away at college, I had a passionate affair with one of my fellow students.

We were very much an item during term time, but every holiday, I returned to my regular boyfriend, and I think he did the same thing.

All my fellow students thought we were a couple, and for almost three years, I suppose we were.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

But we never had anything to do with one another during the holidays. We had our course in common, and a group of close mutual friends around us, but I suppose that was it.

My college boyfriend and I split up before our course ended. I went home and then about eight years ago, I married my original boyfriend. I know he’s the love of my life, and we are happy together with our two young children.

I have no regrets about my past – I enjoyed my time at college and my college affair was part of the reason I had such a good time.

The thing is though, that I never told my boyfriend (now husband) about what I got up to while I was away – I never thought it mattered.

During Covid, a few of my old college friends and I started chatting on Zoom and now they’ve organised a reunion for Christmas.

When they started the idea, it was just going to be us former students, but someone has now decided that partners are invited.

My husband is keen we should go because, when I was on the course, he was never able to come up and see me.

What on earth will I do if my old lover is there?

What will happen if he says something inappropriate when he sees me, and even if he doesn’t, what if one of my college friends remembers and says something?

I would dearly love to see everyone again, but I’m wondering if it would be better not to go at all.

R. M.

Fiona says: We all have a few skeletons in the closet

You’ve managed to keep your college life secret from your husband for ten years, but I wonder if, while you were away, he might have had relationships you don’t know about too.

I think you really want to go to this reunion – and you might even quite like the idea of seeing how your lover turned out too!

I think it would be a shame to miss out on the chance of meeting up with old friends, just on the off chance something untoward might be said.

If you really think there is a chance someone might say something inappropriate to your husband, then perhaps you could test the waters before you go.

Make a joke about whether or not he won’t find it awkward meeting all your old boyfriends and see how he reacts.

If he feels as secure in his love for you as you seem to be with him, then I am sure he will treat it quite lightly. Most of us have skeletons in our closets we’d prefer never saw the light of day – I know I do!

That means many of your fellow ex-students may also be concerned about things they did, people they dated or mistakes they made that they would prefer were never referred to.

They will be hoping you don’t reveal their secrets, just as much as you are concerned about yours.

It may well be your ex-boyfriend is one of them – worrying, right now, that you’ll turn up and say something in front of his wife!

Just relax and enjoy the occasion. I suspect your husband has probably long ago guessed that you had a boyfriend or boyfriends while you were away.

He’s probably only too pleased though that you chose to come back to him. If something is said and your husband reacts to it, just make that point – that it was him you wanted to be with and him you married, and the other boyfriend was nothing more than a youthful fling.

Dear Fiona: Should I tell my son how awful my grandfather was?

My father-in-law died rather suddenly a few months back and although it was a shock, neither my husband nor I are sorry to see the back of him.

He had made our married life together a misery, with his constant interference, back-stabbing and arrogance.

What really galls now is to listen to my 17-year-old son say how much he misses his grandfather.

It’s true they spent a lot of time together and often went off on extended fishing trips, but other than that my son had no idea what an unpleasant man his grandfather was. Do you think I should tell him?

G. C.

Fiona says: Your son is allowed to grieve in his own way

I wonder what you think you would gain by telling your son how you feel about your father-in-law? True, it might make you feel better, but your son is missing his granddad and is clearly upset.

Tell him what you think, and you’ll just upset him further and possibly drive a wedge between you. Perhaps he knew how you felt about his grandfather anyway, or perhaps he didn’t.

But young people are usually a lot more observant and aware than they are sometimes given credit for.

At 17, he’s more than capable of having his own opinion and views about people, so what good will it do you to try and destroy his happy memories now?

The old man is gone – don’t let his memory continue to poison your life – let this go!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron