Should I confess to my family that I had an affair? | Agony Aunt

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine answers another set of reader dilemmas.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 9:41 am
Fiona helps a woman who wants to confess that she had an affair. Picture: Alamy/PA.
Fiona helps a woman who wants to confess that she had an affair. Picture: Alamy/PA.

Question: I work as a writer, and I wrote a guide to having a successful affair.I wrote it to ensure it never ruins a life. I put my children and my affair partner’s children at risk. I betrayed trust. I am not even half of a decent human.Should I confess? Should I go and apologise to the man’s wife? Should I tell my husband?I never meant to be a bad person; I lost passion and attention from my husband, and someone else offered it. I think I should now tell the truth, but should I?

Answer: Do you really think that telling this man’s wife and your husband will make them feel good?

It might help you to feel better if you confess, but I suspect that it will make them feel a whole lot worse. If they know nothing about it, then aren’t they, perhaps, better off not knowing? You can, however, learn to forgive yourself, if you work at your marriage and put right what went wrong between you and your husband. Build trust, respect and indeed love between you once more.

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I AM UNABLE TO COPE WITH CRITICISM

Question: I am 32 and for as long as I can remember, I have been unable to cope with criticism. Even if someone just disagrees with me or contradicts what I’ve said, I crumple and fade away. This has made it very difficult for me to make friends or hold down jobs.I know it sounds silly, but if I could stand up to people and be more confident, I’m sure I could do so much more with my life.

Answer: By recognising your problem (and determining to do something about it) you have made an important first step towards overcoming it. There is no secret to feeling confident and self-assured – all it takes is self-awareness and practice.

Why don’t you find out about assertiveness or confidence-building workshops online or in your area, or look at other online resources? I suggest you start by going to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website (bacp.co.uk) and look up some articles for self-esteem. I’m sure you will soon be on the road to success.