Dear Patricia Marie

Please help. I fear that my husband of 15 years' marriage is having an affair.

He is spending so many extra hours at work, including weekends, and pays me very little attention when he is at home. He has also become very possessive over his mobile phone and bank statements.

One day last week he failed to come home at all. He said he'd spent all night in the office, though I later found a receipt for a hotel and for a meal for two people. When I asked him about this, he claimed he'd had dinner with a co-director, but I'm not so sure. I'm still so in love with him, and am scared of losing him. How do I go about confronting him?

Patricia Marie says...

It seems to me that after questioning your husband, you are trusting your instinct, rather than believing what he says. Make it clear to him that you need to have a proper talk, and be honest with each other. He may not be aware of your concerns or how unhappy he is making you feel, both by the lack of attention, and his secrecy, which is causing you further insecurity. Have you avoided confrontation because you may not want to hear what he has to say, or is it that if he confesses to you that he has met someone else, the situation becomes real? Until you open up to him about how you are feeling, you won't be able to move forward with this. Try to listen with an open mind - it may be that he's not being disloyal at all.

You seem to have drifted apart, which is typical of many relationships when there is a lack of communication. When this happens, the person you know becomes the person you knew, and you don't recognise each other anymore. You say you adore him, so whatever the outcome, wherever it has gone wrong, if you both feel the relationship is worth saving, you can start to work together towards a more positive future.

I believe you may benefit from some professional help. Relate are dedicated to helping people strengthen their relationships, and offer invaluable advice and emotional support. They also provide phone, email and Live Chat counselling.

www.relate.org.uk 0300 100 1234