A letter to... my husband’s girlfriend

‘I am not angry with you. You look too young, too well-bred to know what you have got yourself into.’ Composite: None/Getty

I hope this doesn’t come as too much of a shock, this letter from your boyfriend’s wife. It is clear that I don’t exist in your world. At least not in the present tense. You must have gathered that someone gave birth to his son. Presumably you believe me to be dead.

I am not dead. We live together, at least for the time being. We still share a bed (although not in that sense since I found out about you).

I was helping with his new phone (he was never good with technology) when a message, complete with text-speak, emojis and kisses from you, popped up. With your mobile number it was short work to find your social media profile and then your address on the electoral roll. You live with your parents, a couple of miles from his office. I’d never searched his phone before. I’d never had cause to. It still feels wrong, snooping on your conversations. 

I am not angry with you. You look too young, too well-bred to know what you have got yourself into. I am not angry with him either. He is very ill.

For years I have supported him through depression made worse by his refusal to accept he has the illness and engage with treatment.

I have spent hours listening to him rail against everything that has stood in the way of the great success and recognition he believes he deserves. I have supported him through failed business ventures, house moves and job changes. I have let him turn our lives upside down to try to make him happy. It has taken me this long to realise I can’t do that. You won’t be able to either.

Since I found out about you, I have started to bait him. I ask innocuous questions and I watch as he lies to me. I am surprised by the ease with which he does it. My friends have been gentle with their reminders that he lied to me from the start – about his age, his ex-wife, his adult son. About being in the army.

You believe he is a heroic single dad, juggling childcare around his high-flying career. You think he is loaded. He’s put your meals and hotel bills on a secret credit card. I sold things on eBay to pay for Christmas.

Is he ill? Or is he just a con artist? Either way, the man I loved does not exist. I hope you will see the light sooner than I did. I hope the lies don’t break your heart. You deserve more than being someone’s bit on the side. I hope you find your prince charming.

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