Dear Coleen

I’m a woman in my 30s, I’ve been married for five years and have a gorgeous two-year-old daughter.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband confessed to me he’d had a short-lived affair a couple of years into our marriage, but he ended it when we discovered I was pregnant and insists he’s been faithful ever since.

From my side of things, we have had a very happy marriage, so I was completely taken aback and extremely hurt.

He was remorseful, said he didn’t want to lie to me any more and was crying when he told me.

He said that our daughter and me were the most ­important people in his life and he’s ­realised how close he came to losing us.

I don’t really know what prompted him to tell me now – maybe because we are in a very happy little bubble at the moment.

I don’t know what to do from here. Before this happened, I would have been the kind of woman to say, “no second chances”, and believed that if anyone cheated on me, I’d show them the door. Now I’m not so sure.

I love my husband and I know we have to talk about it more, but I don’t want to leave him.

I’d love your opinion.

Coleen says

We all think we know what we’d do in this situation until it happens to us. And you’ll get no judgment here – I believe you have to do what’s right for you and, if staying in the marriage and working through what happened is what you truly want to do, then do it.

Ignore all the outside noise and dissenting voices from friends or family and focus on yourselves.

However, although I respect him for being honest and trying to make a fresh start, I do think you have a lot more talking to do and he needs to prove to you that you can trust him.

You need to face those questions of why he had the affair and why your marriage was vulnerable. What was going on at the time and what was he looking for that he couldn’t find within your marriage?

It’s a painful process, but I think it’s necessary in order to really move on and have a positive future together, and you may want to have some ­counselling to support you through it.

Good luck.