Wednesday 18 September 2019

Dear Mary: Dream man cheated on me but should I stay with him anyway?

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Mary O’Conor

I'm a separated mother of two in her early forties. About five months ago I met the most wonderful guy online. He is considerably younger than me and is my dream man - handsome, caring, considerate, loving and a separated dad. He is also very good with children which to me is so important.

My own marriage ended as my husband was having an affair, so trust is a massive deal.

My new man has always spoken about his past and has been very open so I trust him. I really see a future for us and he has said that I am his world and has never felt as happy in his life.

I was recently contacted by his most recent ex to say he had been in contact with her and had said he was missing her.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing and was dubious as he had told me she was a liar. However, she sent me screenshots of conversations they had. It turns out he had been meeting up with her for months and they have been having sex.

She also says that our relationship started when they were still together. She claims he has told her she is his world also but she wants nothing more to do with him.

My world is shattered. He has admitted to meeting up with her and having sex but says she is very manipulative and a liar.

I'm not sure what to believe. I want to take him back but am I just clinging on to something that is a fantasy? He has always told me he has never been as happy and that she is unhinged.

However he seems to have a dubious relationship with all his exes. Is he just unlucky?

I haven't told any of my friends or family as I know they wouldn't forgive him.

Mary replies:  How awful for you that once again your trust has been shattered. I wish I could say to you that yes he is unlucky, and yes you should give him another chance. But I cannot in all conscience say that because the facts are saying otherwise.

This all seems to be based on lies and deceit and I feel that you probably don't even know the full extent of what has been going on.

The facts as you tell them to me are that he and his ex have been meeting and having sex. That appears to be undisputed.

It doesn't matter whether or not she is manipulative, and/or a liar, they have been meeting behind your back and having sex.

The fact that he told her that she was his world, and told you the same thing, may just be part of the chatting up lines that he uses.

He may even mean them at the time he says them.

I'm reminded of the film Shirley Valentine when Shirley turns back at the airport and returns to the hotel in time to overhear her lover giving the exact same chat up line to his latest conquest that he gave her the previous week.

If you were to take him back you would be consumed with anxiety, always wondering if he was seeing another one of his exes, or this particular girl, whenever he wasn't with you.

You would also find it hard to believe him in anything he would say to you.

Ending things now may well prevent future heartache.

I wonder if you have met any of his family because they must surely have been through all of this with him previously.

I have a feeling they would have a story or two to tell.

I am sorry to be so negative - ultimately it is your decision whatever you do.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

Sunday Independent

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