DEAR DEIDRE: I STUMBLED across intimate emails between my husband and a woman in a secret file on his computer. But I can’t talk to him about it, as he has dementia.
I am 67 and my husband is 71. We have been married for more than 40 years but he was diagnosed with dementia two years ago — news that devastated us both.
He always dealt with the family finances. He was a businessman and I was never allowed to touch his computer or his phone.
After his diagnosis we sold our house and downsized to a bungalow to make life easier for him. He hasn’t been able to use the computer because of his illness.
But I got a nasty shock setting up the machine in our new home after stumbling across the emails and photos in a secret file.
They had nicknames for each other: “Ginger” and “Fred” — like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, I suppose.
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In these messages he’d praise her sexual technique and she detailed his prowess. I called this mistress and she agreed to talk to me at her home.
I felt sick hearing all the details about their affair. She is a single woman in her late fifties and looked like a younger version of me. She has never been married.
She told me she knew all about me and their affair went on for ten years.
There is no point me asking my husband anything, as he won’t remember. He can’t be out of my sight and is totally dependent on me.
He can’t give me answers and now I am left as his carer, though I’m burning with anger.
On my bad days, I feel like putting him in a home. I feel very bitter.
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DEIDRE SAYS:You have made a devastating discovery but don’t do anything hasty over your husband’s care that you might later regret.
You will survive this very difficult time but you may need help along the way.
You can find support through Dementia UK (dementiauk.org, 0800 888 6678).
Your husband behaved badly and I understand you will want answers about why he had an affair.
But you will never hear his side of the story.
This won’t be easy but if you decide you can forgive him, you are going to have to draw a line under what happened, move on and try to remember the good times.
If you don’t, the alternative is further resentment and bitterness. My support pack Moving On will help you.
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