Dear Bunmi,

My wife and I had been married for 12 years when she left me for a man she’d been having an affair with. I’m heart-broken and have begged her not to leave me, but she refused to be talked out of her decision. Our only child, who is 11 years old, lives with me. Do you have any suggestion of where I should go from here? I feel a bit suicidal.

Chike, by e-mail

Dear Chike,

I’m so sorry this has happened to you. It must be devastating and I hope you have a lot of friends around you who love you and are there for you. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that will make your estranged wife come back, but there are steps you could take to make the next few months bearable.

The first is to let your adulterous wife go. The more you beg for another chance, the less likely it is that she will want to come back. What you need to do now is regain some power by planting the thought that by having the affair and leaving, she may have lost you for good. Few affairs last once they’re out in the open and domesticity replaces stolen moments.

She may well regret leaving – but the easier she thinks it will be to come back, the less appealing it will be and the longer she’ll give it with this new man. In the meantime, you need to go for counselling. But while it’s helpful to analyse what went wrong, you need to stay focused in the present as much as you can. Read, watch TV and most importantly – get out of the house. See friends or go for a walk. Exercise is great for getting rid of stress and clearing your head. Remember to eat properly too – then leave everything to time.


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