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My wife told her pal that I’m rubbish in bed and I’m not our son’s real father

DEAR DEIDRE:  I HEARD my wife telling her friend that I’m rubbish in bed. 

Her friend replied, “Well, you can always get it elsewhere. Does he know he’s not X’s dad?” (X being our son.) My whole life fell apart in that moment.

We have been married for seven years, our little boy is four and the apple of my eye. I thought my wife and I were happy, but it appears I was wrong. I am 39 and she is 35.

My wife hadn’t seen her best friend since lockdown started and invited her over for supper in the garden last month. She jokingly told me to make myself scarce for the evening so they could have a “proper girlie chat”.

I took our son out for a pizza. When we got home, I put him to bed and popped my head round the garden door to say “Hi” to my wife and her friend. I said I was going to bed to watch some sport on my laptop. Our bedroom is at the front but I could hear them laughing and joking when I went into the spare room at the back to get my laptop. 

Then I overheard my name mentioned so I couldn’t resist quietly opening the window more so I could hear better. They didn’t notice me.

My wife said I’d never really turned her on properly. Her words stung me as I thought our sex life was good. 

Then it got worse. Her friend asked if I ever suspected anything last time or if I had a clue about our son. I was shocked beyond words.

I went to bed and tossed and turned until my wife came up, but she was so far gone it wasn’t worth trying to talk to her.

I booked myself into a hotel to think. When I did go home at the weekend I could barely look at her. 

When she asked what on earth was wrong, I blew up at her and told her what I’d heard. She admitted having an affair but swore our son is mine. 

She said it was drunken talk — her friend was saying her man was rubbish in bed so she just agreed to be supportive.

I am insisting on DNA tests but my wife says she can’t see the need and suggests we just have counselling.

DEIDRE SAYS: Think hard before insisting on DNA tests immediately. You love your little boy. If it’s bad news, are you going to write him out of your life?

Your wife has behaved appallingly but your life together felt good and happy until that awful night. Before throwing it all away, why not agree to some couple counselling to see whether it can be salvaged, or at least help you part less destructively for everyone involved?

My e-leaflet How Counselling Helps explains more, and you can get advice on DNA testing, if you later decide on that, from Cellmark (cellmark.co.uk, 08000 362 522).

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