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relationship woes Dear Maura: Do you think I'm the reason my husband died?

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Lonely young latina woman sitting on bed. Depressed hispanic girl at home, looking away with sad expression.

Lonely young latina woman sitting on bed. Depressed hispanic girl at home, looking away with sad expression.

Lonely young latina woman sitting on bed. Depressed hispanic girl at home, looking away with sad expression.

Maura O’Neill has been responding to a wide range of problems and issues for the past 20 years as Agony Aunt with the Sunday World. With a Higher Diploma in Education and counselling qualification she also draws on her own life experience in responding to readers’ letters.

Dear Maura,

These past few months have given me too much time to think about my husband's sudden death two years ago. I can't stop feeling that I could have caused him stress that made his heart give in. He'd had heart issues since his late thirties but that doesn't help me.

I had a stupid, boring affair for a few months while my husband was starting a new business and working all hours. The man was known to all the family. One day he called over and everyone else was out and we ended up in bed. After that one time I couldn't get enough. It was like I was addicted to sex with him. I felt alive again, attractive.

We were discovered by my in-laws and all hell broke loose. We held it together for our only child who was doing her Leaving Cert at the time.

But no matter how much I said sorry the trust was broken. The more I think about it the more I feel I caused him to have his fatal heart attack. Nobody blames me, at least not to my face. I can't get these thoughts out of my mind.

MAURA SAYS:

You write in your letter that your husband had a weak heart. While you know that the affair caused stress and anger, it didn't kill him. This wasn't a plan that you concocted with your partner to get rid of him or anything like that. The affair caused him pain and hurt.

However, your guilty conscience is in over-drive. You really should talk your feelings through with a therapist to help you move on without debilitating regret.

Naturally you are going to have all sorts of recriminations because you have a conscience.

You did something foolish, you had sex with this man because you felt unloved, unappreciated.

There was work to be done on your marriage, however, at the time your husband was too busy setting up his business, which must have also caused him a lot of stress. Take time to understand everything that lead to your affair.

  • Ask the expert: maura.oneill@sundayworld.com

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