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Relationship sos Dear Maura: Should I tell her that he is cheating?

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young woman and man having problems in relations sit on the bed at home (focus on the woman)

young woman and man having problems in relations sit on the bed at home (focus on the woman)

young woman and man having problems in relations sit on the bed at home (focus on the woman)

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,

I started seeing an older man in work who was already in a relationship.

The usual promises were made that he was going to leave his partner and we would live happily ever after together. He was so attentive and lovely to me. His whole story was that he was very unhappy, but when I had waited long enough, he couldn't leave this woman. We kept going for a while more - even though I tried to end it, I wasn't able. Meanwhile, he was getting the best of both worlds. Eventually it ended badly.

I felt used and he stopped being interested. At that stage, I just wanted to tell his partner about him. He turned my life upside down for a year, but I let it go so I could move on. Recently, I heard he is after another woman at work, someone new who has no idea about him. The person I feel most sorry for is his long-suffering girlfriend. I am thinking of telling her.

He's living the perfect life, all of us women stroking his bulging ego while this poor woman hasn't a clue. Yes I'm angry, but I also want to do the right thing by her by letting her know who this guy really is.

MAURA SAYS: On paper, it always sounds like a good idea to tell someone that they are with a cheater, a person who is betraying them to feed their own over-inflated notion of who they are. I say on paper because it's never that simple to reveal a truth like this.

There are a number of things to ask yourself: how are you going to contact this woman? Will she believe you? Does she suspect already but is letting things be? Think everything through fully. You have walked away from this and your wounds are healing nicely. Be conscious of how much toxic energy you could be contaminated by in your effort to 'out' this man. The ending isn't always as we imagine it in these situations. Think before you speak, for your own sake.

  • Want to get in touch? E-mail maura.oneill@sundayworld.com.

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