Dilemma: I had an affair with my best friend's husband

Jo Brand / 15 February 2017

A reader is worried the brief affair she had with her best friend's husband will come to light.



Dilemma: I had an affair with my friend's husband

My best friend and her husband are returning from the US to retire back to the town where I live. 

While I’ll be delighted to see her, I had a short fling with her husband many years ago and am anxious that this new close contact will ‘out’ our indiscretion.

Jo Brand's advice

‘Oh, what a tangled web’ and other clichés about infidelity we have here. Something you thought safely buried in the past threatens to disturb the gentle ebbing of the tide, as you gear up for sunlit games of golf and evenings spent listening to talks on lace-making and pruning roses. (Sorry, I realise I have painted a somewhat narrow, comedy picture of retirement there – one I plan to avoid like the plague.)

Presumably, you were hoping that your best friend and her errant husband would never come back, thereby locking up your little/big/massive secret for ever. And what a double-edged sword! ‘While I’m delighted to see her’ etc… Did you say that through gritted teeth?

First of all, you need to look once again at what you have done. It was an awful betrayal, particularly of a best friend.

I wonder why you think your previous indiscretion (was it just the once?) will come to light. Are you a bad actor, or do some people in your home town know and are they likely to crack under the weight of an extra schooner of amontillado?

My feeling is, you have done something wrong – face up to it with more courage than you seem to have managed thus far. I am not suggesting you spill the beans when you greet them at the airport, but if it looks like it’s going to happen, don’t cower: take your punishment like… a person.

If, on the other hand, you just want the whole thing to go away, move house.

Am I being unnecessarily harsh here? Probably, and I’m not casting the first stone, because we all make mistakes in life. To me, it’s a question of how we handle them.



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