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My partner cannot forgive me for cheating and is making my life a misery

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DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner cannot forgive me for cheating and is now making my life a misery.

I made one mistake and I’d like to move on, but she won’t let me forget what I did and punishes me for it constantly.

My partner cannot forgive me for cheating and is making my life a misery

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I’m 34 and have been in a relationship with her for five years. She’s 33.

When we met, we agreed not to have children. I never really wanted them and she said she didn’t feel maternal.

Early last year, she told me she’d forgotten to take the Pill and was pregnant. I was upset and angry and felt I was being held over a barrel.

I love her and wanted to make her happy, but the stress of all this made us argue a lot. Our relationship started to crumble and, while she was pregnant, I stupidly went out, got drunk and slept with someone else. I confessed to my partner straight away and told her it was a mistake.

At first, I thought that she’d forgiven me. And after our son, now nine months old, was born, my heart melted and I forgot why I’d never wanted a baby.

But it soon became clear my partner couldn’t forgive me.

She has now stopped wanting sex and refuses to let me even cuddle or touch her.

She criticises everything I say or do, putting me down and telling me I’m useless.

If I feed the baby, I’m doing it wrong. If I buy him a toy, it’s dangerous or too cheap, or too expensive.

She tells me she’s going out with her friends and leaves me to look after the baby, but if I want a night off she tells me I can’t be trusted to go out alone.

She’s made me feel worthless.

I love our son more than anything. I don’t want to lose him or her, but I just can’t carry on like this any more.

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DEIDRE SAYS: You did make a mistake, and boy are you paying for it. Your partner’s hurt is understandable but she can’t punish you for ever – or she is just going to push you away.

Either you need to agree to split, or she needs to try to forgive you, so you can work on rebuilding your relationship. Tell her you love her, but this situation is untenable.

My support packs Cheating, Can You Get Over It? and Looking After Your Relationship should help you. Try to read them together.

Couples counselling could help. Contact Tavistock Relationships (tavistockrelationships.org, 020 7380 1960).

If she’s unwilling to try, and things don’t improve, you may have to move on. Your son will suffer growing up in an unhappy home.

You can still be part of your son’s life, even if you’re not with his mum.

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