‘We’ve been sleeping together for years… but I’m still his dirty little secret’

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Dear Coleen,

I’m a woman in my early 50s and I’ve been seeing a man for the past couple of years, but our relationship hasn’t really progressed much beyond sex.

We met through mutual friends and we’re both divorcees. He got divorced 10 years ago after his wife ran off with one of his mates.

I divorced my husband six years ago, but it was a mutual decision – we’d just had enough of each other.

My problem is, we meet ­regularly at my place and he usually stays the night or we’ll go out for dinner or lunch, but he still hasn’t told anyone important in his life about me. It’s like I don’t exist.

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I’ve told my son, my friends and even my ex that I’m seeing someone. My son, who doesn’t live at home, has met him on a few occasions.

Whenever I bring this up, he says his kids were scarred by the divorce, as they were young at the time, and he doesn’t want to rock the boat.

I don’t get it – his kids are 18 and 21 and in my book are old enough to deal with their dad having a girlfriend.

I love him and the sex is good, but I don’t like feeling like a dirty secret.

'The sex is good but I want him to tell his family and friends about us'
‘The sex is good but I want him to tell his family and friends about us’ ( Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Coleen says,

Well, maybe he’s just overthinking things and worrying unnecessarily. He’s assuming his kids will take the news badly but, actually, they might be fine about it and even pleased he’s met someone special.

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They’re definitely old enough to accept this news since the divorce was 10 years ago!

Or perhaps he is using the kids as an excuse not to be open about your ­relationship. But I don’t know why he’d do that unless he’s hiding something from you.

If you want more, then you need to be direct and tell him you want to take things to the next level.

Say you’d like to have a conversation about telling his kids and bringing your relationship out into the open.

If he’s still wavering, then you have to make a decision. Are you happy to continue on this no-strings basis (because that’s what it sounds like) or is it time to make a break and give yourself the opportunity to meet someone else?

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It sounds like he is taking you a bit for granted and maybe he needs an ultimatum to focus his mind.

Good luck.

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