Home Australia DEAR CAROLINE: I found out my husband of 21 years is cheating on me…but he says I’ll lose half the house if I try to divorce him. What I can do?

DEAR CAROLINE: I found out my husband of 21 years is cheating on me…but he says I’ll lose half the house if I try to divorce him. What I can do?

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 DEAR CAROLINE: I found out my husband of 21 years is cheating on me...but he says I'll lose half the house if I try to divorce him. What I can do?

q My husband of 21 years has been having an affair. I’m not sure how long, but he lost sexual interest in me after I got pregnant and our daughter turns 20 next month. The woman in question has three children – I don’t know if any of them are my husband’s.

When I found out, I asked for a divorce and told him I wanted an agreement. However, he owns his own company and he has told me that over the years his tax payments have been somewhat shady.

If I make him go to court, he says I’ll lose half of our house.

He said if I take him to court I will lose half of our house, which is now mortgage-free. I am also concerned that this may have an adverse effect on our daughter, who has applied to join the police force. I have always worked and paid my own money, so although I don’t depend on it in that way I can’t afford to lose my share of the house. I am 59 years old and could never get a mortgage on my own.

DEAR CAROLINE I found out my husband of 21 years

TO You must be devastated. Being ignored sexually for 20 years will have deeply damaged your self-esteem. Typically, when someone has an affair, the betrayed partner has a lot of questions, like how long it’s been going on, where and when it started, and it’s deeply unfair that her husband doesn’t want to talk about it.

Depending on the age of this woman’s children and whether she herself has a husband, it is unlikely that her children are her husband’s, since the affair is probably more recent.

Your thoughts may have turned to the worst-case scenario because of the pain you are going through. Unfortunately, you may never know; She may not know it herself, so she tries not to torture herself by wondering.

As for the money, it is possible that your husband is cheating on you and is certainly trying to scare you into not taking steps to secure his share of the house.

He could be trying to scare you into not acting.

He has already hurt you badly, so be suspicious of his motives. Consult with a lawyer or attorney; you can find one at lawsociety.org.ukand get advice from divorce.wikivorce.com. She’s also playing on her fears about her daughter’s possible police career, but this is a more gray area.

The National Police Chiefs Council press office says these issues are dealt with on a case-by-case basis but, in some cases, a parent’s criminal conviction may prevent their child from joining the police. However, you cannot be held hostage to her husband’s threats in a marriage that makes her so miserable.

So, once you have consulted with a lawyer, talk to your daughter about this. I hope the police will view her request more favorably if she is open about what might arise.

In the meantime, get advice for yourself (relate.org.uk). Her husband’s behavior seems very controlling, so also seek advice from womensaid.org.uk.

How should we deal with his temperament?

q I have two daughters. The youngest has always been a bit fiery. When she and her partner moved abroad for a few years, she left some furniture they had bought for her rented property to her older sister and her husband.

However, when my youngest daughter visited them recently, she became very angry that they had been using her furniture as their own.

When he gets angry, reason goes out the window and he doesn’t seem to consider that his sister has been saving him a fortune in storage costs. Should I tell my youngest daughter that she is being a little unreasonable or is it better not to get involved?

TO I can see why you’re afraid to say anything for fear of making the problem worse. However, I think her youngest daughter is being unreasonable. She sounds like she has a sense of entitlement, but I wonder why she is so volatile. Maybe there’s something more to this, so start by gently telling her that she can often be a little short-tempered and ask her if she’s anxious about anything.

Anxiety is often a key factor underlying anger and volatility, but when people don’t realize this, they aren’t sure what to do with all those angry feelings. Other factors in your anger could be jealousy or a feeling of inadequacy in the face of your sister’s more stable life. Meanwhile, her older daughter might be used to deferring to her in search of a quiet life, so she may need to be more assertive and set clearer boundaries with her.

Try reading How to Deal with Angry People by Dr. Ryan Martin to help you and your older daughter find strategies to understand and manage your younger daughter’s temper.

If you have any problems, please write to Caroline West-Meads at YOU, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY, or email c.west-meads@mailonsunday.co.uk. You can follow Caroline on X/Twitter @Ask_Caroline_. Caroline reads all your letters but she regrets not being able to answer them personally.

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