My old college flame has got back in touch

Steph & Dom solve your sex, love & life troubles: My old college flame has got back in touch

  • An anonymous reader asked for advice on meeting an old flame from college
  • He said he’s considering seeing the flame, although they’re both now married 
  • Steph advised the reader not to see his friend, as it could lead to an affair 

TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 52 and 55, draw on their 21 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .

Q: I was contacted recently by an old college friend. We shared a house while we were students. One night we ended up in bed together. After that, all through university we would sleep together from time to time — although we both had girlfriends.

After leaving university we went our separate ways and now live hundreds of miles apart. Both of us are married with young children.

An anonymous reader asked Steph and Dom Parker for advice on arranging to spend time with an old flame from college (file image)

Recently my friend, a keen rugby supporter, has contacted me out of the blue wondering if I’d like to join him on trips to see England play.

This would mean staying away overnight.

From the tone of his emails and reading between the lines, he is suggesting we have a sexual relationship. I want to meet up for the occasional weekend but as a married man is it fair on my wife to do this?

STEPH SAYS: I commend you for having the courage to write in. I am so glad you felt you could share your story with us. When people sit down to write they start a process — the act of committing thoughts to paper (or screen) marks the start of a journey. Seeing your feelings in writing is the moment you accept your own truth. And I don’t think it’s a journey that should be rushed. This is a serious choice you are about to make, one which will change not only your life, but that of so many others.

In your letter you admit you want to meet your old university friend and that you know he is looking for a physical relationship, much like the one you had years ago. So you are confirming that you wish for this to be a physical relationship, too.

You ask if this is fair on your wife, and the simple answer is ‘no’. I believe you know this too. It would be cheating and there is nothing fair about this.

But the real question here is one about your sexuality. I think it’s time for you to do some soul-searching. One technique I believe helpful is to imagine your life from now on as a film — what do you expect to happen next?

If anything were possible, then what would you like to see on screen? How does this film play out and how does it end? Do you see yourself with your wife? Or with a man?

Steph (pictured left, with Dom) advised the reader not to spend time with his friend, as those who he loves could get hurt 

I say ‘a man’ not ‘the man’ as I don’t get the impression you have been longing for your ex-lover in particular, or that you were bereft that you lost touch.

One thing I do wonder is, does your wife know about your previous relationship? If she does, were you planning to tell her you were going to go away with your former lover, or were you going to lie? Obviously this is the point of your letter — do I speak the truth or do I hide my wishes from my family?

If your wife does now know about your previous relationship, this will be a hard truth for her to hear. She may well be able to see herself living with a man who has a homosexual fling occasionally, but that is her decision. And she deserves to make it for herself.

In the short-term my advice is to tell your friend that trips away together are not a good idea. Then I think you should spend some time figuring out how your want that film to play out. There is so much support out there from professionals — I urge you to access it.

You deserve to live a life where you are true to yourself, but be careful to protect those whom you love from getting hurt in the process.

DOM SAYS: Firstly, I’d like to say thank you for your letter — I’m sure it took bravery to write in. And I’m sorry to hear that you’re unsure about how to proceed. This is a very tricky problem, although one aspect of it is, to me at least, very simple.

It seems as if you’re asking us for permission to be unfaithful to your wife. If that is the case, then I’m not sure you’ll like my answer, because I’m afraid I would never be an advocate for infidelity.

When you got married you made vows to your wife that you would remain faithful to her.

Dom (pictured) told the reader that he should find a consellor and consider exploring his feelings about his sexuality 

Marriage is a choice, and it doesn’t matter if you marry a man or a woman, if you choose to get married, you choose to commit to your spouse for the rest of your life.

I have no problem with people exploring their sexuality, but if you choose to be married then I believe you should honour the commitment you made to be faithful to that person.

An affair is an affair is an affair. It matters not one jot if it’s an affair between two men — it’s still an affair. It seems as if you’re trying to minimise what a betrayal this would be by talking about it just in terms of an occasional trip to the rugby. But a fling is not a harmless thing, or a bit of a thrill. It’s the breaking of your marriage vows.

That said, please don’t feel that I am unsympathetic to your dilemma. I suspect that the truth runs a bit deeper than your letter, and that you are, in fact, struggling with your sexuality. I think you have to be honest with yourself about it.

My advice would be to find a counsellor who you trust and talk through this issue and really explore your feelings about your sexuality. Take the time you need to truly figure out who you are and what you want.

Look into your heart and your soul and respect what you find there. If you discover that you want to pursue a relationship with a man then you must follow that route — I’m sure, in the long run, you’ll have the support of your friends and family.

Honesty is so important. If your truth lies somewhere other than with your wife, then do the decent thing and tell her.

Go into a new phase of your life openly, deliberately and wholeheartedly. Tell your friend that you need time to come to your decision but that, either way, a clandestine affair is unlikely to make anyone happy in the long run.

  • If you have a question you’d like Steph and Dom to tackle, write to: stephanddom@ dailymail.co.uk 

The confidential Switchboard LGBT+ helpline 0300 330 0630 is open from 10am to 10pm every day. Or email chris@ switchboard.lgbt

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