I am a 34-year-old straight woman in an open marriage with a 39-year-old straight man. I have taken far more advantage of the openness of our marriage than my husband, at least until recently, and I have had a string of long-term affairs and short-term flings.

During the past eight months I have basically been living with another man in a neighboring town. I am drawn to men who are starkly different than my husband, who is an intellectual, moderate in his vices, with disdain for men who spend every evening in a pub.

I have a drinking problem, but it is not a problem I feel any need to resolve. I am drawn to men who, like me, are also drinkers. I can have a glass of wine in the morning, drink until I pass out in the afternoon, and wake up when my lover comes home. Then go to the pub with him and start drinking again.

My husband can’t tolerate that behavior.

This past Sunday my lover and I went to a country pub. I glanced in the dining room and saw my husband with a beautiful older woman, but not just any woman, it was my mother. From the way they looked at each other and were touching, I could tell they were quite obviously in love.

My mother is 54, breathtakingly beautiful and, unlike me, hasn’t let her body go. My husband, who is handsome and fit, looked happier than I had ever seen him. I went to the toilet and threw up. Then I dragged my lover out of the pub, went straight to the off-licence, bought a liter of vodka, and drank at his house until I passed out.

I feel betrayed by my mother and my husband. There has always been something lurking beneath the surface with them. I guess she made her move and he couldn’t resist, or maybe it was the other way around.

Knowing I can’t go back to my life as it once was makes me miss it so much. My mother is the one having long talks with my husband at night, going to a nice restaurant with him or the theatre, and I am at a grubby pub every night with my alcoholic lover.

I started stalking them, sitting in the car down the street from our house, drinking vodka from the bottle, and watching them come out hand in hand to play tennis in the courts down the street or go out to dinner.

I have sneaked in the house and gone up to what used to be our bedroom and found my mother has moved her clothes into the wardrobe and taken out what I had left. I even saw a tube of lube on the bedside table.

Seeing that made me hate her more than you can believe. My husband would be disgusted with the way I have let myself go, but he’s happily enjoying my mother’s perfect body.

I haven’t confronted either of them yet. I would love to put an end to their happy little relationship. It is sick that my mother stole her daughter’s husband, and I despise her for that. I can forgive my husband, but I could never forgive her and can’t tolerate the fact that they are together.

~ Eleanor

Eleanor, your long letter deserves a full response, which we will publish next week.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of August 7, 2017

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