Agony aunt: ‘Having an affair might be best if you want to stay married’

Supporting your spouse’s search for “extramarital sexual partners” is “entirely reasonable” in your bid to stay married, an agony aunt has told a reader.

Writing in the Guardian, Pamela Stephenson Connolly says caring for your spouse includes being open to them having an affair.

But responding to the advice, a spokesman for The Christian Institute said sex outside marriage is “never the answer”.

Good life

The letter came from a 69-year-old man whose 71-year-old wife has recently come out as lesbian.

He says he loves his wife and that they have had a good life, but now is seeking to deal with his desire for sexual intimacy following her declaration.

Stephenson Connolly notes that he is trying to take the decision in his stride but “adjusting to it will not be easy”.

‘Entirely reasonable’

She continues: “It would be entirely reasonable, for example, to begin having conversations about possible changes, such as supporting each other’s search for extramarital sexual partners.”

While noting this may seem “radical”, she adds, “if you care about each other and want to stay married, then being open to a more flexible arrangement might be sensible”.

The Christian Institute said: “This agony aunt’s comments are both sad and troubling. Clearly the couple are in a difficult situation but having an affair can only make things worse.

Amazing gift

“Marriage is founded on promises of exclusivity so infidelity is a breach of this life-long commitment.

“Sex, an amazing gift created by God, is made for marriage. Pursuing it outside of that union is never the answer.”

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