‘I can’t stop flirting with other men behind my husband’s back’ – Coleen Nolan

A reader tells Mirror’s grieving aunt Coleen Nolan she’s been forced to be close to other men – even though she hasn’t crossed the line sexually

Couple in bed
One reader said she contacted guys on social media and sent flirty texts (Image available).

Dear Coleen,

I’m hoping for some advice for my marriage, as I feel so guilty forming friendships with other men my husband knows nothing about.

We are both in our 40s, have been married for 12 years and have one daughter. I always worked from home, even before the pandemic hit, while my husband went to the office. I got to know the local area and our people very well and made a lot of connections.

Over the past few years, I’ve made a number of men and the relationships have been very flirty and we’ve connected via social media and texting each other.

First it was a trainer at the gym, then one of the dads from school, then a much younger guy who worked in a local restaurant, and so on.

Nothing sexual has happened to any of them, even though I’ve kissed a few times and know it will go further if I don’t stop it.

I always stop things before they cross the line sexually, but then I go find someone else. I can see it’s a pattern and I’d like to know what you think I should do.

What advice would you give? Have your voice in the comments

Coleen Nolan is Mirror’s resident painful aunt

Coleen said

It sounds like you have a very high need to be wanted, to be noticed by other men, and to know that guys still want you. It all comes from somewhere and can be rooted in your past or because you are craving something that you are not getting from your husband. Does he not make you feel attractive and desirable?

So you need to think about what is driving this model. If that’s something that’s keeping your husband and your marriage flawed, then you need to work it out with him and get over it.

If it’s something from your childhood or teenage years – maybe you struggled for attention or felt belittled – then counseling would be a good place to start. I suspect it’s coming from an unsafe place. You’re still fighting for unnecessary attention.

However, you’re fooling yourself if you think it won’t hurt your marriage or you’re not really doing anything wrong because sex isn’t involved.

Being emotionally intimate with these men is still cheating and lies and secrecy are taking its toll.

So think about your motivation and if you still don’t understand why you’re doing it, then try therapy.

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