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Steph & Dom solve your sex, love & life troubles: I’ve slept with my late husband’s younger carer

TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 52 and 54, draw on their 21 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .

Q: My husband died seven weeks ago, aged 80, after 15 years of multiple cancers. He spent five years on a hospital bed in the lounge, being looked after by me plus an army of carers. We were married for 49 years and I loved him and will miss him for ever.

After he died, one of his carers got in touch suggesting a drink. We talked until 1.30am, had a hug and he left. We met up again several times and we kissed — I swear the earth fell off its axis. Then we had sex. It was the first time in 15 years for me and it was amazing.

The problem is I am 69 and he is 43. He says he has always been attracted to older women. I confided in a friend, who deemed me to be deluded and vulnerable. I see her point but I am having more fun than ever. The past five years were hell and I feel I deserve some pleasure. What do you think?

An anonymous reader, 69, who has been sleeping with her late husband’s 43-year-old carer, asked for advice after friends deemed her deluded and vulnerable (file image)

STEPH SAYS: You cared for your sick husband for 15 years — the last five with your home as his hospital. You tended to him with love, care and utter devotion.

You are the embodiment of selfless love. I respect you enormously for this.

You have done this all for the love you had for your husband. And you will have felt devastated when he died, as well as some degree of relief that his suffering was over.

Please also remember your suffering and pain throughout these years. You’re entitled to try to heal your wounded heart. I feel very strongly that you must allow yourself the right to feel a degree of freedom from any emotional responsibilities. However you do that, you must.

You may have been feeling a sense of guilt over your new experiences with your husband’s ex-carer but you really should not. And you must ignore the friend telling you that this is not acceptable behaviour from a grieving widow. She’s doing it because she feels she is protecting you, but you’re fully aware of what you’re doing and why.

Steph (pictured with Dom) told the reader to embrace and celebrate the experience of being in bed with her late husband's carer

Steph (pictured with Dom) told the reader to embrace and celebrate the experience of being in bed with her late husband’s carer 

For 15 years, you nursed a cancer patient, whom you loved with all your heart. The fact is, unless they’ve experienced it themselves, nobody will ever understand what it is to care for a terribly ill loved one. Equally, they will never understand the bond that can be forged between carer and family.

That relationship is incredibly deep, private and personal. Carers see you at your most vulnerable and at your worst. You have feelings of gratitude for their infinite kindness and dedication. It is entirely natural to develop strong feelings for them. And vice-versa.

You say that, initially, the two of you talked until the early hours. And this for me is key. How wonderful to talk with someone who knows you so well — and also to talk about the man you both knew so well, too! It is a huge emotional release for you. Your husband is not a taboo topic of conversation. What a wonderful gift.

Why not have a wonderful time in bed? 

You’ve both been on an intense journey together. You have my support and admiration for having forged an emotional and physical relationship from that.

But remember, if this doesn’t develop into a grand love affair, so be it. You are a lady with many experiences of life, and if this is just a fling to get you through your grief and pain, then that is what you must do. Your wonderful experience in bed is to be celebrated, not criticised.

You know you deserve to be happy. It’s time to allow yourself to be so.

DOM SAYS: First, I’m very sorry for your loss. Having recently lost my father to cancer, I know that the past ten years were pretty hard work for his wife. It is an utterly hideous thing to go through. So believe me, I know you have had a difficult time for a very long time. You have my full support and admiration.

I wonder if you have heard of a thing called ‘anticipatory grief’. It does what it says on the tin, in that it means you start to grieve for the loss of a loved one when you know they are going to die.

Dom (pictured) told the reader that not everyone will understand her situation, and warned her not to be too disappointed if things don't work out long term

Dom (pictured) told the reader that not everyone will understand her situation, and warned her not to be too disappointed if things don’t work out long term

You feel the loss before it actually happens. Your husband died seven weeks ago, which is no time at all, but I understand how you may well have grieved his death quite some time ago.

That isn’t to say you aren’t in pain and turmoil now, just that it may not be as early in the grieving process for you as some people might expect.

While your friend may think your new relationship is premature, I do not.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that you have already done a great deal of grieving. And I am delighted you have found some solace and comfort. The fact this solace comes in the arms of a younger man matters not one jot.

There are 26 years between you — so what! It really is just a number, as I’m sure you know, given your beloved husband was 11 years older than you.

You’re only 69 — to hell with the age gap 

You are only 69. With a bit of luck you have a full 25 years ahead of you. Now, should this new romance go the distance, I’m not sure there’d be much swinging from the chandeliers then but he’d be staring down 70 too that point.

There is no doubt you are on the rebound, but you seem to be taking this wisely and sensibly, so I say make hay while the sun shines. To hell with the age gap, you have the opportunity now for a new relationship to blossom and you should take it.

Grab this happiness with both hands and stop worrying about the future.

You must stop beating yourself up about it. You’ve had a dreadful 15 years. You did your duty. You looked after your husband. And you loved him. I’m sure he would want you to find love again.

Two words of caution. You are, of course, vulnerable right now, so if things don’t work out long term, do try not to be too disappointed.

Live in the here and now and enjoy this.

And second, not everyone will understand, so you might find your life will be easier if you keep it relatively quiet for now.

If you have a question you’d like Steph and Dom to tackle, write to: