Surviving children of affairs
Can you survive your partner having a child from the affair?
Perhaps one of the most painful outcomes of an affair is discovering that your partner’s mistress is pregnant. Children of affairs are far more common than many people realize. A site that deals with this is www.alovechild.com. Sometimes it may be many years after the infidelity that a secret child of an affair is discovered. It is always difficult to handle and there are absolutely no easy solutions. In the heat of the moment you may say things you regret because the knowledge of the child is so hurtful. This is betrayal that is visible, tangible, has an outcome that you can see and have to live with for the rest of your life. Perhaps that is why this particular aspect of infidelity is so traumatic.
Children of affairs are…children..
What often gets lost in the hurt and anger of betrayal is the innocent child. This child did not choose to have a cheater for a father! This child deserves as much love from both of its parents as any child. The adults in this scenario are the ones to blame, not the child but sometimes this gets ignored. The child becomes the object of the anger and all too often the innocent victim of a relationship melt down.
How do you handle this love child?
It seems an odd word to describe the result of infidelity, but love child is what a child born of an affair is often called. Generally speaking, we see a love child as being raised by a single woman without a father because he is married to someone else. The child may be acknowledged or not and there can be scars from this affair left on the child. It is not an uncommon occurrence that a woman has to raise a child alone, but we understand the effects of divorce far better than the effects of illegitimacy. Surely in this day and age there is no stigma attached to being the product of an unmarried couple? Not so; children of affairs have to live with innuendo, comments, a feeling of being unwanted and a host of other emotional issues. There is not a great deal of knowledge and support in this area.
Brenda and I have had a number of emails and comments from distraught women who have found out about a partners’ love child and need advice. I did some research and discovered a very helpful site dealing with this issue, www.alovechild.com and was shocked to see how much pain it causes finding out that you are the product of an affair.
Advice if you discover your partners’ secret love child
My first thought when women tell me of this is, poor woman, lousy man…and then I think of the child. Yes, this is a site for those who have been betrayed and are suffering the anguish of infidelity. However, it is also a site about survival and my feeling is that we should not aim to survive at the expense of others! So, I offer the following views, and would love to hear your response.
- Understand who is at fault here – the man and the woman who created the child
- Do not accept excuses about contraception; lack of, accidental, being trapped by a manipulative woman etc…
- It takes TWO to tango! Your man chose to have sex, if the result is a pregnancy, he is equally to blame
- Your man is now a father and as such has responsibilities towards this child
- You have to be the saint here, uncomfortable but true. You have to accept there is now an addition to your partner’s life, his child
- If you too have children; they have a right to know about this sibling, as too does the “love child” have a right to know they have other family
- The affair may end and it may be unpleasant, but the financial and emotional responsibility towards the child has just begun
- If the mother does not want any contact then your partner will have to negotiate some sort of decent agreement – financial and a chance to connect in the future
- You cannot control what the mother does! If this gets really messy, then you can only offer advice. Your partner has to work this out with the mother of his child but should always be putting the child’s interests first
- This may come back to haunt you both later on in life and bring with it a painful reminder of the infidelity
DO NOT BLAME THE CHILD!
- Get advice, support, counseling. This is probably one of the hardest aspects of infidelity to deal with and I cannot make you promises that it will be alright.
Spare a thought for the child of the affair; they had no choice in this matter. Children of affairs are tangible proof of infidelity but they are more than that. They are people in their own right and their interests should come before those of the adults.
If you, yourself are the child of an affair, then a good place to go for advice, and to understand you are not alone, is www.alovechild.com with personal experience from several children of affairs.