If your spouse has had an affair, that’s tough enough, but finding out there’s a resulting child is really devastating. While your marriage might survive, if both of you still want it, here are three things to consider if you're in this situation:
1. Deal with immaturity and thoughtlessness.
In order for a child to result from an affair, both people involved were not taking responsibility for their actions. There may be ulterior motives, or just avoidance of responsibility. It doesn’t help for the betrayed spouse to be vindictive and childish, either. All these issues need to be addressed, both legally and emotionally, and it will probably take the help of a therapist to talk about them in an effective way.
2. Whatever happens, the child is not at fault.
The child deserves financial support, and should not be blamed – none of this was the child’s fault. Don’t blame or punish the child because you’re mad at the parents.3. If you’re to repair your devastated marriage, you need to focus on the present and the future.
Of course, the affair must be ended. The affair and the child should now be in the past. Make whatever legal arrangements you need to regarding the child, and focus on the future of your marriage. Don’t expect this problem to be fixed quickly or easily, but if you work on it, you can get through it.Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.” Tina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.