"When There's a Child, What Do You Do?"
By Dr. Robert Huizenga, The Infidelity Coach
My name is Dora. My husband and I have been married
for 14 yrs. We have 3 children. My husband had an
affair and there is now a child from the affair. I
am still with him, and yes still love him. He now
sees the child and his "ex-lover" almost daily.
Should I be worried she's still trying to get him
back into his life? My husband tells me he only
see's her because of their daughter, but it worries
me because the ex-lover gets upset when my husband
won't change plans to see them. Their daughter will
be 1 year old soon and his ex-lover is still in the
big picture. What should I do as the wife?
Time! Yes, it does take time. From my experience it
takes 2 - 4 years to adequately work through a
relationship crisis with the magnitude of
Dora, from the tone and tenor of your e-mail and the
fact that the child is 1 year old, I would venture
to say you are about half way there.
Worry? Nawwww, don't worry. It's not good for you!
:) Where does worry come from? Worry bubbles up from
self-doubt and feeling helpless, powerless and
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that your
husband's "fling" with the OP is over. It served its
purpose (whatever that was) and now he bears the
responsibility for caring for a child the two
created. As well, the demandingness of the OP is
certainly not very attractive and will most likely
push a deeper wedge into their relationship.
But, allow me to suggest a strategy that will help
you with a couple things. First you need some
"markers" or "signs" that indicate that his
relationship with the OP no longer serves a threat
to the stability of your marriage. And, you want to
feel like you have some influence and power in this
process that will erase your doubts and calm your
As I read your letter I had at least a dozen
questions about your future. Here are a few: Is the
OP married? What financial obligations does your
husband have for the child? Does he have a
visitation schedule? What legal responsibilities
does he have? Do your children know about the other
child? Do you see the child? What kind of emotional
and financial support will carry into the future?
Will this child in any way be "part" of your family?
What will you do about Holidays? Birthdays?
I suggest you write down on a legal pad as many
questions, very practical questions, you can. Ask
your husband to sit down and over time iron out and
answer specifically these questions. Begin with the
question of visitation. Let him know your opinions
and needs. Set up a schedule if you don't have one.
Stick with it.
You want and need clarity on the boundaries of these
relationships, so everyone is on the same page.
If the two of you can sit down and over the next 3-6
months constructively address these questions, I bet
your worry fades and you will find your marriage
gaining stability and strength. It will be a great
sign that he is deeply committed to you. If you
can't do this, watch out. This is a red flag. Get