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Question
Posted by: Newly Wed | 2011/09/26

Frustrated

My husband cheated and had a baby when we were still dating which lead to us breaking up. I forgave him and he promised to lose contact with the baby and the mother. We then got married a year later and we dont have kids. I have tried to forget this betrayal and leave it behind but it keeps on coming back. I cannot accept this baby and he cannot go back to her as long as im in his life. He says its the pain that he is willing to live with as he is the one who cheated, but it doesnt look like he has left it all behind. Last week he refused to go to a children''s party saying it reminds him of that child. And everytime he sees a small child it hits him. This does not settle well with me coz he hasnt accepted that he cant have me and this child at the same time. I am not sure if i can trust him anymore.Am i being selfish. Coz this will alwyas be part our lives and i cannot live with him and this baby. He always tell me not to worry abt anything..all he he wants is me...but he is still feeling guilty...Please advice...Counselling has not helped.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As I discussed in another recent answer, I think one of the diseases currently afflicting South Africa is the widespread asumption that every victim of anyone else's bad or selfish or criminal behaviour has a duty to "forgive them". This is not so, and should enver be considered so.
OK, in situations like yours, there may be reasons to decide to overlook or to respond forgivingly to someone's bad behaviour, in partiocular circumstances, including that the person is sorry and contrite ( not just sorry that they were caught !) And if they are realyl convincing that they will not repeat the infraction.
In the situation you describe, it was probably not wise to continue and get maried, at least not until after a longer period of knowing each other and remaining in a relationship in which he could demonstrate that he was indeed oing to behave properly.
For him to avoid all contact with the other woman EXCEPT as regards the welfare of the child, was a reasonable expectation. But regarding contact between him and the child, the primary and overwhelming concern must be whatever would be best for the child. And generally, the child would benefit from continuing contact with her bi-father.
It is entirely fair for you to expect him to unambiguously choose you over the other woman ( or to have gone ahead and maried her instead). But it isn't fair, to the entirely innocent child, to insist that he choose between you and her - she is not your rival. She's a kid.
He can understandably feel guilty about what he did to you, and about what he is still doing to the blameless child.
Maybe you need some individual counselling to work through your own conflicted feelings about all this, especially the way in which you ae, essentially, blaming the child for what her mother did.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mr Practical | 2011/09/28

Interesting to read all the various comments and just how differently we perceive a situation. I would like to hear from " Frustrated Newly Wed"  regards her feelings now that she has heard from all of us to see if any of it has made any difference to her attitude.

Reply to Mr Practical
Posted by: PP | 2011/09/27

I am sorry but I have to agree with everyone. This is the most selfish and cruelest thing I have ever heard in years.....
Why exactly do you mean you have forgiven him, it does not look like it. You just want him to suffer forever.
I guess revenge is sweet to people like you.

If he is willing to choose you before his child then definitely he is a LOSER and will do the same to you once the honeymoon phase wears off and you have kids with him and has found himself another.

Reply to PP
Posted by: Mr Practical | 2011/09/27

No, I have not missed the point and I am not suggesting that the father and mother of the child must abandon it. I am supporting the newly wed wife who unfortunately made a poor decision by accepting the father and forgiving him. SHE has no responsibility towards the child, why should she, her husband and the other woman do. If the newly wed is not happy with the arrangement she should divorce her husband and get on with her life. Explain why the newly wed is obliged to be so concerned with someone else''s child ???

Reply to Mr Practical
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/27

Obviously " Mr Practical" y ou have :-
1. No children of your own
and
2. Loving parents that both cared for you and did not ignore you

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Phil | 2011/09/27

It amazes me  but some people responding on this site don''t have the brains to even grasp what the issue is. To the last response  please get someone to read the thread for you  and explain it to you. And maybe try and respond again? Now that''s a " Practical"  solution to help you?

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Mr Practical | 2011/09/26

I am amazed that most people responded have castigated YOU because YOU want a normal loving relationship. The fact that HE has a daughter is not your concern and its not your responsibility to see the child has a father. It was his decision to go catting and he is now responsible. If this arrangement clashes with your happiness you are quite entitled to end your relationship and make it with someone else who is not encumbered as he is. I don''t think you are at all selfish.

Reply to Mr Practical
Posted by: Maria | 2011/09/26

The distance is definitely a complication as it is impossible to have a relationship with a baby that far away. Is he at least paying maintenance?

Newly wed I think you are giving your husband mixed messages, whether you intend to or not. If you truly make peace with the fact that he has a child and that the child should be a part of your lives, then you will be able to approach him in a way that makes him feel it''s ok to be a father to his child. Maybe you should go for some counselling on your own to help you sort all of this out in your head.

Due to the distance your husband will probably not see his child very often, unless you can afford to travel that far on a regular basis. This will mean that in order to keep up to date with what goes on in her life, he will need to be in contact with the mother. My suggestion is that you set up a dedicated email account that both you and he has access to, and he can keep contact using that account. You should never directly contact the mom, but having an account that you can see should help to alleviate your fears regarding him and her. Remember, he chose you over her. But that doesn''t mean he can or should also cut ties with his child.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Laurei | 2011/09/26

Well if you feel angry upset and miserable now, imagine what that child will feel growing up without his dad because of the stepmommy. The kid will eventually become an adult and have bitter resentful memories of you and his father. I always tell people never to underestimate the tears of a kid, coz somehow, it carries a lot more weight than those of adults, why? coz children are innocent and more often than not a casualty of adults and their bad choices. Your marriage will always have a cloud over it due to this, try to resolve this amicalby, be a woman take a stand and tell your husband you are willing to make a place in your family for this poor kid. I would not have continued a relationship with a man who fathered a kid with someone whilst dating me, however you are already past that stage. So sort it out now.

Reply to Laurei
Posted by: newly wed | 2011/09/26

I have tried to accept this baby in the past and suggested that i go with him there..650km from where we are. but he refused saying he is protecting me, and he wont drag me into his problem. And he doesnt want to compromise me as he has already done that. This then left another confusion and resentment for this child to make my life so miserable. I sometimes feel bad for doing this but i dont know what to do or how to handle this. Sometimes i feel letting him going back will resolve this conflict but he wont allow me...and he will avoid the subject all together...saying it makes me angry...

Reply to newly wed
Posted by: sassy | 2011/09/26

You are extremely selfish,that child had nothing to do with all this mess,sort it out with your cheating husband,that child needs love from both parents which is your hubby and the mother.

Reply to sassy
Posted by: Queen | 2011/09/26

It doesn''t look like you forgave him. He''s still not allowed to see his child?
You are doing more harm to your marriage than good.

Reply to Queen
Posted by: Woman | 2011/09/26

I am sorry, but you cannot possibly expect a man to choose between his child and you. And you saying that he cannot have his child in his life is an extremely selfish, not to mention childish thing to do. Yes, he cheated and yes he pays for it. every day. Because his wife never allows him to see his child. He is missing out on a piece of him.

This man - the man who you loved enough to swear an oath to be with, to love, to trust, to cherish for the rest of your life. This man has a child that is half him. He is a father. He WANTS to be in that child''s life. You have to deal with it. He cheated, still you married him. If you want him to keep choosing between you and his child AND you make his life hell on top of it, he will leave eventually.

Or you can leave now, while you still have you r youth and start over. But to despise a child so much? no, you are wrong here.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Phil | 2011/09/26

@ Maria. Does this guy really want to remain married to an evil selfish person who can deprive a helpless " inicent"  child from a parent?

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Phil | 2011/09/26

What a stupid question? Who do you think you are to deprive a child of his/her father? That child had nothing to do with teh affair  you or the fact that you are married to his/her dad. Point is  the child is there  and has two aprents. And nobody has the right to do what YOU are doing to the child right now! It''s is crule  and selfish! And you  need to take a good look at yourself.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Romany | 2011/09/26

It was very " big" of you to forgive him and enter into marraige. Everyone deserves a second chance.
However, the baby is not at fault here and you should consider allowing him to see his child and pay towards the maintenance ofthe child.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Mommy | 2011/09/26

Sure is a tough situation you are in, I know it hurts but can you go on the rest of your life knowing you are the reason his daughter is growing up without her daddy, and by his behaviour I am sure that he wants his child in his life, he chose you so he does not want the child''s mother.

The first thing you need to do is stop associating your feelings for the child with her mother, let the kid visit you guys a few hours on the weekend see how it goes take it one step at a time, you have nothing to loose but your marriage so at least try.

Reply to Mommy
Posted by: Just Me | 2011/09/26

Why did you expect of him to lose contact with HIS child, who is really so innocent in this whole affair?

No wonder he is having trouble. Get over your insecurities and jealousy.



Reply to Just Me
Posted by: Mr Practical | 2011/09/26

I doubt you are devoid of common sense, not all that common actually, but what on earth were you thinking at the time you decided to " forgive"  him and enter into marriage ? Anyway that''s not important now. Personally I would call it day,be practical, get divorced and start afresh with a more common sense approach. Why hang around making yourself so unhappy.

Reply to Mr Practical
Posted by: Maria | 2011/09/26

Do you REALLY want to be married to the kind of man who has a child and then takes no responsibility for him or her? You knew going into the marriage that this baby was there. If you can''t live with that fact then get out before you have kids of your own. Because you know what, if you have children and a couple of years down the line you get divorced, the father of your children might not want anything more to do with them - that''s after all what you expect from him.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/26

As I discussed in another recent answer, I think one of the diseases currently afflicting South Africa is the widespread asumption that every victim of anyone else's bad or selfish or criminal behaviour has a duty to "forgive them". This is not so, and should enver be considered so.
OK, in situations like yours, there may be reasons to decide to overlook or to respond forgivingly to someone's bad behaviour, in partiocular circumstances, including that the person is sorry and contrite ( not just sorry that they were caught !) And if they are realyl convincing that they will not repeat the infraction.
In the situation you describe, it was probably not wise to continue and get maried, at least not until after a longer period of knowing each other and remaining in a relationship in which he could demonstrate that he was indeed oing to behave properly.
For him to avoid all contact with the other woman EXCEPT as regards the welfare of the child, was a reasonable expectation. But regarding contact between him and the child, the primary and overwhelming concern must be whatever would be best for the child. And generally, the child would benefit from continuing contact with her bi-father.
It is entirely fair for you to expect him to unambiguously choose you over the other woman ( or to have gone ahead and maried her instead). But it isn't fair, to the entirely innocent child, to insist that he choose between you and her - she is not your rival. She's a kid.
He can understandably feel guilty about what he did to you, and about what he is still doing to the blameless child.
Maybe you need some individual counselling to work through your own conflicted feelings about all this, especially the way in which you ae, essentially, blaming the child for what her mother did.

Reply to cybershrink

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