Reader Pregnant Paramour writes,
I've really messed up! I've been married for a little over a year to a man that I've known for almost 10 years. Our relationship has been rocky from the start, and I decided to marry him because I loved him, or so I thought, but mainly because of my own dysfunction. He has cheated on me, before we were married, abused me, and all sorts of things however the abuse and cheating has stopped as far as I know. Well, except for in January when the girl he cheated on me with said he tried to contact her but she didn't answer. This was just six weeks ago.
After I initially found out about the cheating, I was heartbroken. We weren't married when his cheating began, but I didn't find out about it until after we were married. We had lost a child at birth the year prior to our marriage and the cheating was happening after this. I was in a bad place in my life and in my mind and sought the comfort of another. Fast forward to six weeks ago, I found out that I'm pregnant with the other man's child. My husband knows I'm pregnant, but of course thinks it's his.
Our marriage still isn't great and I've just made it worse. I don't know if I should have an abortion or keep the baby. My husband and I tried desperately for a child, but she died at birth and one round of IVF was unsuccessful. This time it happened immediately. I was careless and stupid for thinking it wouldn't happen that easily.
Telling my husband the absolute truth is not an option! It's either keep the baby and tell my husband nothing, or abort. The man I'm pregnant by knows and says he is willing to go along with whatever I decide. He's not someone that I think I'll end up with in the long run, although his is a nice guy. He understands the predicament and isn't sure what is best either. We are both scared and unsure.
I will never again sleep with another man while married, and had never done so before. I deeply regret the chaos I have caused and would like some help in finding direction. This is the hardest decision of my life!
This situation sounds doomed on many levels. If this was a one night stand then I think maybe there could be a future for you and your husband, or even if you were committed to telling him the baby isn't his, like these people. But really, you are bringing a child into a marriage with a recent history of both partners cheating, and a history of abuse, and you will be lying about the baby's biological dad.
You are going through IVF, which is no easy thing, nor is it cheap. Obviously you want a baby badly. Is there no way to tell your husband what happened? Of course if he will react abusively, then you cannot tell him. But is there any possibility that he would forgive you, even after extensive couples work and lots of grief, and you could welcome this baby in an honest way into a loving union? If not, you have a decision to make. Perhaps it involves being a single mother, and I am surprised this was not an option that you mentioned since you wanted a baby badly enough to do IVF. Or was it your husband pushing or the IVF?
Of course you can decide to just tell your husband nothing about the affair, but I think it is very different since a child is involved. This would be lying to your husband and your child for a lifetime. I am sure many people do this, and maybe it would somehow work out and the guilt would keep you on the straight and narrow forever after, but look at the down side. If this was ever uncovered, you would risk your husband leaving you and your child, and destroying your child's life and conception of himself and his father. You are also taking away your child's chance to know his father, who is at the very least, not abusive and "a nice guy" by your estimation.
This is a very complex decision, and the fact that you stayed in an abusive relationship and even married the guy makes me think there was something very traumatic and abusive in your earlier life that made this pattern seem familiar or tolerable to you. I suggest that you go into therapy ASAP to get help with making this decision, as it is the hardest decision you will ever likely have to make.
Good luck and thanks for writing in. And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Sometimes There Are No Right Or Even Good Answers.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.