I am 33 and married for 6 years, together 9. I have a 7-month-old son. My husband has been cheating on me with a 23-year-old co-worker. I audio-taped the two of them having intercourse in our car three weeks ago. I confronted my husband who said he would end all contact with this person. Two weeks later she was still contacting him, so I contacted her to find out why she was not honoring his wishes to allow us to work out this difficult situation. She assured me that she understood, and would discontinue contact and that she was switching jobs in addition.
Then three days ago, my husband informed me that she is pregnant and not sure what she intends to do. She is using this indecision as a constant excuse to contact my husband, and when I tried to contact her she told me that it was none of my business, and that they had been seeing each other ever since I had discovered the affair. My husband is distraught and wants her to terminate the pregnancy; he does not want our friends or family to find out. I do not know how to participate without pushing her into doing something that can to destroy us.
Do I stay in this situation or is his continual contact a sign that he cannot let go? She has claimed that she is returning to her ex, but I think she is just trying to make him jealous. Do I need to move on in a clear direction?
You have my admiration for the strength, determination and honesty with which you have handled this difficult situation. Most people 'drop their bundle', at least for a while. You have obtained irrefutable evidence, confronted your husband and the young woman in a positive way, and have handled all the turmoil. Well done.
One good sign is that your husband 'does not want our friends or family to find out.' That means to me that he is clear on morality, however he may have slipped in behavior. This gives hope that after the two of you have weathered this storm, you can negotiate a new and eventually perhaps stronger relationship. I have seen that happen in other families.
It also gives you a tool. YOU have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide, except for his sake. Should the affair become public knowledge, you know that you are able to get on with your life. Make sure he knows this, and that, if you keep things private, it is only to protect him.
Now for this young woman. She can choose to have an abortion. If for any reason she doesn't, she can put the baby up for adoption. Nowadays, there are many more couples looking for babies to love than there are available children, so the baby's future is likely to be a loving home. Or, she can keep the baby. Being a single mom used to be about the same as having leprosy, but not any more.
All of this is her business. It has nothing to do with you. She can carry on her life any way she wants, as long as she leaves you and your husband out of it.
Get your husband to offer to pay for a termination of pregnancy. If she refuses, he can offer to pay relocation expenses for her to somewhere else. At the worst, he may be liable for child maintenance payments for the next 18 years, and that may remind him to be ruled by his head instead of what's below the belt.
I suspect you posted your message at a temporary low, and that you have reached similar conclusions already. You don't sound like a helpless person, but a doer.
I hope you and your husband can repair your marriage. But even if not, I know you will cope, and do well.
All the best,
This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com