My husband cheated on me and admitted to the affair two weeks after it happened. He also just found out that she is pregnant; he says the condom broke. We have a 12-year-old and, after three miscarriages, we also have a 1-year-old. He and I agreed that we did not want anymore kids, so the news has been a real shock to me. I am so hurt that he would betray me in this way after 10 years of marriage and all of the hardship we have gone through. I am in counseling because I was literally on the verge of a breakdown.
I want so much for the marriage to work, but really can it? What are the chances of him doing it again? I will not tolerate another woman in the middle of my marriage. He made the choice to lay down with her, so why am I paying the price? This other woman is undecided about what to do with the baby. Some days she says she's going to have an abortion, and other days she says she's going to have the baby and can raise it all on her own. I can't and won't accept another child that isn't mine into my life. What can and should I do realistically?
—Betrayed and Broken Betty
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Dear Betrayed and Broken Betty,
I know that you want this marriage to work, for your sake and for the sake of your children, but is a bad marriage really better than no marriage? You obviously can't trust this guy one bit, and that's one of the necessities in a strong, healthy marriage. I'm not sure if there's anything he can do that will win back your trust. Even if he apologizes profusely, and promises never to cheat on you again, what if this woman decides to have the baby? If she does, even though she says she'll raise it on her own, there's no doubt that your husband will have some part in this child's life. How will you explain that to your children and your family? Will you be able to stay married to a man who fathered someone else's child?
What your husband did was wrong and ruined the sacred bond of marriage that you two had. Not only that, but his having sex with someone else put your health at risk (I guess he didn't think about STIs). Whether this woman goes along with the pregnancy or not, what's stopping him from cheating again?
You have two choices. You can either forgive him and stay married, or not forgive him and get divorced. Only you will know what feels right. I am glad you are in counseling, and if you feel like there's a way to make this work (through couples therapy and open communication), then I'd give it a try. On the other hand, if you feel like he cut you way too deep for you to ever trust him again, it may be time to end this relationship. Good luck, Betty.