Cheating is tough to deal with as is, and there are consequences for that act of infidelity. Those consequences can be anything from financial bankruptcy to divorce. What happens when the result of sleeping with the other woman causes a more painful consequence? What do you do when a child is the result of an extramarital affair? Whether your wife has slept with another man and gotten pregnant or whether the other woman has gotten pregnant—this is a difficult pill to swallow. Your job now is to focus on the stepchild that resulted.
My mentor never understood why his father was rougher on him than the rest of his siblings. As a kid, he had an “Uncle Sherwood” that he’d visit every so often. He’d have to wait outside on the corner to be picked up by his “uncle”. It wasn’t until he was in college and chatting with his mother while looking through the family photo album, that he saw a picture of himself as a child and also a hidden picture of his “uncle”. He turned to his mother and asked, “Is Sherwood my real dad?” Very nonchalantly without stuttering or blinking rapidly, she uttered a “yes” and kept sipping her tea. Although the family stayed together for the sake of the children, the result of that three month affair, resulted in a child who felt unloved by his surrogate dad most of his life.
My relative once told me a story about how a pastor who had an extramarital affair with a congregational member. This resulted in not only him almost losing his church and getting a divorce, but the other woman had twins!
As the spouses in those situations, you are most likely angry with your spouse for having an affair in the first place. What you should never do is take your anger and frustration out on the child. They are innocent bystanders as a result of unhealthy and unwise decisions two adults made. Your job is to be the best stepparent you can be, even if you decide to divorce your spouse. It is a joy as a child knowing that there are many adults on their side looking after their well-being. Advise the child that they are blessed to have multiple moms and dads who enjoy loving and taking care of them. You don’t have to forget what happened, and it is always a stress-reliever to forgive the act of infidelity, but you can be the bigger person by putting your new stepchild first!
Click here for 99 things you can do with your stepchild!