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Friday, February 4, 2011

Child of adultery

Could you accept your partner’s child from an extramarital affair?
Infidelity can rock even the strongest of marriages, causing a lot of pain for the innocent party. The hurt gets compounded if the affair results in a baby being born. If the marriage survives such a hard knock, a decision has to be made whether to integrate that child into the family.

I’ve witnessed couples in a similar situation opt to bring the child, born out of wedlock, into the matrimonial home. This situation makes me feel uncomfortable. I always wonder: how can a woman (please note,even a man) whose spouse cheated, live in peace with a baby born as a result of the affair?

I salute all the people out there, who not only forgave their straying partners but also embraced their partner’s children. This usually happens if the birth mother is unable to take care of the baby.

However, I think it’s a mistake for the wronged party to accept her husband’s lovechild into the family unit if she has not forgiven him for the affair. She has to work through her anger and make peace with herself before taking on extra baggage. If she’s not comfortable with the child staying in the matrimonial home then she should speak her mind out.

Sadly, I’ve seen situations where a woman, who’s been cheated, takes out her frustration on the innocent child, maybe as a way of indirectly getting back at her husband. Because the child will normally be younger than his or her siblings there is also a real danger that the child will be subjected to bullying in the matrimonial home.

This is unacceptable. The three adults involved should look at the situation and come up with a solution that will ensure that the child grows up in a happy and stable home environment. In my observation, with a few exceptions, children born under these circumstances usually fare better if they stay with their biological mothers.

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