IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned a valuable lesson over the last few months: There are no rules when it comes to love. You have to follow your heart and do what makes you happy Ã¢â‚¬â€ unfortunately, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not always easy.
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no fluffy, pretty way to share what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m about to say. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no bow to dress it up. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no concoction that will make it more palatable. The truth is ugly. My husband cheated and the affair resulted in a child. We are still together.
One womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s story
Yes, it sounds very Jerry Springer, but we, my family, are not. To outsiders, my husband and I seemed to have a great union. We got hitched in our mid-20s and immediately began pursuing our piece of the American dream.
We had great careers. We had good friends. We had a beautiful home. There is one thing that we forgot to maintain: a strong connection. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen overnight. Losing my husband was like gaining weight, one day you realise that everything youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re wearing is 80% elastic, but then you remember you added another food group to your diet…chocolate cake.
When it comes to my marriage, I recall making what seemed like small choices at the time that had big consequences later.
So what happened? Being a Stepford wife Ã¢â‚¬â€ perfect house, kids, career and man Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â is easy to watch on television, but hard to replicate in the real world. A few years into our marriage, we had two kids and, while my husband is a loving father, I ended up doing the lionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s share of the work. I was exhausted, mentally and physically, everyday. More importantly, I grew to resent him.
As my requests for him to step up as an active co-parent continued to receive a cold shoulder, I experienced another big chill, in my heart. I felt he was being selfish and stubborn and eventually it created a wedge in our relationship.
During this time, we discussed separating and the possibility of divorce. Neither happened. What did occur was the ultimate betrayal. My husband had an affair with another woman, who became pregnant and decided to have the child.
Finding out about the affair hurt, but learning about the outside child enraged me. How could he be so irresponsible and stupid?Ã‚Â A kid would be a daily reminder of the pain of his affair, a recurrent embarrassment (how do you explain Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthis one isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mine, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢) and an extra bill.
Eventually, after much prayer and counselling, my husband and I reconciled. The decision wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t easy. Initially, I felt like everyone would know that my husband cheated and had a child on me. But I realised that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t my shame to carry Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his. My husband must cope with knowing that he brought a life into this world in an unseemly manner and one day he will have to explain that to his son.
Today, I am balancing rebuilding my marriage and accepting my husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s young son into our lives. I recognise that forgiving my husband means letting go of the hurt and looking forward Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â which is easy to say, but hard to do.
Even more challenging was pushing myself to a place where I could truly love his son, and accept him as part of our household. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m working on it. Rebuilding the trust, bond and intimacy in my marriage has been a labour of love. Hopefully, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give birth to something greater together. Ã¢â‚¬â€Www.essence.com/lifestyle.
Did this woman make the right move? How would you react to your husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love child? What do you do to ease the hurt? Email your views to email@example.com or SMS them to 099 195 14 12.