My husband and I have been separated for the past two years. He had disclosed to me that he had a child outside the marriage and that the child is five years old. I was so upset that I told him I wanted out and left the matrimonial home. I now want to forgive him and continue with him, as he was the first man for me. But I don't know if I should. I am confused. Please guide me, as I do not wish to get a divorce.
One can understand your hurt and feelings of betrayal as a consequence of your husband's extramarital activities. To withhold such vital information from you for five years was most unfortunate as in only a matter of time the skeleton in the closet would have been exposed.
Your husband must have been fooling around during the marriage and as fate would have it he got caught in a way that he couldn't deny. Instead of coming clean early and dealing with the possible repercussions, he chose to delay the inevitable. He was probably thinking that the matter would disappear over time and there would be no need to mention it to you. That, of course, would be wishful thinking for as the days, weeks, months and years went by, the child would be getting older and perhaps be resembling him more. A word of advice to men who find themselves in such predicament — it is recommended that you disclose to your partner early in the day and deal with the consequences whatever they might be.
So now two years have passed, and you have now processed the dilemma and are seemingly ready to reconnect with your husband. But before you do that consider the following: The child will always be a part of his life and to some extent the mother of the child. Have you discussed with him how the child will factor in the relationship? Will he be accommodating the child in the home? What boundaries have been established between him and the child's mother? It is important that you both have a conversation on the way forward before your return.
Has he shown any remorse for being unfaithful in the relationship? Forgiving him is one thing, but if he continues to behave in a cavalier way regarding his marital relationship then history might just repeat itself and another woman bears him another child. You must be satisfied that he will be committed to the marriage this time around. If he isn't, then you must make the decision that is in your best interest.
The challenge for many women in dysfunctional relationships is starting over with someone new and so instead of walking away from a highly toxic relationship they remain and give a similar excuse like yours about the man being the first man for them, hence the hesitancy to leave.
You would certainly benefit from the expertise of a professional counsellor who could help you both to work out the parameters of the revamped relationship.
This certainly is one time in which you must look before you leap and let your head rule your heart.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor /.