My side chick is pregnant, now what?
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Dear Counsellor,

I followed bad company and got a woman on the side, and now she's pregnant. I'm not even a wild man. It's just that my brethren laughed at me for being a one-burner all these years, and I felt like less of a man — so I stepped out on my wife. It wasn't meant to continue for long but one thing led to another and now to my predicament. This woman says she wants to have her baby, and is threatening to tell my wife about the affair and the baby. I don't want any part of this, as I already have children and I can't afford neither the expense nor the embarrassment of this wicked woman and her child. How can I get rid of this woman who is threatening to ruin my family and marriage? My wife is a good woman and doesn't deserve any of this. I have prayed for clarity and forgiveness but nothing seems to be working.

It's good that you've jumped in on The Counsellor's Couch. The power of peer pressure! Some people are in prison and others are in the grave because of it. At the least, you are neither. The fallout from this will be difficult for many people. Buckle up, there's a lot of work to do! If you are a strong, resilient man, you can navigate this situation prudently and cause minimal pain. Forget embarrassment, humble yourself. And forget the fears of the added expense.

It often takes just seconds to pull down something it took years to build. A marriage is a powerful opportunity given to a couple. Securing a good partner and building a good marriage takes years. One misjudgement can indeed bring that investment crashing down. However, if a partner is a strong, resilient person, maybe they'll be willing to push through the pain and consider working to salvage things. But either way, you need to know as you navigate this situation that you'll have many "doghouse days". Get your blanket and pillow, you've had the improper pleasure, and now comes the proper, attendant displeasure.

Here's my advice:

Speak to your wife now. Go to your wife before that woman or anyone else does. Humble yourself and confess the situation. Let her know that you'll support whatever decision she makes regarding the relationship because you acknowledge that you've put the family at risk. If your wife throws in the towel, give her due support. When she breaks because of the pain, give her due support. Serve her like you're a professional waiter at a five-star restaurant, for however long it takes.

Have a family meeting. If your children are old enough, and your wife consents, call a family meeting, humble yourself, and tell the children the situation. They will understand. They'll be shocked. They'll learn something from it. They will forgive you after a while — and they'll respect you for your honesty later on. You'll be a pillar of integrity and strength to them later on.

Get a good counsellor. A good counsellor can be very helpful since you'll need to roll up your sleeves and pull this mending process off. You may want to go in alone initially and after that, involve your wife. It may also be wise to let her know about the debacle with the counsellor there.

Speak to the other woman. You can't say you don't "want any part of this", you already have a part of it. And, you've been given another family team member — a child. Let this lady know that the relationship is over, but you will give due support to your child. Whether she's wicked or not, you'll have to deal with her for a while yet. Muscle up!

You're not the first to fall prey to such situations. But strong men have navigated their way out and come away with respect. I pray that you will do the same.

Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

Christopher BRODBER

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