Hubby wants me to raise his outside child
Image: Pixabay

Dear Counsellor,

My husband got another woman pregnant, and we worked through that betrayal. The child is now four, and I've always encouraged him to be part of his child's life, though I have kept my distance when the child visits for weekends. Now the mother wants to migrate permanently, and wants my husband to take full physical custody, and I think that is where my tolerance will end. I told him no, and that mentally I cannot bear to raise the child who's the product of his affair. I have told him to tell his babymother to have her mother keep the child and we can maintain the weekend visits. I think this is a better arrangement, because I have no motherly feelings towards this child. My husband says I'm selfish, as he raised my child like his own (when he met me I had a young daughter), and never once complained. I don't think the two situations are comparable, but I am adamant that I am in no position to take on raising a toddler, or expend the effort it would take to care for this child. What are your views?

It is certainly not an easy feat that your husband has asked of you. It is understandable that you can't emotionally manage to parent this child. You have been lenient, forgiving and accommodating already. Kudos to you for being capable of doing what you've already done. The truth is, many women could not do what you have done. Many mature, well-thinking women have departed relationships at the mention of infidelity. Infidelity itself is a deal-breaker for many, they don't recover.

That you "worked through" the infidelity, you deserve applause. That you facilitated and encouraged your husband to "be part of his child's life", big applause. It really is not imperative for you to go further. The comparison between your child and his is not the same. You are absolutely correct. And no, you are not being selfish, your response is quite reasonable.

The challenge with these situations is that the offending party (in your case your husband) has to maintain a relationship with the person they offended with. Once there's a child involved, there's going to be a responsibility to care for the child, and that means regular interaction with the other parent. It must be noted that is good that your husband takes responsibility for his child. And if the child is his only child he'll understandably want his child close by. The difficulty he now faces is doing right by you his wife and doing right by his young child.

My advice to you:

Be clear: Yes, determine what your parameters are —where the deal-breaker is. Have a plan for if the deal breaks. Make plans for if the worst should happen. And include consideration for your daughter's well-being.

Speak with your husband again: Set up a mutually convenient time for a pow-wow with him. Make sure you're both in the right mood and frame of mind — good communication requires proper timing. Your husband should already know that he's asking you to do something pretty difficult. Remind him of this, and of your faithfulness, love, and all the sacrifices you've made for the well-being of the family. Let him know what's the deal-breaker for you. Let him know you're committed to him and helping with the child, as best as you can, but under your terms.

The child's mother should have met with you both at the time of asking you both to take full custody of the child. Her excluding you in the initial request was not prudent on her part. It would have been wiser for her to ask to meet with you both to outline what her plans were. Her actions seem disrespectful again.

I pray for wisdom for your husband, strength for you, and abundant love for both your children.

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

Christopher Brodber

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy