1. Staying for the Right Reasons

The first, most important decision to make after discovering an affair is if you will attempt a reconciliation or not. But once you’ve decided to stay, ask yourself…honestly…why you want to. Many women who stay with men who’ve cheated on them do so in order to pay him back or get even. While this is not the best way to heal yourself, this is an even more unhealthy way of recovering from a post-affair relationship when a new child is involved. Staying with your boyfriend or your spouse means that there are months…maybe even years…ahead of you of repairing your relationship, and that child isn’t going anywhere. Are you capable of working on your relationship while he…and ultimately you…try to get to know and spend time with a new baby? Can you get past the fact that there will now be another woman in his life that he has to communicate with? Communication, acceptance, and forgiveness are the only way to mend what has happened. But if you’re always arguing about the child, accusing him of cheating, or constantly bringing up the past, this will only make your relationship worse. Be honest with yourself. If you truly cannot handle what he’s done, end it and move on with your life.

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2. Accepting Him Means Accepting His Child

Loving and accepting a child that isn’t biologically yours can be a wonderful thing, especially if we’re talking about adoption. But loving a child that was born from another woman who was sleeping with your man is something else. Staying with him means you have to accept the fact that this child will become a part of your life, and if you have children with your man/spouse, that means they now have a new sibling that must also be incorporated into their lives as well. That also means you and your significant other have to answer any questions (depending on the age) they may have about what  happened, who this “other woman” is and how all of this affects them and you all as a family. You have to decide how much to reveal, when introductions need to take place and what is best for your family overall.

Even if you do not have children of your own, choosing to stay means accepting this child as your stepson or daughter if you’re married or plan to marry in the future. If you want to stay in the relationship, you have to realize that you can’t forbid your man from having contact with his child. That’s selfish, and unfair to a baby that didn’t ask to be here. And would you really want a man who would shirk his responsibility, causing an innocent child to grow up with a single parent? Accepting a child that isn’t yours doesn’t make you any stronger or weaker than any other woman – everyone is different, so do what is best for YOU and make no apologies for it. Just remember, a child can’t choose his/her parents…and he or she certainly wouldn’t want to be born of an affair. Don’t blame the child, accept it if you choose to stay.

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Your Man’s Cheating Produced a Child – Can You Work It Out?  was originally published on wzakcleveland.com

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