Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband got another woman pregnant – should I just leave him?’

16th Jul 19 | Lifestyle

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband’s affair is having ongoing consequences.

Relationship crisis in bed

The problem…

“Three months ago, I found out that my husband had been having an affair with a woman at work. It was nearly the end of our marriage. I was devastated as I thought we had a solid relationship after 18 years together.

“It took a while, but he’d finally convinced me that he loved me and would never see her again. Despite my doubts I forgave him, and we started to put our lives back together.

“We’ve been able to talk more openly about what went wrong in our marriage, and I had high hopes for the future. We’ve also been talking about what we want from this marriage and, in a funny way, we were closer than we had been for some time.

“It’s been a slow road back, but I really did think we’d put this incident behind us – until this other woman revealed she’s pregnant and expecting my husband’s child in a few months.

“Now all the negative feelings have come flooding back and I feel my husband has betrayed me. How could he have lied to me like this? I have refused to speak to him since he told me, and I wonder if I should just walk out and leave him.”

Fiona says…

“You say your husband has lied to you but are you so sure? It’s possible that he ended the affair with this woman without either of them knowing she was pregnant. After all, it’s only been three months since you found out and after which he ended the affair.

“The woman may not have even realised she was pregnant until now – not everyone knows within the first few weeks. Another possibility could be that she’s lying and saying she’s pregnant in order to try and get your husband to come back to her.

Loving husband comfort upset offended wife, caressing and hugging her from behind, caring man make peace and reconcile with lover, show support, couple in fight overcome family problems together
Counselling could help you navigate this tricky time (iStock/PA)

“Of course, it’s also possible that your husband has deceived you and has still been seeing her. Whatever the truth of the matter is, you are facing a difficult time and you won’t know how to deal with it until you talk to your husband.

“He probably realises how upset you are but make it clear to him that you want to get to the truth. If he admits he lied to you and has still been seeing this woman then it is difficult to see how you’d be able to trust him again. In which case, you must decide what is best for you – which may indeed mean leaving him.

“If you believe he didn’t continue the relationship after you found out, and that he’s only now found out about the pregnancy, then whilst there are other important considerations, you are in the same position as you were before.

“If there is any doubt whether the woman is pregnant at all or whether she is pregnant by someone other than your husband, then you and your husband should work together to get to the truth. It would be pointless to let her deception (if that’s what it is) get in the way of 18 years of marriage.

“The saddest thing in this mess is that there is, potentially, a baby to consider. If your husband is indeed the father then, like it or not, he will have some ongoing responsibility for the child. That will mean he will almost certainly need to have further contact with the mother – something you will probably find very difficult.

“He will certainly have financial responsibilities, which could impact on you too. He may even want to be a part of the child’s life – will you be able to cope if he wants to bring the child into your home?

“There’s a huge amount for you to think about but until you know the truth, this is all conjecture. You really have to start by talking to your husband and getting to the truth of what has happened. I suspect you will also need support, whatever the outcome, so please contact Relate (relate.org.uk) and make an appointment to see a counsellor who could help you through this.”

:: If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

© Press Association 2019

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