One thing that isn't mentioned a whole lot in popular pregnancy manuals like What to Expect When Your Expecting: the possibility that your husband or partner will cheat on you during or shortly after your nine months of anticipation.
No, it's not just extremely powerful men who do this (think Arnold Schwarzeneggar and the love child who was born just days after his son with wife Maria Shriver); it's your neighbor's husband or even your own partner. As Circle of Moms member Amanda M. shares, she'd heard about a lot of guys getting caught cheating on their pregnant wives and girlfriends, but was shocked when it happened to her. With two children already and another one on the way, she "recently found out that my husband has been cheating on me. I found stuff on the computer and confronted him and he came clean and told me the truth that he slept with other women. I am devastated and kicked him out the house." But she asks other Circle of Moms members: "Should I forgive him for the sake of the kids? I no longer want to be with him but wondering if I made the right choice for our children. I mean one isn't even born yet. I am so torn right now and confused."
Cheryl L. has been there too. When her son was just seven months old, her husband ran away with her best friend and returned several months later. Now that she's pregnant with Baby #2, she's discovered that he's cheating again. "The stress and everything has taken a toll on me," she says. "I thought it was better for him to be there for my son." But it all "hurts so much."
Like Cheryl, many women who've shared similar stories on Circle of Moms wonder if they can forgive and forget, and if they do, whether their partners will actually stay true.
"Once a cheater always a cheater," says Casey G emphatically. "I went through the same thing and am doing fine on my own."
What Does It Mean to Be "Strong for the Kids"?
Amy W. also advises "the biggest mistake moms make is to take him back," especially because it sets a poor example for your children. "If you have boys they will see it and think that it's OK, and girls will think the same too. It's hard to be a single mom, but your kids will be more balanced and healthier mentally. It's hard, but you have to stay strong for the kids."
Many Circle of Moms members wonder if there's hope for a relationship when a mate who has otherwise been loyal cheats during a woman's pregnancy. Sarah B., whose fiancé cheated on her when their daughter was a month old, says: "I have been working at trusting again, but to tell the truth, I don't. Period. I have a hard time believing anything that comes out of his mouth."
Tosha W. says that ultimately, pregnant baby mamas need to restore respect for themselves by doing what is best for themselves and their children. "I kept forgiving him and thinking he was going to change," she says of the father of her two children. "I realized (that) forgiving him led him to believe it was OK, which resulted in him disrespecting me to the fullest. We are divorced now and I am doing better than I was (when I was with him because) I have a piece of mind and my kids see me happy and vibrant again. I still love him true enough, but I deserve better and being that I have a a son and a daughter I don't want them to think it is OK for them to do or allow this in their marriage(s) when they come of age."
And, Loreana B. advises moms not to blame themselves. "Nothing you did made him cheat," she says. "It's HIS problem and no one else's. Regardless of what his excuse was, it's still just an excuse and not your fault at all. I've had to tell myself that all the time."
Is infidelity during a pregnancy the worst kind of all?
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