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You Asked: My Husband Cheated and Had a Secret Child

Dear Sugar,

I just found out a secret that my husband of eight years has been keeping from me. He's the father of my three girls, (ages 11, seven, and seven months) and he just told me that he has a 2-year-old daughter, which means he cheated on me while we were married.

I can't help but wonder if there was something I could have done differently to prevent him from wanting to be with someone else. I know it wasn't my fault, and that what he did was wrong, but I still love my husband and want to work things out. Am I making the wrong choice?

— Betrayed and Broken-Hearted Brittany

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Betrayed and Broken-Hearted Brittany,

I'm glad you said that this affair wasn't your fault, but I'm not sure you truly believe that. If you did, you wouldn't be wondering what you could have done to prevent him from cheating. He was the one who made the horrible choice to sleep with someone else. By doing that, he disrespected you, your family, and he betrayed your trust. This had nothing to do with you. If he was unhappy in the marriage, then he should have talked to you about it instead of going behind your back and having an affair.

I know you want this marriage to work, but in order for that to happen, you're going to need to find a way to forgive him so you're not always worried that he'll cheat again. The bottom line here is that you can't trust him right now and trust is one of the qualities that is a must in a relationship. With that said, are you sure that he's no longer sleeping with this other woman? Are you sure he hasn't had any other affairs, or more children with other women?

Only you can know if you are making the right decision or not. I know your heart is telling you to stay with him, but what is your voice of reason saying? Remember that you are in charge of the well-being of your three children, so think about what kind of a man you want in their lives. With them in mind, I know you'll make the right decision. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
Cathy15105375 Cathy15105375 3 years
I just found out a week ago that when my husband went to the Phillipines on vacation with some friends he had a one night stand with a woman. Out of that supposed mistake he fathered a child with her I think a year ago. The only reason I found out is because he took money from our savings and sent it to her via fed express. We have been married for 26 years, two adult children. He worked overseas and would come back 3 times a year. He never told me he was lonely or how he was feeling. Now I have this child to deal with and the pain and anger of knowing he wasn't responsible. What 52 year old man doesn't wear a condom in this day and age?? He says he loves me and our kids and that he is very sorry for what happened. If anyone had told me that my husband would do this to me I would never believe them. I don't know if I should stay in this marriage or walk away and start a new life. I'm so confused... The hurt is unbearable and I feel I will never get over this situation given that a child is out there in the Phillipines. I don't even know how to care? How can a woman who knows a man is married do that and the funny part is that this woman has the same first name as me. It is tearing me apart.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
No one can tell you what to do. Every situation is different, every relationship is different. Some people may be able to live with this, some may not. Having children makes this whole situation alot more complicated. Get into counselling - the whole family. If your husband cares at all he will join you. Search your soul for the answer - can you live with this? Only you can answer that.
808lisa 808lisa 9 years
Be sure to consider counseling not just for your own heart, but for your children's ones too. It's not their fault this all happened but sadly many kids interpret their parents' unhappiness as their own doing... also one day when they are all adults (or even sooner) they will most likely have some sort of relationship with their half sibling. All parties need to think about that too so that the kids don't all resent each other for decades to come. Best of luck to you!
ambermarie ambermarie 9 years
OBVIOUSLY leave him, how is that even a question
Tangie Tangie 9 years
With all due respect, It's times like this that make me proud to be single, and very very self secure. God bless your family.
Eternity Eternity 9 years
As someone who has 'loved him and want to work things out' with a guy that cheated during a 6 year relationship, I really recommend you leave him. It sounds drastic, but a cheater is always a cheater, and the betrayal this shows is indicitive of something much much worse. You may also never recover from the feelings of mistrust, and it could begin to rot the relationship. If you still decide to work it out for yourself or the kids, counselling is mandatory. Nothing you did made him cheat..guys just lack control sometimes, and it was his insecurity and personal issues that made him do it.
Jeng112 Jeng112 9 years
Both of you need to get tested for STD's. Make the appointment together, so he can see the repercussions of his actions (besides the child). He should understand in some small degree, that his actions cause this worry. Is he taking care of this 2 year old? He can't pretend that didn't happen. As a woman, it's hard to forgive when a man doesn't understand the emotions women put behind sex. Is he truly remorseful? Why did he wait so long to tell you? Are you going to tell your kids about their half-sibling? Do yourself a big favor and get family counseling, no matter what you decide. No matter what, both you and the women with whom he had an affair are forever connected to him. For the kids' sake, I hope he does right by the both of you.
eee123 eee123 9 years
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
RockAndRepublic I have to agree with you on this one.
Stella10 Stella10 9 years
I think your making the wrong choice. I think you should leave him. Women get comfortable and then it's hard for them to move on or start again. He disrespected you, cheated and lied. You need to step out of the situation and take time to decide whether or not you can really and truly forgive him. If you can jump back in and make it work. If you can't get a great lawyer and make sure you get everything.
geohiker geohiker 9 years
wow - how difficult. And, it's tough to make decisions when you have kids involved; it's always easier to kick someone to the curb if you don't have to see him again, but the kids mean you are always going to be involved in each other lives. Good luck, and I agree with the above comment about being sure you have a therapist or someone else outside to talk with about this.
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 9 years
Men are assholes sometime. I don't know if I could ever trust my husband again.
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
Only you can decide if it is the right decision to stay with him. Personally, I don't think I couldstay with someone who had betrayed me as much as he has, lying about his 2 year old child.
Dollylo Dollylo 9 years
I've known the same situation last year. Except that the child was not born yet, the gil was 2 months pregnant... (And didn't kept the baby). I felt totally destroyed. I can't give you advices cause it's hard to tell someone what to do when you're not in his shoes.... The only thing I could tell you is to think about you and protect yourself from a deeper pain. I'm sure you already know what to do with your husband... So just stay strong and do not hesitate to talk to your family and friends. They are the best support you can find and you need them right now. Don't try to deal everything on your own. You need some love and support from people who really love you. And if you want a little "virtual" talk, feel free to mail me anytime. I'll be there. Much love
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 9 years
Leave him.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
How does your husband feel about this? Does he love you? Does he want to remain married to you? Honestly, I don't understand how you can still love your husband. If you didn't have children, would you still want to remain with him?
Julienne Julienne 9 years
That's disgusting! I can't find an other word for this! To cheat on you is a terrible thing, but being ignorant, selfish and doing it unprotected is even worse! It's disgusting! It gives me chills that he could have infected you AND your newborn baby, what a moron! You deserve better, a budgie would do a better job as a husband
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 9 years
Wow you poor thing. Personally, I think you deserve better, but that's just my opinion.
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
if you think you can make it work i say.... stay in the marraige. i also say... he cheats once, its a mistake. he cheats twice its a habbit. best of luck.
mlen mlen 9 years
was it a one night stand or a long term affair? did he just recently find out about this child or has he know the whole 2 years? those create very different scenarios. either way he is completely in the wrong for having the affair. you are not to blame. if he was unhappy with the marriage he should have came to you and told you- not turned to someone else. however- with the different scenarios. if it was a one time deal (or a short term thing) and the girl just told him more recently the child is his, then i'd take into consideration the fact that he is trying to come clean about this. if he had a long term affair and has known since the beginning the child is his.. then its an even larger form of disrespect. i can't pretend to know how it feels, so i'd listen to the ladies above and their good suggestions. good luck
Beastiegirl5 Beastiegirl5 9 years
Boy, Honeysugar hit it on the nail- get some time to clear your head and make sure you're doing this for the right reasons. Don't settle just because you're scared of striking out on your own or because you have children with him. Make sure he's worth it, because what he did to you was terribly wrong- not only did he cheat, but he hid a child from you for 2 years. Two years! If that's not a total lack of respect for you, then I don't know what is. If you want to try to make it work, make sure he has as little contact with this woman as possible- just as much as he needs to for the child's sake. Get in couple's therapy, as well as emotional therapy for yourself. And if he says no to marriage counseling, then you know just how invested he is in this marriage. But honestly, there are so many red flags waving here it's scary. He strikes me as a truly duplicitous man.
pumpkinsugar70 pumpkinsugar70 9 years
Honeysugar has a good point, but you may not feel like you trust him enough right now to be away. I didn't. Maybe I made the wrong decision, but we went somewhere together for a weekend and hashed some things out. Turns out he was still lying to me about some things, even after the trip away...but some things that we shared helped me make it through. Just don't be rash about anything. There are no can leave today, 6 months from now, 3 years from now, never. Just make sure you give yourself the time to decide what you want.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
I agree what you're going through right now is unbelievably hard. We can't judge or tell you what to do because this is a decision that you need to make. I really suggest that you take some time to think away from him maybe take a vacation or go stay with a friend that you trust for a while not a few days but a few weeks at least. Think about what you want in a marriage and what you deserve from a husband and life partner. You've given him your life, beautiful children and your loyalty and he obviously didn't appreciate it enough. This time will be good for him too to think about his actions. You deserve to feel safe and loved and happy with your life no matter what the status is that should be your goal.
pumpkinsugar70 pumpkinsugar70 9 years
Broken-Hearted-- I've been there pretty recently. I'm still not sure if my husband's affair partner is pregnant, although I hope she's not. It's been 8 months since I found out about the affair, he says it only lasted three months, and that it was the only one. He had a vasectomy not that long before the affair, but was never tested to see if it worked. Obviously, no protection was used. Some days I still have my doubts too. I work everyday on myself, reminding myself that I am not to blame...somehow I lost myself over the 13 years we were married, b/c it was easier to focus on him and the children, at least for me. But now I am focusing on health, my happiness. He didn't like himself; I didn't like myself. But I didn't make him have sex with someone else and neither did you. Make sure YOU get counseling to deal with the feelings that you will experience. Take time to decide if you want him in your life, and if you want that other child in your life. You CAN say no to either of those things. Don't just do what he wants because he might leave, because you won't be happy. I imagine you might also question how he feels about your children...I did, feeling like maybe he didn't want them and that's why he tried to break up our family. Remember that YOUR children are special...I'm not sure that you need to accept the affair child into your family to feel good about your life, as I have not had that experience, yet. But you should tell him what you need to make things right, and if it involves not having contact with that child, that's okay. He will make his own decision; you need to make yours. Only you can decide if you can believe anything he says...and you should expect that, even if you stay with the relationship, you will be distrustful for a long time, maybe forever. Don't let him make you feel bad for being suspect, and even doing research to get to the truth. It's your right to know what your life has really been about over the last few years. At this point, to me, the need to know runs in waves, but they are systematically decreasing over time. But I think sad is normal. I found out about my husband's affair b/c the woman's husband found out and came to my door in March 2007, a stranger to me. He killed himself a month ago. I think sad is definitely normal. Just don't let sad overcome you...if it gets to that point, it is SO not worth it; your kids need you more than anyone. I know that each time they whimper when I leave them at the sitters. An idyllic family would be great, but you can be happy outside this relationship too....
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