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What to do when your husband is not the father of your child

By Faeza
06 April 2017

Desperate wife writes:

MY husband and I have been married for three years and we have no child. But a few weeks ago I discovered that I’m pregnant with another man’s child. I recently hooked up with an ex-boyfriend ‘for old time’s sake’. We had sex and did not use protection in the heat of the moment. My worry is that this might be my ex-boyfriend’s child. In three years, my husband and I have been having sex without protection and he never made me pregnant. But after just one encounter with this guy I find myself pregnant. I don’t know what to do and who to tell? The ex-boyfriend looks similar to my husband, so I don’t think the child will show that he is not my husband’s if I don’t tell the truth. But I don’t know if I can live with the betrayal. What do I do?

Linda Yende responds:

THERE is something that will give you peace, whether it yields a positive or a negative

result. It consists of two policies which I believe should be the cornerstone of every marriage.

RADICAL HONESTY

The policy of radical honesty: Reveal to your husband as much information about yourself as possible – your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities and plans for the future. This policy encourages you to keep nothing from your husband, not even the fact that you had an indiscretion and that your baby might not be his. If you had been guided by this rule from the beginning of your marriage, none of this would have happened to you. Honesty would have protected you from the one-night stand.

You would have feared giving in to temptation, knowing that you would need to come clean about it. The truth is, most people have flings and affairs because they think they will get away with it. They are arrogant enough to think that they will be smart enough to conceal it from their partners. The knowledge that you are required to disclose everything that you do and everything that happens in your life would be a massive deterrent from

doing anything that you are not proud of. But it’s not too late to be honest. You have years of marriage ahead of you and the rest of your years together should be guided by truth and not lies. I’m sure that your reluctance to be honest is due to your uncertainty regarding your husband’s reaction. He may choose to divorce you or at least hold it against you for the rest of your life. You may think that honesty will open a can of worms that once freed will invade your life and ruin it. Once he knows the truth, will your husband remain married to you, or will he divorce you? What will he do in response to such a painful revelation? Those are just the first of many questions that have yet to be answered. There are many others: Should you have a DNA test to determine for sure whose child it is? And if indeed the child is not your husband’s, what’s next? If your husband stays and raises

this child as his own, what happens as the child grows? Should you tell your child who his or her real father is? Should you tell your ex-boyfriend that you might be pregnant with his

child at all? Or wait for the DNA results first? Should he have visitation rights?

REACH AN AGREEMENT

There are no simple answers to any of these questions but the policy of joint agreement, which is the second rule that should have guided your marriage, gives you direction.

According to the policy of joint agreement, you and your husband should answer the questions in a way that takes each other’s feelings into account. Even the question of divorce should be decided together. I understand how unrealistic that may sound but that’s what the policy of joint agreement guides you to do. You should not be divorced unless you are both in agreement about doing so. But what if he doesn’t want to follow

the policy of joint agreement, you may ask. What if he just goes ahead and divorces you? Quite frankly, even though it may not be what you want, I think your hubby has a right to

divorce you. And in some cases I’ve witnessed, when a wife revealed infidelity, her husband had done just that – he divorced her. It doesn’t happen very often but it happens.