I think in a situation like my own, outsiders tend to forget about the wife. As soon as there is any mention of another child being involved, all the attention immediately goes towards him/her. I remember that being the case for the first year after D-Day if someone happened to find out about the affair and OC.
I guess people tend to think that the other child will be neglected or forgotten somehow. Maybe in my situation they thought my husband would turn out to be a dead beat dad or something like that. These same people also seem to forget about the wife’s feelings after being betrayed and how she will handle having this other child in her life as well.
Allowing the OC into my life was not an easy step and took a very long time. I’ve found that outsiders tend to like to remind wives (life myself) that; “It’s not the child’s fault,” and “He’s the victim in this mess.” But what those people tend to forget is that, I am also the victim, and it’s not my fault this happened either. So why is it that a child, who in my case, wasn’t even born yet, and when he was born, was too young to know what was going on, should be put before me and my feelings? I know that sounds very selfish, but I’m not saying the OC doesn’t matter, of course he does. But wouldn’t it make more sense to work on myself and my marriage first before we drag another innocent victim into things? That’s exactly what we did and it worked for us.
I remember in the early days going into one of our first counselling sessions and telling Anne that I didn’t know what I was supposed to be working on first, the affair or accepting the OC. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to sort myself out. With her suggestion and guidance, we all agreed that our marriage had to come first if we were going to be able to invite the OC into our lives at some point. Through counselling we learned that our marriage had to come first above everything, and that as long as we were happy our children would be happy as well.
My husband chose to sacrifice his time with the OC in the very beginning of our healing process, but was never a dead beat dad. And now, the OC spends almost 50% of his time with us. What’s funny though is that even today, almost 4 years from D-Day, every now and then someone still asks a question in a very judgemental way, like; “How often do you see the OC?,” but no one ever asks me how I am doing.