I lied to my boyfriend that the child I am expecting is his

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We love each other so much but we were unable to have a child. Although it depressed me a lot, my boyfriend encouraged me to be patient and assured me that a baby will come at the right time. However, I became impatient and slept with another man and when I found out I was pregnant, I told him he was the father

I am 35 years old. My boyfriend and I have been dating for more than seven years. We love each other so much but we were unable to have a child. Although it depressed me a lot, my boyfriend encouraged me to be patient and assured me that a baby will come at the right time. However, I became impatient and slept with another man and when I found out I was pregnant, I told him he was the father. A few months later, I decided to open up and told him the truth. He was heartbroken but eventually accepted to take care of the baby. He says he has forgiven me but sometimes I feel he has not. Is he still holding a grudge?

Maureen

Dear Maureen,

This sounds emotionally distressing to you and your spouse. All married couple want to have children. The simple fact of biology is that we are hardwired to procreate and pass on our genes to the next generation. This biological imperative and drive are strong in many people, who feel the need to have and raise children.

Having children makes the family complete and happy. In some other ways, having a child positively impacts a marriage. With all the good feeling that comes with having a child together and starting a family, it can be frustrating for a couple when they fail to have a baby.

However, some things are beyond human understanding and this is one of them. At times, the couple will work together as they go through this uncertainty but other times, one might out of anxiety and wanting to save the marriage look for solutions outside the marriage.

Coming clean is a good idea as it reduces the heavy burden of guilt. Your husband on the other hand accepted to take care of the child and also said he had forgiven you. It is difficult to know what someone is thinking, whether bad or good. We can only tell from their behaviour or from what they say.

For now, you might have to take his word but putting into consideration that some things are hard to forget, especially if it looks like a betrayal in the family.

Other than when he chooses to bring up the topic, it is best not to ask whether he genuinely forgave you or not. In case you feel anxious about his behaviour, you can suggest to meet a marriage therapist together where you will both have a comfortable environment to genuinely speak and come up with ways of living together even after what happened.

Having stayed with your boyfriend for a long time, you should be able to notice extreme behavioural changes towards you and be able to judge if he is coping with what happened or not. Be patient and give him time to heal.

Infidelity is one of the most difficult challenges that you can face, but there are ways for coping with the pain and surviving infidelity which can often save the relationship if that is what you desire.

The critical thing here is that the communication lines are open and there are productivediscussions about the emotions and changes that need to happen in order to move forward.

Reader advice

Forgiveness will be hard

Sarah K Frankie. There is a difference between a boyfriend and a husband. While both can leave or walk out, the stakes are higher for a married couple when infidelity/adultery results in a child. The couple will need counselling to address underlying issues. Rebuilding trust is a painstaking journey. If he is your boyfriend, trust me, forgiveness is conditional. The day he cheats, he will remind you of your transgression. If that is the case, then you are just dating to break up when he finds his person.

Talk to a counsellor

Reuben Kyeyune. Men will tolerate anything except infidelity. You will still dine together, do everything together but he will never trust you with his secrets again. You both need to speak to a counsellor who will guide you on the best way to get out of this situation with your relationship intact.

Why did you confess?

Phoebe Miriam. That relationship ended the day you confessed to having slept with someone else. Men never forgive a cheating spouse. In future, he will retaliate. Next time, take such secrets to your grave and protect your relationship.

Seek assistance

Joseph Mukisa. Dealing with infidelity requires a level of emotional support that is beyond the life experience of most people, and the only healthy way to deal with this is to seek assistance from people who understand what you are going through. These include therapists, support groups, family and friends who have dealt with similar betrayal. Whether you decide to remain in the relationship or not, you need (and deserve) care, love, and support, which can only be found by talking about what has happened with compassionate and empathetic others.

It is possible to forgive

Jane Rose. Recovering from betrayal is extremely difficult. I can tell you from personal experience that cheating on my husband was a horrible decision. He accepted me back and we repaired our marriage for many years before ultimately divorcing for different reasons. So, the answer is, yes, you can get over infidelity and repair your relationship if both people are committed.

Talk to your husband

Boniter Nahabwe. It is possible that he has forgiven you since he has even accepted to take care of your child. There is no point in you doubting whether he has forgiven you since it is this doubt that will create other problems. Sit down with your husband and tell him your fears. Together, talk about this and seek solutions even if it means going for counselling.

Be patient with him

Paul Elukut. I believe he has forgiven you, but what you did is not easy to forget. Give him time. Ofcourse he is going through different emotions right now but with time, he will let it go. The positive here is that he seems to love you.

Evelyn Kharono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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