Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dealing with a Child of the Affair?

A visitor to this site recently noted that she hasn't found much info on this site related to dealing with a child of the affair. That's largely because it wasn't my experience so I don't have much to offer. And it's SUCH a difficult situation that I can scarcely imagine how painful it is. However, Phoenix often weighs in with what's happening in her life and has articulated so beautifully her struggle to manage her pain while not poisoning her own children against their half-brother. 

You there Phoenix?

Anyone else with thoughts related to this? 

Thanks, as always, for any light you can shine for one of our secret sisters. 


  1. Hey, SS1 here, I don't have any first hand experience with dealing with a child that resulted from an affair. But I have lots of observation of Phoenix doing just this with amazing strength and grace.
    The closest I've had to come to this is recognizing the possibility that my ex, while he was involved with the OW, could opt to start a new family with her, since she was only 29 to his 40 whatever. And even forcing myself to face that possibility, that he would take this thing that was ours, sacred, and do it again with someone else. I can only imagine what that must feel like to have this reality in your face. Phoenix has a number of posts on the Separating and Divorcing threads. And without knowing the rest of your story, going back and reading how she's had to handle this situation may help you feel less alone. There are other people out there who know just what you are experiencing and can relate.
    One of my biggest takeaways from watching Phoenix process is that she has no ill will toward this child. In fact, she'll tell you she loves babies. She knows and accepts that he will be in her life, because he will always be in her daughters' lives. And she's thought about the impact she could have on this child with her behavior and I recall her saying she would never want him to sense or feel any ill will or malice toward him from her. That this child is, above all, an innocent in this story. I was completely blown away by her ability to separate her own pain and remember that the responsibility for the mess is with the so called adults involved and not this baby boy. She's made space for her daughters to love their baby brother. It's been pretty amazing. (as you can tell, I am a huuuge Phoenix fan)
    And I'm not saying she hasn't had her moments, but she comes here to let it out. And you can do that too. You've got a safe, accepting and understanding place here, where you can vent all the nasty thoughts, the anger, the disgust, the pain, the deep gut wrenching sorrow. It's all allowed here.
    The one thing I can tell you, without being in your shoes, is that if you focus on you and your own healing, get to therapy if you are not already; if you take care of you, you will get through this. There will be days ahead with joy and happiness and you will be OK.

  2. I’m only able to share my perspective on half siblings from the affair my father had on his wife with my mother. He had a son and he began his affair with my mother and for 12 years pretended to be married to my mothers. He was an alcoholic and verbally abusive. She left him when I was only 6 yers old. I wasn’t able to even visit my biological father until I was 16. During those 10 years was when my mother was abusing her three girls. When I was the one she was angry with, she often screamed at me that I was just like my damn daddy! I met my grandma and she told me where to find my dad and I went to see him and because I wanted to know what was so damn bad about him that I was just like him. Turns out he eventually got his drinking under control and he remarried and raised my three step siblings. When I was 18, I learned about how he had a son and I finally met him at our dads funeral. How sad! By then I was going to therapy for the abuse of my mother. Were it not for my step dad that raised me. I probably would have took my own life! Those were some difficult years. I was able to form a strong bond with my step siblings and my children reaped the benefits of a second set of grandparents. Fast forward to my daughter and her first 10 year relationship with abuse of her baby daddy and I became her safety net during the custody battle. I learned after the fact that during those rough times was when my h began his affair. After my daughter met and married the man of her dreams she had a baby girl and the bond between the boys and their sister is remarkable given that they only have weekends together! I’m not sure if this is helpful but I do know that therapy was how I learned to cope and therapy is what is currently helping my grand sons!

  3. I don't have any experience with this either but I read so many questions about how to deal with the OW, baby, current kids. So you all know me, I have to make a comment on how I would look at it. I would treat it like a divorce. Divorced couple talk about the children but they don’t talk every day. They aren’t involved in each other’s life. If my H said he need to be a part of the AP life because of the baby, I would say, no you don’t. The OW had unprotected sex and made a baby so she is responsible for that choice. My H is responsible to the child only, not the OW. He owes loyalty to me and the child not the OW. There is absolutely no reason for either my H or OW to email, text or call each other. Ever. There would be someone who I could trust to do the baby exchanges when it was my H turn to have the baby.

  4. Hi, Phoenix here. Man, you go away for a few days and everyone starts talking about you behind your back. :-)
    I’m not really sure what to share. SS had some great points about learning to see the child as separate from the parents, and blowing off steam in safe places.
    But it’s a process, it really is. For at least a year, anyway that reminded me of the baby could trigger such deep pain. And I still get triggered to this day, although much less often (Baby boy will be 2 in December). It’s the sort of thing that keeps coming back to haunt you.
    I guess you deal with things differently, depending on whether you are still married to the father or not, and whether you have children that are related to the child. If you’re divorced and don’t share children, I imagine it’s a bit easier to leave it behind. But if you are tied to the child through a husband and/or children, then you have to come to a sense of acceptance that this child - and God help us, his mother - will always be part of your life. It’s wretched and it’s not fair, but that’s how it is.
    So eventually, when the shock and pain become manageable, you have to think long-term. When this child is 10, 15, 20, and so on, who do I want to be to him? What role do I want to play? Do I want to be the one who extends bitterness and resentment on to the next generation? Or do I want to play a positive, if small, role in the life of this child (who, let’s face it, has enough problems - look who his parents are.)
    I don’t know who asked the question. But whoever you are, I know that it’s a very lonely sort of pain. I’ve scoured the internet trying to find someone or something to help me through. So if you need to talk, answer me here or look me up over on the “Separated/Divorced” thread. I usually check that thread at least weekly, although sometimes it’s longer because, you know, life.
    You’re not alone. And you’re going to get through this. Sending you lots and lots of hugs!

  5. DDay 1 was June 2016, found out husband led a whole other life for about 10 years, which included a kid that was about 4 at the time. The OW has to be the most naive person in the world, she thought he and I were over, but he told her he stayed at my house while I went to work and out with a boyfriend. Which having no idea that he lied for years to my face and my kids' faces also shows that I am pretty naive and ignorant also. She apparently wanted nothing to do with my kids, which made his lie easier. He likes to gamble so him being out all night at times wasn't anything new for me, but he was juggling gambling and another family when he wasn't here. Somehow, against my better judgement, I decided to try and work it out with him. He said he had left the OW. I constantly asked when he was going to get the kid, he would come up with some excuse. He was more attentive, spent more time with me, did little things that he knew I'd like, but would get mad and not discuss what happened. Well Oct 2016 rolls around, which also turns out to be DDay 2. A family member sees his car somewhere when he was supposed to be at work, he doesn't respond to my calls, so I go to his car. I repeatedly turn the car alarm on until he comes out. A screaming match and a hit in his face later, he is removing his items from my house. OW also kicks him to the curb. He moved out but we alternated staying at the house with the kids or the apartment he rented (this made things easier on everyone involved) until I couldn't take it and he stayed at apartment permanently. We were still on good terms for the sake of the 3 kids we have together. Entire time he is forced to have supervised visitation for the child with the OW. She was using the kid against him and would withhold time with her. I could never be so petty to use the kids against him even after what he did. June 2017 he starts staying over at the house and then in Aug moves back in and we've been trying to work things out since. My kids saw their half sibling a few times and got along fine with her. April 2018, after a court order, husband has had normal visitation with the child. This whole ordeal has been the worst experience of my life and I wouldn't have made it this far without this site that I thankfully found not long after DDay 1. It has been the worst possible scenario I could imagine. There are days where I break down and by brain screams at me that things are not going to work out and I need to get out, while other days I am fine.
    The only way to describe it is a roller coaster ride in hell that I can't get off of. I feel like no matter how things go I am always going to have 1 foot kinda out the door to protect myself from feeling the devastating pain I felt before. Only the family member that caught him and a couple close friends of mine know. I can't tell my mother who has health issue because I don't want her worrying about me, so I choose to battle this pretty much alone. It's embarrassing and I don't want people knowing.

  6. Part 2
    It makes it hard when there is another kids involved, for know I just avoid doing certain things because I don't want to explain who she is. When the kid first started coming over I found myself staying in the bedroom alot, not because I don't like the child, but the circumstances for which she is here. Just looking at her at times makes me resentful to him and the stupid naivety of the OW. I never knew that looking at someone could cause so much pain. I do understand that the child didn't ask to be born and the way that she came into the world and the piece of shit her father is isn't her fault. I always keep this in my mind. Her and I get along just fine. The only issue that there is occasionally is the pettiness of the mother about clothing and whatnot that the kid comes home in, even when I make sure she goes home in what she comes in. She is 2 years younger than my last 2 kids, but I notice that my husband tries to baby her, do the things that she wants, buy candy and junk food to try and buy her love. He will also treat her different than he treats our kids. The kids and I have pointed it out to him that he does that and I gets defensive and mad. He has got a little bit better about being fair with all of them now. I have no idea how things will work out or if tomorrow I want him out of house. I just have to take things as they come and then decide what to do.

  7. One day at a time - I love your screen name.
    You are doubly tied to this child, through your children and your husband. I understand your conflicted feelings. You are not angry at the child, of course. But she is a trigger for you. Her presence brings up all those incredibly painful feelings. It’s not fair to her or to you.
    I ger your analogy of a roller coaster. Some days you think: “I’ve got this.” Then it knocks you on your butt, and you are helpless against the grief and anger. I left my marriage because my husband would not stop lying to me. But honestly, by the time I left, it was a huge relief. I admire your strength and your dedication. But I know that it often must be emotionally and physically exhausting to live as you do. I hope that you are finding moments of joy for yourself, I hope that your husband is helping you with that.
    In a rush today, but hope to hear from you again soon. Hugs!



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