Anytime a spouse cheats, there’s a chance it will destroy the marriage. But sometimes that affair produces a child leading both spouses to wonder can a marriage survive a love child?
Here’s what I learned in doing a little research:
Up to 41% of spouses admit to an affair. But 3% of all children are raised by men who aren’t their fathers but believe they are. And while as many as 75% of couples stay together after an affair, that drops significantly if the affair produces a child. But a marriage can survive a love child.
But there’s a lot more to know about infidelity and illegitimate children.
So in this article, we’re taking an in-depth look at what happens when an affair produces a child. We’ll explore what the statistics tell us about the marriage’s chances of survival.
But we’ll also see what things can improve or worsen that chance of survival. Ultimately, we’re answering the question of can a marriage survive a love child?
Watch this video right now to learn about 3 techniques that can help you save your marriage (even if it doesn’t seem possible).
When infidelity produces a child
Nothing hurts more than an affair.
Well, nothing, except perhaps when that affair leads to a child being born. An affair always destroys trust. And while the marriage can definitely be saved, a child is a constant reminder of the affair.
Every time we see or hear of the love child, it’s like hearing about the affair for the 1st time all over again!
Getting over an affair takes time. But you CAN get past it and save your marriage. However, when there is a love child, that does require a huge amount of maturity, patience, and humility from the spouse of the cheater. When a child comes from the affair, expect the marriage recovery to take twice as long as recovering from an affair alone.
Sadly, 41% of spouses have an affair.
Since men cheat almost twice as often as women, my article will focus mostly on a man cheating and getting another woman pregnant.
But make no mistake. A woman getting pregnant by a man other than her husband can also be incredibly devastating to the marriage. In fact, the best-selling book on Amazon called Marriage Undercover details the marriage of Bob and Audrey Meisner.
Just click that link to see the book on Amazon.
In this case, Audrey had the affair and got pregnant. They not only stayed together, but Bob adopted the child of the affair and raised it as his own.
Should I be OK with my husband wanting to be involved with his illegitimate child?
Yes, is the short answer here.
Ultimately, we’re talking about an innocent child here. The child isn’t responsible for your husband’s reckless behavior. But the child NEEDS a father in their life.
You should only move forward trying to save your marriage if you are prepared to forgive your husband (eventually) and learn to be at peace with him helping to raise another woman’s child.
No one says you have to get their emotionally overnight. But in order to save the marriage, you do need to get there eventually.
Now, no one would fault you for not wanting to stay with a man who fathered a child with someone else. BUT, if you do choose to stay with him, you should only do so being 100% accepting that he will (and should) be involved in the child’s life.
By definition, that also means you’ll likely have some level of interaction with the other woman.
If you can’t see yourself doing that, you should ask yourself if you really want to stay with your husband. After all, what kind of a man would he be if he abandoned his child? That’s the kind of man you should question being with, not the kind of man who wants to be involved in his child’s life.
A child raised without a father faces a lot of challenges in life, and life is challenging enough.
If you don’t get that, check out a recent article where I spell out all of the benefits of father involvement in a child’s life.
In short, a father’s role, as with the mother’s role, is crucial for a child’s development. And again, the child is INNOCENT in this situation. You’re understandably hurt. But don’t hurt the child in the process of dealing with your pain.
If your spouse is lying about an illegitimate child
Having an affair is bad.
I know. I’ve been cheated on and been a cheater. But I can tell you from personal experience that being 100% transparent and humble is the only way to keep your marriage going in the aftermath of an affair.
Now, to be fair, I’ve never fathered a child outside of my marriage or been with someone who had a child from another man. So that is new territory for me.
But I can still say with absolute certainty, that for the cheater, 100% accountability is a must.
Now, I get wanting to lie about a child fathered with a mistress. I really do. If that happened to me, I would feel ashamed and embarrassed. I would also be afraid of my wife’s reaction. When I admitted my affair to my wife, it was the hardest decision of my life. But being honest was critical.
In short, you don’t fix a huge problem (a child from an affair) with another problem (lying about it). If you know your husband had a child with another woman but he isn’t being honest about it, you have a tough decision to make.
Here’s what I would do in that situation:
- I would let them know that I know
- If I wanted to save the marriage, I would make that clear
- Then I would lay out specific conditions I would need to be met to move forward
- 100% honesty moving forward
- The father must be involved in the child’s life
- I would want to meet the other woman (and lay out some clear ground rules with her)
- The father cannot have any communication with the other woman unless it pertains specifically to the child.
Then, just as with any affair, the husband would need to earn back his wife’s trust. That likely means marriage counseling. But it also takes time and losing some freedoms and flexibility during the healing process.
I have a recent article that breaks down the best ways to decide whether to stay with a cheater. In it, I consulted with 6 marriage experts to get some unique and expert opinions.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
How do I get over my spouse’s infidelity when I have to see the child?
Any time someone cheats, it is devastating.
I once heard that for every month an affair lasted, it can take up to a year for that to heal. In my case, my affair was only 2 months long, back in 2013. But that 2-month affair still took the better part of 2 years to heal.
But when you have to regularly see a child from an affair, that’s like ripping the bandaid off every single time. It’s almost like starting over on the healing with every visit.
And that’s on top of the guilt most of us would feel for feeling that way towards an innocent child.
But the reality is that anytime one of us has sex with someone of the opposite sex, a child is possible. It’s just that most people cheating get lucky and don’t end up having a child.
The key to restoring a marriage after an affair, with or without a love child, is rebuilding trust.
Now that sounds overly simplistic and obvious. But if you have complete love and trust in your husband, seeing the child will eventually not hurt. Or at least not as much. You may even grow to love the child if they are in your house often enough.
There are several steps your husband can take to rebuild trust. But while he is ultimately in the driver’s seat of that, you can lay out clear expectations, such as:
- No contact with the other woman that you aren’t aware of
- That contact should only pertain to the needs of the child
- They should give you complete access to their phone, email, and social media accounts
- He should be willing to go to marriage counseling
In a recent article, I go a lot deeper into what you should look for and expect from your husband when he’s trying to win your trust back after an affair. I even cover the 1 thing that’s an absolute deal-breaker for 99% of us.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Can a marriage survive an illegitimate child? – What the statistics tell us
Unfortunately, affairs happen.
The reality is that 10-15% of women cheat on their husbands and 20-25% of men cheat on their wives. Despite what you might think, of those affairs, between 60-75% of couples stay together after the affair is uncovered.
BUT, if that affair produces a child, that can potentially change everything.
It’s also worth pointing out that only 3% of men who cheat actually leave their wives for the mistress. But when they do, 75% of the time they end up divorcing.
Amazingly, almost 3% of all children born are the result of an affair the wife had. And most of the time, that child is raised by a man who isn’t the father but doesn’t know that.
Check out these and a lot more statistics about infidelity in a recent article I published. The biggest shocker was how long couples take to recover from an affair.
Just click the link to read that on my site.
Some infidelity statistics data are courtesy of the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Other info courtesy of the book Intimacy After Infidelity: How to Rebuild and Affair-Proof Your Marriage by Steven Solomon & Lorie Teagno.
You CAN save your marriage — even if an affair produces a love child
I feel your pain and I know from my own experience what it’s like being in a marriage following an affair. Granted in my case, there wasn’t a child produced. But it still deals a devastating blow.
I still remember when my wife told me in 2013, after I ended my affair, that while she still loved me, she didn’t think she was still IN love with me.
But now, here we are, many years later, with a 3rd daughter born in 2017, and our marriage better than ever.
How did we do it?
Brad Browning is an amazing marriage coach from Canada. His YouTube channel has well over 350,000 followers and his books on Amazon all rate 5-star.
He created his groundbreaking course called Mend the Marriage for people just like us.
You CAN save your marriage even with a love child involved. And you can bring back that love and connection before everything fell apart.
Just CLICK HERE to check out Brad’s free video; your first step out of the darkness.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about whether a marriage can survive a love child?
In this article, we took a detailed look at marriages that are rocked not only by infidelity, but also a child born of the affair.
We looked at the terrible toll that takes on the marriage. But we also looked at what the marriage’s chances of survival are.
Ultimately, we answered the question of can a marriage survive a love child?
Have you or your spouse had a child from an affair?