Q. My husband works construction, and was injured on the job. He was placed in a rehabilitation center for three months.
Between my visits, I took care of our home and our two toddlers.
His best friend and co-worker decided that I needed a night out on the town to unwind, so he got me a baby sitter, and out I went!
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, dancing at a club, and way too much to drink.
The evening ended with us having sex in his car.
I was overwhelmed with guilt. He came over the next day to help me get over my angst. Wow — wrong decision.
I put the kids down for a nap and ended up in bed with him again.
I can’t say “no” to him, and now it is common knowledge among my husband’s other work friends that I’m having an affair.
My husband comes home next week and I’m torn between being happy and sad about his return home. I’m truly afraid that one of his friends will tip him off about what has transpired, but I can’t stop.
On top of everything else, I’ve just learned that I’m pregnant. This baby could be my husband’s or my lover’s, I’m not sure which. If it’s my lover’s, the secret will be out because the baby will be biracial.
What a mess. Can you give me a starting point to fixing things?
A. Wow, lots of wrong decisions here. I know that I should reflexively pat your hand because you feel so bad and this is such a mess, but feeling guilty about your behavior does not absolve you from the consequences of that behavior. You had choices to make all the way along, but — unlike the guy you’ve been sleeping with — your infidelity has now yielded a lifelong consequence, the burden of which falls almost completely on you (I assume that you will be keeping this baby).
I’m no math genius, but — given the timing you report — it seems most likely that your baby has been fathered by your guy’s best friend (some friend, by the way).
You should pursue emotional support from a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor in order to talk and work this through, step by step.
You should break down this overwhelming challenge into more manageable components in order to cope with it.
You must tell your husband. The pregnancy forces you to, but so many other people know about this affair already, that he is guaranteed to find out.
His catastrophic accident and extensive rehab have likely affected him profoundly. His life was already derailed before you cheated on him, resulting in another child to love, raise, and provide for. You should pursue professional help for him (ask for a referral at the rehab center) so that he will have support through this series of disclosures.
Good can come from tough situations, but you will have to decide what this “good” will be, and how you will behave in order to bring it about.
Q. I’m 20 years old and have a group of friends who are a couple of years younger.
My friend “Rebecca” was dating a girl named “Sasha” for three years, long distance.
Rachel and Sasha broke up recently, thank goodness, as Sasha is one of the most toxic and petty people I have ever met.
A while back, I found out that Sasha was cheating on Rebecca for a few months last year with their mutual friend Jenny. Rebecca and Jenny are extremely close. For some reason, no one took it upon themselves to tell Rebecca about the cheating. One friend said he didn’t want to make Rebecca’s depression any worse.
I didn’t meet any of these friends until after the cheating stopped.
Should I tell Rebecca that her ex was cheating with one of her closest friends, and risk ruining her friendship with Jenny?
A. This cheating drama happened before you entered this friendship group. This is not your news to share. When contemplating a disclosure like this, you have to ask yourself: What good would come of it? In this case, very little.
Q. “Devastated Dad” was concerned about his relationship with the son he didn’t know he had until the child was 9 years old.
While this dad’s concerns were valid, I wonder how much financial support he had offered toward the boy’s care over the years. Stepping up financially might help to build a bridge now.
A. Great point. Thank you.Amy Dickinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.