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Friday 24 May 2019

Dear Mary: He's been playing away and now I'm pregnant again

(stock picture)
(stock picture)

Mary O’Conor

I have had a very turbulent few weeks where unfortunately infidelity has rocked my marriage and I am in shock to discover that I am pregnant again.

My husband has been quite busy leading a double life all of last year while we were still sleeping together.

I am devastated beyond words and I feel that our relationship is ruined.

Being pregnant makes my situation so much harder because I do not want to be on my own with three children.

We have started marriage counselling which I find helpful, but I have some very angry days where I want to throw him out, hurt him and make him realise that the affair was so unnecessary and that our marriage was not as bad as he thought it was.

How will I ever return to loving him the way that I used to?

I don't feel that spark since all this saga was revealed, and I know it's probably normal but I can't help think that if we stay together I will just resent him in years to come and that we will end up separating anyway.

Am I better to get out now, learn to deal with parenting on my own and cut my losses?

He had planned a new life with his affair partner and had planned to leave me and the kids on several occasions last year but chickened out each time.

He certainly was not in a right state of mind all of this time and it makes me wonder is there something mental going on and is it possible that he could have another malfunction and another sexual urge again and have more affairs.

My heart is sinking and some days I think I would love to cheat on him but I know it's not the answer.

A You have had a number of shocks in your life, all of them quite life changing. You discovered the affair, you now find you are pregnant again and you also discovered that last year your husband had contemplated leaving you and the children for the other woman.

I am very happy that you have sought help for your marriage through counselling.

Now is not the time to think about leaving the marriage because it is such a big step to take.

What is most important for you right now is that you have as little stress as possible in order to have a healthy pregnancy. You are naturally angry at your husband for having the affair and one of the main objects of counselling will be to find out what caused him to go outside of the marriage.

You may also hear things that will be difficult for you to digest but it is a necessary part of counselling. You will be given the space to voice your anger, in a controlled environment, rather than letting him know how you are feeling whenever it becomes too much for you to bear.

When this happens things can get out of control, awful things are said that cannot be unsaid, and there is always the danger that your children will overhear you. Therefore, for lots of different reasons, it is far better to keep things for the counselling room.

Things will never be quite the same for your marriage because the affair happened and that cannot be undone.

As always, time is a great healer, and the hurt you are experiencing right now will begin to fade. You will never forget what happened, but in time you may be able to forgive. This depends on how well both of you work at the marriage when counselling ends. Your husband has by now seen the devastation that resulted because of what he did, and, providing you reach some sort of resolution during counselling, it is unlikely that he would put you both through all this trauma again.

But in the meantime your priority now is the life that is growing inside you and who deserves the best possible start.

Take care of yourself and if you find the anger building up inside you then tell yourself that you are not going to deal with it right now, but that instead you are going to bring it to the calmer environment of the counselling room.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Your other children must be excited to welcome a new sibling, so start sharing their joy rather than dwell on the past even though I know it must be very difficult for you.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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