What to do if child conceived in adultery with married man?

Rob Banks

Pelican
I am asking this here because it pertains to someone in my family, female, who has a 2-year-old child with an older man who is married (separated) and has an 18-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl from that marriage.

His wife moved across the country to California with the children (for the 13-year-old to pursue acting, no less), and he was fine with this.

What advice would you ladies give to a young woman in this position? Obviously, she is living in adultery and she is contributing to this man abandoning his original wife and children. But at the same time, if she were to stop sleeping with him, it is possible that he may abandon her and her child (right now he is very present in the child's life).

P.S. The man in question is in the process of getting divorced. Some may argue that his separation/divorce gives him a right to meet someone else and start a new family. I don't see it this way. I view marriage as an unbreakable vow before God, and divorce as a grave injustice to his original wife and children.
 
Wow. That's a lot to unravel.

Ultimately, I think the most important factor here is whether she is LOOKING for advice. Otherwise, I wouldn't consider it my business to tell her anything. She's (I'm assuming) an adult.

It sounds like the man's marriage is pretty dead in the water. The combination of divorce proceedings, the affair, and the wife's move to California don't make a very strong case for the possibility of saving that marriage.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
...
Ultimately, I think the most important factor here is whether she is LOOKING for advice...
At this point, she is not actively looking for advice, but I am very close with her and it is likely at some point the topic will come up if she ever has any sort of conflict with this man. If it does come up, I don't want to give her the wrong advice.
 
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At this point, she is not actively looking for advice, but I am very close with her and it is likely at some point the topic will come up if she ever has any sort of conflict with this man. If it does come up, I don't want to give her the wrong advice.
Well, if she has conflict with him, advise her along the lines of the conflict. In other words, advise her the same way you would if he was any other boyfriend. (If he's abusive, she needs to get out, etc.) I don't know that I would turn it into a moralizing opportunity UNLESS you are getting clear signs that she is open to that. Otherwise, it would almost certainly put her on the defensive. And it will probably be hard for her to understand. She'll likely think "Why does it matter? His marriage is over."

If her heart seems soft and receptive to moral truths, that's a different story.
 

Elipe

Kingfisher
P.S. The man in question is in the process of getting divorced. Some may argue that his separation/divorce gives him a right to meet someone else and start a new family. I don't see it this way. I view marriage as an unbreakable vow before God, and divorce as a grave injustice to his original wife and children.
I think the spilled milk principle applies here. The damage's already done, and he's already getting divorced, so this is really a bad situation all around. The only thing that can be done past this point really is damage control, and it's better that the little child has its biological father around and involved than not. The other kids from the man's marriage are old enough where they can manage on their own, emotionally, although there will still be some damage there.

I'm going to make an educated guess here and guess that the man is having the affair because his wife is being a piece of work. This is based on the fact that she moved to California (when that state is currently in the condition of having the rats abandon ship) so that her 13 year-old daughter could pursue a career in professional prostitution - that is, acting. That sounds like a mother that wants to vicariously experience glory and glamour through her daughter, which is not a good recipe for a good mother and wife.

So sticking with the man may very well be the better option for your friend. It's not going to be ideal, but ideal would have been that the affair never happened. I doubt that this relationship will have much permanence to it, but the bed was made, and there's not much else to do with a made bed but to sleep in it.

In other words, advise her the same way you would if he was any other boyfriend. (If he's abusive, she needs to get out, etc.)
This is also good advice.
 
I'm going to make an educated guess here and guess that the man is having the affair because his wife is being a piece of work. This is based on the fact that she moved to California (when that state is currently in the condition of having the rats abandon ship) so that her 13 year-old daughter could pursue a career in professional prostitution - that is, acting. That sounds like a mother that wants to vicariously experience glory and glamour through her daughter, which is not a good recipe for a good mother and wife.
Moving to California for your kid to pursue acting is enough of a red flag... leaving your husband in another state in order to do it is unthinkable.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Thanks for all the input.

I pretty much agree with all that was said.

However, two things:

1. It is obviously a huge red flag for the wife to move to California and leave her husband behind, but, in my opinion, it is equally a red flag for the man to allow her to do this and be OK with it (according to him, he did not oppose her moving away because they lived in the same apartment building and he just could not stand to be around her anymore). So obviously this is a man who values his own happiness over the well-being of his children.

2. Regardless of how “dead in the water” the man’a marriage may be, the mistress (i.e. my family member) is still contributing to the breakup of the man’s marriage and family, slim as the chances of reconciliation may be.

It’s similar to when Roosh was a PUA, and his followers would claim it was OK for them to sleep with sluts because if they didn’t, then another man would. And that was true. But the thing is, if you don’t do it, then at least you are not complicit in the evil that is taking place.
 

Elipe

Kingfisher
1. It is obviously a huge red flag for the wife to move to California and leave her husband behind, but, in my opinion, it is equally a red flag for the man to allow her to do this and be OK with it (according to him, he did not oppose her moving away because they lived in the same apartment building and he just could not stand to be around her anymore). So obviously this is a man who values his own happiness over the well-being of his children.
That's why I say I don't see this relationship having much permanence, but having this piece of info really solidifies it.

2. Regardless of how “dead in the water” the man’a marriage may be, the mistress (i.e. my family member) is still contributing to the breakup of the man’s marriage and family, slim as the chances of reconciliation may be.
My advice is rooted in the fact that the correct tense to use here is the past tense: she's not contributing, she's contributed. There's now a child resulting from that contribution, and that complicates this situation. Must that child pay for the sins of its father and mother?
 
Thanks for all the input.

I pretty much agree with all that was said.

However, two things:

1. It is obviously a huge red flag for the wife to move to California and leave her husband behind, but, in my opinion, it is equally a red flag for the man to allow her to do this and be OK with it (according to him, he did not oppose her moving away because they lived in the same apartment building and he just could not stand to be around her anymore). So obviously this is a man who values his own happiness over the well-being of his children.

2. Regardless of how “dead in the water” the man’a marriage may be, the mistress (i.e. my family member) is still contributing to the breakup of the man’s marriage and family, slim as the chances of reconciliation may be.

It’s similar to when Roosh was a PUA, and his followers would claim it was OK for them to sleep with sluts because if they didn’t, then another man would. And that was true. But the thing is, if you don’t do it, then at least you are not complicit in the evil that is taking place.
I agree with you that the red flag is with him as well.

I see splitting up to go to different states while remaining married as a red flag for pretty much any couple. My cousin and her husband were in different states for two years. Yeah, they're divorced now.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
My advice is rooted in the fact that the correct tense to use here is the past tense: she's not contributing, she's contributed. There's now a child resulting from that contribution, and that complicates this situation. Must that child pay for the sins of its father and mother?
The man’s marriage was over before he met the other woman.

When I say the other woman is “contributing,” I mean her behavior is actively lessening the (already minuscule) chance that the marriage would come back together.

And, her behavior is also likely contributing to the man being less involved in the life of his other children. If it were not for the new girlfriend, the man would have likely objected to his wife and children moving away, or, alternatively, he would have moved to California with them.

And yes, she is still contributing (present tense) to all of this by virtue of being in a sexual relationship with him, thereby reducing the (already small) chances of reconciliation with his wife, and diverting his attention away from his children from that marriage.
 
The man’s marriage was over before he met the other woman.

When I say the other woman is “contributing,” I mean her behavior is actively lessening the (already minuscule) chance that the marriage would come back together.

And, her behavior is also likely contributing to the man being less involved in the life of his other children. If it were not for the new woman, the man would have likely objected to his wife and children moving away, or, alternatively, he would have moved to California with them.

And yes, she is still contributing (present tense) to all of this by virtue of being in a sexual relationship with him, thereby reducing the (already small) chances of reconciliation with his wife, and diverting his attention away from his children from that marriage.
Respectfully, I know where you're coming from, but with the information I have, I disagree.

I could, of course, be entirely wrong. But from what I've gathered, this marriage is OVER over. Yes, there are certainly scenarios where a marriage could be saved if the third party were removed. I don't think this is one of those scenarios. Now, especially, with the additional info that the marriage was over before he met your relative.

I do think that you could possibly be right about the lack of involvement with the other kids, but even with that, I'm not sure.

It's a crap situation all around due to the multiple kids. If he goes to be more involved with the older kids, the toddler misses out. This is what happens though when we're dealing with fallen people in a fallen world. Forgive my assumption, but am I correct that the people involved here are not religious people?
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Respectfully, I know where you're coming from, but with the information I have, I disagree.

I could, of course, be entirely wrong. But from what I've gathered, this marriage is OVER over.
You are correct, the marriage does seem to be OVER over.

However, here is a statement made by Pope Leo XIII in 1880:

When, indeed, matters have come to such a pitch that it seems impossible for [spouses] to live together any longer, then the Church allows them to live apart, and strives at the same time to soften the evils of this separation by such remedies and helps as are suited to their condition; yet she never ceases to endeavor to bring about a reconciliation, and never despairs of doing so.
Forgive my assumption, but am I correct that the people involved here are not religious people?
He is Christian (Protestant) but never goes to church. She is atheist/agnostic but recently has been a lot more open to religious ideas and the possibility of God’s existence (although she’s not there yet).
 
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Rob Banks

Pelican
Also, one more thing before I take a break and allow more comments to come in:

I mentioned that the woman in question is sinning (adultery) every time she sleeps with her child’s father, who is married to another woman.

I am aware that if she were to cease sexual relations with him, it may drive him to abandon her and her child. But if she continues to sleep with him for this reason, isn’t she essentially making herself into a prostitute?
 

third_eldest

Sparrow
I am asking this here because it pertains to someone in my family, female, who has a 2-year-old child with an older man who is married (separated) and has an 18-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl from that marriage.

His wife moved across the country to California with the children (for the 13-year-old to pursue acting, no less), and he was fine with this.

What advice would you ladies give to a young woman in this position? Obviously, she is living in adultery and she is contributing to this man abandoning his original wife and children. But at the same time, if she were to stop sleeping with him, it is possible that he may abandon her and her child (right now he is very present in the child's life).

P.S. The man in question is in the process of getting divorced. Some may argue that his separation/divorce gives him a right to meet someone else and start a new family. I don't see it this way. I view marriage as an unbreakable vow before God, and divorce as a grave injustice to his original wife and children.
Man what a sorry story. Sorry to hear you are caught up in this with it being family. My sorrow extends the most to the children who didn't get a say in this sin.

Basically it's going to come down to which family the biological father chooses to abandon: his teenage children who need their father just as much or the two year old who needs their father.

Abandon his older children and he likely consigns any ability to guide them in the right way, given how their mother is most definitely lost and will in no way protect her children from the evils of this world.

Abandon his new child and he likely consigns a single mother to single motherhood.

I guess there's no real clear answer here. Ideally one would try to save his marriage because of the vows he made to his wife, then financially support the maiden to some extent, but I doubt this man is someone who will try to reclaim some form of honorable living.

Did the maiden in question know he was married?
 

Elipe

Kingfisher
Also, one more thing before I take a break and allow more comments to come in:

I mentioned that the woman in question is sinning (adultery) every time she sleeps with her child’s father, who is married to another woman.

I am aware that if she were to cease sexual relations with him, it may drive him to abandon her and her child. But if she continues to sleep with him for this reason, isn’t she essentially making herself into a prostitute?
So let's game out the most moral case possible. Say they break up. One of three things happen:
  • She keeps the kid and remains a single mother until she marries legitimately.
  • He takes the kid, makes up with his wife, and incorporates the kid into his previously existing family.
  • They give the kid up for adoption.
In two of three, she's giving up the toddler she's mothered for two years. In the one case she keeps the kid, she and her kid are going to have a rough life.

It's a really bad situation, and I'll admit that my thinking has been colored by modern Western society's obsession with minimizing any consequences from bad behavior. The morally correct thing is to face the consequences, but it's going to be one hell of an uphill battle to get both of them to buy into that.

WWJD? Tell the man to stop sinning and go back to his wife, tell the woman to stop encouraging his behavior and...? Stick it out as a single mom until she finds another man who's either 100% unmarried or is unmarried due to a deceased wife?

Somehow, I have a feeling that's not going to go over nicely with them...
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Rob, take great care in this manner if the topic ever comes up, I would console and help ease the pain if such a situation arises, but abstain from advice in this department unless explicitly asked for, and even then proceed with caution, for if I remember correctly, you are separated from your wife, take care not to project your wounds and ideals on another about keeping families together no matter what.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Rob, take great care in this manner if the topic ever comes up, I would console and help ease the pain if such a situation arises, but abstain from advice in this department unless explicitly asked for, and even then proceed with caution, for if I remember correctly, you are separated from your wife, take care not to project your wounds and ideals on another about keeping families together no matter what.
Thank you for the response.

I am aware that I am not really in a position to give advice, and thay it would likely be rejected and make the situation worse.

It is more that I want to avoid giving bad advice (e.g. encouraging her to stay with this man even though I would be encouraging her to continue living in adultery).
 

Starlight

Robin
It is more that I want to avoid giving bad advice (e.g. encouraging her to stay with this man even though I would be encouraging her to continue living in adultery).
I think you answered your own question here: telling her to stay and live in adultery is bad advice. I can’t see how condoning your relative’s choice to live in sin could be good for her or for your conscience.

Maybe the Holy Spirit put this concern in your heart to help you lead your relative and her child to God. Dads are important, but not as important as our Heavenly Father. I would focus less on her sin and more on bringing her to Christ. Once she knows Christ, she’ll know her own sin and then it will be up to her what she is going to do but she’ll have God and the Church with her to help make the right choice.
 
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