After twenty-five years of marriage, I found out that ten years ago my husband had an affair from which a little girl was born. I was furious and wanted to leave him. But as time has passed, we have managed to accept what happened. One day he confessed to me that ever since the time that I found out about the affair he has not returned to see his daughter, who must be about nine years old, and that he is not interested in having any contact with her or her mother. He told me that he made the decision for my sake, so that I wouldn’t suffer. But I know that he’s the one who is suffering, because he is a responsible man.

I don’t know what to do, whether to tell him to see his daughter or to leave things as they are. His decision makes me feel guilty, even though I don’t want anything to hurt my marriage.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for listening to your conscience! Your conscience is telling you that it is not right for an innocent little girl to lose her daddy. You don’t want to be the one that causes the little girl to suffer the rest of her life because her father abandoned her.

Of course, what your husband did was wrong. He committed adultery and sinned against you and God. And the little girl is a consequence of that sin. But she is innocent! She did nothing wrong! Why should you make her suffer for your husband’s sin?

One of the Ten Commandments is to not commit adultery. Why did God think it was so important to make it one of the ten most important rules to live by? Precisely because He loves and cares about innocent little children and wants to make sure that they have the best opportunities in life as a part of a secure and loving family. Your husband’s daughter will never have the opportunity to live in a home with her mother and father. She will never know the security that brings. Instead, she will live with a single mother or with a stepfather. Even though they may do the best that they can, it is not ideal. It is not God’s perfect plan for anyone.

Please decide that you will think of this child separately from your husband’s sin, and separately from the child’s mother. Encourage your husband to bring his daughter to your home. Learn to love her, not because you accept what your husband did, but because you know that she is innocent. Instead of hurting your marriage, this will deepen your husband’s appreciation and love for you.

It will not be easy. She will obviously think that you are her mother’s rival. She may treat you rudely at first. If this happens, open your home to her anyway and let her spend time with her father there while you are in another part of the house. But always remember that your husband’s relationship with his daughter is nothing for you to be jealous of. His love for her is different than his love for you. You will be a very wise woman if you can learn to adjust to this little one the same way that you have adjusted to what your husband did.

We wish you well,

Linda and Charles