My wife and I have two children, but I was unfaithful, and from my sin came a beautiful little girl who is now three years old, the same age as my youngest son. I confessed my sin to my wife, and she forgave me but said I had to distance myself from my daughter. I want to bring the little girl to live with us, but I don’t know how to tell my wife. She forgave my mistake, but doesn’t accept my daughter. I need your counsel.

Dear Friend,

How do you know that your daughter’s mother will allow you to have custody of her child? Have you been speaking to the girl’s mother? If you have, then your wife has good reason to be taking steps to keep you away from that woman. Your wife is trying to safeguard your marriage because she loves you and has found out that you are weak and need her protection. By speaking to the woman without your wife’s knowledge, you are giving your wife reason to mistrust you and to try even harder to protect you.

Your wife associates the little girl with your infidelity, even though it is obviously not your daughter’s fault. As you already realize, your daughter should not be blamed for your sin or the sin of her mother. The child is an innocent victim.

Your daughter desperately needs a father, and it is your responsibility to provide for her financially and emotionally. By suggesting that you would like the child to live with your family, it appears that you are aware of your responsibility and want to find a way to completely fulfill your role as her father.

However, when infidelity has occurred, there is betrayal and broken trust. Trust doesn’t come easily or quickly, and you are the only one who can rebuild it. You must tell your wife everything that happens, no matter how it will make her feel. If the woman contacts you, tell your wife. If you find out something about the woman from friends or co-workers, tell your wife. Tell your wife so many details about everything that she will be convinced that you are not hiding anything.

Most importantly, ask your Heavenly Father to forgive your sins in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Commit your life to following Him, and lead your family into a personal relationship with Him. We are not suggesting that you find religion, as religion won’t help you, but rather that you communicate with God through prayer and reading the Bible, and that you find a church where there are people who have been changed through their relationships with Him. Following traditions or practicing sacraments is not what will change your life. It is knowing God and communicating with Him daily that will change you.

When your wife sees your changed life and discovers that she can trust you completely, then together you should plan how to best help your daughter. Ask God to work in your wife’s heart so that she will accept your daughter and not continue to see her as a threat.

We wish you the best,