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The secret is out

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q: My husband impregnated a woman and she had a baby. I was so burdened by the birth of the child that at a recent prayer meeting at church I cried out publicly to God about the infidelity.

That was the first time some members of the congregation were hearing about this. However, in this rural district, which is small, some members knew that the girl had a child for my husband.

Why I am so burdened and hurt is that my husband is still active in church, as if nothing had happened.

Furthermore, because we cannot have children, he wants me to adopt this outside child.

I do not want the child near our house. He claims he does not love the girl but he was desperate to father a child. This is after we have been praying for a miracle that we would have a baby.

I am now 42 and the chances of having a baby seem remote. The pastor did not discipline my husband and does not understand my hurt. He tells me to forgive my husband and move on. In fact, the pastor seems to be harder on me for letting out the secret in a prayer meeting rather than on what my husband did to me.

What do you think about my action and how should I act in the future?

A: Sorry to hear about the infidelity of your husband and the insensitivity of him and your husband. Your pastor needs to be sensitive to your needs and feelings, and not only of those of your husband.

He has to handle this situation very carefully as it could affect negatively the wider church family. It could compromise the authentic witness and work of the church.

You are to be commended for apparently forgiving him and not seeking a divorce.

You are more interested in your husband expressing remorse and behaving with some regret. It seems he should confess to God and make some expression of repentance to you and his fellow members. It appears that you feel lonely in this burden you are carrying. You need someone who is confidential, caring and competent to talk with about your feelings of hurt and anger.

No rush to adopt

Your husband should not rush you into accepting this baby into your home and family. It is your call whether you want to adopt the child. Some women adopt the children and are comfortable, whereas others do not want any role in the child's upbringing. It is your choice.

However, please remember the child is innocent and your husband needs to play a role as father by his presence and financial support.

Persons move on at different rates and you should not be pressured or rushed. It seems persons are focusing on the fact that the secret is out. But it appears that it was only a matter of time before the church and community would find out.

It is difficult to keep the father of a child secret.

It is possible that your husband has also been unfair to the mother of the child. Perhaps she did not know he was married, although it would be unlikely since this is a small rural community.

Perhaps he did not tell her that he did not love her and only wanted a child. Perhaps the young lady had the child because of financial need and he exploited that.

I suggest you and your husband go to a counsellor to identify the issues and seek to resolve them. Perhaps you should not use your pastor this time since you lack confidence in him. In the meantime, you should give consideration to adopt a child who is not connected to your husband.