Originally Posted By: Flagler
So... We're planning on couples counseling, therapy for the kids, complete transparency with each other. The three of us are a team for our son... (yeah, I'm already claiming him too). I'm anticipating some major blowback from H's mother, but I'm standing with him to protect our son and his mama from the nastiness that H's mother can spew. We're hoping to meet with our pastor for some guidance on that because we're members of H's mom's church and he could direct us to scripture that would comfort her.


Flagler, welcome to Marriage Builders. Our objective on this forum is to save the marriage. Unfortunately, you have chosen a path that will wreck your marriage and your children's family. Everyone loses in that scenario. Everyone, including the OC and your husband's mistress. There is no virtue in destroying your marriage and your children's family for a child that does not even know your H. All the "counseling" in the world will not prevent this. Your marriage won't survive the continued contact between your H and his lover. No marriage will survive that.

You have essentially chosen to sacrifice your marriage and your children's family for this OC. I realize there are no good choices in this situation, but the best choice is for him to protect the marriage and your children's family.

By staying in touch with his lover, he wrecks your children's family and makes it much less likely this OW can find a husband to help her father this child. Having some creepy married man hang around will discourage any decent men, making it harder for her to find a partner to help her parent this child. It also means the affair will be ongoing.

Please listen to Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and founder of Marriage Builders. He addresses this issue:

radio clip here

and post here:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
I am revising SAA and it should be in print sometime in 2011, and the problem you raise will be included in it. But it's particularly difficult to address because of our no-contact-with-the-ex-lover rule on the one hand, and the need of a child to have contact with their natural parents on the other. Our radio archives have more on this subject than anything I've written so far, because we've had several listeners call in with this problem, and I describe the approach I take.

As you probably already know by now, I tilt toward keeping the marriage healthy at the possible expense of the child not having adequate contact with the OM. I recommend that at the time of birth, the other man not be mentioned on the birth certificate unless he demands it. That makes your husband the legal parent of the child. If he does demand being on the birth certificate, I recommend that he pay child support until the child is 19. If the OM wants visitation, I recommend that it be done with transparency, so his own family knows what's going on. A mediator, paid by him, is to pick up and deliver the child so that you and your husband never have to have any contact with him.

In almost all cases that I've witnessed, the OM isn't willing to be named on the birth certificate, pay the child support, or make the situation known to his family. Under those conditions, I highly suggest that he not be able to visit his child until he or she is an adult. If an attempt is made, I suggest getting a restraining order. While that policy seems very rigid and uncaring toward the child, the alternatives are usually disastrous. Having an old lover around, the cause of your husband's greatest sadness, has such an devastating effect on the marriage that few survive.

Having heard from some of the couples who have followed this way of thinking, and others who have done the opposite, I am confident that it is the best approach to your situation.

Best wishes,
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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