Woman Feels Guilty For Refusing To Raise Her Husband's Affair Baby Who Was Abandoned By The Mother

It's a heartbreaking situation for all involved, but she's not the one who cheated.

couple distraught after woman refuses to raise husband's affair baby fizkes / Shutterstock

A woman on Reddit is reeling after finding out about her husband's infidelity. But the revelation that he had a baby with his mistress has thrown her for an even bigger loop — especially now that her husband's affair baby is living in their home.

Her story highlights the impossible situations we are sometimes put in by others' actions and where the limits ought to lie when it comes to our forgiveness and willingness to help others.


The woman is struggling with feelings of guilt for refusing to raise her husband's affair baby.

Most of us always want to do the best we can for anyone who comes into our orbit, and for her part, this woman definitely tried. But some situations just cross too many boundaries — and you'd be hard-pressed to find one that didn't cross a line more than hers.

"So, here's the deal: my husband had an affair," she wrote in her Reddit post. "Yeah, that's a bombshell in itself. But what's worse is that he got the other woman pregnant. I was devastated when I found out."

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But that turned out to be just the opening act of this dramatic story, and she was soon asked to make concessions few of us would be willing or able to make.

The mistress abandoned her baby, and now her husband is trying to do the right thing for his child. But she can't bring herself to stay.

Being a stepmom to your husband's affair baby is a big enough ask in the first place. But being asked to step into the mother role is quite another.

"The other woman up and left after having the baby," she wrote. "Just disappeared into thin air, leaving my husband and me to deal with the aftermath."

Her husband is "trying to make things right" and doing his best to step up and be the father the baby needs. " I respect him for that," she wrote. "I really do."


But she is finding it impossible to deal with the situation, and she's decided to leave. "I can't do it. I can't be a part of this," she wrote. The constant reminder of the affair is entirely too much. "I thought I could handle it, but I was wrong."

"I know it sounds selfish, but I just couldn't stay," she went on to say. "I needed to put my own mental health first, even if it meant leaving behind everything I thought I knew." The decision has left her feeling guilty, as well as "lost, scared, and heartbroken."

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Mental health experts would likely say that she is actually doing what's best for the baby by leaving.

It's long been the conventional wisdom that any child raised in a "broken home" is set up for failure if not outright catastrophe. That makes it easy for some to say that the baby's needs should come first — regardless of how the baby came to be.

But mental health professionals would likely wholeheartedly disagree with that advice and tell this woman she's absolutely doing the right thing by prioritizing herself and leaving.

Experts say the most important make-or-break need a baby has for its physical, mental, and emotional development is stability. This is specifically true in three core areas: basic necessities like food and shelter, daily routines, and perhaps most important of all, its relationship with its caregivers.

That last one is where the rubber meets the road here. There is little possibility for a stable relationship between the baby and this woman because of the overwhelming amount of baggage involved.

@mindfullyready The belief that divorce only has negative effects on kids is simply not true. #divorce #divorcetok #divorcetiktok ♬ UNDERWATER WONDERSCAPES (MASTER) - Frederic Bernard

Moreover, there is little possibility of a stable relationship between this woman and her husband going forward—and that can be incredibly damaging for a baby or child. 

This is why mental health experts often say an amicable, respectful divorce is often a better option than "staying together for the kids."

Therapist Monica Ramunda told us that staying together often breeds resentment among family members, and conflict between parents can push children away.


Take it from a guy who was born in the midst of his parents' messy and acrimonious divorce: Babies are sponges, as they say, and a baby nurtured amid chaos and conflict is at hugely elevated risk of everything from poor physical health and cognitive challenges to myriad mental health problems.

@your_pocket_therapist Watch to the end to see how babies react to fighting and change their behaviour to avoid making adults angry. TW. #trauma #psychology #mentalhealth #anger #foryou ♬ GASLIGHT - INJI

The fact that this woman was even willing to consider staying is downright heroic and speaks volumes about her character. But she's doing the right thing by going her own way — not only for herself but for the baby, too. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.