This story is based on true information as told to me and used with permission. All the names have been changed.
My best friend, Carla, and I went to high school together, graduated from college together, met our husbands around the same time, got married, and we each have two children. We live on the west coast, near the beach, and enjoy family outings, vacations, and more together. My husband, Rich, and Carla's husband, Paul, get along well and often play golf and basketball together.
A few years ago, Carla came to me completely heartbroken and devastated. She found out that Paul was cheating on her. Not only did the woman contact Carla on social media, but she told my friend that she was six months pregnant by her husband, and she planned on keeping the baby. Carla was devastated. Rich and I have witnessed the confrontations, the arguments, the pain, and the effect the entire situation has had on their children. Carla went from being this upbeat, fun mom, to being sad, and snapping at everyone. I watched her lose weight and lose sleep. We would talk on the phone at night for hours while she cried or cursed or both.
The one thing though- she never left Paul.
The "other woman" had their baby, a boy, and Paul pays child support and has visitation rights to his son. Carla does not allow the child to come to their house, their children have never seen or met their half-brother, and Paul is pretty much not allowed to talk about his son with anyone or acknowledge him around Carla, their children, friends, or family. I think she is trying to block the child out as if her husband never had an affair and he was never born. What is she going to do when he starts school? What happens when he starts asking questions about his siblings? Is Paul supposed to keep his son separate from his family for the boy's entire life?
This is something we have discussed on multiple occasions. I told Carla I would leave Rich if he had an affair or got another woman pregnant, and I have no idea how or why she is staying in this broken marriage. She deserves better and so does her children. She is unhappy, Paul is unhappy, and the kids are unhappy. The fact that Paul had a baby with another woman is no secret among our group, either. When all of the couples are together or the women hang out, it is the elephant in the room. I think that Carla works so hard to hide it, that when we are all together, her discomfort shows no matter what.
Carla told me she refuses to lose her husband to some woman and become a single mother raising her kids alone. She said she does not want to try to start over with someone else, and that no man wants a divorced woman with children. I told her that is a bunch of crap! There are millions of people with children who divorced and remarried and even if not, why be miserable and keep your family miserable because you do not want to "lose" to another woman? Paul is not such a loss, anyway. Not if he is cheating on my friend and having children with women other than his wife.
I have to say, the situation is tough to watch. I have to respect her choices, but I believe that one day, Carla is going to regret staying in her marriage.
What would you do? Would you stay with your spouse if they cheated on you and had a child with someone else?