Should I confront my husband about his secret family?
Hi Pastor Kitoto
My husband has a secret family. I stumbled on school fee pays slips and did an investigation behind his back to confirm my worst fears. Now that I have damning evidence that he has two children with another woman, what should I do? I am afraid he might abandon me and our three children if I confront him. Please advise.
Many couples have lived happily not even suspecting that one spouse could be having a secret family. Ideally, authentic relationships are supposed to be built on honesty and a faith that says, “I believe that my spouse is not lying to me.”
However, many only come to know the truth about their spouse when it is too late.
How do we know that our spouse has been lying all to us all along? Like you, some spouses suddenly stumble on the truth or certain signs and gestures begin to communicate a message of unfaithfulness over time. So, once the secret is out, what next?
First, it is important to acknowledge that infidelity is not a small matter to just sweep under the carpet. Such matters may need to be discussed together without fear, manipulation or intimidation. However, when you confront your partner about it, do it timely, freely, firmly and with love. Speaking the truth in love helps the offender get to a point where they can be led to confession and reconciliation.
Whether one or two, the discovery of an affair in a marriage union is devastating. It erodes both trust and faith in the future of the relationship. As far as you are concerned, the sudden discovery of the truth was not only hurting but shocking. Therefore, managing your inner feelings and outer expression is key and a vital part of walking the path of healing and gaining a sober mind of wisdom.
How do you manage your broken expectations while at the same time keep your family together? The first thing you have to realise is that, he broke the trust. Dealing with trust issues can be tricky putting into account that this issue has been a secret for a long time. I suggest that you start by counting the cost of disclosure.
It is important to get the right timing, place and occasion to make the disclosure. After all, you have no control over the type of response you will get. If you need the truth to be known, then you manage how you make the disclosure. Instead of making it appear judgmental, speak the truth but in love.
Second, it is important for you to share with your husband the desire of restoration. So, you may need to ask yourself why you need to make the disclosure. It is for revenge or get things in the light so that the marriage can gain greater transparency? You have to determine your driving motive. Since you are the one who searched for the truth, whatever drove you to seek the truth could be linked to the reason you want him to know that you have discovered the truth. What I can assure you is that, he could be aware already that you have been searching for the truth. And maybe that is why receipts were easily found.
A third and important issue is to gauge whether you are in the right emotional state to confront him and whether you still desire a future with him. Therefore, seeking another alternative route of disclosure such as going through a trusted friend or relative whom your husband respects can be an option. Such an avenue works well where your confidant protects the source of their information as they seek acknowledgement from your husband concerning the other family. In either of these ways, you will pray and hope that God will deal with his heart.
Finally, since his response could go either way, you may need to consider a few things: First, if your husband chooses to walk away in defiance, shame, or fear, you have to be prepared to live with it. That is why being sober before you confront is key. If you had not sorted out all your wounds, it is most likely that your will live with brokenness for a long time.
Secondly, he could turn around and apologize and seek forgiveness from you. If this happens, the two of you have to agree on the future of those children. The truth is that, nothing is guaranteed here. The important thing is for you come to terms with the truth you now have concerning your husband’s other family by seeking to deal with your inner emotions in line with the future.
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