My husband had an affair in 8/98 with someone I knew. He got her pregnant and I knew nothing about it for almost 2 years. The baby is 10 months old. I lost my mind. I ended up in the hospital for a week. Right now I am lost.
It's bad enough that your husband cheated on you, but also to discover two years later that he has a ten-month-old baby from this affair is a terribly painful shock. You lost your mind and yourself. Perhaps, I can help you to find yourself.
Every crisis that each of us faces (and we all face crises) can be either a serious blow to our self-esteem, our belief system and our sense of security or it can be an opportunity to discover new strengths and values that we may not have realized that we had. In other words, you can lose yourself (self-esteem) or find yourself. Out of a crisis a new you can emerge.
To deal effectively with your husband you first need to understand you... The person responsible for your happiness and well-being is you.
I am purposely focusing on you right now and avoiding discussing your marriage. To deal effectively with your husband you first need to understand you. What do you feel? What do you want? How have you dealt with your hurt and anger? Do you know that it's okay to feel angry? He betrayed and lied to you. Before you forgive, allow yourself to feel the intensity of your rage. Understand and accept your feelings - they are you.
You probably feel like a part of you has died. He betrayed your trust, your sense of security - your feeling that life should and does make sense. However, you are still a separate person. The person responsible for your happiness and well-being is you. If you thought that job belonged to your husband, you discovered what happens when you surrender responsibility for your life to someone else.
Now the challenge is to take back your life, to decide what you want and to act on it. To begin to take the first step toward yourself I suggest that you find a counselor with whom you can pour your heart out and who can help you to reclaim yourself and your life.
Good luck on your journey of self-discovery.
Michael Tobin, Ph.D.