Mental Health

Douglas Berger Psychiatrist Tokyo, explores how to cope with your spouse’s child from an extra-martial relationship.


My husband of 3 years just told me that he has a 1-year-old child from an affair and wants to maintain a relationship with this child. What should I do?

This is a crisis for most every married couple. If we could put aside the issue of your husband’s hiding this affair and child, we might be able to make sense of what to do. First, we could view this situation as similar to that where you have married a man with a child from a prior marriage, only you found out after you got married making this more complex. You did not agree to this family format when you decided to marry your husband and it is understandable you would be quite upset. The complexities you have to deal with are that your husband now has priorities that compete with your marriage, i.e., the position of who the most important people in the world are to him, time he has to spend with the child, financial costs, and an interpersonal triangle between you, him, and the other child and the child’s mother.

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