- The Man I am
- Isnít My Husband
By Barrington H. Brennen (Republished
Oct 5, 2006)
This is Part One
Dear Sir: This week I went to my doctor because I suspected that I was pregnant.
Sure enough, after some tests, the doctor told me I was three-month pregnant.
The painful thing about this is that I am pregnant for my husbandís best
friend. Although my husband and I are living together, we have been having great
marital difficulty for the past year, and I found myself looking to another man
for understanding and love. I do love my husband, but I do not know how to face
him now. I am ashamed! Please help me. Signed: Afraid.
Barrington H. Brennen
Answer: Dear Afraid, you are
certainly in a dilemma. I donít know if there is a word in the English
language that can fully describe the mess you are in. Although I do not know all
of the dynamics surrounding your experience, I want to help you understand what
has happened and give you some insights on what direction to take.
Your situation is not so uncommon in our country. There are too many women
and men who for one or more reasons get involved in extra marital affairs. I
suppose, you thought you would never get pregnant. This only proves the old
saying that "once you play with fire you are going to get burned." I
am sure you are wondering what to do. Should you have an abortion? Should you
tell your husband, family, children or the father of the baby? These questions
only reveal how complicated and painful this problem really is.
Although there are women who do not care about themselves and their husbands
and deliberately find a "sperm donor" to mate with, however, there are
many other women who are blinded to their own vulnerability, and while searching
for understanding and love, they become sexually involved with the "extra
UNMET MARITAL NEEDS
There are at least two simple reasons why this happened: either you were
stupid, foolish, and blind, and you did not think you would get pregnant and
that it would affect you this way; or you do not understand the dynamics of love
in a relationship. I have discovered in my counseling practice that many
husbands and wives do not really understand the nuts and bolts of marital love.
In past articles, I quoted psychologist Dr. Willard Harley from his book "His
Need, Her Needs," stating that when any of the basic needs of marriage
are unmet the marriage is vulnerable to an affair. These needs are:
- Family Commitment
- Financial Support
- Recreational Companionship
- Sexual Fulfillment
- An Attractive Spouse
- Honesty and Openness
- Domestic Support
Dear Afraid, I am certain that years ago, you denied any possibility of
getting involved in an affair. In reality, you were at risk because one or more
of your needs in marriage were unmet by your husband. To fulfill those needs you
sought another source of love. Your immediate search may not have been for sex,
but instead, conversation, affection, understanding, and honesty to name a few.
You wanted to preserve your marriage. You wanted to understand what was going on
in your marriage. For whatever reason you and your husband were having marital
difficulty, over the years your "love bank" became dry and you found
yourself reaching for love only to receive the cold hand of indifference from an
uncaring, emotionally absentee husband. Let me hasten to say here that your
husband may be just as ignorant and stupid as you were in not understanding what
was going on between both of you.
For the benefit of the other readers, I want to share some of the foolish
steps that may have led to this pregnancy:
Foolish Step One: When you first sought comfort and understanding
from someone other than your spouse, you went to a male friend instead of a
trusted female friend or professional counselor. This is the biggest mistake
anyone can make when at risk. Too many men prey on love hungry women. Most
likely you went to your husbandís best friend because you thought he could
give you some special insight on what was happening in your husbandís
mind. But instead, he too did not realize his own vulnerability, and he had
Foolish Step Two: Perhaps you visited your male friend at a time and
place that would be risky and ripe for sexual overtones and innuendoes. I
have discovered that many women in your situation go to seek comfort and
understanding from other male friends late at night, or during times when no
one is around. This increases your vulnerability and begins the rippling
effect from conversation, affection sharing, physical touching, to love
making and sex. If both of you are not thinking correctly, you would fall
into the stupor of mesmerized love, trapped in the arms of selfish passion.
Like most women at risk, you most likely went to the home of this
"caring man" or talked to him in a place that was out of sight.
You did not stop to think what trap you were creating for yourself as you
stepped into his living room, his bedroom, or sat in the front seat of his
car, as you poured out your heart to him. You only wanted someone to listen
to you. Boy! He really did listen! The comfort of his home or car prepared
the way for you to drop your guard and trust him unreasonably.
Foolish Step Three: Another very big step that led to your pregnancy
was when you allowed him to touch you. I am certain when you first went to
him for "help" you did not grab him and threw him on the bed. It
began with that first seemingly innocent touch. The unoffending, gentlemanly
holding of the hands, the greeting kiss, the goodbye hugs can easily start
the fires going in the furnace of passion. Never, never, ever, let a man
touch you in any fashion when you are alone with him, even avoid the holding
of hands. Remember, when you are love-hungry the whole body becomes a sex
organ. All it takes is for this "caring man" who is so wonderfully
listening to your painful, heartfelt conversation to reach out and touch you
on your shoulder or arms, and you feel like you have never felt before. It
is hard to pull back because it feels so special. Remember, once you go
behind close doors and you are alone with him, the mind begins to work and
the body begins to warm up. Two warm bodies create fire.
Foolish Step Four: You went to your husbandís best friend perhaps
because you thought you could trust him and he would respect you. Never
trust a close friend behind closed doors, especially after dark and when the
lights are dim, even if he is the most respectful, dignified, caring
creature on earth. Remember, if he was truly a friend, he would have
sent you away the first night you knocked on his door, and he would have
arranged to see you in a more neutral environment.
Dear Afraid, I am certain you want a quick answer to your dilemma, but there
isnít one. Since there is not enough space to write my total response to your
question in this issue, I will continue next week with more information and some
encouraging words in this time of pain. Meanwhile, cherish the new life in your
body and build up courage to face a future of uncharted adventures.
GO TO PART TWO