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Surviving Infidelity
with Abe Kass, M.A. R.S.W., R.M.F.T.

Current affairs: When an infant is born into infidelity

Certainly, you are aware of the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump and the allegations of infidelity dating back years.

One such allegation reported in countless news sources claims that President Trump’s wife, Melania, had given birth to their son in 2006 just before his having had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. The President insists all claims of infidelity are false; that he never cheated on his wife.

Where the truth lies has yet to be proven — at least as far as I know. Likely, you have an opinion, as well as I do, regarding who is telling the truth and who is not. However, this is not the point of this article.

Do some men cheat on their wives during pregnancy or immediately after the birth of a child?

The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes.” I know this because in my counseling practice I have met men and women who have acknowledged this to be true.

No time is the ‘right time’ for a man or a woman to cheat on his or her partner. However, doing so during pregnancy or immediately after the birth of a child is “deplorable,” to use a word that Hillary Clinton made famous (and perhaps contributed to her election loss).

As a man, I am not able to speak about what it feels like to be pregnant, give birth, and then recover after the ordeal of childbirth. However, general knowledge informs all of us that it is physically and emotionally demanding.

Given that a woman puts everything of value on the line to create a new member for the family, including her survival (some women still die during childbirth), and to then have her male partner betray her at this time for another woman, comes as close as it gets to being unforgivable. Her partner’s loyalty is needed by her, and is required of him since he too is a partner in the creation of this child. Cheating then demonstrates an extra measure of callousness and insensitivity over and above “ordinary cheating.”

Men who betray their wives after they give birth to their prodigy are the adult poster-children of selfishness. It is like the captain of a ship who, faced with the possibility of a tragedy at sea, saves himself first, and only afterward thinks about his crew and the passengers.

Yes, some cheaters may have explanations that can account for this act of acute selfishness. Perhaps the new father feels insecure in his role as a parent, or perhaps his sexual appetite is left unfulfilled given his wife’s need to deal with the ordeal of pregnancy, birth, and childcare. It may even be that a man’s wife has postpartum depression and is unpleasant to be around. However, cheating makes the “problem” worse, is morally abhorrent, and may even destroy the family.

A mature man dedicates himself to his family. Should there be problems, whether caused by the birth of a child or another trigger for a family crisis, he ‘mans-up’ and does what he needs to do to protect and provide for the needs of each family member.

I can only imagine how devastated a woman must feel when going through the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth — which often include large amounts of discomfort and self-sacrifice — only to discover her male partner has betrayed her with another woman.

A woman needs her man to be with her at all times. For most women, the greatest need for partnership is during pregnancy, birth, and newborn child rearing. Even if the man has two left thumbs when it comes to helping with a newborn, when his wife knows he is committed, she feels safe and secure.

When a woman has an acute need for emotional support and physical help from her male partner, and the newborn depends upon the father to get off to a good start in life, a man’s cheating at this time is a deplorable crime against mother and child.

Current affairs: When an infant is born into infidelity

Abe Kass

Abe Kass, M.A., R.S.W., R.M.F.T. is a registered marriage and family therapist, a registered social worker, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, and the author of more than a dozen books designed to help couples and individuals live a more loving, more satisfying life.


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APA Reference
Kass, A. (2018). Current affairs: When an infant is born into infidelity. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/infidelity/2018/05/current-affairs-when-an-infant-is-born-into-infidelity/

 

Last updated: 7 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 May 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.