At age 15, I had a baby and gave him up for adoption.
I met my husband at 18, married him years later, and we have two children together.
But when turning 50, I knew I needed to find my son.
I put my name in the open adoption file six years ago and my son was found.
I told my husband about him (yes, I should’ve done so long ago).
He went off the rails and called me names, and never wanted me to tell the kids.
I’m now ready to tell them. My daughter, 21, is pregnant (unplanned); my son’s 20.
It’ll be difficult. I hope they can understand.
My son and I have been seeing each other ever since. But keeping the secret is stressing me out.
I want everybody to know what happened. My siblings all know, of course, and cannot understand my husband’s not being compassionate. He’s still upset and angry.
Feeling Really Down
Start the New Year with optimism and determination that you’re doing the right thing.
An innocent baby now has his rightful heritage of knowing his birth mother.
You’ve wisely dealt with the sorrow and loss that emerged when you reached mid-life. You didn’t want to lose that chance to know the child you bore.
Your husband was shocked, likely hurt that you never told him before this.
But you’re still the woman he’s lived with for years, and he should adjust to this reality.
Say that you don’t expect him to be your son’s “father,” just to accept him.
Tell your children you love them.
Then tell your story and how you dearly hope they’ll be welcoming to their half-brother.
They’ve been the lucky ones who always knew their heritage, while he’s still learning his.
Last year, when married only a year, I developed a chronic bladder infection. I’m seeing a specialist and taking antibiotics.
I’m getting better, but have frequent flare ups. Our physical relationship has taken a huge toll.
The pain and discomfort makes sex infrequent, or restrained, since we’re both wary of my pain.
My husband’s been loving, attentive, and very concerned for my health.
However, he’s increasingly frustrated with the lack of sex.
We’ve tried many "alternatives" but nothing works the same way.
Sex was a huge part of us and our love.
My doctor’s asked me to be patient. We’ve set a deadline for reconsidering our options, including separation if I’m not getting better.
My husband says he doesn’t want to leave me, but I feel it’s unfair for him to live in a sexless marriage for the rest of his life.
Should we seek some professional guidance?
You must seek professional information and guidance right away, and on several levels.
Your specialist will have previously dealt with chronic bladder pain affecting sexual activity.
Don’t be embarrassed, you both need to ask him/her how you each can best handle this.
A marital therapist will also benefit you both. In a still-young marriage, you haven’t faced many intense issues like this.
But many couples experience periods of abstinence – e.g. for months during difficult pregnancies. The therapist will have ideas and encouragement for you both.
Setting a deadline for options and thinking about separation is premature.
Maintain intimacy through touch, stroking, cuddling, kissing, while helping your husband have orgasms manually or orally, without you experiencing pain.
It’s “not the same” but it’s deeply loving, compassionate, and bonding.
It’ll help you stay optimistic and less stressed about your condition as the antibiotics and time heal you.
FEEDBACK “After reading your column of responses to “How Affairs Happen” (Dec. 2), I decided to add my experience.
“The condensed version was that when I went seeking medical advice for something, I ended up with a lover (the doctor), who later became my wife.
“Unfortunately, the marriage was devoid of emotion.
“The warning signs were very clear, but I chose to ignore them.
“Some time later, my now-ex-wife's best friend told me that once we had a child and had purchased a house, my services as a husband were no longer needed.
“My advice to anyone looking for the "grass is always greener" side, would be to make sure your physical desires do not trump the emotional scarring that will ultimately result.”
Ellie – Even “condensed,” the point’s clear - when restless in a current relationship, you’re vulnerable to those who are predatory.
That’s when an affair’s unlikely to bring lasting happiness.
Tip of the day:
Start your New Year with honesty, courage, and determination.