Recently a journalist from a major Australian Newspaper interviewed me for a story about children born of an affair. The link to the article can be found here. The story was syndicated on line across Australia and I have been really fascinated by the comments the article generated - both online and those people have sent to me privately. They have ranged from supportive to down right disparaging - and so be it - you can't please all the people all the time.
I may pick this up in a later post but for now I just wanted to reassure all of you who are on this journey that in the situation of a child of an affair there are no black and white/right or wrong answers. There is no rule book written for how to handle this situation and no "evidence based research" that says if you handle it a certain way it will all turn out peaches!
Of the now dozens of women (and couples) I have met in this situation there are as many variations as there are stories.
When looking at the big issue of when, if ever, to have contact with the child there are so many variables to consider that the only feasible way is to work out the best for your situation. This means considering factors which will be unique to you. Just some examples I have come across would be: other minor children and their needs; distance everyone lives from each other; age of parent; age of child; mental health of the other woman (there are a number of situations I am aware of where the other woman has been so unwell that she has posed a serious risk to the safety of others involved); willingness to tell people about the situation - and the list goes on. They are all valid considerations and then you have to pull it all together into something that you can live with - no easy task.
It is all too easy for someone who has not been there to cast judgment - for those of you reading this now going through this decision making - you are not alone and if you need some help to work it all through please don't hesitate to reach out.
Picture taken from the article linked to above.