She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin! is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions, about anything at all.
I’m 39 years old, female, and I have no idea how my life turned into such a soap opera.
Here's the short story. I’ve been having an affair with a guy I used to work with for about a year and a half. When we met, we were both married. I got a divorce, he didn't, things continued the same. Recently, a friend of a friend who knows the wife, found out that their child isn't his. It's fact, not speculation — I know, I know, it’s true. Anyway, he doesn't know. I know, but he doesn't.
So I am struggling with what to do. The way I see it, I have a few ways to go about it.
1. Do nothing, say nothing — stay out of it.
2. Do a paternity test on him and his child, without his knowledge, to have absolute indisputable proof (even though this confession came from the wife).
3. Send her an anonymous email letting her know the story is out and she has "x" amount of time to straighten it out.
4. Confront him with the story and deal with the outcome.
5. Confront her with the story and deal with the outcome.
Please, even if you just pick a number, I am looking for some focus with this huge problem. And, I don’t know how things got this way. Ugh.
Ugh is right. Let’s review the facts: You are having an affair with a married man. Said affair either destroyed your marriage or happened because your marriage was doomed anyway. You are concerning yourself with matters within his marriage. Matters that have nothing to do with you. Matters that you are concerned about because you hope they will serve you. Also, matters that you cannot know to be true. It’s hearsay.
There’s no way to sugar coat this. I’m going to tell you the truth, which you want to hear or you would not have asked me for my opinion. Step away from the married man and this colossal mess. WTF are you doing?
You are a 39-year-old woman. You’re too experienced, too smart, and worth too much to put yourself in this messy, messy situation.
Breaking down the options for action:
1. “Do nothing say nothing — stay out of it.” OK, this comes the closest to what you should do, but you are only halfway there.
2. “Do a paternity test on him and his child, without his knowledge to have absolute indisputable proof (even though this confession came from the wife).” Collecting his DNA, OK, I guess doable. How do you plan on secretly testing the paternity of his child? Breaking into his house and swabbing inside the poor baby’s cheek? Stealing an old baby bottle out of his car? Are you CSI? You have lost your mind if you think this is a legitimate option.
3. “Send her an anonymous email letting her know the story is out and she has "X" amount of time to straighten it out.” Don’t be that woman. This isn’t Gossip Girl.
4. “Confront him with the story and deal with the outcome.” Again, to what end? You think that if you confront him, he’s going to divorce her and you’ll ride off into the sunset together? You won’t.
5. “Confront her with the story and deal with the outcome.” This is an underhanded way of blowing the whole thing up and exposing the affair to get what you want. And it won’t work either.
You need to choose #6 — END THIS MESS NOW. No good can come of you staying in this situation or attempting to solve the mystery of whether or not he is the father. You are not Maury Povich.
I know the truth sucks. You want this to end happily ever after. But, it won’t. Do EVERYONE a favor, and GTFO. Also, get some therapy so you make better choices next time. You really do deserve better.
Another week, another question. I don’t know about you, but for me last week was challenging, to say the least. Here’s hoping that the second week of November is a whole lot easier! If you have a question for me about love, life, oral sex, Maury Povich, the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, Poirot, Siouxsie and the Banshees, cats, or anything else, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. Xoxo