In what ways might the couple’s decision to stay together (despite the infidelity) impact the 3 children involved?

middle childhood-aged sons cheated on her husband. Her infidelity resulted in her having a son with her secret lover. Her husband, J.M., did not learn that the newborn was not his until her lover saw that the baby looked just like him. He showed up at the married couple’s home to demand that he see his son. They sent him away.  Soon after the lover’s visit, J.M. got a paternity test that ruled him out as the father. However, he decided to stay with his wife and raise the child as his own. Later, the lover took the couple to court to get joint custody of his child. Below is the court’s ruling:

“Request for and consent for paternity testing of the minor child is denied. Defendant J.M. is determined to be and is hereby declared to be the legal father of B. S. M.”

The court denied the paternity test and request for custody because (despite the infidelity) the couple was married. Please share your reactions to this TRUE story by answering the following questions:

  • What do you think about this verdict?
  • In what ways might the couple’s decision to stay together (despite the infidelity) impact the 3 children involved? (Hint: Consider effects of divorce, the children’s social and emotional development, and/or Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory)
  • This couple argues quite a bit, which is a source of stress for the middle childhood-aged children. What might help the children cope with this type of adversity? Be specific!

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