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Relationship can be difficult. Mostly because people aren’t perfect. And imperfect people make mistakes. And so often in romantic relationships those mistakes manifest as infidelity. In case you hadn’t heard, one of the consequences of having sex is bringing a child into the world. The question then becomes is the relationship strong enough to survive not only the betrayal of trust but also the fact that there is this constant reminder of your partner’s indiscretion—in human form.

We’ve seen this play out with Rasheeda and Kirk Frost. While Rasheeda has chosen to work on her marriage with Kirk, claiming that she hasn’t been faithful throughout their union either, she is not yet comfortable with allowing him to see or communicate with the mother of the child he fathered outside their marriage.

It reminded me of other celebrity couples who’ve had similar experiences. Dwayne Wade fathered a child in the midst of his break with now-wife Gabrielle Union. From the looks of things, she never kept Dwyane from his son Xavier, but when she spoke about Dwyane’s children she frequently left him out of the number. It wasn’t until recently that all of Dwyane’s children and Gabrielle were seen out together as a family.

And there is certainly hearsay about some other celebrity couples who have worked things out after one partner stepped out, to the detriment of the child in formed as the result of an affair.

Women who have found themselves in this particular situation can speak to the difficulty of accepting the child fathered by a man who was supposed to be committed and faithful to them. The general consensus is it’s hard as hell.

I get that. But what’s also hard is rebuilding a relationship with the person who caused you so much pain. To me, that feat seems harder than holding a grudge against a child who didn’t ask to be here, who is the only innocent party in the scenario.

To fully love, accept and forgive a person means to love and accept the people they helped create— even if you got hurt in the process.

Again, I imagine that none of this is easy but I would love if women start considering this aspect of forgiveness and reconciliation when a child is involved, then perhaps they would recognize that a.) the relationship can’t be salvaged or they haven’t moved past the betrayal in the ways they think they have.

There’s nothing attractive about a man who doesn’t take care of his children. And contrary to the thoughts and feelings of so many men, “take care of” involves more than paying child support and attending milestone events. It means being there emotionally and consistently for whatever that child might need along the way.

And no woman should want to be responsible from preventing any child from having that relationship with their parent.

This is particularly the case for women who have children with cheating partners. If your relationship doesn’t work out, how would you feel about other woman dictating the relationship your ex is allowed to have with his children?

I understand women taking time to come to terms with their new realities and staying away from a child while they work on their own issues of resentment. But in the meantime, don’t take part in sewing and spreading dysfunction in the life of a baby.

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