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On the show today we welcome Geannie, who is here to tell us all about her personal story and how she found out that her husband had got another woman pregnant while they were still married. This sort of situation is understandably distressing, but Geannie has a great perspective on it and offers amazing advice and insight that she has learned along the way.
She gives us some of the backstory of how her and her husband got together and the marriage before explaining the period in which the infidelity came to light. She talks about her commitment to the marriage and how they actually managed to get over the issue for a period before the relationship ended. She also goes into her feelings on their relationship currently, how they share a child and the parenting process for her. For all of this and a fascinating interview from Geannie, be sure to tune in!
Key Points From This Episode
- Some personal background on Geannie.
- Meeting her husband in high school and getting to know him.
- The proposal and getting married soon after school.
- Confronting her husband about her suspicions.
- Reconciling after the initial separation and the role of Geannie’s spirituality in this.
- Geannie’s husband’s fears of pregnancy with the other women.
- The decision to try and overcome this massive hurdle and the difficult first year.
- Geannie’s current relationship with her husband and the family they have.
- Advice from Geannie to listeners in a similar situation.
- Geannie’s contact with her husband’s child and the mother.
- And much more!
“We started dating early in 2006 and that was my senior year in high school. It was his junior year in high school. We were married in October of 2007.” — Geannie [0:03:32]
“I just kept digging until I found something and so when I accused him, when I finally went to him, he denied it.” — Geannie [0:08:30]
Resources, extended show notes and Annabelle’s details can be accessed by clicking here.
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[0:01:11.6] SJ: Okay, today, I’m talking to Geannie about her marriage of 11 years. How she found out that her husband had fathered a child outside their marriage and how she stayed together with him for further seven years before separating.
Geannie, thanks so much for coming on the podcast to tell your story.
[0:01:30.4] G: Hi Sean, happy to be here.
[0:01:33.4] SJ: I’d love to start out with a little bit about your background and maybe you could tell my listeners where you grew pup and what your family was like when you were a kid?
[0:01:45.5] G: Sure, I am from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I grew up as a pastor’s kid and I did a lot of traveling, kind of a lot of missionary work with my parents.
[0:01:56.4] SJ: Where did you go?
[0:01:57.1] G: Mainly the Dominican Republic, going to different places there. We also traveled to New York City a lot.
[0:02:04.6] SJ: Would you have been close to your family, to your mom and dad?
[0:02:07.6] G: Yes.
[0:02:08.3] SJ: Awesome. You said in your email that you met your husband in high school I think? Could you describe how you met him? Maybe the day you met him in as much detail as possible if you can?
[0:02:22.5] G: Sure, we went to high school together and he was my best friend’s friend. I had two male best friends in high school and he was one of my friend’s friends. Then, he introduced us. I think It was like before the school year started, I’m not sure – It look like during orientation or something like that.
We went to a small private school so like we knew of each other but we never interacted. Then we ended up having a class together and we just started talking then.
[0:02:56.3] SJ: When did you realize you liked him?
[0:02:59.8] G: Well, we had like a flirtatious thing going on, I wasn’t sure I liked him, I didn’t know him very well and I guess I just thought that we weren’t compatible and then he started talking to me and we would pass notes in class and that kind of thing. It just kind of built gradually, we were friends and then he asked me out to prom. I kind of turned him down and then he was like, “Okay, whatever.” And I was like “Fine, I’ll go with you,” and that’s kind of how it all started.
[0:03:26.3] SJ: How long from then when you first started dating to when you got married?
[0:03:32.4] G: We started dating early in 2006 and that was my senior year in high school. It was his junior year in high school. We were married in October of 2007. I had a gap year and he had just graduated high school and we got married.
[0:03:53.3] SJ: Awesome. How did he propose?
[0:03:56.5] G: I had moved to Florida to go to school and he said, “Well, if you’re over there, what am I doing here?” He saved up his money after graduating and he showed up and proposed that same night.
[0:04:12.2] SJ: Was it a surprise or were you expecting it?
[0:04:15.4] G: Well, we had discussed marriage and we were kind of like, engaged, pre-engaged but like, I thought it was like a high school thing, you know? I always knew I was going to marry him and so I was surprised at the timing but I wasn’t surprised that he proposed.
[0:04:30.8] SJ: How long after he proposed did you get married?
[0:04:35.7] G: Two weeks.
[0:04:37.0] SJ: Wow, it was very quick.
[0:04:39.6] G: It was quick because I was living with my sister and he moved in to like her – she had like an apartment on the campus, it just made sense you know? You’re there, we’re here, we want to be together, let’s just get married and we did.
[0:04:54.2] SJ: Did you think at the time that you know, maybe were you young or it was very quick or did you have any reservations about how it all happened?
[0:05:02.9] G: No, I don’t think I had reservations. I mean, it was exciting and stressful because our families, they don’t want us to get married due to our age and the fact that we were so far away, I had no reservations, no.
[0:05:18.4] SJ: What were you family saying to you at that time?
[0:05:21.2] G: That we were too young and we wouldn’t know how to make marriage work.
[0:05:26.5] SJ: So then, those first few years when you were married together, what were they like? Were they happy? Were they sad? Was there fighting?
[0:05:33.8] G: It was happy, it was very happy, it was very intense, I mean, I know how hormonal you are as a teenager so imagine two teenagers together that was intense fighting and intense making up, you know?
It was more good than bad. Definitely a lot of, I’d like to think of it as like we kind of ended up in marriage as supposed to we knew what we wanted from marriage going into it, you know what I mean?
[0:06:04.1] SJ: Can you explain a little bit more?
[0:06:06.8] G: Yeah, for example, now that there has been some distance between us, looking back, I can say, “I like that, or I didn’t like this” as opposed to going into marriage without knowing what I want from the experience.
[0:06:23.1] SJ: Are you saying you kind of wanted to be married, you just liked the idea maybe of being married at the time when you were 19? Almost more than thinking about what the implications were?
[0:06:36.2] G: No, what I’m saying is that for example, I might have had an idea that a man is supposed to do XYZ without knowing myself enough to distinguish what I like or what I didn’t like. I feel like when you go into marriage, you should have clear expectations from the person based on your like and dislikes but if you haven’t identified them beforehand, then you’re going of default as opposed to being intentional about what you’re creating together.
[0:07:06.8] SJ: You’re sort of saying, in that case, you might be taking his lead instead of deciding what you want to do?
[0:07:13.9] G: Yeah, his lead, or there was just no leadership because we were both like just on the fly, you know what I mean?
[0:07:23.5] SJ: You mentioned in your email that there was a kind of a serious breach of trust. Could you explain a little bit about first how you found out about that?
[0:07:35.0] G: I found out that he had an affair, he was just being distant and he was being a little abrasive, you know, the cliché kind of thing that always on his phone or distracted and I guess I knew deep down that there was something going on but I didn’t want to accuse him of anything so I kind of suppressed it.
Then one day, it was like, I was sleeping and something just woke me up like no, you have to deal with this. I think I logged on to his Facebook or something like that. Then, I saw, not anything alarming but I found messages that I thought were inappropriate. I just kept digging until I found something and so when I accused him, when I finally went to him, he denied it.
Things kind of just unfolded to the point where there was no more back tracking.
[0:08:46.8] SJ: Can you describe what happened that night or that day you confronted him?
[0:08:51.9] G: Yes, I confronted him because I found like a phone number. I took his phone and I started dialing it and so he grabbed the phone and hung it up. That’s when I knew that it was real because he don’t want me to call, to dial that number.
[0:09:08.9] SJ: What happened next?
[0:09:10.1] G: So then, I asked him to leave and he did.
[0:09:14.8] SJ: That was it, he was gone?
[0:09:16.4] G: Well, we used to work together at the time, it was kind of awkward because he would come pick me up in the morning and we would go to work, then he would drop me back of to my house and then go back. Then like, a week later, I got a car so that wasn’t an issue but we would still see each other at work.
Yeah, we were separated for about a month.
[0:09:40.5] SJ: How did you reconcile?
[0:09:43.3] G: I think it was mostly my religious background. I’ve always been very committed to marriage and so I can explain it because it doesn’t really makes sense to people when I say it but I just – I’ve always known that this marriage is like a spiritual journey for me, it’s my path.
I don’t know how else to explain that. But just a certainty that I was supposed to be there. He ended the relationship in the course of that time and came back home.
[0:10:11.0] SJ: It was just plain sailing, everything was easy after that?
[0:10:15.2] G: It was an incredible time of like reconnection and really diving deep. I mean, it was painful but we were closer than ever and it was a healing time and then a bombshell kind of came our way and destroyed our illusion of the whole thing.
[0:10:35.8] SJ: What was that bombshell?
[0:10:38.7] G: He had like a premonition that she was pregnant due to her behavior in the last couple of weeks of their interaction and so, I was like of course not, how would that happen? That’s so weird, you know?
After, but he kept bugging me about it that he had this feeling that he just couldn’t shake it off, he didn’t know why. He asked a mutual friend to ask her and –
[0:11:12.5] SJ: Ask her what?
[0:11:14.5] G: If she was pregnant. The mutual friend came back that all she had sent was an ultrasound picture and that she didn’t say anything because she don’t want to bug him or make him feel like obligated to be in the child’s life.
[0:11:35.6] SJ: Was that it? How did you deal with that news? It must have sounded shocking.
[0:11:41.5] G: There are any words to really describe that entire pregnancy. I felt powerless, I felt – I made myself a victim of my circumstance. I thought, “I’m in this marriage and there’s no way out.” At the same time, I thought, “Well, this is my greatest opportunity to show real commitment.”
And so, slowly but surely, I decided I was going to stay. During the pregnancy for both of us it was like, “Okay, what do we do?” Because he was also thinking, “Well should I go be with her and raise my child or do I remain in the relationship that I want to be committed to?” And so we were both – for me it was like, “Well I have no children with him there is no reason for me to stay.”
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a reason that I needed to be there and so once we both overcame those conflicts, we decided to try.
[0:12:50.8] SJ: How was it? I guess it was very tough.
[0:12:53.8] G: The first year was incredibly tough because not only did I have to mourn the dreams of – I mean our previous marriage was just dead, right? It just didn’t exist and so was the future we had envisioned.
What our family is going to look like it wasn’t just going to be just us and our kids anymore. So there was that and then mourning the infidelity and trying to rebuild but also figuring out how to navigate raising this child and co-parenting when you didn’t go into it committing to that.
[0:13:32.2] SJ: Was your husband able to make it up to you? Did he try to make it up to you?
[0:13:37.2] G: Oh yeah, the whole time he was really fully committed to trying to make it work and so was I but the first year was really difficult just because it was so many emotions. It was lots of highs and lots of lows and we manage to figure it out but we never got to – neither of us were emotionally mature enough to handle it.
[0:14:00.5] SJ: Well could you give me an example?
[0:14:02.7] G: Yes, so for example if he – okay, the reason that he and I separated was because the baby’s mother goes to school and so he watches the baby on certain days and he watched the baby on – well he is not a baby anymore but it was our anniversary and he said, “Well I need to watch my son.”
And I felt like it was our anniversary and he shouldn’t be doing anything but celebrating with me and so we got both into this place where we didn’t know how to work around it and so we just decided to go our own separate ways whereas when you have better relationship skills, you come across the problem differently.
[0:14:52.7] SJ: So do you ever think you’ll reconcile?
[0:14:57.2] G: We are in a really good place where we actually now have a child of our own and relationship is beautiful. I don’t know how to describe it, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back together but I am so happy where things are right now. We have excellent communication and we’re just happy. I’m happy. I am happy on my own and I am happy in my interactions with him but I am open to whatever the future has. I just know that now I am able to look at –
I remember when I got your email that you said that I’ve been to hell and back and I was almost going to disagree and then I was like, well no, I can admit that at the time it was hell but now, I have made it my mission to know that you can come out of that and be whole and complete and happy and have an amazing life.
And I didn’t have someone to tell me that while I was going through that because it is such an unusual situation, you know young marriages always fail. And then there’s this well not always but there’s that high statistic and then when there is infidelity, a lot of times that ends marriages and then there is a child and then infidelity and then we had our own child. It was like so many layers, so many complications.
[0:16:14.8] SJ: For sure.
[0:16:15.9] G: We’ve had to navigate and unravel and now we are in a place where I feel like we have all the components figured out but it took a lot. It took a lot of self-development to get to a place where I can say that I am happy and that it was all worth it because now, I am in a place where I am helping other women decide if they want to stay in their situation or I have helped a lady navigate her separation and so a lot of it has been for me to –
The reason I went through that was because I am now in the position to help other women get through it and it’s all worth it. There’s nothing better than that.
[0:16:55.3] SJ: So do you think it a kind of perverse strange way it actually helped you grow as a person?
[0:17:01.4] G: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think that is what life is all about in general, you know? That is why I have no reservations about coming on your show and sharing my story because I know there is a listener out there who is going through something similar and feels like there is no way out, like I did.
[0:17:17.7] SJ: So what would you say to them? To a listener that feels like there’s no way out for them?
[0:17:23.3] G: I would say that you always have a choice and that your life is 100% your responsibility. You are not a victim to what someone has done to you. You don’t want to be there, you don’t have to be there and you can totally create an amazing life outside of the situation and if you want to change the dynamic of your relationship that is also possible. There is infinite possibilities out there and it’s only up to you to change your destiny but it doesn’t happen until you empower yourself and realize that whatever you desire is possible.
[0:17:58.9] SJ: I think that is great advice, Geannie. I’d love to go back and to back a little bit, I am just curious, did you have any contact with his child, with the other woman?
[0:18:15.6] G: That is an interesting question. During our separation I did end up calling the number and having a chat with her and I did get her side of things but then, I didn’t speak to her again even though my husband and I were reconciled, I let him just handle it.
And so I never spoke to her and I didn’t see her again until I would say four years later and we were actually able to have a conversation where I said, “You know I appreciate that you’ve let me parent your son.” Because the other dynamic of the whole thing is that there is a child who is completely faultless and who is adorable and who’s awesome and who we want to raise to know that he’s loved, right?
And I held that baby when he was 10 days old and that is my baby, like that’s my baby. He was my first son there is no denying that, you know? Just being able to tell her thanks for that experience is a beautiful thing.
[0:19:22.5] SJ: And how did she react?
[0:19:23.8] G: It was a positive interaction. I am not sure how she felt about it but she did thank me. Because I think that for her as a mother, I’m sure she had concerns about how I was going to treat her son and so I think she appreciated that, he got nothing from love when he was in our home.
[0:19:42.9] SJ: That is great to hear. So I am also interested though when you found out that he was having – when your husband was having an affair. Were you ever tempted to have your own affair to get revenge or how did you feel about that?
[0:20:01.5] G: Oh no, not at all. A part of me did feel jealous maybe because I would never have the bravery to act on my needs in that way. I don’t know how else to describe it like when someone has an affair there is obviously something missing in the relationship and if you don’t have the resources, the internal resources to confront your spouse and say, “This is what I need, this is what’s missing for me to feel whole and complete in this relationship.”
Then the immature thing to do is to go out and betray your partner but on the other hand of that, it’s just a person who has needs and is looking to get them in. That is just like the foundation of why that would happen whereas I was possibly having the same needs on men but I wasn’t even going to try to get the men, you know what I mean? So yeah that is how I feel about that. I would never do that. I am not capable of it.
I am just so committed to what marriage stands for. I mean I guess we are all capable because there is a human element in that but I have never even been close to getting myself into a situation like that.
[0:21:24.7] SJ: Geannie sorry, got your name wrong again.
[0:21:28.7] G: I appreciate it, everyone says Geannie. I know it looks funny.
[0:21:32.0] SJ: This has been a great interview. I got two more questions before I let you go and the first thing is, is there anything you regret about marrying your husband?
[0:21:42.3] G: I don’t regret marrying him. I guess there is no regret because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.
[0:21:51.2] SJ: That’s fair enough.
[0:21:53.9] G: I made the best choice with the information I had at the time.
[0:22:00.5] SJ: And finally, what advice would you have for listeners that are in a similar situation whether that is a partner, a husband or wife cheating on them or even a partner having a child outside their marriage?
[0:22:16.5] G: Okay, so for a partner who is experiencing infidelity I would say get space because it is only in the distance that you can kind of separate your energy from theirs and really figure out what you want for your future because just because I stayed in my marriage doesn’t mean that that’s the road everyone should take and if you are in any kind of abusive situation where that is emotional or physical or mental, you need space to separate yourself from that and figure out what your future looks like independent of this person.
If you have experienced a child from infidelity, my first advice would be to think of it in terms of you coming into that relationship and the child being there. You have to actively commit to that child. So pretend — if you are choosing to stay in the relationship, pretend that the child was there before your husband or wife had an affair and commit to that relationship with that child as opposed to feeling like the child is now a burden you have to deal with in the relationship.
[0:23:31.9] SJ: That’s fantastic. Geannie, thanks so much for coming on The Bad Girls Bible Podcast to tell your story.
[0:23:38.0] G: Thanks so much for having me, this was fun.