Can a Marriage Survive a Love Child?

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger : Is there any way you can conceive of forgiveness? Or it this the ultimate betrayal?

Can a Marriage Survive a Love Child?

Is there any way you can conceive of forgiveness? Or it this the ultimate betrayal?

-Melissa Chapman,

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger

So, the reason behind the dissolution of a 25-year union that seemed like an odd pairing from the start — that of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger — was finally revealed. The Terminator has a LOVE child with a woman media outlets have identified as 50-year-old Mildred “Patty” Baena, who worked in the Schwarzenegger household as an assistant and housekeeper for 20 years.

Honestly, after 12 years of marriage, I have no idea how I would react if my husband revealed to me that he had fathered a child with another woman. And that’s the weird part about entering into a marital union — you think you know someone enough to take vows of monogamy, but ultimately you enter into the union with this sort of blind faith and trust. You assume that you can trust that this person will only sleep with you. But unless you are on him like white on rice 24/7, or have him tailed by a private eye 24/7, how can any of us guarantee, or know for sure that our spouses will not and have not strayed?

I have always told my husband that if I ever caught him cheating on me, that would be the end of our marriage. And how, you ask, could I say that with such certainty? Because marriage is a leap of blind faith and trust. You put your confidence in another human being that they will not forsake you, and that regardless of whatever temptations, fears, or perhaps boredom, they will be honest enough with you to talk about their feelings rather than getting naked and busy with another person. You trust if they feel the need to go outside your marriage for sexual gratification, they’d have the decency to tell you they were considering this so as not to soil the sanctity of the union you share.

I would rather my husband tell me he wants to be with another woman, as opposed to 14 years later having to find out he fathered another child. To have actually produced an heir — another physical person — with the one with whom he shared sexual pleasure outside of our marriage … well, in my opinion it would be the ultimate, unforgivable betrayal.

In the case of the Terminator and Shriver, there was ultimately no way for Arnold to cover his cheating tracks, as his dalliance produced a love child. There can never be a way for this couple to go back, because there is a living breathing human being who is a constant reminder of his father’s betrayal.

I guess my real question is … what if Arnold and this woman didn’t produce a love child? Would Maria ever have been privy to his indiscretions?

How do any of us really know whether our better halves are faithful? If this happened in your marriage, could you ever conceive of the possibility of forgiveness?

Melissa ChapmanMelissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance,, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.

 Read all of her Betty columns here.

follow BettyConfidential on... Pinterest

Read More About...
Related Articles...

0 thoughts on “Can a Marriage Survive a Love Child?

  1. He produced a love child with a woman who he allowed to continue working for him in an environment he continued sharing with his family – that to me is the ultimate betrayal and disrespect!!!

  2. I, too, believed I would never be able to forgive cheating…until it happened to me. I think a lot of us believe that by telling our spouses we wouldn’t tolerate cheating it means they won’t do it. But I think all that really does is discourage any honesty should cheating/infidelity occur. That’s not to say any of us should go into marriage/commitment with an “oh well…it’s okay if you cheat” attitude…just that it’s important to recognize that none of knows how we’ll react to a certain situation until we’re IN that situation. And that it’s important to keep communication as open as possible to discuss possible threats to the marriage.

Leave a Reply

top of page jump to top