You are right to think this is going to break your whole family apart. Three years of deception at this level is a big deal. My guess is that your husband will leave after you tell him the truth.
I don’t know how he will react in the long run after he’s had time to process your information—if he will want to work things out eventually or if he will ask for a divorce. I do know that the current state of your marriage is wholly unhealthy, and there’s no chance of it getting better as long as you’re wracked with guilt and carrying on with this deception. You have a family that appears intact, but you’re miserable. That’s no way to live.
Let’s also be honest about your marriage, which you want to save now: It’s not going to be broken; it’s already broken, and it’s been that way for a long time. You felt something was missing in your relationship, and you handled it in the worst way possible by having an affair. You got pregnant, and you’ve spent about three years lying and feeling guilty about it. Even if you don’t come clean about that, your marriage still has a huge problem.
Can this marriage be saved? In its current state, it’s not worth saving. But you at least have a (long) shot at a healthy relationship by being honest, and that’s a better bet than what you have currently. You can build a healthy relationship and a solid foundation on truth even when it’s ugly. Lies, as you’ve found over the last three years, destroy everything, even when they haven’t been revealed—yet.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “What Can I Do When My Husband Insists That Birth Control Is My Problem”