Advice for telling my son about his father

Diane - posted on 01/31/2011 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I have a problem that sounds like a soap opera, but it's all too real. I have been married for 16 years and my husband and I have 3 children. Our youngest, who is 6, is not the biological child of my husband. My husband has no idea about this. The biological father is actually my husband's brother, with whom I had a relationship that lasted several months. He knows my son is his, but believes it is best if we never tell anyone. My husband and his brother are very close, so my child has a relationship with his biological father, but my child just thinks of him as his favorite uncle. I do not know if I should ever tell my son the truth. But then I try to put myself in his place and I think if it were me, I would want to know. I am also nervous because paternity tests can even be bought at drugstores now. I realize the implications could be devastating either way and I only want to do what is best for my children. I am well aware that it was a grave error to have a relationship with my brother-in-law in the first place, so I do not need criticism. I just want to do the right thing now but I do not know what the right thing is. I would appreciate all well-meaning advice.

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Sharon - posted on 02/03/2011

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shut up.



Ok some people thought a one liner was harsh. I thought it said it all & simply. Shut up. Don't say word.



You will destroy your sons' trust.



You will break your husbands heart.



You will destroy a brotherhood.



You will destroy their side of the family.



You may ruin the bio fathers' relationship w/his gf or spouse.



For what? The genes are damn near identical. The family history is the same.



If everyone died in a car wreck tomorrow what would any of this mean to everyone else?



Who would care?



Save the drama for movies& tv shows. Let everyone be at peace. There is precious little of peace as it is.



If you feel guilt consider this penance & lesson learned and don't do it again.

Michelle - posted on 02/03/2011

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This Is a Horrible situation! Im trying my best to put myself in your shoes. Could you imagine if he one day told you he has a 6 year old daughter with his co worker or your bestfriend for that matter. Karma is a B**** and you will have to pay for this if you dont tell him or even if you do. The fact that you cheated on him with his brother is bad but then a baby that he is raising and supporting for years. How can you live with this. You deserve the guilt and pain that comes with this, not your son or your husband. This will cripple your family greatly and each day you wait is making it worse. It is selfish of you to protect your self and your brother in law by not saying anything for so long. This is no longer a mistake, you a intentionly doing this for your own benefit. I dont think that you care that it will hurt your husband because if you did, you would not have cheated or you would have at least yold him your mistake 6 years ago when it was still just a mistake. You made this bed, now lay in it. You will have too if you like it or not. Hopefully your husband will find peace in his heart one day and mabye someone better who will give it to him. Truth Hurts......

Sammie - posted on 01/31/2011

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Are you willing to lose your family over your sons paternity? As awful a situation, if your brother in law sees no need to say anything, why not let sleeping dogs lie?

Lissa - posted on 02/03/2011

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I found out I wasn't my "fathers" daughter when I was 12, my biological father was long dead by this point but I was very angry with everyone at the deception. That said I think you should say nothing, you cannot cleanse yourself of the guilt you feel by destroying your entire family. Confessing would have far reaching consequences and every family member would feel they had to take a side. Your husband would surely be destroyed at the double betrayal, how is that going to help anyone. If you really feel the need to confess I suggest you find a therapist or a Church.

Kristy - posted on 02/01/2011

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Every child deserves the right to know who their father is... That being said, trying to explain to a 6 year old that his "uncle" is really his "daddy" isnt in the best intrest for anyone... I would wait until your son is older, however age will not change the fact that your son will be angry, hurt,and feel betrayed by you and your brother in law. In time the wounds may heal, and he will end up feeling confused as to how to approach his biological father, so at the end of the day no matter what year that day may be, your son is going to be the one who is hurt the most by this. I am not here to judge as I am sure that looking your husband in the eye and letting him believe that your son is his is probably punishment enough, let alone his brother doing the same... But your son deserves the right to know, I dont know if it makes matters better or worse that your brother in law is playing an active part by being in your sons life; but I do have to wonder what kind of man sits back and allows someone else to take care of his child and misses out on being called "Daddy". My heart goes out to you and your son, whatever you decide, make sure it is for your son, and not for anyone else or your conscience. God Bless

26 Comments

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Meagan - posted on 02/22/2011

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You will destroy your family if you tell. Chances are you'll end up divorced, it'll be hard on the relationship between your husband and your son, and it'll create a rift in HIS family between you and them, and the 2 brothers and the family. Just leave it be. It's not like the medical history of the family is going to be different, right? If everything is happy and peaceful leave it be.

I would be DEVASTATED to find that out if I were in your sons shoes, so I don't think your son really needs to hear it.

Fallon - posted on 02/06/2011

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If you were not having sex also with your husband than how could he possibly think the child is his? If you were also having sex with him then there is a chance (no matter how small) that the child is his. I would do a paternity test between your youngest and your brother-in-law and if it comes out that your child is NOT your husbands than I think that you should tell your husband and let him make the choice because 16 years is a long time to give up over a single bad choice. (I hate to say it but lie and say it was a one time thing but you and his brother get on the same page 1st) and let your husband make the choice because he might choose to not tell the child. He thinks of the child as his and he might not be willing to lose that child after 6 years, but it also gives him some feeling of control back in a situation that makes him feel helpless and betrayed. Whatever he chooses you have to support him 100% and I think in the end it might help save your marriage because if he finds out another way then there is no way to fix it. The reason I say lie about the number of times you guys slept together is because all the truth will do is clear you conscious but make things even worse for him to handle and the situation is bad enough without having to cause more pain. Good luck to you on this one and I hope it all turns out okay.

Trish - posted on 02/01/2011

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Theres no need to expose this deep dark secret right now and maybe never. I cant see anything to gain from doing so. Your son has a relationship with both his Dad, your husband, and his biological father so in a way he has the best of both worlds. This was your mistake and you have to live with it Im afraid. If the situation changes in future and you see a good reason for him to know that his "uncle" is really his father then by all means tell him but Id be making sure hes much older and unlikely to destroy your family with the information. Everyone makes mistakes and this was a big one but, so far, its hasnt done any real damage except to play on your conscience. Id let sleeping dogs lie.

Libby - posted on 02/01/2011

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i dont think you need to tear you family apart over this if the biological dad is happy to maintain a relationship as an uncle, i think its best to leave things the way they are, not only will it destroy your realtionship with your hubby but it will also affect your other children

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2011

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This is a horrible situation. The man I knew as dad was not my biological father either. To this day my mom has never actually told me this! I found out because it's in my baby book of all things. I don't say anything because I don't want it to ruin my sister and I's relationship. (Our father died when I was 15; I think it would devastate my sister to know for sure that I still might have a "father" out there, but she doesn't.) Plus, what good is it really going to do for my family? I am 33 years old, and my whole life my dead dad was my dad! I don't know if I've ever even met the sperm donor! Now, my dad, obviously knew I wasn't his, but.... For the sake of the family, you keep things quiet for now-at least to your son. If you want to ruin your marriage (most likely) go ahead and tell your husband the truth. However, like someone else said, it will probably destroy his relationship with this child. Do you think a 6 year old can handle that?

User - posted on 02/01/2011

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First, I think it takes a lot of guts to come clean, if only in an online forum. Second, I'd have to agree with those advising to keep mum for now, and unless there's an urgent medical need to come forward. This IS likely to kill your marriage, and an issue like this is too weighty and convoluted for a six- year old to handle. You made a mistake, and unfortunately that means the burden of guilt lies and dies with you.

Blessed be.

Alecia - posted on 02/01/2011

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I agree with everyone else....why say something now? its been 6 yrs. if u wanted to say something it should have been when u got pregnant, that way ur husband would have had a choice in whether he raised the kid or not. its not like it was a stranger...it was your brother-in-law. that would cause problems in the WHOLE family, not just you or your husband. and telling a six year old that would not be right in my opinion. that would just mess his self-esteem up for a long time. if its not necessary (being blood-related your husband and son have the same family health history), then just leave it be. to only do it to absolve you of your guilt is selfish and shoulda been thought of before u did the act.

[deleted account]

Personally I wouldn't risk breaking up an entire family. However I would have come clean as soon as I knew I was having a child that wasn't his. You created this problem you should live with it and don't cause pain for those that are innocent in the whole affair.

Blackwood - posted on 01/31/2011

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Honestly, I wouldn't do it. You do know his bio father, so IF for health reasons down the road it would be in the best interest but that is different. You mad a mistake and big one, but is it worth your family and your husbands family. Think of what it would do to them as well. If all the well in the home and you have learned from this then move on. I have to give you props for asking this question. I'm sure it wasn't easy. Let him have his uncle and his "father" and let you have your husband and your husband have his son and his brother.

Tanya - posted on 01/31/2011

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Wow I don't even know where to start but I believe that honesty is always best but with that being said I think you should be sure that this child is your brother in laws first before you go telling anything. Also if it is your own guilt then your son is not the one you should be telling. Your husband deserves the respect of being told when you know for sure but you must be prepared to face what comes of you making this known. Truth is always best yet is one is up to you. I just would not tell a child. Best of luck to you.

Christy - posted on 01/31/2011

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This is something you take to the grave. It would change your life entirely if you said anything. No one would benefit from this at all. Your husband would be devastated, the relationship btwn him and his brother would be gone, the relationship with your son would be gone, and the relationship you have with your husband and that you have with your bro in law as your son's "uncle" would be gone. MAYBE if it was some other random guy you MIGHT say something, but in this case since it is family - mouth closed is the best advice I can give you.

[deleted account]

The truth of this situation might stay hidden forever.... or it could all come unraveled and bite you in the butt one day.... from every angle. Sorry, I don't have any advice on the right thing to do NOW since that would've included the truth coming out about 6 years ago. Good luck though!

Amber - posted on 01/31/2011

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I also wouldn't say anything right now. The only reason you want to bring it in the open is to release your own guilt. But this is something that should have been done when he was a baby...and since it wasn't, it needs to wait until he is old enough to understand. This is not something that a 6 year old needs to have laid on his shoulders.
There may be a day when he needs to know, but today is not that day.

Tracy - posted on 01/31/2011

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So you're willing to completely destroy your family AND your husband's family just to absolve yourself of guilt? I'm sorry, but you should have thought of that when you cuckholded your husband with his brother. Of course, with a brother like that, your husband may be better off knowing and cutting ties....

Danielle - posted on 01/31/2011

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If you are that concerned with a Paternity test I would buy one, and administer it to the child and biological father in private.
At least then you will have the results, and will know for certain he is really your child's father. From there you can take any action you wish, at least knowing that the information you have gathered is correct.
In my opinion, as long as there is no rift in your current relationship with your husband, I would let it be.
There will be a time and a place this to come to the surface, and I am not sure if it would be appropriate for 6 year old.
Like others have said, I would wait until the child is older. News like this can be detrimental to your children confidence, trust, and home-life. It can create unnecessary friction between your other children and their brother, your husband and his brother, yourself and the rest of the family, and yourself and your husband.
If it is something that you cannot carry with you no longer then I would advise getting a paternity test, telling a close friend (for emotional support), and then tell the bio-dad. Have a sit down with both brothers and lay the cards down.
From there you can sit with the child with both men and discuss the event that unfolded with your child.
I would not feel necessary to discuss the events with the older siblings. It does not really concern them, and coming from a messed up home-life it would be easier if only the people who are involved are actually involved.

Hayley - posted on 01/31/2011

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Nope neither would I. Some things are best left alone. If it isn't eating you up and you can carry on as normal then I would for the sake of everyone involved.

Louise - posted on 01/31/2011

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This news will destroy your husbands relationship with this child and cause a huge rift between him and his brother and he will probably never forgive you. You have stayed quiet 6 years why tell him now. My thoughts on this is unless his step dad dies I would not tell him, I might be inclined to tell him if his father was gravely ill and your son was an adult to understand the implications of this news to the man who has brought him up. The only reason I would do this is so that he has the chance to here from his father why he thought it was ok to sleep with his brothers wife and wipe the slate clean. What is done is done. Are you absolutely sure he is not your husbands son I would take a paternity test to make sure because you may be worrying over nothing. And if you are absolutely sure he is not your husbands because you were not sleeping with your husband then how on earth does your husband think he is his!!!!!!!

For the sake of your son if you do not have to upset him and tell him then I would not. I can say I have a little experience of this as my mothers father was not my grandad and I was not told until he died and by then it was to late to ask him any questions, but I did appreciate that my grandad always treated me like a princess even though he knew we were not blood related.

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