Should I tell my son I am not his biological father? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

My son just turned 21. I have been debating the idea of telling him that I am his father in every sense of the word, except biologically, since he was 18. My reason for this is 2-fold. After dealing with the W admission last year about some relationships with OM from 10+ yrs ago, I believe in complete honesty when it comes to relationships with an impact to a family. And there may be medical issues that can be attributed to heredity.

He is an only child, and we knew 6 months after his birth that I was excluded as a father via early DNA testing back in the 90s. The W freely admitted to involvement with 2 OM during a period in which we had broken-up. We later agreed to get married fully knowing that the child was from someone else. She has said many times that if the child were mine, she would not have agreed to marry me, because she would have felt that I was only marrying her because of the child, and not because I truly loved her.

We were married 14 months after his birth, and he knows this (there are pictures). We attended pre-marriage counseling with our church pastor, and we were open and honest with him. He advised that we notify the other 2 men who could be the father. W only had contact info for one, and he denied paternity and declined DNA testing because he was engaged at the time. The other potential father moved away with no contact info.

W is opposed to telling our son the truth, because she feels it will only bring up negative feelings and would serve no purpose. She believes it would also confuse him as I am the only father he has ever known. It would also make his mother look bad for her behavior at the time.
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post #2 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:34 AM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

I think he has a right to know.
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post #3 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:46 AM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

I think he has the right to know. You don't have to tell him a lot of details except that his mother got pregnant before the two of you decided to get married. And tell him who his birth father is if you know that.

My son is adopted. We brought him home when he was 10 days old. He's always known that he was adopted. I had kiddy books with stories that explain adoption. Everything read on adoption said to let them know early in life so that there are no big surprises to disrupt their lives later.

With your son being age 21, that's a pretty volatile time in a young man's life to find out that he has had the truth withheld from him his entire life. But better now than later.

My bet is that once he put this in perspective, he will have a lot of respect for you as his father.
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post #4 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:51 AM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

he'll be pissed off if he finds out on his own
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post #5 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:52 AM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

Of course tell him. Genetics and family history become critical as he gets older. His health and healthcare treatment can be at risk if not told.
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post #6 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:54 AM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

This is certainly a toughy. While I do think he has a right to know, I think telling him now will more than likely bring a very negative reaction from him so be prepared for that. I wouldn't count on him being able to put this in perspective, some people get over stuff like this and some don't.

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post #7 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:27 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

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Originally Posted by jb02157 View Post
This is certainly a toughy. While I do think he has a right to know, I think telling him now will more than likely bring a very negative reaction from him so be prepared for that. I wouldn't count on him being able to put this in perspective, some people get over stuff like this and some don't.
My husbands father (my FIL) told his sons that he was adopted. He had known for many, many years but kept it secret from all of them. The mother (MIL) was in on it though.

My FIL is the adopted one (for clarity). Not the same situation, I know.

My H was upset with his father for keeping the secret for so long; he felt that he had been lied to. He was lied to because his father implied for many years that his grandparents were his biological grandparents (health issues arose). My H was angry and it created a little bit of a trust issue between them. Not to scare you away from telling him because I think he should be told, but you need to be prepared for his reaction.
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post #8 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:28 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

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Originally Posted by MAJDEATH View Post
I believe in complete honesty when it comes to relationships with an impact to a family.
Totally agree.

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W is opposed to telling our son the truth, because she feels it will only bring up negative feelings and would serve no purpose. She believes it would also confuse him as I am the only father he has ever known. It would also make his mother look bad for her behavior at the time.
Does she understand how important it is that he know his correct lineage for medical purposes?

As far as the bolded, her pride should not have any influence on this decision.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #9 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:31 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

Do it now while he is young so his brain has time to grow around the idea.

Your wife is a piece of work.

We all think you should get rid of her.
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post #10 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 12:38 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

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We all think you should get rid of her.
QFT, Bolded and Underlined for emphasis....


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post #11 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 02:54 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

Yes.
If for nothing else so he can have the medical history.
I'm adopted and have always known...but at 20 my biological mother found me.
It definitely was not an easy time for me.
But in the end I now know my medical history etc which is even more important now that I have kids.



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post #12 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 05:48 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

He has the right to know. Be prepared for shock (expressed as anger) that you've withheld this from him for so long (in other words, lied to him his entire life). Your wife's concern about how this will make her look is unfortunate but isn't the determining factor. Sit down together and tell him.

PS
He should have been told the truth from the beginning but obviously it's too late now. So correct that wrong as soon as possible.
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post #13 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
Do it now while he is young so his brain has time to grow around the idea.

Your wife is a piece of work.

We all think you should get rid of her.
Honestly, some days I think about it. But could I really find a great woman, about my age, with no negative baggage or problems? Maybe/maybe not.

The success of marriage comes not in finding the “right” person, but in the ability of both partners to adjust to the real person they inevitably realize they married - John Fischer
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post #14 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:22 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

He is 21 - he can handle it. He needs to know for medical reasons. You and his mother weren't together at the time of his conception so why any negative feelings. The fact that she can't pin down the father might make her look loose but it is what it is. He has a right to know his lineage and his mother has no right to keep it from him. Tell him.
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post #15 of 86 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:23 PM
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Re: Should I tell my son I am not his biological father?

I also think he has a right to know.
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