AIBU to think MIL should leave it to SIL to decide

(79 Posts)
numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:15:09

Posting on behalf of SIL!

SIL has a 16 year old DS. The man he thinks is his father isn't in fact his father.

She had an affair, got pregnant at 15 but the man didn't want to know and went back to his pregnant wife!

So DNephew has a half sister he doesn't know about and the person he thinks is his dad actually isn't.

The real father got in touch when DN was 6 months old and said he wanted to be involved but SIL told him she wasn't interested and that DN would never know anything about him.

However, MIL is now pushing for SIL to tell DN about his real dad and has threatened to contact the real dad (via FB where she's found him)

I know it's none of my business and I wont get involved or give my own opinion but SIL has asked me to post on here. Does anyone have experience of this?

YouTheCat Tue 13-Aug-13 23:18:59

I think it's actually very unfair on her ds that this is being kept from him. He's almost an adult.

Is your sil still with the man who her ds thinks is his dad?

justmyview Tue 13-Aug-13 23:19:59

It's a very difficult issue. I think generally the advice nowadays is to be fairly open and honest from early on. Eventually, your DN will find out somehow and he may feel that he's been betrayed if everyone else knew the truth and it was kept from him

Might be worth trying to get advice from a child psychologist who could suggest how best to approach it

This might help -
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erikson's_stages_of_psychosocial_development

Deemail Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:10

Your sil needs to text her son the truth, she should havedone sooner and she should have allowed his father to play a role in his life. I feel so sorry for this boy.

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:34

Yes she's been with the man her DS thinks is her dad since her DS was a year old so he doesn't know any different. They're now married and have 2 other children and one on the way.

Can I just say SIL is sat with me and she knows I wont give my opinion on any of this because I never have done!

Littlefish Tue 13-Aug-13 23:21:42

Whether of not your SIL wants your DN to have contact with his father or not, I firmly believe he has a right to know who his father is. I believe it is dishonest in the extreme to allow your DN to believe that someone else is is father.

Your MIL should not need to interfere.

What your SIL is doing is wrong.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:22:46

I can't believe she's kept something from him that would have been so simple to explain right from the start.

You're not BU to think your MIL should leave it to SIL

But SIL needs to explain what happened and also admit that she prevented her son from having contact with his father.

Perhaps it's that bit she's dreading telling him.

Either way he's going to find out and no doubt it'll end in tears all round sad

Littlefish Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:04

Sorry - lots of typos!

YouTheCat Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:19

What if he needs to know his family's medical history in the future?

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:23:22

Can I just say SIL is sat with me and she knows I wont give my opinion on any of this because I never have done!

Well perhaps you should....

Deemail Tue 13-Aug-13 23:26:51

Needs to tell her son not text.

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:27:55

Either way he's going to find out and no doubt it'll end in tears all round sad

That's exactly how I feel and she knows that!

Her son has the right to know who his Dad is. How would she feel if she found out her Dad wasn't her real Dad? Gutted, presumably. Would it be more gutting to find out from him, or a family friend at 25, or to be told by his mother in a controlled way. Both will hurt, but one will be a lot less painful. He will find out, because others know and that means it will be known.

Besides, who gives anyone right to play God. OK she's his mother and has the right to stop him drinking, not let him drive her car etc but not telling her son who his real Dad is awful. I am sure she has her reasons and of course she loves and cares for her husband and perhaps the biological father would've been a rubbish Dad and may still well be, but he still has the right to know and make the decision of whether he wants to get to know him himself or not.

For what it's worth though I doubt she'll change her mind. There is a reason in her mind why she hasn't told her son and I doubt that's going to change because a few strangers online say she's wrong. I'm sure she already knows it's wrong, but feels comfortable with the family dynamic and I don't blame her for that. But it's got to be about the rights of your son and he deserves to know the truth.

WestieMamma Tue 13-Aug-13 23:29:57

This is going to be awful for her son and the longer she leaves it, the worse it's going to be. The backlash is going to be terrible. There's no easy way out of this situation anymore. I can't get my head around how someone could ever think keeping this from him was a wise thing to do.

My mum kept certain information of a similar nature hidden from me. When the truth eventually came out, which it always will, I reacted by cutting her out of my life for years and our relationship has never fully recovered. It wasn't what she was keeping from, it was the fact that she had deceived me my entire life. She had utterly betrayed my trust.

Gruntfuttocks Tue 13-Aug-13 23:30:40

I dare say SIL would have told her DS the truth in her own good time (maybe when he's 18?) and it's unfair of MIL to start behaving in this way. If she had said "I've found him on FB, do you think it's time we told DS the truth" that might have been a better way of handling it, but she is being very manipulative. I think SIL should tell MIL very firmly to back off and she will tell DS when the time is right, not when MIL thinks she should. DS is likely to be very unsettled by this news, and it needs to be timed sensitively - after all, there is about to be another new arrival, which is going to be enough of an event for now, surely? Why is MIL being so insistent? Is she always so controlling?

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:32:02

I know it's none of my business and I wont get involved or give my own opinion but SIL has asked me to post on here. Does anyone have experience of this?

What is it, specifically that your SIL wants to know?

Is she looking at ways of telling him or ways to keep MIL quiet?

Or ways to handle her son's reaction and possible contact with his hidden family?

ENormaSnob Tue 13-Aug-13 23:33:07

What westiemama said.

Sil, you are out of order. You need to do the right thing by your son.

Grunt By the sounds of things SIL isn't planning to tell her DS at all, which surely isn't right?

I agree though her Mum shouldn't interfere but then again she shouldn't be in the position in the first place that she has to. She obviously has some moral fibre and believes that her grandson deserves to know the truth and she's right.

But it should not be her that tells him. But she should explain and make it known to her daughter that what she has done isn't helpful and that she should respect her sons right to know who his father is.

But yes definitely not a good idea Mum telling him. That'd upset him more, cause a whole load of resentment and probably not be put right, no matter the good intentions from MIL.

Featherbag Tue 13-Aug-13 23:34:15

Is it just me sat here wondering what a man old enough to have a pregnant wife was doing having sex with a 15 year old?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Tue 13-Aug-13 23:36:30

Mil should leave it to your sil to decide, but that's out of your sil's control - the mil either will or won't but it'd be better to tell him first before she gets a chance to

Your sil should tell him anyway though,lying to him all these years is a cruel and horrible thing to do- if it's always been known then children take family dynamics into their stride but finding out later on can be really traumatic for them

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:37:44

No Featherbag I'm sure we're all wondering that

But the past is the past

MammaTJ Tue 13-Aug-13 23:37:49

A friends DD had this. The friend had had her, then split with her Dad, then met her now DH.

When the DD was 13 a mutual friend of Mum and Real Dad was threatening to tell her who her real Dad was. She had two younger brother through mum and two younger brothers through Real Dad.

I advised them to tell her the truth before someone else did. The trouble with secrets is if more than one person knows it can never be guaranteed to remain secret.

They told her and she was more interested in meeting her 'new' brothers than her Dad, but he came as part of the package.

I would advise the same here, tell him before someone else does it. They are more likely to do it a malicious way and that will cause a lot of upset and resentment. If he is told gently and properly by his mum and the man he knows as dad, then he may well deal with it better.

either that or build a new patio with MIL underneath it

mynewpassion Tue 13-Aug-13 23:38:04

featherbag you are not alone.

quoteunquote Tue 13-Aug-13 23:39:58

Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead,

He has a right to know, and the longer you keep this information from him the angrier he will be.

one of my first post on MN was answering a thread a bit like this,

twenty odd years ago a friend was in a similar situation as your SiL and used a similar decision process, nearly two decades later, at a mini festival/party I looked up and noticed two teens, a friend's son and another's daughter, getting on rather well, and pennies started to drop as they wandered off together, a friend and I intervened, and another friend went to find various parents, both of which had a lot of explaining to do, they shared the same dad, something that had been swept under the carpet many moons before either were born (a few months apart), The information would of been better received in less pressing circumstances.

It is not fair that other people know vital information about him that he does not, if his biological father died tomorrow you will have denied him the choices that are only his to make.

There are not many people who would not want to know their personal history.

Be brave and tell him.

MIL needs to butt the fuck out of SIL's life and stay out. Yes, DS should be told, but at a time of SIL's choosing, not MIL's. It might well have been better had DS always known, but he didn't and it's done now. Is 16 a good time for the revelation to be made? Probably not, it could put DS into a tailspin. 18 might be better, post-exams and hormones settling down, better able to see the shades of grey of adulthood rather than the black&white of childhood.

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