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?

McNewPants2013 Tue 13-Aug-13 23:42:09

DH was told his father wasn't his biological father when he was 16, it left him with alot of trust issues. It was a drunk family member who told him

When I met him his relationship will his mum was very strained, but with my help has dramatically improved.

My advice would be to tell him the truth ( not you his mum)

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:43:32

OK SIL has gone home. Like I said, she's pregnant again and I think that's why this is playing on her mind more than normal.

I did tell her, once she'd left via text, I would say what I had to say. She refuses to sign up to MN so I don't know how she'll react!

My personal opinion is that she should have told him years ago. I told her that when the real dad got in touch the first time, I told her again when DN was 3. That time she told DN that 'X wasn't really his dad'. DN got down from the table and picked up a biscuit completely ignoring what his mum had told him. As far as she's concerned, that was enough and she's told him the truth.

I honestly don't think MIL will contact the dad but think she's frustrated because SIL wont face her responsibilities. But then I can understand why SIL is worried about being honest.

I guess SIL is worried about DN's reaction. IMO, the longer she leaves it the more she's going to push her son away sad

quoteunquote Tue 13-Aug-13 23:44:16

Sorry wrote that and went off to do stuff, came back and press post, without refreshing.

If your mother in law now feels very uncomfortable lying to her grandson, it is a bit mean to keep putting her in that position.

He will find it hard to trust anyone if you allow this continue.

Viviennemary Tue 13-Aug-13 23:45:47

In hindsight it would have been much better that he had been told years ago. But he hasn't been. I think your sil must be left to decide what is best for her own son at this stage of his life. Your mil should absolutely not get involved using fb of all things and should absolutely not be making theats.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:47:21

Fucking hell

That's two people now who have suggested waiting even longer until the poor boy is 18???

He should have been told as soon as he was old enough to understand

He also should have been afforded the right to contact with his father all his life.

OK none of that happened and you can't change the past

But tagging another 2 years onto this?

Really??

The longer this goes on, the more his mother and the man he calls dad (and rightly so, because he's raised him) risk him voting with his feet.

As it is, he's bound to be confused, angry, hurt and possibly furious when he learns his father wanted contact but was denied.

But holding off for another 2 years is likely to make things worse (if that's even possible).

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Aug-13 23:51:30

I did tell her, once she'd left via text, I would say what I had to say.

WTF??

That's even weirder than spending 16 years lying to your own child and denying him contact with his own family confused

If you two can't talk face to face, why on earth has she asked you to start a thread on a forum she refuses to sign up to?

<< Seriously confused here >>

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:52:46

I agree with you worra (sorry L!)

And I said the same to DH when DN was 12, 13, 14....the longer they leave it the more likely he is to bugger off and decide to live with his real dad (I have no doubt his dad has told the other family about him).

DH has also decided not to get involved. I guess that's just that their family way of doing things. It frustrates me beyond words

numbum Tue 13-Aug-13 23:56:24

She wont listen to me face to face Worra! I tried years before and I know she thinks she's done the right thing. She's having doubts now though hence her bringing it up tonight

I'm sure she will read all of this but she wont comment on anything any of you have to say to me and it'll all be swept under the carpet unless someone says that one thing to persuade her otherwise (I wish I knew what that was!)

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Aug-13 00:06:01

Well to be honest I don't think anyone here is going to persuade her otherwise OP.

My guess is that he's going to find out from someone...maybe not even MIL but possibly his own Dad and siblings will find him on FB for example.

If that happens he's going to be devastated and feeling extremely alone.

Totally unsupported by his own mother and the man he knows as his father.

The two most loved and trusted people in his life are the ones he really can't trust, as they've let him down so badly.

I'm not sure what your SIL wants from all of this but she sounds so stubborn, I'm beginning to see why the MIL is threatening to blow the whistle (NOT that I agree she should).

But I imagine MIL is feeling extremely frustrated, having to stand by and watch the web of lies all throughout her grandson's life.

numbum Wed 14-Aug-13 00:09:41

Everything you said is how I feel worra.

I've felt frustrated for years, leaving it until he was 16 felt like too much, leaving it until he's 18? Way too much and completely crushing IMO

I truly hope she reads this and realises that she needs to act now.

McNewPants2013 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:12:18

What will take for her son to be told the truth.

Hopasholic Wed 14-Aug-13 00:12:18

What does it say on his birth certificate?

What happens when he needs a passport?

What about his blood group?

What about any hereditary illnesses?

What about his unknown grandparents?

What happens when he wants DC's of his own and he only knows half of his own biological make up.

He will NEVER forgive her if he finds out via a 3rd party, which, one day he most definitely will.

This is madness.

numbum Wed 14-Aug-13 00:14:32

The dad isn't on the certificate and he's always (obviously at his age) let his mum sort out his passport. I've not thought of that though....do you need your birth certificate to update your passport?

I have no idea about the other stuff sad

Funghoul Wed 14-Aug-13 00:18:05

I read a similar story in a magazine recently. The daughter wanted her birth certificate for a passport or something, mum kept putting it off, daughter persisted, mum eventually had to confess all, and daughter felt the continued betrayal was the worst part of the whole thing.

Sil might put it off but what happens if he hits 18, wants a lads holiday and needs a new passport? Or needs his birth certificate for something else?

kali110 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:20:31

I feel so sorry for the lad.he should have had it explained to him properly not the way she did it just so she can say she told him. The fact he has half siblings, if they know about him they may contact him. The longer it goes on the worse its going to be. Everyone saying its up to sil when the time is right, the time will never be right for her. I had a big secret kept from me, i found out when i was 13, i never got over it and it effects me still.
Im sure sil thought she was doing what was best but I'm shocked by fact she said the dad tried to make contact but she refused. I don't think that is going to go down well. I don't think that was right.
If this poor kid isn't told and finds out another way he is going to feel so betrayed. He may never forgive the sil just for keeping it a secret for so long.

MrsMook Wed 14-Aug-13 00:35:35

He needs to know as soon as possible.

My father's identity wasn't a secret, but my mother blocked an opportunity to meet my paternal family as I was approaching 16.

For years I respected her wishes. I felt an idiot everytime I had to answer questions about my family's health as all I could say to the Dr/Optician/Dentist was "don't know". Another chance came up over a decade later and I finally met my family and those missing parts of me were filled. Where I differ from my maternal family, there is reassurance to know I take after my paternal family. I fit.

I know it's a different situation, but my mother's stance has strained our relationship (there's other issues, but this is a biggie) My problem is she has failed to recognise and understand some very deep needs I have about my own idenity and self.

This situation is worse. It can't be brushed under the carpet forever. She will never find the "right time". It could easily be blown into the open by a person that knows or a genetic health condition. That could permanently destroy her relationship with him. The quicker and more open she is, the more she limits the damage.

McNewPants2013 Wed 14-Aug-13 00:43:18

Funghoul it was in the sun on Sunday mag

MrsMook Wed 14-Aug-13 00:43:53

I can understand that at the time she was a very young, vulnerable person. Her dishonesty and secrecy was wrong and selfish, but I can understand it.

Despite my conflict with my mother I can understand that on this issue, she's never advanced beyond being a wounded teenager. I understand her fear of a double rejection of me as well as her first rejection. But the choices she made were not right for my needs.

This is the best chance to put things in the right direction.

Had my family spun me a web of lies about my parentage, I would be worrying about a premature death like my "dads". I can grieve for my "dad", but at least I don't have false hopes and fears about my potential genetic tendencies.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 14-Aug-13 01:15:57

I'm not shocked she refused the mans involvement. She was a 15 year old child being messed about with by an older adult man ( assuming he wasn't married and expecting a baby at 17) who clearly is not a decent human being(decent humans don't have sex with children) quite aside from him being married and expecting a baby with his wife.

It was not 'an affair' it was an actual crime one he could have gone to prison for.

But she made a shocking choice not to be open with her child mainly because it would have been much easier the younger he was and he has a right to know.

its not her mothers decision nor is it her mothers place to tell and threatening to do so is controling manipulative and wrong but she probaly will carry out the threat because people who threaten stuff like that tend to love the drama of a good fall out.

And you can bet when she does tell she won't be sensitive or tactful so its best you pip her to the post.

MrsHoarder Wed 14-Aug-13 01:19:48

She needs to tell him.

Too many people know for her to have any hope of him never finding out, leaving aside the ethics and risk of unknown half-siblings.

NatashaBee Wed 14-Aug-13 02:09:41

At some point he's going to need his birth certificate and he'll find out. What does SIL think will happen then?

QOD Wed 14-Aug-13 02:28:28

First off, don't use the term real father. Birth father is more factual and true. His real father is the one who has brought him up

Its a bit like adoption/surrogacy in as that the step father he's with now is his real father.

She should have told him from when he was small and It probably wouldn't have mattered, but now, just the truth needs out

My friend has 4 boys, her oldest got a Facebook message saying "hey I'm your brother" last year. Enormous upset

NatashaBee Wed 14-Aug-13 02:34:27

Was he actually related, QOD? Or just an error?

sweetmelissa Wed 14-Aug-13 03:30:27

I assume that your DN has a half brother of approx. the same age as himself, that may well know all about him. Even if the biological father does not contact your DN, it is very likely that the half brother will come looking for his half brother. And in these days of facebook and so much information available online, it is very likely that he will find him quite easily.

The boys are 16 now. I would suggest she can't leave it any longer and must tell him now. There will no doubt be huge emotional distress, but that had got to be better than the even bigger distress if someone from his father's family contacts him unexpectedly. Would your DN then ever forgive his mother for not telling him herself - maybe not?

I have to say I find it terrible that so many people know this "secret" apart from the boy himself. As an adoptive mother I told my children as soon as they could understand and that was difficult for them...I cannot even envisage how much upset I would have caused them had I left it until their teens.

Sorry, I feel your SIL has made a terrible mistake. It's damage limitation now, but she has to tell him NOW as someone else most certainly will.

QOD Wed 14-Aug-13 03:30:41

Yup. 19 yrs old and the right moment to tell him never came up, he was away at uni and they got a hysterical call. All is ok now, but is it really?

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