Brother Who Doesn't Know I Exist.(112 Posts)
TLDR: I am friends with my brother, and he has no idea we're even related. Our shared father has stopped me from telling him for 16 years.
Hello mums (and others).
So this is a pretty crazy story, which I hope I can paint clearly for you in this post. I guess I'll have to start at the beginning, so I apologise in advance.
I didn't have a present father when I was growing up. I only really ever had my mum. She was awesome, but I always wanted to know where the other part of my DNA came from. Milkman, Secret Agent, Sperm Bank, whatever. I had assumptions, like every kid in that situation would - but they only ever came to light when I was around 12 years old. She had this friend (who we'll call K) who was periodically around the house. Sometimes he'd visit for coffee, she'd pick him up from the pub, or they'd get drunk and he'd spend the night. Never anything more than that.
One evening, I asked her if he was my dad. She said he was. At the time, I was excited. Adolescentently, I thought that once I'd uncovered his identity he'd suddenly become the dad I wanted. I was wrong.
Turns out he already had a family who lived one street away from my mum and I. He had a wife... a daughter who was 2 years older than me... and a son who was 2 years younger than me.
That's right. I was the love child of a married man who decided to stay with his wife and keep me a secret.
In my early 20's I was in a rock band which was gaining some national hype. Before leaving for a short UK stint, we were invited for an interview with a local music magazine in our home town. We sat down on one side of the desk, and on the other side sat my brother. Needless to say, I could barely get a sentence together.
In any case, the interview went well, and it turned out that he and I got on really well. So much so that HE decided to keep in touch. We aren't best friends or anything, but he'd happily drop me a line to talk about music.
I've asked my biological father on countless occasions to allow me the opportunity to approach my brother and form a true relationship. He denies it at every turn, claiming that it wouldn't a good time due to university exams, or other such nonsense.
I've since had 2 daughters, the latter of whom will be turning 1 in a fortnight. K has nothing to do with these children and has met neither. Since having kids, I've approached my father again - in the hopes that he could understand why I want my brother (and to a similar extent, sister) to be involved in my family.
I feel like I've reached the end of my tether, and I need to bring this to a close. It's been 16 years of waiting. And I think about my brother every day.
Am I being unreasonable to disregard my "father" and his wishes.... by just approaching my brother anyway and trying to get what I've always wanted?
I don't think he would believe you. But I would tell him and wouldn't care about what my father thinks.
I don't think he'd have any reason not to... I mean, I definietly have the evidence to back it up.
Does your brother's mother know about you? Is K still in an on/off relationship with your mum? I guess you also need to think about the other relationships at play and how your revelation might affect those - are you prepared to break up K's family with his wife and kids? If you told him, would he resent you for not having told him earlier?
I've asked my biological father on countless occasions to allow me the opportunity to approach my brother and form a true relationship
I don't really understand why you didn't just tell him at any time. You've been in touch for 16 years, thats a long time to not say anything. It's not like your "father" had any parental authority over you?
But no matter that, just do what you want now. What is stopping you?
are you prepared to break up K's family
OP wouldn't be breaking up the family. The fact that the 'so called' father screwed around, is what would break up the family.
I would, OP, but be ready for it all to kick off.
So his wife has always known about me. He hasnt been in a relationship with my mother since after i was born.
Dismantling K's family was always my main concern. I've been put in the position where I feel like I need to keep my mouth shut if he asks me too because it would destroy his children's opinions of him.
I've always been worried that the longer i've left not telling my brother, the more chance that he'll resent me for not bringing it to his attention sooner, but I can't be certain of that.
I agree with the others. Tell him. Your 'Father' is protecting himself, not his son or you. If you continue to wait for permission it will never happen.
You are both adults, it isn't up to your father any more.
Do you want to go to your deathbed without having a chance to talk to him about this? Are you going to keep it a secret for the rest of your life? If not then there really is no reason to wait. It is not your job to protect your father from the consequences of his actions.
I agree with PP, your father having an affair and then not being honest with his family is why this is happening, not because he is unfairly asking you to keep his secrets.
Thanks guys, I know this is what I want to do, but I've no idea how to approach it.
I'm 28 and he's 25.
He's studying in England atm (I'm N.I)
How would I approach this?
It's really hard as I understand why you want to connect with siblings, but at the same time it's going against your Dad's wishes. If you say anything, without a DNA test it'll look dodgy, your Dad could say lots of hurtful things to you or about you.
I was thinking hopefully one day you could speak to your brother as a brother, but even after his death it could be tricky and your brother not want to know.
If you're not averse to it there JK. He reunites lots of families, but then you've got the risk of being humiliated on public TV.
I wish I had a better answer, but YANBU in the slightest. It must be hard.
Do you mean Jeremy Kyle, Singing?! If so I'm afraid that is the worst advice I've read on mumsnet ever! That man is a vulture. Also publicly humiliating your family is going to get everyone's backs up.
Op yes I would tell your brother. You don't want to carry this secret around your whole life. Your biological father created this shitty situation and betrayed his wife and kids. You didn't create it or ask for it, and it's unfair to make you live a lie and miss out on family relationships for it.
Also your biological father has no parental authority over you. It sounds like he has done f all for you. Why do you listen when he tells you what to do?
For your brother there will be a mix of emotions finding out about you. Including anger and disappointment at his parents. Does his mum keep the secret too? Why? I actually think after your father has died is the worst time as then your brother has no opportunity to talk to his father about it. Do it whilst his your father is alive.
What means of contacting your brother do you have?
And what proof do you have? Something you couod send by letter? Or would you need to show him in person?
Tell him! You deserve a proper sibling relationship with him!
I think you have to be careful how you do it though. Do it gently and give him lots of time and space to process the idea. You will have to be patient as he works through all the emotions - remember this will be brand new to him, where you have had years to get used to the idea.
What about your sister?
rumplestiltskins tell him. It's your life. Your dad behaved badly and has NO RIGHT to tell you what to do at all.
I don;t think it matters at all whether the OP is going against her dad's wishes, he is her biological father but not someone she respects or perhaps even cares about, and he has behaved like a prize shit. He really does not deserve any consideration in the matter.
The OP cannot get a DNA test without her brother's DNA, so should he want to do that then she could, if she wishes to.
"I was thinking hopefully one day you could speak to your brother as a brother, but even after his death it could be tricky and your brother not want to know." Why should the OP wait for her biological father to die! The truth will out, maybe better now.
"the risk of being humiliated on public TV" I do not thin the OP or her brother or anyone else need to be TV foddar!
I agree with the PP who said that this was never about you and your siblings, but about your "father" protecting himself. There is a good chance that the only reason his wife stayed with him was if you and your mother were never mentioned again.
Forget him. You owe him nothing. Focus on the relationship that you can foster with your brother.
As to how, I would suggest an old fashioned letter. Tell him what you told us, and give him some time to deal with it. And be understanding if you initially get a negative response as that may be a knee jerk reaction. Always leave the door open with him and your sister.
Telk him that he has one week to say it himself and then you will. It is not your responsibility that he fathered another child.
Just tell him. You don't have to be complicit in anyone else's secret.
I wouldn't give a flying fuck what sperm donor 'K' thought. If he didn't want his kids to be find out he's the kind of cheating scumbag who fathers a child and hides it then he should have kept his dick in his pants.
I agree send a letter or email I wouldn't drop this on your brother in person. I wouldn't volunteer initially that you've known about him for 16 years unless he woukd know you've known all this time. I wouldn't lie but If I was your brother I'd assume fatherhood had meant you had a need to find your father that hadn't been their before. Do you look like siblings, could this be something he's commented on in the past?
I think a letter is a good way too, that way your brother doesn't have to respond right away, he can have time to process it and re-read it. It might take him some time to deal with it before he is ready to reply or talk to you.
I couldnt agree more. The man has actively avoided anything to do with serious issues in my life, even when ive attempted to enlighten him.
I feel like bypassing his "requests" is the only way this is ever going to move forward. Both of his kids are grown, and dont live at home anymore. So it really is my own fears holding me back at this point.
Im scared of getting a negative reaction. Im scared of ruining a family (even if it is based on lies). Im scared of finding out theyve known all along and just didnt want anything to do with me.
To avoid further confusion, i feel like i should probably mention that im a man! Thought id said that in the initial post but ive just realised it went unmentioned! Unimportant, really, but my OH found herself giggling while referring to me as a she. Lol.
This is her account which she has loaned me, because she said you girls give the best advice.
She hasnt been wrong so far. Apart from the Jeremy Kyle suggestion.
You might initially get a negative reaction or you might find your brother had suspicions but didn't want to lose you as a friend. Even if he's initially hostile let him know you didn't want to hurt him but couldn't live a lie keeping secrets from him. Tell him you cared too much for him as a friend and brother to keep such a secret from him anymore and if he should ever change his mind you will be there for him.
My guess is that you will initially get no reaction or a negative one because if your brother doesn't know it will be a big shock. If you give him plenty of time and space his reaction will probably change. I know you will probably desperately want to know that he got it and read it, but you need to be patient even if it takes him a long time or he chooses not to reply at all to the letter.
I would mention in your letter that if he didn't already know this it will probably be quite shocking and that you don't expect a reply unless he wants to give one. That you don't have any expectations of him but you have enjoyed getting to know him and felt that he should know. I would also say that your father had previously asked you to keep the secret but that now you are both older you don't think it is your secret to keep any more.
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