Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Better to keep my son a secret? Or tell the family myself??(56 Posts)
It is my first time posting on the boards but I need advice and hoping I can get some on here. Sorry it is long winded.
Met my now ex and we were together almost 3 years. He had just broken up with someone as had I so it was more a casual relationship than a committed one. We broke up and a few weeks later I find out I am pregnant which is when he divulges that he actually got back with his previous ex while we were together and she was also pregnant. Gave him the option of being in my sons life and he chose not to be, to stay with the other girl instead. Agreement was that he will meet our child when the child wants to meet him and leave it at that.
Roll on 5 years, my son wants to meet his dad so I get in touch with him and they begin a relationship. They have met perhaps 7/8 times in the past year. My sons dad has since married the other woman and has another child with her but never told her, or anyone for that matter, that he already fathered a child with me. My son is effectively, his dirty little secret. I know I sound like a doormat when I say i have not minded being a single mum to my son but it was easier for me to be on my own with him than drag everything through courts etc over the years and I thought I was doing the right thing by my son from the start.
Roll on again to this year, this month in fact. I find out that not only are my exes relations (sisters, parents etc) living down the road from me (as i said we were casual so i never met any of them) but one of them works with my very close friend and there is a party coming up and ALL of my exes family will be there. My sons family.
My question is, what do i do? Is it right that my son stays a secret? That these people meet him and think he is just another child at a party? Or do I tell one of them? He will not do it. There is no point in advising to advise him to come clean because he is the most incredible liar and charmer I have come across in my life. I could just not go to the party of course and then all this could be avoided but I feel sad for my son that he has grandparents and aunts/cousins etc that live SO so close (we are talking under a ten minute drive) and that he will potentially meet them when he is older in social circles. He will also meet his sisters in the same circles which causes other concerns. I am at a loss here. I genuinely do not know what the right course of action is and if anyone here has been through it and can advise me I would be very grateful. Feel free to ask any further details you think would be helpful with your responses.
I wouldn't tell them at the party, I would tell them beforehand. Since they live down the road, knock on their door and tell them, screw your ex, your poor son deserves a lot better then the treatment he's received so far from his Dad
Surely if your son is at the same party, there's a risk he will see his birth father? I've visions of him going "daddy" when/if he sees him.
I honestly don't know what to suggest. On one hand you will cause a huge amount of upset, but on the other, he's a wimpy bastard and will only stand by your son if it suits him. Not exactly a healthy relationship for your son to grow up with.
If you say something and his wife, eventually accepts what he has done, how do you feel about the fact that he may want weekly contact or shared custody? You've no guarantee his aunts, uncles, etc will accept your child.
This might sound a bit mean, but do you know what the other family are like? The grandparents and aunts etc? What if they're not nice people? At the moment, if everyone is happy with not knowing, then why rock the boat? If the grandparents are upset they weren't told further down the line, they should blame their son, not you.
I wouldn't go to the party though
Just adding that if you lived miles and miles away, I would say perhaps you should leave it, but since these people seem to be a part of your community, your son will bump into them/talk to them in the future and the older he gets the harder it will be to explain to him, and can you imagine if he's out with your ex and they bump into a family member. What's your ex going to say, how's he going to introduce him to them, certainly not as his son. If he's going to have contact with your son then someone needs to come clean, they might not accept him, but that's not the point, what you do will effect how your son views himself for the rest of his life. Don't let him grow up thinking he's someone both his parents felt needed to be kept a secret.
The thing is, my ex lives down the road too, with his wife and daughters and I have asked him countless times since he met our son 'what would you do if we bumped into you and he called you daddy'? but he just laughs it off as he does with everything else. Obviously it would be a massive rejection to my son but he clearly does not care that his wife and other children could be in the position too. I cannot imagine finding out in the middle of a shopping centre/the street/a party that my husband has another child and my son looks so like him that it would be hard for her not to realise the child is telling the truth.
Povertypain I have been over it a million times over the years in my head but no matter what I come up with there wil always be another scenario. I do fear that his dads side will reject him and as he is only 6 now, i think perhaps at this early age i can deflect the pain for him - not so much if he goes looking for them in ten years time. As for his wife... if she stood by him then my hat is off to her and of course the thoughts of sharing my son pains me but although i have had untold grief off my family for introducing my son to his father to begin with, i genuinely feel he has a right to know his biological father and background. I have no animosity towards his dad at all, I cant say I adore him being in my home etc but its my sons right to know his dad so i have to suck it up so yes in that respect I guess i would have to suck it up with a stepmum and half sisters too but I presume (hope) that would be a bit further down the line. I am not in the UK and my sons fathers name never went on the birthcert so he has no actual current rights to him, only what I am agreeing to right now just to add in.
Ex tells them himself or you tell them, that's what I'd be saying. With everyone in such close proximity it's crazy to let this carry on!
Also I'm sorry to say I think you were ow and didn't realise.
Dottydressisnice I don't know them, no but my friend does and thinks they are lovely people. Thats pretty much all I know though
Lucylacingale - he has only ever been to my home to see our son. He cant take him out in public for reasons due to his marriage and my son has not questioned it, he is just happy to finally be able to say he has a daddy at all i think and has not questioned a thing but it is only a matter of time.
The other thing, and it is a selfish thing, but I am worried how he will portray me in all of this. I met him on a dating website so assumed he was single and i honestly had no idea that i was technically the other woman. Its a small issue in the grand scheme of things but I would hate to be made out to be some kind of temptress!
He cant take him out in public for reasons due to his marriage and my son has not questioned it
This really isn't good enough for your son. he shouldn't be anyone's secret. he should be something to be proud of.
I would talk to your ex and tell him his two worlds are colliding and anyway you aren't happy with your son being hidden as if he was shameful. So he has a month (or a week or whatever) and then if he doesn't tell his family, you will.
your ex knew what he was . you didn't. Your son certainly didn't have any agency in this. he deserves a father who isn't hiding him in corners.
Baconyum,what is ow? Its my first ever time posting on mumsnet so not used to the acronyms as yet, sorry!
Canyouforgiveher - i agree. I didnt know how things would pan out years ago, I assumed my son would be in his teens before he asked to meet his dad. I realise now I made many mistakes back then that i am now going to have to make up for. Im not the perfect parent i thought i would be before i had a child that is for sure :D
Well if he was in a committed relationship he had no business being on a dating site! Is he/his profile still on it? A screenshot might help to prevent the 'temptress' accusations. Takes 2 to have an affair - especially if he was deceitful.
Totally untenable to only see your son at your home, even a 5/6 year old isn't going to be happy with that for long!
Regardless of the party (who's party is it?) this needs sorted.
Tell them! It's such a small community, it's bound to come out in the end and you don't want it to be at the local school's Christmas concert or when he's 16 in a nightclub and finds a new girlfriend who happens to be his half sister/cousin.
Im not the perfect parent i thought i would be before i had a child that is for sure :D
none of us are. do your best. you already have. keep doing it, putting your ds's interests first.
Ow = other woman
As in I suspect he was in a committed relationship with his now wife, told you he was single and was cheating on her with you. Did you never meet any of his friends even?
I can also envisage a scenario where as it's a small community presumably his daughter will be attending the same school as your son? Chances are at some point your ex will be collecting her from school, your son will see him and realise that's his sister. Young children can't process the delicacies of such a situation and he could well blurt out 'he's my dad too' cue everyone at school knowing.
Baconyum - This was back in 2007 when we met- I cant even remember my own log in let alone his
So far they have computer games in common, my son is obsessed with his one and his dad works in the industry so keeping them indoors has not been an issue so far but you are right, it cannot keep on like this.
The party is in my friends house. This is how we came to realise that this lovely family she has been friends with for 8 years are actually my exes family!
FuriousFate - massive concern for me and although we have not had a great relationship over the years I have kept in touch with my ex in regards to a few things with my son, the main one being which school his daughters will attend. Thankfully they go to very different schools but the schools are not far from each other.
Canyouforgiveher - appreciate that, thank you
Google his full name it may just come up in their archives.
But yea things can't continue as they are. Schools have events where they come together, cousins etc have family members in both schools etc plus if he LOOKS so much like him somebody will twig.
I was going to write what a horrid coincidence that you all live in the same area but on reflection sod that. Wherever you live, your son has a right to know who his biological dad is.
I think though that because it is a small area, you will have to brace yourself for many awkward situations when his family is told and they will have to be told for your son's sake. But people have conquered far more awkward situations and you will too.
His wife probably doesn't know about your son and if that is the case, I would not attend the party with your son. It is fair to give her time to come to terms with her husband having another child before she has to face her friends and neighbours and you.
Yes, tell the family, but don't bring your son along, just in case.
Tell his wife. He was a jerk not to tell her himself, she deserves to know he is not honest and open with her.
Not sure if this is good advice, but I will mention it anyways...you could take a picture or video of them together, and give that to his wife as well. And/or order a dna test for your son. I belong to some dna and genealogy groups and many are testing to locate bio parents. You can tell your son it is for your family tree and do one with him yourself.
He paid no maintenance and had no contact with your son, what the hell did you need to discuss or inform him of? Your behaviour and intentions are really perplexing and this man couldn't treat your son like a dirty little secret, if you didn't give him the opportunity. Him cheating on his wife was not your fault but the minute you invited this pathetic man into your son's life (without first insisting on full disclosure) you became partially responsible for this slow train wreck.
Tell your Ex that this situation is untenable and that his family must know of your son's existence and then tell his wife. There's a hell of a good chance that this could go pear shaped and you and your son could find yourself slap bang in the middle of a Jeremy Kyle style drama but unfortunately that's the price you pay for colluding with and staying within such close proximity of, your idiot Ex.
It may sound like I'm being harsh but I so want you to realise your role in this mess and that you must start thinking longer term than the next five minutes. This is the life of an innocent boy, who deserves better than the short sighted self interest of his parents.
I disagree with telling his wife first, she could easily poison the entire family against you before you've even had your version of events heard.
I would go to his mother and tell her. I would politely tell her that I have something important to discuss with her and explain the situation, that you had no idea of his relationship status and for want of not causing upset and distress to his now wife you have kept quiet, but as time has gone on you've realised that not only is your son missing out on his dad but he's missing out on an entire side of his family. Also ask her advice about his wife and what she thinks you should/could do. Take along a photograph of your son so she can see how much they look alike but also make it clear you are willing for DNA tests to be done. Make it clear you don't want to make a big scene about it all but would really love your son to have the opportunity to meet his family, especially as you've heard such wonderful things about them.
Iseton I think that's unfair. OP was absolutely acting in her son's interests in allowing him his right to know his father. I don't see that she has done anything wrong.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.