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Just told my son he may have a brother in a nearby town...(18 Posts)
Hi, not sure why I'm posting but just needed to get this one out!
I split up with his dad 7 years ago and it was a terrible time. However, things are much more amicable now and I very rarely look back on those days.
I've always been very honest with the kids about stuff but at the same time careful about what I've told them. DS is 13 and remembers what it was like when XH lived here. DD is 8 and doesn't remember. I have since remarried and we have a much happier home life - we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary next month! The kids still see their dad and he seems to have grown up a bit thankfully! (although I think he'll always be the same but thats another story!).
Anyway, going back to when we split up - XH was very bitter and was doing all sorts of things in an attempt to get to me. He threatened to burn the house down and also got done for assault and battery as he came to my work and attacked me. He confessed to having slept with at least 5 different women during the 8 years together and even admitted it in writing for the purposes of the divorce proceedings. One time, he asked if we could meet up at the library to fill out one of those forms agreeing on access to the children etc. One of the first lot of questions asks if either partner has any other children. He proceeded to tell me that he did have another child (a boy) in a nearby town!!! He apparently had an affair with a girl while he was door canvassing and she got pregnant. He had apparently been to see her again either just before or just after the child was born but she shut the door in his face and didn't want anything to do with him. All I know is her first name and the boys first name.
Of course, he asked me not to tell anybody but I still felt I should tell his family as this could potentially be another grandson/nephew to them. He always got off on secrets and I wasn't going to be held under any of his shit ifkwim as it was just another way of manipulating me.
Not long after that, he told me it was just a lie to wind me up... or was it...!?
Here we are 7 years later and DS and I were chatting about stuff. I won't go into how it came about but I paused as I wasn't sure if I should tell him - he wanted to know so I did. I have told him it could all be a lie and that if he wants to, he should ask his dad outright. He does love his dad but he is also aware of what he used to be like.
I'm wondering if I should have said anything now!? Then again, I do believe that he is old enough to know the truth (if it is true)...
I think it would have been more ensible to eatblish if it was true first
I also have ds 13 and exp and his new gf are expecting in dec this yr
BUT dp and I have also been happily together for nearly 7 yrs. with 2 more kids together.
I would always try to establish fact tbh...
Anyway you can do this?
Haven't really thought of that - I'm reluctant to drudge up the past which is why I'm doubting if I should have said anything! I'm 31wks pg, I'm really good friends with XH's sister and mum and we've mentioned it over the years but only in passing and its always been a case of 'we'll never really know the truth' because he has denied it to them. I'm even good friends with XH's exfiance!! His girlfriend now is really nice and we get on well too...
DS and I talk very openly and I'd hate him to turn around in years to come and ask why I never told him about this. As I say, I've been honest and told him it could all be a lie. He said he's a bit shocked but that he's OK about it.
I'm kicking myself now - DH agrees it was an unwise thing to do too...
I just hope I haven't damaged DS in any way. It's all very well for me to say 'don't think any differently of your dad' but its bound to effect his view on him!
I've always been careful not to slag him off in front of the kids and to encourage them to respect him. They'll find out for themselves what he can be like in time (DS already has a few times!).
Then again, I've always been for openness and honesty where appropriate...!
Now you've said it you've got to come up with some sort of framework for your DS to put it into. You've not done him any harm by telling - more harm is probably done by witholding when everyone except the DC concerned knows the truth, growing up with an awareness that there's some 'secret stuff' can be a bit damaging.
Emphasise to your DS that ';family" are the people who love you and are there for you, and genetic connection is actually not that important.
Because it isn't very important in the long run.
And it might be a bit intriguing to have a half-brother or sister somewhere, but it's no big deal. 13-year-olds are generally very concerned with their own stuff (com puter games, getting a snog, music, sports, tv programmes, warhammer, whatever) and will soon be distracted from this if you don't make too big a deal of it.
madamez, you're right about the 'secret stuff' - I have made it clear that he should talk to his dad if he wants to (I was tempted to say 'don't say anything' which could have been more harmful imo).
He's already distracted by a possible new girlfriend so I'll just keep the lines of communication open. Thanks, I will make the point that you have mentioned about family - he is already very used to having a large extended family so hopefully this won't have too much of an impact. It may even encourage him to speak openly with his dad a bit more and possibly find out the truth for himself. I get the impression he talks more with us (me and DH) than he does with my XH...
'no big deal' to have a half-brother or sister somewhere????
Moondog: it's not that big a deal. People get adopted across continents, concieved from donor sperm or via surrogate mothers, etc. "Family" are the people who love and care for you, not necessarily genetic connections.
I would say if your xp is so bothered then he shouldn't have said it in the first place! If he hadn't, none of this would have happened! Serves him right for winding you up in the first place! Twisted, and now it's coming back to bite him on the arse!
"I'm wondering if I should have said anything now!?" But you have, so forget it. What could you do now anyway?!
I don't know for sure but I rhink kids are generally only really bothered about a half-sibling when it seems to be a big deal for their parent(s) or a factor in how their lives are run.
My ex told his 2 children that I was having a baby, and from what I've heard, they were quite excited and felt a sense of connection to their 'brother' - but they have their own issues, their own lives, and because me and their dad fell out big time, I don't think it has had a great impact on them - they have their 'family' set-up and we have ours.
I'd be happy for them to visit but their dad is in charge of that and he didn't bother to turn up with them for an arranged visit, so I guess we are all just getting on with our lives.
I don't think it will be too much of a huge deal for your ds - try not to worry
You're so right and I think DS is pretty chilled to be honest. It all seemed a bit of an issue (to me) last night but having slept on it, things are fine and I'm not half as worried, if at all.
Thanks for listening and giving your opinions guys
I will come back to this.
Exact situation happened to me - I was the one with the brother I'd never met. Got told at age 15 about him. Met him briefly at age 16, then his mum couldn't handle it and stopped the contact.
Never actually got to meet him again until 2 years ago. He was married, I was married, I had ds...
We've missed out on each other's whole lives. We are so close, just within 2 years I feel like I have known him forever. We have so much lost time to make up on. He is amazing and so similar to me in so many ways.
He had a nervous breakdown in his early 20's due to be abandoned by his dad and not being allowed to keep seeing me (after our brief meeting he just couldn't handle not being allowed to see me. Didn't want to go against his mum's wishes. But it tore him apart.)
We deserved to know each other. It's only as adults now that we can make our own choices that we have built this relationship up. After 27 years of wasted time
CAT me if you want, I can't get on here much at the moment. But I will come back to it.
Thanks UsedToBeMLS, sorry to hear about what happened to you...
IF it is true, I have no knowledge of how contact could be made as I only know first names and the town. To be honest, responsibility for that would have to lie with my XH if DS wanted to make any sort of contact.
you're right it probably is only your ex who can deal with all of this
(definitely not your responsibility or for you to be beating yourself up over)
just been making a cup of tea thinking all of this through. maybe in a few years when your son is a bit older and more able to decide for himself, he can then speak to his dad and they can decide together what they should do about it. at that point they may still decide just to let it go. Or your son may decide to push this issue and say he wants to see him. That's his choice to make. I think you did the right thing in telling him.
But I think perhaps you are right and for now, the only choice you have is to just leave it. Like you say, there is nothing you can do anyway. So maybe leave it between your son and his dad and let your son discuss it when the time his right. For now, you did what you could, and you were right to be honest with him. That's what matters.
Best of luck with it all. What an awful situation for you.
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