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His Dad isn't his Dad....What do I do? has anyone else been there?

(45 Posts)
paisley Tue 21-Aug-07 23:01:33

I would be so grateful for some advice please and I will try to keep it short.
My partner and I have been together 5 years,we have two boys aged 2yrs and 10 months.

Around the time my 2yr old was conceived I had a one night stand with my ex. My partner and I were on the verge of splitting up, his choice not mine, and to make myself feel better I selfishly found comfort in my ex.

I had been trying for a baby with my partner but because of various problems (endometriosis,fibroids) i was told that it was very unlikely i would ever conceive naturally.

I found out i was pregnant when i was five months into the pregnancy.My partner and i were getting on much much better and there was no way i even entertained the idea that my DS1 wasn't his...until now.

When DS1 was around 18 months he lost alot of weight and instead of looking like a baby he started looking more like a little boy... he also started to look like my ex.
For a while i kept it to myself until i knew i was sure and then a couple of months ago i told my partner the truth, my reasoning was that my son has the right to know the truth and i can't lie to him about who his father is.

I was petrified that my partner was going to leave especially as i hadn't ever confessed to sleeping with my ex but he said he loves DS1 to bits and nothing will ever change that. He also said that he knows we were going through a really rough time back then and doesn't hold a grudge i cheated because it happened a long time ago, he said he still loves me.

My DS1 adores my partner, calls him daddy and his name is on his birth certificate as his father. I am trying to get the money together for a DNA test to prove one way or another but the thing is im so scared of what all this is going to do to my son if it comes back that his daddy isn't who he thinks it is...i'm so worried, all i ever wanted was children of my own and i've blown it.
i'd appreciate any advice please.

KristinaM Tue 21-Aug-07 23:04:35

his daddy is his daddy

its just his birth father that is different

Carmenere Tue 21-Aug-07 23:05:43

Why do you need to do a DNA test? Your dp is happy to be the only father your ds has ever known. If you really believe that your ds deserves to know his 'real' father let him do a dna test when he is an adult.

cba Tue 21-Aug-07 23:06:24

he knows his daddy, the other man may be his bilogical father, totally different. Will your ex want anything go do with your ds1 if he is daddy. I think i would have just let things be.

Easywriter Tue 21-Aug-07 23:10:20

I'm no Ricky Lake but if it were me i'd be tempted to either:
1) keep the DNA test till after you've explained the situation to your son. Then you can explain why you think this may be the case and point out all the years of love that have preceeded your conversation but say you need to be honest with him.

2) Tale the test and decide when you'll tell DS if the results show him to be your ex's.

I haven't thought either one through (obviously as only had 2 mins) but if you suspect or know him to be your ex's child then you're right, I do think DS has the right to know.

You haven't blown it sweetie, if your partner knows and is coping then so should you try to.
Your DS needs love like any other child. Supplying a few sperm or an egg does not a parent make!! Your DS probably will react badly if he is your ex's and is told but you have time to research how you can expect him to react and what you can do to best support him. You can point out that you're human and made a mistake and explain the circumstances. If you weren't trying for a baby etc. etc then he probably wouldn't be here. And in the meantime you and your partner have been loving him all that you can.

Maybe you haven't taken the conventional route but this is just one of those things life throws at you and it can make you stronger.
Have faith in your family!

paisley Tue 21-Aug-07 23:10:54

But what do i do about telling him the truth? I think it would be better that he knew from a very early age and then he would grow up with the situation as being normal rather than landing a bombshell on him later on.

Easywriter Tue 21-Aug-07 23:12:36

Find out how you can expect someone to behave after being told something like that and then judge when you think DS is old enough to deal with that sort of news.

Carmenere Tue 21-Aug-07 23:13:07

But how do you think the ex will react?

Doodledootoo Tue 21-Aug-07 23:14:57

Message withdrawn

Easywriter Tue 21-Aug-07 23:15:31

Good point! What is your ex like, personality wise?

paisley Tue 21-Aug-07 23:18:49

i think it's because i never knew my own father, there were alot of lies and scandal and i was kept in the dark. I don't wan't the same for my son.

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 23:19:30

If you make this known to your ex will he start pushing for custody or visitation rights?

Do you really want to go down this road?

Transformer Tue 21-Aug-07 23:23:20

I've had a name change as some people of MN know me and my family. I thought I might tell you my story and see if it helps.

My Mum and Dad tried for years to have a baby and nothing was ever happening, my Mum had an affair and got pregant with me (definitely not my Dad's, apparently I look like the biological father and there was no chance that I was my Dad's as apparently they were not sleeping together at this time). My Dad knew what he was getting into right from the outset, he knew my Mum was pregnant with a child that wasn't his, he told my Mum that he would bring me up as his own and I was never to know otherwise (my Mum sort of blew that bit). I had a good relationship with my Dad whilst growing up, never really knew any different, my Mum made the odd dramatic comment at times about 'living a lie' etc but on the whole it worked. I was in my 20's and married by the time my Mum decided she couldn't stand it any longer and phoned me emotionally asking me to come and see her, then she told me the story. It felt a bit weird at first but once I had got my head round it I haven't felt any differently about my Dad.

I suppose my advice would be if there is any doubt that your DS might be your DP's then I think it would be worth getting a DNA test for your own peace of mind and then just file the information away (and the paperwork, perhaps even destroy the paperwork), if he is your ex's child and he ever needs to know that detail then you will know one way or another but what is most important is that he is brought up by a father who loves and adores him and treats him as his own.

FWIW I've not got any desire to contact my natural father, the only thing that interests me is tracing half brothers and sisters as I am an only child but I don't feel this is worth the 'can of worms' that would have to be opened in order to meet these siblings.

Transformer Tue 21-Aug-07 23:26:47

I've just read your post about your own experiences, I suppose that might colour things a bit. Still not sure it would do your son any good to be told, unless you want your ex involved in his upbringing.

MsG Tue 21-Aug-07 23:27:19

What does your partner think? I would talk it over with him and decide on what to do together. I do understand your desire for honesty and I respect you for this - it's so great that your partner is understanding. I think he should be under the circumstances but some blokes wouldn't be.

I have a relative who found out by accident that his dad wasn't the man he thought was his dad and who had brought him up. He still always called this man his dad and their relationship didn't alter, but the way he found out that he wasn't his biological father messed him up.

Does your ex figure in this - do you plan to tell him, and if so do you think he'll want to be involved in your son's life?

You haven't done anything wrong and I really do admire you for being so honest and open. You clearly love your partner and boys very much and I wish you all the best in dealing with this situation.

Just had a thought - is it worth you contacting Relate for advice? I think they work with families as well as couples and they might be able to help with this.

xx

paisley Tue 21-Aug-07 23:28:33

my ex was led to believe another man was his father until he found out by accident when he was 12 that his real dad died in a car crash, i think he would want to be involved for sure. he's very sensitive insecure.
thanks for the support i feel terrible that i've made made such a mess, my partner is a diamond he's great don't know how he has stayed.

UCM Tue 21-Aug-07 23:33:41

If you tell your DS these sorts of things might happen. When your DS hits his teens there could be dreadful repercussions as in 'you can't tell me what to do, you're not my real Dad, all very hurtful. Also what if his bio dad wants to start seeing him and then expects him to call him Daddy.

Think very very very carefully. The way things are now are good, they could turn bad. I am adopted so know a little about this sort of stuff.

paisley Tue 21-Aug-07 23:38:35

My partner is all for my son knowing the truth and for my ex being involved now.

I have a feeling my ex would want to be involved because of the type of person he is and because of his own experiences.

I really don't want to mess up my son but don't know what to do for the best.

Thank so much it's my first time on here i have been building up to it...!

soapbox Tue 21-Aug-07 23:40:55

I think if you find out for sure you really risk putting your DS and DP's relationship at risk.

I think stuff like this is for adults really not for children.

Tell your DS when he is old enough to understand the implications and make wise choices about the route forward. If you prepare him well for the discussion and provide counselling and other support for him at that point then I think you are giving him and your DP, and potentially your exP, the best chance of a good long term relationship.

TBH I wonder whether you need to know for your own sake rather than your child's? In which case, I think you just have to endure the uncertainty for a while longer

paisley Wed 22-Aug-07 00:28:56

Part of me wants to leave it and sort it out later when DS1 is older but i worry how he will feel when he finds out the truth..betrayed etc.
Then i think that if he grows up with the truth from an early age he won't have this big shock to deal with some point in the future.
Now that he is a bit older i'm pretty sure that he is my ex's son i can see it in his face, the DNA test is really to prove it to DP so we know for sure(he still thinks DS1 looks like him) and then he has the option what he wants to do, i'm still thinking that he might decide it's too much for him and want to leave despite what he says.

Got to turn in now DS2 likes to be up at 6am! Thanks again for the support x

madamez Wed 22-Aug-07 01:11:38

THis is a tricky one. I sympathise with your need to know and think (on the whole) that it might be better to bring your DS up with the knowledge rather than without it. I was adopted as a baby and grew up knewing so: young children are quite adaptable to having different-from-the-norm family situations, but teenagers, for instance, can blow apart completely if they find out suddenly that their family is not quite what they had assumed it was.

It's also true that these days families are more diverse than they were (stepfamilies, donor insemination, surrogacy etc), so he might not be the only kid in his class with more relatives than usual. You might find it helpful to talk the whole thing over with Relate or someone similar, while your DS is still very little - but on the whole I really would say that secrets within a family can be very poisonous.

CirqueduSoleil Wed 22-Aug-07 07:33:59

So, your ex- may very well love him? Would he be a good father? Would he add to your son's life? If you are nodding to all three, then, I would bring it out into the open. If not, but you have a need to know, go down the DNA route and file it away for future reference.

My nephew may very well not be my biological nephew. My brother was advised by lots of friends to have a DNA test when he was told about his son. He chose not to. He has a great relationship with his son - the result of lots of time and effort. I love my nephew - he is that, even if he isn't, if you see what I mean.

You are clearly sensitive to everyone's needs - you will make the right decision for you and your family. Good luck. And yes, your partner's reaction to all this, made me glow - it is lovely to read about good, caring blokes and it sounds like you more than deserve him.

LoveMyGirls Wed 22-Aug-07 08:05:43

Kids adapt very well and are more forgiving than you think. My dd1 has always known dp is not her "real" dad but my dp does everything and is her dad as far as we're all concerned, my ex has nothing to do with her because he doesnt deserve to so that makes it simple in that sense. My dd1 is now 8 and has never asked to meet my ex, if she does ask i will say maybe one day but really i dont ever want her to meet him but i know that it is her choice when she is 16 by then i will have brought her up well enough to know what it takes to be a decent person and his influence wont affect her then like it would now.

If you can have them both involved without causing problems then that sounds like a good plan all round. Its great your dp is so supportive you are very lucky.

Baffy Wed 22-Aug-07 08:54:40

Difficult situation and I know you have to focus on what is right for you, your partner and child (your partner does sound like a star).

If it were me, I would go down the DNA route, you need to know for sure. Otherwise all of this worrying could be pointless anyway.

But if he is your ex's child - as well as considering your family, you need to consider your ex. He does really have a right to know if he has a child. Once you go down the DNA test route, that can of worms is open. And you will need to deal with the information you find out, and consider your ex as well as yourselves.


I definitely agree with others who have said children are very adaptable, and it is probably best to bring ds up knowing the truth from the start.

Also agree that you need to think really carfully before making the decision to test. Do you really want to go down this route?


Best of luck whatever you decide.

forsale Wed 22-Aug-07 09:04:13

first of all i wouldnt tell ds - certainly not at 2years of age but i would go ahead and get the DNA test done as you cant go forward on speculation. You could of course mention it to your ex and introduce him to your family just as "XXX" in an uncle capacity so as not to detract from your womderful dp's position who is regardless the childs "dad". You could see how things go with your ex and if he sticks around and behaves in a reasonable manner then when ds is older you could tell him. I think not lying is important here but that doesnt necessarily mean telling the truth

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