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to keep a family secret when it doesn't feel right

181 replies

MilleniumForce · 15/12/2019 01:18

I have good reason to believe a close family member doesn't have the Dad they think they do. They have a sibling that they think is their full sibling.

It is an open secret between their Mum and the Mum's siblings, although it isn't spoken about.

The man who brought this person up as their own doesn't think he is the Dad and took the split with the Mum very badly. He was planning on doing a DNA test surreptitiously but decided against it.

This family has a lot of secrets that just about everyone seems to know anyway but no one talks about.

I am torn about somehow telling this person that their father isn't who they think it is but, for purely selfish reasons, I am reluctant to do so because it would tear the family apart and I would be made out to the bad one.

AIBU to keep schtum?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

539 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Andysbestadventure · 15/12/2019 01:20

Pretty sure they know if you know. Keep your nose out ffs.

DeathStare · 15/12/2019 01:25

i think you need to be 100% sure of your facts before you even contemplate telling this one. And you're not. You could tear someone's life apart for mindless gossip.Nobody is going to thank you for that.

Evilspiritgin · 15/12/2019 01:26

I would keep schtum, mind you secrets like this have a way of coming out, Im in a group on Facebook with an amount of people doing dna tests, the numbers of people who have found out their dad is not their biological dad is amazing, Pandora’s box is completely opening. There was even a women who’d donated eggs had some write to her and say I think your my mum

MrsFoxPlus4Again · 15/12/2019 01:29

Why would you tell someone their potential father isn’t their father when there’s actually no DNA been done? Keep out of it.

Honeybee85 · 15/12/2019 01:39

Keep your nose out of it.

It’s not your job to tell anyone and their might be very good reasons that you’re not aware of why they have decided to keep it secret (at least for now!).

And you’ll possibly be the bad guy forever if you expose the secret.
Don’t do it!

MilleniumForce · 15/12/2019 01:41

We are a very close family (on the surface only obviously), if I was to find out I wasn't who I thought I was I would be devastated. I would be so hurt that my family had lied to me and would be wondering who knew and who didn't.

From the facts, it's a forgone conclusion their father isn't who they think it is. It is not mindless gossip.

Perhaps I should've worded it differently, if you knew a close family member's father wasn't who they thought it was would you tell them??

OP posts:
WhenISnappedAndFarted · 15/12/2019 01:42

Something similar happened to my DP. He was told by his uncle that his Dad wasn't his Dad. He was 13 when he was told by the family member and never mentioned it to his parents.

He fell out with them one Dad and spat it out at them that he knew all along. Anyway, to cut a long story short they said he was the father a DNA test was done and he was the father.

WhenISnappedAndFarted · 15/12/2019 01:42

X post. Ignore that if you're certain.

MilleniumForce · 15/12/2019 01:42

I would definitely be the bad guy forever and would be ostracised from the family but from the other persons POV shouldn't they know?!

OP posts:
Honeybee85 · 15/12/2019 01:46

Maybe you’re right from a moral point of view but if they went NC with you, could you live with that?
Because that’s a very real risk.

Plus there might be very good reasons to not tell them yet.

Maybe the person involved would even preferred not to know the truth. I think you can’t know if they do unless you’re them.

I wouldn’t do it, really.

Honeybee85 · 15/12/2019 01:47

From your post I get the sense that you feel it’s your moral obligation to tell them and you feel guilt for keeping it a secret.

Don’t let that feeling decide what you do, stay rational about it as well.

Myyearmytime · 15/12/2019 01:52

Buy everyone dna test for Christmas

DeathStare · 15/12/2019 01:54

Perhaps I should've worded it differently, if you knew a close family member's father wasn't who they thought it was would you tell them??

The only way you can KNOW a family member's father isn't who they think it is is two ways: either because there is a DNA test or because you are that person's mother (or the person who claims to be the father but couldn't possibly be). Anything else is just hearsay.

if the mother told me that the child's father wasn't who they thought I would probably advise them to come clean. I certainly wouldn't do it for them.

Neome · 15/12/2019 01:56

My cousins recently did an ancestry test and got very excited about some of the information ie something like 1% unexpected interesting country.
They encouraged me to do the test too.
Have you ever thought about it OP? You might find out something interesting about your origins, I'm planning to do it and might even give one to someone else in the family as a Christmas present.

DeathStare · 15/12/2019 01:56

I'll also add that if my father wasn't my biological father I wouldn't want to know that. And (unless there was a concern about a serious genetic illness I needed to know about) I would not be grateful if someone decided to meddle and tell me.

ShippingNews · 15/12/2019 02:02

If DNA hasn't been done, you certainly don't know for sure. Leave this alone....though I've got a feeling that you won't, and that you really really want to spill the beans.

happinessischocolate · 15/12/2019 02:04

We are a very close family (on the surface only obviously), if I was to find out I wasn't who I thought I was I would be devastated. I would be so hurt that my family had lied to me and would be wondering who knew and who didn't.

Keep out of it.

My ex found out his sister was his mum, it fucked him up that everyone knew, but as anyone who is adopted will tell you, your parents are the people who raised you, the people who looked after you, and taught you right from wrong, so all the "truth* does is cause heartache for everyone involved. Your birth father doesn't suddenly become your dad he just becomes an arsehole who wasn't there

Before dna testing was a "thing" millions of kids were brought up by people who weren't their parents and they never knew any different.

Keep your nose out, you can never reverse the damage 🙁

calimommy · 15/12/2019 02:05

My papa isn't my biological father. But he is MY FATHER. Worry about yourself.

Thestrangestthing · 15/12/2019 02:08

Hang on, you don't even know this for sure. Wait until you have an actual facts.

TimeforanotherChange · 15/12/2019 02:15

No, you shouldn't. It's not your decision to make - and you are not even certain of your facts.

As it happens my older sister had a baby when in her teens and father (apparently) didn't want to know and I don't know even who he was. She then got together with a man who brought their child up as his own and baby always called him 'Dad' and thought he was.

I was stunned to discover when baby was an adult from a passing conversation with my sister that she had never told her child that his Dad was someone different.

My sister is dead now. Her child is in their 40s. The person they still believe to be their Dad (now Grandad to their children) still utterly adores them, as they do him.

It's not my fucking business to announce 'Everyone knows he's not your REAL Dad'. Can you imagine the devastation that would cause? I don't necessarily agree my sister made the right decision, but I wasn't in her shoes and whether I agree or not, it's certainly not up to me to trample over the decision she did take.

QuiteForgetful · 15/12/2019 02:34

I'd get everybody ancestry dna kits for Christmas. They'll know soon enough if they do a dna test, and she can search for her bio paternal side then.

SpoonBlender · 15/12/2019 02:42

What possible positive effect can it have to tell them?

It's a selfish act on your part, making you feel better about getting it off your shoulders.

But it could devestate the person involved and breach their relationship with their parents entirely. Then that will be on your shoulders.

Keep your mouth shut.

Time40 · 15/12/2019 02:49

I'd keep out of it. If my father wasn't my biological father, I wouldn't want to know, and I'd hate you for telling me.

Aquamarine1029 · 15/12/2019 02:55

The fact is you don't know any of this for sure. It's all innuendo and second hand information. You should stay out of it.

steff13 · 15/12/2019 02:55

l would be made out to the bad one.

I think you would be the bad one. Mind your business.

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