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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
Aroundtheworldin80moves · 15/12/2019 07:15

TTheres more to fatherhood than ejaculation.

All you have is gossip. Nothing scientific.

Pauli0161 · 15/12/2019 07:20

Know what you know and keep it to yourself. This news could cause lots of grief and backfire on you.

Windygate · 15/12/2019 07:32

What gives you the right to tell this relative this particular piece of hearsay gossip. Indeed why do you assume they are the only person unaware of this open secret.

DingDongSchadenfreudeOnHigh · 15/12/2019 07:34

Keep out of this.

It is NOTHING to do with you, and you could break a heart or destroy a relationship by speaking out.

They very likely know anyway, but as long as it is a "secret" they can maintain the relationship that suits them both/ all.

If they don't know - well, not up to you to reveal it as it isn't your secret.

pasturesgreen · 15/12/2019 07:39

You "have good reason to believe", so you don't even know for sure. Keep well out, you could cause untold damage to your family just why? To satisfy a so-called moral obligation to "do the right thing"?

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn · 15/12/2019 07:41

I can't believe people are suggesting buying the person one of those DNA sets for Christmas! That is perhaps one of the nastiest things you could do to someone hiding behind the disguise of a kind gift!

Stay out of it.

Mydogmylife · 15/12/2019 07:47

You sound desperate to tell! Don't do it, not your business

cultmaskid · 15/12/2019 07:53

You've been posting about this under other names

It's not really yours to tell unless it's your brother

If it's your brother then force your mum into telling him

RickOShay · 15/12/2019 07:54

But the truth sets you free, however painful it is. Far better pain than secrets and lies.
Is there anyone else in real life you could talk to about this @MilleniumForce?

CaptainMyCaptain · 15/12/2019 07:57

Keep out of it there would be no positive outcome.

LadyGAgain · 15/12/2019 08:02

If you know, how come they don't????

milveycrohn · 15/12/2019 08:05

You can't really know yourself, unless the evidence is actually there; ie the erson presumed to be the father was, say, away in the army, or the otherside of the world at the time of conception. Then in which case, the person concerned probably already knows.
You should not intervene.

lottiegarbanzo · 15/12/2019 08:06
  1. Why would you tell them, what's the benefit to them?

  2. If you, their aunts and pretty much everyone else knows, they probably know already, or at least 'know' in a sub-conscious 'having awareness of it without having put it into words' way.
Londongirl86 · 15/12/2019 08:09

Very similar thing in my family. My 24 year old niece (my older sisters child) doesn't know her dad is not really her dad. I found out about five years ago when my second oldest sister told me over a cup of coffee. I was absolutely gob smacked. The man I thought was her dad has daughters from a previous relationship and I genuinely thought my niece had a look of them. They are not even her half sisters though, they are no relation. My sister told me who her real dad was. I went on Facebook and found him straight away. He has friends in commen with me and my niece. He is the absolute spitting image of my niece. There is no doubt she is his.

But I haven't told her. It's not my place. It's her mother's really. I'm only 5 years older than my niece so we grew up together as kids and we have always been close. She's moved away now but we still chat alot and I know what's going on in her life.

My sister never told her because the man who raised her was there from her being a bump. He was her dad from the start. He is a great guy who still is her dad despite divorcing My sister. I don't like the thought of her finding out and feeling like we have all been lying bastards too her. I can't tell her because I'd be in alot of trouble and can you imagine? It's such a huge lie. Her whole life would of been a huge lie. That is alot to accept and I don't think I could forgive. I'm not sure what she she should of been told with him being there from a bump.

I don't have any advice really. Personally for me it's not my place.

MilleniumForce · 15/12/2019 08:17

My goodness. Some of the vitriol on here. I'm not sure where some of you get the idea that I love the drama.

I love this person, "the child", in the situation very much and would never want them to be hurt or upset. My childhood was a full of lies, deceit and untruths and it is hard to take that this is going on for someone else in my family but on a much larger scale.

I found out a few things about my family accidentally over the years and it broke me. I still haven't come to terms with much of it many years later. These were lies that were kept to protect the guilty. The truth had a way of coming out through various people and reasons.

No, it's not my brother and I haven't posted about this before.

OP posts:
DistanceCall · 15/12/2019 08:18

People have the right to know the truth about their history. Lying to them about it - and compounding their lies through silence - is disgusting.

I would send him an anonymous message, if you don't want to do it openly. But your relative deserves to know. They're living a lie.

DistanceCall · 15/12/2019 08:20

And no, this doesn't mean that the man who brings you up and is not your biological father isn't your Dad. Of course love and caring for a child matter more than biology.

But the child has the child to know the truth of their own history.

MilleniumForce · 15/12/2019 08:20

From the replies I understand that I should keep quiet. Morally it doesn't sit right with me but I understand.

OP posts:
lottiegarbanzo · 15/12/2019 08:20

But is this a harmful lie? Is either the bio dad or actual dad a bad person, or manipulating the situation in any way? Is the mum? It doesn't sound analagous to 'lying to protect bad people'.

DumbFlagScum · 15/12/2019 08:21

It's outrageous that you would do this. Butt out.

Bluntness100 · 15/12/2019 08:21

If this isn't a sibling but an extended family member then no of course you can't tell them, what are you even thinking. It's not your place. In addition you don't actually know. If the father considered a dna test this means there is a possibility this person is his child. And that he was sleeping with the mother at the time.

Seriously. Your thought process is nothing short of vindictive.

mathanxiety · 15/12/2019 08:21

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??

It isn't a matter of wording.

Keep your nose out of this.

Deal with your own issues about secrets and hidden information. They are completely separate from the family you describe in your posts. Get counseling and try to find peace with your own history.

You need to work on your boundaries. Boundaries are a solid sense of where you end and other people begin.


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lottiegarbanzo · 15/12/2019 08:23

Why can't you ask the mum to tell them? Tell her how much you detest lying, the damage it can do and, more mundanely, that the 'child' might need to know their parents' medical history at some point in their lives (is the bio dad alive and contactable?).

Messengers are almost always shot, so it would damage you to be the person who tells her. But, if you feel so strongly, why would you not express that to the people concerned?

RickOShay · 15/12/2019 08:25

I too have been hurt almost beyond repair by family secrets. I understand. If you would like to chat by pm, I am around.

lottiegarbanzo · 15/12/2019 08:26

Honestly, it sounds as though you are letting your own experience, of quite different sorts of lies, colour your judgement. That is, you are trying to absolve yourself of guilt by association. So that you can feel better about yourself. That would be very selfish.

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