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Question
Posted by: Melissa | 2012/08/21

Secrets - I just found out about my husbands child from a previous relationship.

My husband and I have been married for 14 years and we have a 13 year old son. About 6 months ago my husbands family i.e. his mother and sister revealed their knowledge of my husbands son from a previous relationship. When we had met he had mentioned that a past girlfriend had fallen pregnant, but he said that they had broken up when he had learned that the child was not his. I had heard nothing in this regard since. My sister in-law expressed her guilt and regret in not telling me about the boy, who was turning 21 and now wanted to meet his father. She told me that she had told my husband to tell me the truth, but he would get angry with her and say that if she told me then she would be to blame for our marriage failing. Apparantly, she had met the boy a year previously and had spoken to him and taken him home to her place and discussed with him about meeting his father(my husband) and only got the courage to tell me 6 months ago. According to my husband he was never sure that the child was his as the mother had just up and ''disappeared'' with the baby. My struggle is this. I am trying to be nice about this, as I understand that its not the boys fault and I have met him and he is very nice. I am angry about all the lies and deceit. I feel like such a fool. I don''t know who to believe. Most of all the dynamics of my little family has changed (my husband and I and my son). Suddenly, my husband has another son and his not mine. To top it off, his son called a month ago and said he was going through some problems and needed a place to stay until he sorts himself out. Now I have a border who I have to accept as my husbands son. I''m trying to have a positive spin on this and let bygones be bygones, but I am struggling. I find myself avoiding my in-laws. Its either I make a fuss and destroy my home and marriage or not make a fuss and carry on. I feel that no-one has apologised to me properly. My husband gets upset if I even want to talk about my feelings. I don''t know how they could have done this.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

So, if I understand your story, he not only didn't tell you that he had a child from a previous relationship, but actually lied to you in saying the child had been found not to be his ? If there were not the proper paternity tests doe at the time, maybe, though, its not yet clear whether or not he fathered this child. Such testing would probably be useful, to help to establish the facts.
If his sister could find the child and communicate with him, surely the "father" could have done so ?
You're so right to re ognize that none o this is the boy's fault, and the child's best interests should be the number one priority for all of you.
The facts need to be clarified so you all know exactly what it is you are dealing with. But wouldn'\t it be wise for you and your husband to enter marriage counselling to sort out all the strong emotions here, which apparently he and you, for perhaps different reasons, are reluctant to discuss on your own ?
He put his family in a terribly difficult situation, just as he has now done for to you. They probably did the best they could in the situation they found themselves in.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Melissa | 2012/08/24

I appreciate all your comments. My husband has his faults, but there is no denying he is a loving husand and an excellent father. I keep thinking that this boy missed out on a wonderful daddy. Apparantly, this women did disappear with his baby. She ran off with another guy from Croatia, I''m told by this boy that his mom told him it was not his fathers fault...Apparantly, this is what lead to my husband assuming that this child was not his. He says he did search and asked relatives of hers that he knew, about her whereabouts, but they all at the time denied knowing anything. Oh man, Has this what my lifes come to - A soap opera. I just can''t get my head around this. As for my in-laws. I just don''t get them. They are nice people and I do understand to a certain degree, but why did they wait so long? I am angry at my husband and his secretive family. To me they are potentially a danger to me and my son. Keeping very important info from us. How could I trust them again? Yes, what happened is in the past and therefore my acceptance, but also in the past is my youth and the fact that I would have chosen NOT to have an extended family. And that would have been my selfish choice. But do I get to choose. Oh no, not me. Oh, but don''t they worry thats just the selfish me. The nice me still rules. Thanks for reading the ravings of a dissapointed and very hurt women.

Reply to Melissa
Posted by: Marika | 2012/08/23

I only have one question which only you can answer to yourself.

Was yr relationship good before you found out about this? If yes do not destroy what you have. It happened 21years ago, live in the now and forgive yr husband. It is easier to be happy than sad.

Reply to Marika
Posted by: Witty | 2012/08/23

Your husband is the engineer of all the heartache you''re feeling and you should hold him accountable. If he respects you he should respect your feelings. I also think it''s a bit presumptuous of that child to meet you and then want to move in with you guys almost immediately. At 21 he''s a young adult and should recognise the emotional strain you''re under. I have firsthand experience of this and while he definitely has the right to a relationship with his dad too often the wife or partner is seen as being deliberately difficult for saying - hold on - I need time to adjust to this new situation in my life and I think that''s just unfair. I think you need time to sort through you''re feelings as you cannot treat this new child or your husband and child fairly until you''ve had time to adjust. All these feelings are simmering inside you and you''ve got to deal with them first and then decide on the way forward. You cannot reject the new child no but you should not feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for needing space to deal with a difficult situation and if your husband values you - he''ll understand that. Strength to you and I hope your husband will go to counselling with you and support you in your decisions while you''re sorting this out in your mind.

Reply to Witty
Posted by: Kaycee | 2012/08/23

I have been in a similar situation before, but we were fortunate to talk about it freely and as we speak the boy is now independent and taking care of his siblings (i.e. our children). Yes, we cannot blame the child but can at least afford him love, imagine what your son may be feeling like to have an elder brother, perhaps happy i.e. of course if you have discussed this with him. It seems to me your focus is anger towards your husband, but remember, there is another child involved here, if you were to get his feelings it might change the way you feel. As for your sister-in law, I believe she only wanted you to know so that it does not surprise you, at least be greatful that she had your interest at heart but letting you know. I would not advise you to hold it against them (in laws) (but this is of course your decision to make). Loosen your heart towards your husband and the boy and nature will take its course. Love will grow and you will overcome this. Good Luck in all your endeavours to save your marriage.

Reply to Kaycee
Posted by: Nini | 2012/08/22


I dont have any advice for you, but I I totally understand your anger towards your husband. That is where the real issue lies.

As for his family, you need to try and understand that his family will always have his best interests at heart, and as Anon said, he obviously put them in a difficult position by not telling you. I am sure that if they could have shared this with you then they would have. Looking at it from their perspective, it''s very difficult to get involved in such a personal matter, especially when your husband was threatening your marriage to fall apart and laying it on their conscience. So cut them some slack. As for him, well, I really hope CS can give you some advice.

Reply to Nini
Posted by: Anon | 2012/08/22

I think you''re handling things quite well so far considering, good on you for not taking it out on the boy. Finding out about something like this and then having him stay with you now is alot to adjust to for everyone involved, it would be perfectly natural to feel that your household has been turned on its head, try to stay postive and patient in that regard, not all changes need to be bad and things will eventually sink in and settle back down.
Some men just can''t seem te handle discussing emotional issues, especially when they are at the center of it. Something that has worked for me (and I assume a few other people as I''ve seen it being suggested before on these forums) that you can try, write him a letter, keep it calm, express how much you care for and love him and raise your concerns about not being able to discuss this with him. A letter might not be the optimal way of communicating but it gives you a chance to think about what you actually want to say and how to put it into words, you get to say everything you want to say without getting interrupted and it gives him time to process it.

I can see why you might want to avoid your in-laws but try not to be to harsh on them, your husband put them in a very difficult position by not discussing it with you himself, your sister-in-law coming to you with it just shows how conflicted she must''ve been feeling. Can''t really say I would''ve handled it much better myself..

Best wishes for you and your family.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/22

So, if I understand your story, he not only didn't tell you that he had a child from a previous relationship, but actually lied to you in saying the child had been found not to be his ? If there were not the proper paternity tests doe at the time, maybe, though, its not yet clear whether or not he fathered this child. Such testing would probably be useful, to help to establish the facts.
If his sister could find the child and communicate with him, surely the "father" could have done so ?
You're so right to re ognize that none o this is the boy's fault, and the child's best interests should be the number one priority for all of you.
The facts need to be clarified so you all know exactly what it is you are dealing with. But wouldn'\t it be wise for you and your husband to enter marriage counselling to sort out all the strong emotions here, which apparently he and you, for perhaps different reasons, are reluctant to discuss on your own ?
He put his family in a terribly difficult situation, just as he has now done for to you. They probably did the best they could in the situation they found themselves in.

Reply to cybershrink

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