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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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I have 3 boys. Charlie -5, Dominic-3, and Vincent 19 months.

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I have 3 boys. Charlie -5, Dominic-3, and Vincent 19 months. My husband Al is the biological father of Vincent. The older 2 have never met their biological fathers for good reasons. Both fathers different. Both were abusive. Charlie and Dominic heard their Uncle tell someone that they (Charlie and Dominic) have different dads. My husband mentioned the situation to me out of concern. Al and I already discussed that we would tell them when they were much older and only if they questioned it. I forgot about them hearing the "dad" thing until today. Charlie out of nowhere asked me " who is our real dad?". I told him Al was and asked him why. I asked him if someone said something to him. He said no. Charlie is above average intelligence. I don't want to lie to him or dominic. I'm afraid of the confussion it will cause them if i try to explain the truth to them. I also don't want charlie to lose trust in me for lying. Dominic is way to young to understand and is very sensitive. Al is the only dad they have ever known. I don't know what to tell them so that it doesn't make things worse. I don't beleive in lying to our children. I also don't want to cause issues that are not needed. We've talked about just telling charlie that his uncle didn't know what he was talking about. I've mentioned to Charlie that Al was not around when he was first born because of having to work out of state. That is partially true. Al and I did date when i was pregnant with Charlie. Then after he was born i left him for dominic's father. After that I got my act together and we eventually got back together. Charlie did know dominics dad for about 4 months. until around 18 months of age. He did call him dad for some time but I don't think he remembers. We also had a relationship with Charlies birth grandparents. charlie spent lots of time with them and really enjoyed being with them. Whenever he asked about seeing them again i just said maybe soon. We had to stop seeing them for safety reasons.
My feeling is they are both to young to comprehend the situation. I also don't want there to be anymore distance then there already is between the older two and Al. I'm feeling guilty about lying to Charlie. I told him that Al is his real dad and that he just wasn't around when he was first born because he had to work. What do we do? Do I tell them the truth? If charlie knows then he will also tell Dominic. I know it will put some fear in them and distrust. Please help. what do we tell them?

NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?

NormanM :

Danielle - I see that you are still offline, so I'm going to switch this to Question and Answer mode, and leave an answer for your return.

I appreciate that you are in a very sensitive situation indeed, but in fact, the only way forward is by telling them the truth. Obviously, they are going to find out sooner or later
and after that, they'll have a hard time trusting you at all.

I suspect that you expect them to be truthful, and so you should. They, in turn, are entitled to the same from you.

All things considered, I think you should bite the bullet now, and explain to them what really happened. You might also want to tell them that their two real dads were nasty people who tried to hurt you, and that you could not stay with them.

Also, the being a Dad is about being loving and caring and being strong, and that Al is the best Dad they could ever have, much better than the nasty men who hurt you so badly.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is, I'm afraid, you have to be truthful, or all of you will suffer later!
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