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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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My husband is age 40 and he just discovered that he has a son

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My husband is age 40 and he just discovered that he has a son who is age 19 and the son does not know that he is his father, but has always thought of his mother's husband as his real father. My husband wants a relationship with his son, which my husband has never had any other children, and wants to know how to tell him. The mother and her husband, (the father who has always raised the child) does not want to tell him. What should we do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
The worst case scenario would be if your husband's son found out from another source about who his real father was. He will feel deceived. The truth needs to be told. Your husband should call the son's mother and tell him that he needs to be told the truth. Then the boy is of age where he can decide if he wants to pursue the relationship with your husband or not. Keeping a family secret like that can be more damaging than you think. Let the boy know who is real father is. Have your husband ask the boy's mother why is she keeping it such a secret? The mother should be the one to break the news to the son first. Then your husband can email him and see how it goes from there. The situation will be very awkward at first but it will be best for everyone to have the truth out in the open.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

That is exactly what I have told her, but she will not tell him. She will not talk to father(my husband) about it. Should we contact him and if so, say what, otherwise he will never know. Mother feels it might make the child make bad decisions in life, because at this point he was a big high school athlete and is in college about to play football for his college, and she also doesn't want to hurt her husband(the only father he has ever known). But, it is not fair to my husband who has never had children.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
I do not think that the son will make bad decisions in life knowing the truth. Your husband can tell the son's mother that he feels the need to tell the son the truth. He is the father. Your husband can send an email or call..and simply say that he did not know that he had a son and that he is the father. Your husband can state how he found out if desired. He can continue to say that he is not trying to cause any problems or take away from the relationship that he has with his "dad" who raised him but that your husband wanted to tell your son the truth. Your son may want to meet or he may never want to hear from your husband again. That will be the son's decision once he processes everything. Time will tell. The son's mother is simply being really selfish and fearful.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your help. I felt that was probably the best also, if the mother would not tell him, which like you said would be the best way to find out, but I guess we needed confirmation from someone removed from the situation.


Pam Oliver