From: Lauren Swift
Subject: How do I tell my 16 yr old son his father is not his biological dad?
Question: I’m 42, and divorced, with a 16-year-old son and 15-year-old son.
I divorced my husband back in 2006 due to his foul temper and haven’t seen him since; he’s made no attempt to get back in touch since 2008. However, he was a good father, despite this.
We met back in August 1992, when I was 24, and dated for 6 months, then got engaged in March 1994, and I fell pregnant in November of that year.
However, my new husband forced me to sleep with his father, not by physical force, but verbally, and I reluctantly went along with it to avoid anger from him.
We had sex a few times, as my husband forced me to, claiming it was “good for our relationship, spices it up a bit”. I felt cheap, like he was prostituting me out but stayed with him as he was also excessively nice as well, a lot of the time, paradoxically.
My son was born later that year, and we were extremely happy.
Life got better for us during the 1990s – I got promotion at work, my husband got a bigger job, and our sons got into good schools in the neighbourhood.
I also had another son in 1995, who is now 15 years old.
However, it wasn’t until 2005 that my husband started to worry that our-now-16-year-old son was biologically his, as he said to me “Is that really my son? He doesn’t look like me!”
We had a paternity test done, and when we got the results back, it said that my husband’s father was the biological father to my 16-year-old son.
Luckily the paternity test results for our other son indicated that my now-ex-husband is his biological father.
My husband didn’t seem to care, but I do. I then stayed with him until mid-2006, when, fed up with his drinking, smoking and gambling, I filed for divorce. However, my son still sees him every now and then, as they have a great father-son relationship.
From 2007, I legally changed my surname back to my maiden name, but my sons still have my old married name as their surname.
I haven’t told my 16-year-old son about this, as he still sees his father every now and then, and I’m worried about his reaction.
How should I deal with this emotive and sensitive issue? – I need all the help I can get.
Answer: Dear Lauren,
I am so sorry you are even having to make these considerations. I think it would be best to seek out some counseling first. Go by yourself and then if the counselor guides you to tell your son do it with professional support.
Best Wishes to your whole family.