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Avatar universal

Here is a wild one for you

I recently was contacted via friend request from a girl I dated back when I was 19, I am now 43 and the very happily married father of four wonderful children. I truly love my wife, my kids and my life.

This began recently when out of the blue an old girlfriend of mine from when I was about 19-20 sent me a facebook friend request. Naturally I remembered the name and had a look at the profile and what pics she had visible on her profile and it confirmed it was who i knew from back then. I also came across a photo of her now 24 year old son and i was instantly in shock at seeing the photo of him. Instantly recognisable to me as my features. It then took me some time to compose myself and think what should I do, it instinctually felt like OMG this is why i have this random friend request from her, after all this time, maybe she suspects or knows that it is my son. I first showed the photo to my wife now, I said nothing and she instantly saw the same thing I saw in the 24 yo old man, me! As you can imagine there was a lot of discussion between us and the decision was made to accept the friend request and see what she wanted. I had a few messages back and forth and she was very sketchy with details about why she had contacted me, but did mention her children their names and ages. Which the way in which, she did that seemed a little odd, giving as much detail as she did!

Anyway, to cut to the point she never said really why she contacted me nor mentioned any suspicions or knowledge of this being my Son.

In thinking back to the time when we were together, I know we had unprotected sex and the details about which i will leave out, but suffice it to say, at the time I knew there was a likelihood that my actions and hers would have her desired outcome, I believe she wanted, to get pregnant. So we were together for some months and when we parted ways because she met and started seeing someone else. Not long after, I mean only weeks after we broke up, I found out she was pregnant, at the time it was implied that the new guy was the Father, but I had my suspicions and my instincts told me that it could be mine. However the situation as it was, we went our separate ways and sporadically over the years, as you do I thought back to that time and the same feeling was evoked in me, that there was a strong possibility, that that pregnancy, may have been the result of our intimacy.

So, as I had my suspicions and felt like she was not being honest or forthcoming. I needed to be the one who breached the subject, I felt as though, she knew or had the inclination, but found it to difficult a subject, to know even where to begin. So, I sent her a long message and in a very understanding and caring and sensitive way opened the subject up. I explained my instincts and feelings about seeing the photo of her son. How it felt like looking into a mirror etc. Well in the end she denied it and her response was very weird and I felt it completely made up and awkward and an attempt to avoid the subject, because she was scared to go there, thinking about all the emotions it would stir in her and my family. Not to say the least on how it might effect the child in question and their relationship. I feel like she really wanted to acknowledge the possibility, but was just to scared to do so in the end. So she denied it and said it was 100% the other guys child.

So, now I am consumed with thoughts about this situation, I dream about it, go to sleep thinking about it, wake thinking about it. But I do not know what I should do now? I really do not want to cause any sort of conflict or upset with her or her son. I mean it has been 24 years since I saw her and i know nothing of the person she is now, nor the man this boy has become, all i know is that when I saw the picture of him it looked like I was looking at a picture of me when I was that age. That I showed the picture to a dozen family and friends, with no context to what the photo was and they all responded the same. That it was a picture of me when I was young.

Sorry I know this is long but I felt the details were important.
Thanks in advance
confused fathertofour (possibly five?)
11 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
COMMUNITY LEADER
One thing you could do, that might nudge the woman into changing her mind about telling the story to her son, would be to dig up a photograph of you at the same age (i.e., 24) and post it on your facebook pix.  No pointed caption like "I think I have a son who looks like this" but just "Me at 24."  If she is watching your posts (and she probably is), she might well see it, and it will set the wheels turning in her head.  You can facebook with her every now and then in a friendly way but not pushing on the issue at all, just to keep the door open to her possibly letting you know that she has changed her mind.  If she sees with her own eyes that her son is the spitting image of you, she might finally decide that it matters for him to know the situation and to do a DNA test.  (I might also mention, people sometimes have a "type" they like, meaning it's possible that her husband looks like you, so try not to be 100% sure just from one photo of her son.)

I'd also run this by a family-law lawyer to see if there is any way you would be expected to pay back child support or anything odd like that.  (If she is in a contentious marriage, the possibility exists that her husband might try a lawsuit for the back support he paid.  Not that he would be successful, but you should ask a lawyer if there are any possibilities like that.)

ps -- I'd print out the photo of her son and keep a hard copy, against the possibility that she will take his photo down once you put yours up.
12981378 tn?1440334797
I read your entire post but don't understand what ur question is? R u asking for advise on what to do? Or asking y she denied it? Or asking if u should let it go or do something abt it?
Avatar universal
mags thanks so much for taking the time to read, yeah sorry my question is not clear. Yes asking what to do? and should I do something about it or let it go?
Avatar universal
Well first off thank you for sharing what you are going through right now. I can only imagine how confused you are as to what to do. I have to tell you if you don't look into this further (dna test) it will probably eat you up inside. I think you should request a visit of some sort with this woman lunch coffee what have you and talk more extensive about this. I mean if he looks just like you and you know that the possibility is there he is more than likely your son. The man that this woman is saying is the father.. has he always been in this boys life and raised him like he thinks it is his son and vise versa? If so that I'm sure is the reasoning why she doesn't want anything to come of this doesn't want anyone hurt. But in the end You and everyone involved have the right to know.
12981378 tn?1440334797
I think u need to think abt everything alot before u do anything. He is 24 already so u can not ask for a DNA legally. That would only be if he was a minor. If I were in ur shoes. I would talk to the lady (but think abt the problems it will cause between u n ur present wife) just by communicating with her or meeting her. But if she is ok with it the. Talk to her n explain that u would want to know. N ask abt the relationship btwn him n the dad? If he was an good father to him n he got along with his siblings.. I don't think u should cause anything that will mess that up for him. If the dad treated him different then ask the lady how she feels for u to communicate with him or if she would be ok with u talking with him. Or she may want to talk to him 1st. U r in a difficult position and at their mercy since he is already an adult. If she agrees then talk to him but don't tell him right away n explain. That u unaware of it. Later u can do a DNA test to make sure but only if he agrees. Dot force anything. If she said that the dad has always been there for him n treated him as a son then I suggest to just let it go. Maybe one day she will come clean.
Avatar universal
Well since he is a young man I would reach out to him and tell him the truth and ask him for a DNA test because thus is not going to go away and u will b wondering about this for the rest of ur life. He's a man he will understand even though it will b hard he will listen. The mom is not going to say anything to u and she has no say in anything anyway since he is an adult.  
134578 tn?1614729226
COMMUNITY LEADER
I do not agree with the just prior post, that it would be OK to contact the young man.  That seems cruel to the mother, who you would unilaterally be revealing to have lied all these years to her beloved child.  I am not sure you have the right, since she never asked you for help or demanded you take on the role of father.  There is the risk of doing harm you cannot foresee if you tell the son that he might not be the child of the man he thinks is his father.  He might be an adult, but even at 24 we are not so grown up that we want our entire world to be shattered.

One thing that happens when we are sexually active is that we risk reproducing, and many men go through life with offspring they never do learn about.  I am wondering what you would want from the situation such that you are thinking about it and consumed by it.  Do you want a dad relationship?  A friendship?  To give the young man financial support, such as, to put him in your will? Do you know for sure what you do want from it?

In your shoes, I might try to discuss this with a counselor that you trust.  Talk about what it would do to the woman, to the young man, to the woman's husband who raised him, to his siblings, to your children and to your wife, if the story were to be true and you were able to test and to talk about it.   There might be a lot to say for leaving sleeping dogs alone.  The counselor can help you figure out what you want from the situation, and possibly can help you with some ways to approach the woman.  I would not try to let the young man know this possibility without giving the mother the chance to weigh in and explain her reasons to you for not wishing you to contact him.  What if you destroy her marriage?  Some prices are not worth paying for having your curiosity eased.
Avatar universal
First of all i want to say thank you to everyone who responded to this post. Many great ideas and things to think about. I agree with AnnieBrooke I really do not know what i really want from knowing! Thus a big part of the confusion that I have about what to do, the thing that worries me the most is, if and I no way wish or hope it is necessary but, what if t some stage in the future there was a medical issue with him, my children, or his, if he has them at some stage, and I don't know that he doesn't already. There might be a need to know medical history or compatibility etc.

My confusion is also as mentioned what effect will it have on Him to know, his relationship with his Mother and his siblings and of course the Father he thinks is his real Father. And the rest of his Family, his friends and partner, should he have one? Other than the initial conversation I had with his Mother I have done nothing else that anyone could ever find out about, I want to know all the facts and weigh up all the pro's and con's of any action i take from here on. Including no action at all.

My wife and I have discussed this at length and we have been together for 20 years, so we have no secrets and we support each other 100%. She has been so amazing and understanding, I cannot tell you how special that is and how special she is. We are not basing this off one photo, my wife and I together have found many pictures of him through FB and the like and compared pics of myself at various ages and the results are the same he looks like me in those as well, I know who the guy is that is the father that he knows as his father, I knew him way back then and I know that she slept with both of us at the same time, not together of course, long story, but I am sure you get what i mean. I was young and naive at the time and made mistakes as we all do. So knowing who the father is I found as many photo's I could of him and there is no likeness at all. They are no longer together and from what i understand they ended their marriage very quickly, like within a year of getting married. She has re-married again and has two other kids, she is also divorced from him as well and is now single. I have trolled back through all her FB timeline and found comments she had made herself, saying that "he looks nothing like his father". I know we should never make judgements on instinct, but my instincts have always been very good and my instincts on this feel like I am right.

So I am going to take AnnieBrooke's advice and post the FB pic, I like that as an idea to perhaps prompt her thinking of the possibility or for her to broach the subject of what she already believes, but I will let her be the one to make any action. I mean she raised the boy and the happiness of him and their relationship is the  most important thing. I by no means want to upset anyone involved in this situation.

I will also consult a counsellor as suggested and contact a family lawyer as well, sound advice and I thank you for it. I will keep you posted on how the FB pic goes as well. This seems like the best first step, because I feel like if what I said to her about me feeling like I could be the real father, had of not got her thinking or knowing that I was right, she would have been like, this guy is a weirdo and deleted me straight away. wouldn't she?

Anyway will update when something or nothing happens soon. Thanks again to everyone who read and replied, I really appreciate it, if not just for the opportunity to share with others. Thanks
134578 tn?1614729226
COMMUNITY LEADER
I am also thinking that she might feel you will judge her for the way she raised the boy, or wonders if she might come up looking like less to her son either because she kept his paternity a secret, or just by comparison to solid-citizen you.  She might also be thinking of his siblings, who don't have a solid dad coming out of the blue to possibly offer more of the things in life that they don't have.  There are a lot of different ripples possible when you throw a rock in this pond.  I would try to remain empathetic to her situation.

In any case, good luck. I'm glad you're finding out the legal ramifications, and hope you are able to find a good counselor with whom to discuss the moral and family ramifications.  My 2 cents worth -- while there might be reasons for him to know, one of them is not that someone might need an organ donor someday.  For one thing, that rarely happens, and you have four other kids so he would be the one needing it, and I would guess you would hear about it then if so.  And for another, you never want it to seem to him like you only connected with him for his body parts.  ;)
Avatar universal
I agree fully with you about the body parts thing, I would never say anything about that to anyone. It is just my nature to want to be able to be there if I could help in anyway, should the unlikely situation arise. Please know that my intentions are nothing but empathetic to all involved and I would only want the best for everyone involved. I do not judge anyone in life, everyone has their reasons for actions and things they say and it is never my place to criticise. I am a Father and I have thought about every possible scenario and probably missed some too. Hence, I have made no public action or said anything publicly! This is why I posted here to get as many thoughts and advice on this as possible, before I do anything, This is the most delicate of situations, for many reasons and every aspect needs to be carefully examined and understood before proceeding down any path. Even if that path is a path of no activity at all.
Avatar universal
You are right it will eat me up inside, but in saying that there are too many others involved in this situation that could suffer worse than me over this. So I am weighing up all the options before I act at all. Finding out as much as i can without it becoming public knowledge to all involved. The very last thing i want to do is upset anyone without due diligence on my part as to the consequences of any action. As I say I am confused and just seeking as many opinions confidentially as possible including this forum, counselling and family legal advice. This way hopefully I can mitigate any and as much pain for all involved as possible. Not that I feel that any course of action will do that completely. Thanks for taking the time to respond I appreciate it so much.
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