Do I tell my wife that I have a child with someone else?
December 31, 2013 10:22 AM   Subscribe

A long time ago, I asked this question. Since, I learned that it is most likely my child, but the mother does not wish for me to play a role in his upbringing. I made the promise I would keep it between the two of us, but my wife demands to know what is going on.

After communicating with the woman, I was told that it is "almost certain" the child is mine, but that she doesn't want anything to change in her life at this moment, and she intends to consider telling him the situation when he turns 18. She told me that she respects my desire to be a part of my son's life, and she can't make me do anything I don't want to do, but she asked if I would be willing to respect her decision. Her current husband knows, and her parents know, but as far as anyone else in their life, they have simply avoided the topic and left it assumed why he's called "daddy." (Which absolutely pains me to think about).

I am seeing a counselor and I ultimately decided I would honor her request, and after telling her this, she said that she would be willing to stay in touch (sparingly, I assume) and have me present, if I wish, if they tell him.

My wife was aware of my initial suspicions but, respecting the mother's wishes, I have told her I have decided to let the matter rest and would not pursue it further (which is, technically, the truth). This morning my wife said she knows I had been in touch with the woman, and asked me, flat out, if I was telling her everything. I told her yes, and she got mad. She took the kids to her parents' house and said she was going to give me "some time to think about [this.]" Without knowing what she knows and how, I don't know what to tell her, without going back on my word. Aside from the mother, surrogate father, mother's parents, myself, and people who know me only as Bathtub Bobsled, nobody knows about this, which means I have no one to talk to. My psychologist is not available (out of the country until the 6th).

My wife had told me, when this started, that she would be there to support me, no matter what I found out, and that she didn't feel it would be fair for her to hold something against me that happened long before we met. But I know that this is something that can greatly change the dynamic, especially if she learns I pretty much lied to her. I made a vow to her when we got married, but I also made a promise to someone else, and I'm not one to go back on my word.

I feel I shouldn't have tried to find out and things would have been better if I never did, but I can't undo what had been done. What do I do?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled to Human Relations (59 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Absolutely you should tell your wife the truth.
posted by fancyoats at 10:25 AM on December 31, 2013 [124 favorites]


You are respecting the mother's wishes by not getting involved in the kid's life, but you owe it to your own wife to clue her in.
posted by radioamy at 10:25 AM on December 31, 2013 [18 favorites]


Tell her immediately. Your promise to a person you were briefly intimate with pales in comparison to your promise to your wife.
posted by Etrigan at 10:26 AM on December 31, 2013 [110 favorites]


You've got to come clean with your wife. Like it or not, this other child's existence may impact her life as well (if the mother decides to seek child support, for one example).
posted by Rock Steady at 10:26 AM on December 31, 2013 [17 favorites]


This is not a grey area. Of course you should tell her. This history is part of who you are. It will not help you or her to pretend otherwise.
posted by jon1270 at 10:28 AM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tell your wife the truth. I think it's a little . . . I don't know. Not right that this woman is deciding for you and your child that you'll have no part in his life for the next seven years (and the last eleven!). But regardless, I really, really think you need to talk to your wife about it.

Your spouse comes first. She's the person on your team, the one you owe your loyalty.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:29 AM on December 31, 2013 [14 favorites]


Agreeing that you should tell your wife immediately. This is a big deal in your life. It's not fair to your wife or good for your relationship to withhold important things from her.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:29 AM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Aside from the mother, surrogate father, mother's parents, myself, and people who know me only as Bathtub Bobsled, nobody knows about this

This issue is not, and never was, "just between the two of you." I think you owe your wife the truth more than you need to honor your promise to this woman.

As for having "pretty much lied to" (translation: lied to) your wife, perhaps she will be more understanding once you have come clean if she knows the reason is that you were torn between this promise and telling her, rather than that you are just being deceptive for general purposes.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:29 AM on December 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


Also, this

This morning my wife said she knows I had been in touch with the woman, and asked me, flat out, if I was telling her everything. I told her yes, and she got mad. She took the kids to her parents' house and said she was going to give me "some time to think about [this.]"

sounds like someone who already knows the whole truth and is merely looking for confirmation.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:30 AM on December 31, 2013 [25 favorites]


But I know that this is something that can greatly change the dynamic, especially if she learns I pretty much lied to her. I made a vow to her when we got married, but I also made a promise to someone else, and I'm not one to go back on my word.

Your vow to your life partner trumps any promise you made to the mother of your other child. There's just zero contest here. It's not even close.

It's not fair for you to lie to your wife and for her to be possibly blindsided by the truth down the line. She's owed the full truth as it affects her, too.
posted by inturnaround at 10:30 AM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


You have to talk to your wife about this. Nothing good can come if you continue to lie.
posted by rtha at 10:30 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I made a vow to her when we got married, but I also made a promise to someone else, and I'm not one to go back on my word.

"Forsaking all others" isn't just referring to sex.

Letting your wife know doesn't even affect the well-being and privacy of your child, so there's not even that wrinkle to consider. (You are also not a spy on a black-ops mission--this isn't the kind of need-to-know-basis secret you keep from your spouse.) If I were your wife, I'd be appalled too if you withheld this from me in the mistaken belief that you were just trying to be "a man of your word."
posted by blue suede stockings at 10:31 AM on December 31, 2013 [22 favorites]


...especially if she learns I pretty much lied to her.

I don't know you, or your wife, but if she took the kids to your in-laws to give you some time to "think about this," she knows you are not telling her the complete truth. And if there's one thing worse than lying, it is lying about lying, which will probably be as obvious to her as your initial lie was. And at that point you will be seriously fucked.

The kid's dad knows, there's no reason your wife shouldn't.
posted by griphus at 10:31 AM on December 31, 2013 [46 favorites]


Tell your wife the truth.

It sounds like your wife knows the truth, but wants you to stop lying about it.
posted by inertia at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


And be very very clear to her why you lied to her. You need to really dig deep here. This is a big deal. You didn't pretty much lie to her, you flat-out lied to her. There's no soft-pedaling this and you shouldn't even try.

You lied to her. Why? From what you said, it's because you were afraid of her reaction. Well, she's already having that reaction. Lying is just making it so much worse. Apologize for lying and explain to her why you did it.
posted by inturnaround at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2013 [22 favorites]


Also, please think about how you're referring to/thinking of this child's father. He is not the "surrogate" father or a daddy that requires quotes. He's the daddy. You're not the daddy or the father in anything but the biological sense, and I wonder if your wife is picking up on your feelings about this. Does your psych have a locum on call for the holiday? You might call his/her answering service to find out.
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on December 31, 2013 [31 favorites]


Also consider that it was not particularly fair of her to extract this promise from you, considering that all her important people are in the loop about this.

And keep in mind that many (most?) people have a personal policy of "tell me, tell my spouse." I tell my husband everything, even things told in confidence. I always expect that others are doing the same.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:36 AM on December 31, 2013 [32 favorites]


Also, I may be stating the obvious, but you should really, genuinely apologize to her without qualification or excuses. You can and should explain why you lied -- it's a really heavy, unenviable situation and you made a stupid decision in its midst -- but don't try to rationalize it.
posted by griphus at 10:37 AM on December 31, 2013 [35 favorites]


Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I wonder if the request for total secrecy on the part of this boy's mother is in part because she realizes how unfair this is for you. They're only considering telling him at 18; you might be present if they tell you. If I were your wife, and knew how you felt about this, I'd be pushing you to advocate more for yourself--and possibly getting you to seek out a lawyer. The mom might know that. You sound like a good guy who is trying to do the right thing, but keeping yourself isolated emotionally isn't really doing yourself a favor.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:37 AM on December 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


a request that you hold this a secret from your wife is stupid
but you can turn this around by immediately disclosing the whole thing, apologize for agreeing to the stupid ultimatum, and explain you agreed because you confusingly thought it would be best for the welfare of the child

seriously, make it up to your wife.
posted by angrycat at 10:40 AM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm only going to speak to possible reasons that you are thinking that this needs to be a secret from your wife, OP.

Could it be to respect the other woman's privacy and desire for privacy? They are deciding not to tell the child for now, but I would assume that your wife would not share this information with anyone else. So I can't see how your son would/could be hurt (or the mother for that reason). The same way you are keeping mum with everyone else, so would your wife.

My other thought is: Do you feel shame about this and assume that your wife will judge you? This is something that happened before you were even together if I read this correctly. To be honest, it sounds like you have been behaving ethically (you asked and inquired/and you are respecting the desires of the mother), but I don't see any wrong behavior.

It sounds like you want help dealing with this psychologically, and your wife is the perfect person in addition to the out of town mental health professional who will return.

Good luck.
posted by Wolfster at 10:45 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


your wife should have been in the loop the entire way - she is a patient and loving woman for giving you this long to be honest with her. there is nothing that makes it ok for the mom, the dad, the biological father, the maternal grandparents, and the entire internet to know something that you are keeping from your wife. from my position as a wife, you are in the middle of breaking your marital vows to keep a promise (that doesn't even look like an explicit promise, like "i want you to promise to not tell your wife") to a woman who has lied by omission to you for years who you never had a deep bond with.

you should immediately come clean, beg her forgiveness, and after your counselor is back in town discuss with them why you made a promise like this in the first place and why your wife wasn't immediately exempt from that promise.
posted by nadawi at 10:47 AM on December 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


Your wife may be at peace with your past, but your withholding this information is happening in the present. And if keeping a promise has the potential to hurt someone you love, it's okay to reconsider and break that promise.

She's going to find out the truth at some point. The longer you sit on this, the worse it will be.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:51 AM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think she already knows at this point. I figured it out. I pulled up the browser just now on the computer and realized I was still logged into this account. Internet history shows she has looked through a bunch of my old posts this morning, including that one. I can only assume that she's looking at this thread on her iPhone now.

Babe, I'm sorry, I severely fucked this up. Please come home. I'm really really sorry.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:51 AM on December 31, 2013 [19 favorites]


by NOT telling her, she thinks there's something more sinister at play here.

Get the truth out in the open and explain to her that you're sorry you kept her in the dark but you genuinely didn't know what to do.

She deserves to know the truth.
posted by JenThePro at 10:52 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just want to add, to be totally explicit: You need to tell your wife the whole truth to the best of your ability, and apologize sincerely and without reservation for:

1. Lying to her when you said you would let the matter rest, and

2. Lying to her when you said you had told her everything.

Fathering a child by accident is regrettable, but (based on your story here and in the previous question) you are guilty of nothing more serious than a lapse in judgement regarding birth control, and it sounds like you were honest with your wife about your suspicions up to the point where you decided to dig into it further.

On preview, do not apologize on Ask MetaFilter. Do it in person.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:52 AM on December 31, 2013 [15 favorites]


Aside from the mother, surrogate father, mother's parents, myself, and people who know me only as Bathtub Bobsled, nobody knows about this, which means I have no one to talk to.

The man raising this boy is not a surrogate father; he is the father, in every way except biologically. He and the boy's mother are behaving as a team. That's what strong, loving couples do, and what you need to do with your wife -- not here on AskMe, but in your day-to-day life. The sooner you two get back to a sense of being on the same team, as opposed to playing on different sides, the better your chances of working this out and finding a way to bring yourselves closer to each other.
posted by scody at 10:54 AM on December 31, 2013 [24 favorites]


"Don't tell anyone" NEVER INCLUDES YOUR SPOUSE. I mean, seriously, there's a legal spousal privilege so even murderers can talk freely to their spouses. But especially on an issue like this! That directly affects your family! Its absolutely inappropriate to ask you to keep this from your wife, if she did explicitly ask you to you should have refused to make that promise, and if you did make that promise you must now break it and be totally open about this with your wife.

Do not in the future make promises to keep secrets from your wife that affect her family! Your marriage comes first.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2013 [50 favorites]


of course she knows - that's why she left when you lied to her face. stop trying to figure out how much she knows and come clean about everything. and don't do it on metafilter.
posted by nadawi at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2013 [14 favorites]


Babe, I'm sorry, I severely fucked this up. Please come home. I'm really really sorry.

This does not even begin to approach the boundaries of the territory that borders on an apology.

Call your wife. Tell her the truth. Figure out, with her by your side, why you have hidden this from her. If she's up for that.

Call. Her.
posted by bilabial at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2013 [37 favorites]


Without knowing what she knows and how, I don't know what to tell her, without going back on my word.

You're pretty sure you think you know what she knows now, and you know what? That doesn't in any way change what you need to do. You need to explain to her that you screwed up. That you were trying to live within your sense of what's honorable, but you got it wrong. And that you will do what you need to do to rebuild trust with her and make sure your priorities are right from now on. And then, of course, you need to do that.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:10 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


You holding a promise to a one night stand over the sanctity of your marriage is wrong and counterproductive. You owe your wife big time right one and you saying sorry on an Internet forum is literally the weakest apology ever. You need to man up right now and go talk to your wife in person and develop a plan TOGETHER on how to deal with this.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:10 AM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


I appreciate that you're trying to do The Right Thing here. You seem like the kind of guy who gets heavily invested in behaving honorably, but that sometimes can't see the forest for the trees (I have known many people like this).

This woman's whole immediate family is in on it, and she wants to deny that to you? That's assuming she didn't take it as read that "just the two of us" would naturally include your spouse, which ime would not be an unreasonable assumption. If it wasn't? She was trying to get you to agree to something that disrespects *your* family, especially your spouse. Your family has to take priority. Always always always.

I think you may be seeking an external voice (or a whole chorus) to tell you to do what you may already know you need to do. So: Call your wife. Tell her everything.

And of course your wife knew you were lying. Most people are terrible at it, especially under emotional duress.

Repeat: Call your wife.
posted by menialjoy at 11:11 AM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Dude, get off the damn computer. Do you realize your wife might mistakenly think you were rekindling an old romance or something? Keeping this a secret doesn't mean don't tell your wife! But I bet you can still fix this, and you need to do it right now. You need to show your wife she is your partner in all things and she is the most important thing.

If you haven't showered, do that, but then do these things in this order:

Go buy some flowers. Don't cheap out. A big, lovely bouquet. And then another bouquet for your in-laws. (Note: only flowers for the in-laws if your wife hates flowers or is allergic.) Buy a little treat or something for your kids.

Drive directly to your in-laws'. Say hello to everyone, give treats to kids and flowers to in-laws. Then you and your wife leave. Go for a walk.

Then, drop down on your knee and apologize to your wife. Supplicate yourself, dude. You were an ass; you were wrong.

That's the short term. In the longer term, you need to work with your wife on figuring out what to do! You were right to bring her into this in the first place. Keep her there, and let her be your partner in deciding how to move forward. Don't make any decisions about anything without talking to her. This is about the two of you now, because it involves your kids, too.

It's okay that this is overwhelming. It is scary. You need your wife now, so go to her.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:12 AM on December 31, 2013 [17 favorites]


Again, I do not know your family dynamic, but it sounds like you have a golden opportunity here to show up at your in-laws (distance permitting), leave the kids with them for a hot second, take your wife somewhere private and apologize in person. Call ahead, but don't try to do the actual apologizing over the phone. It's well past that and the initiative here to Fix This is totally on you. Don't half-ass it.
posted by griphus at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2013 [11 favorites]


I also know someone who could have made a mistake like this while trying very hard to do the right thing. It's understandable that your wife will be quite upset; she offered you something amazing -- her complete support -- and you rejected it for unknown reasons, probably fear mainly. Be sure to tell her how amazing she's been when you do talk to her, and promise to try to trust her more.
posted by amtho at 11:16 AM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


Of course you tell your wife. It's going to hurt, your wife is hurt because you weren't honest with her and you've invited these other people into your marriage and she doesn't have any input into how everything fits together. That's not fair. She is your PARTNER and she has a say in what happens here.

I will say this, just because this baby-mama wants something, it doesn't mean that you have to do what she says. First thing is to insist on a DNA test. The reason is, why are you inviting all of this heavy, bad shit into your life without knowing 100% for sure that you are the father of this child? That is some serious bullshit.

Demand a DNA test.

If and when it comes back that you are the father of this child, then you can decide what it is that YOU want in this deal.

Women don't automatically get to say what happens to children. If you want to have a part in this child's life, it's okay to ask for that. But do discuss everything with your wife, because you are not making good decisions here, and she may be able to inject some common sense into this badly, botched, situation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:18 AM on December 31, 2013 [28 favorites]


You seriously went up the creek without a paddle when you made the decision to prevaricating over this with your spouse. Fortunately it looks like you are not also going to shoot holes in the bottom of the boat as well.
Yes, tell your wife, and not through Metafilter, call her up go for coffee/walk whatever. You don't have to abase yourself, but you do have to apologize and articulate why what you did was wrong, and to tell her the truth. The only way forward to to be honest and be sincere and be completely forthcoming.
posted by edgeways at 11:30 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just have to add to the chorus that I don't think the mother could have possibly expected that you would keep this information from your wife. If she did, that was an incredibly ignorant and selfish assumption on her part.
posted by Asparagus at 11:39 AM on December 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


[Folks, please try to stick to the question asked and the situation at hand and back off with the strident urgings for the OP to do a bunch of other things. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:48 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


WHat were you planning on telling your wife in 7 years? That you kept an 8 year secret and oh, by the way, I have this child...

Turns out this is the second best reason to tell her. The first is that you are married to her and presumably have an open and honest relationship and she has previously said she would support you on this. You need support. Best to come from wife and not from internet or someone else.

Good luck.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:01 PM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes you should tell her everything. Keep in mind there might be legal ramifications for her, whether she knows or not. If you died tomorrow, would your will be valid, or might your child have claim on your estate? Would you want her to find out that she's got an intense legal battle to look forward to when she's dealing with your death?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:10 PM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


You have to tell your wife. Keep her completely in the loop. She is on your side. I would be devastated if my husband found out something like this, was struggling with it, and kept it from me to protect another person's privacy.

I am wondering why you were so ready to torpedo the relationship with your wife (and your kids) by helping another person keep a secret. I can only assume that it's such a crazy situation that you don't know what to do. That's why you have to include your wife. Definitely an aspect of this situation you should discuss with your psychologist.
posted by stowaway at 12:24 PM on December 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not only do I think you should tell your wife (and hopefully you already have), but I think eventually your daughter must be told as well that she has a half-brother. That is provided, of course, DNA verification confirms your paternity.

But then, I'm in favor of a 100% honestly policy when it comes to a person's biological relatives.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 12:28 PM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Came in to say what everyone else has said: hell yes tell your wife --- tell her every last tiny detail. Your relationship with your wife trumps every other promise to anyone on the planet, and --- as you already can see happening --- failure to be 100% honest is endangering that relationship. You do not owe the boy's mother (a one night stand from a dozen years ago) more than you owe your wife (your life partner), and that includes a promise to keep information from your wife.

And further, you have the right to demand a DNA test. The boy's mother cannot merely insist, a la Maury Povich, that "you are the father", simply because of the timing of your sexual encounters or the coincidence in the kid's appearance. Yes, quite probably he is yours, but get a paternity test, especially before you agree to any kind of child support.

It's one thing to keep small secrets from your spouse (what you got her for Christmas), but definately don't keep a whopper like this.
posted by easily confused at 12:39 PM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm confused about why you didn't tell your wife right away. Even if this other woman asked you to keep it to yourself, she probably assumed you would tell your wife.... the assumption I've always made when telling people secrets is that they tell their spouses everything, so that a "secret" is just secret from everyone except the spouse.
posted by barnoley at 1:08 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think I see what's holding you back: you can't constrain your wife to the confidential arrangement you've agreed to with the mother in question.

Well, you can't. And you have to tell her. So I'd suggest you tell her and be prepared for some potential coercion from your wife to re-negotiate. A two-way agreement between the mother and you is not entirely compatible with your pre-existing commitments to your wife. This can't be a two-way confidence; it has to be a three-way agreement.

Your reluctance to tell her is suggestive that you think she won't go along with your current arrangement. Ask yourself that question, and when you tell your wife, be prepared for your first plan to blow up in your face.

It does involve her, because this kid will turn 18, and maybe find out about you, and maybe turn up on your proverbial or literal doorstep, and then your wife will learn of the secret you have been sitting on for some 7 years.

Having the hard talk and doing the hard thing now is waaay better that priming a marital timebomb in your future. You'll make the best of whatever the current outcome is, but 7 years from now, it'll be a really raw deal for everyone involved.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:24 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have you considered couples counseling?
posted by oceanjesse at 1:42 PM on December 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'd encourage you both to consider couples counseling and possibly a sit-down with a lawyer. The other woman almost certainly has grounds to ask for back child support. It sounds really uncomfortable and I don't envy you but if you can get in front of something like that, I think you'll be in a better position.
posted by kat518 at 1:54 PM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Comment removed; I'm sorry this is such a mess but folks posting under other people's accounts isn't really an okay thing to do on Metafilter and needs to not happen in here. If the asker wants to followup directly in thread at some point they can do that, but this can't really be the staging ground for an off-site interpersonal conversation.]
posted by cortex at 1:57 PM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Absolutely you tell your wife.


My husband and I, except under extremely rare circumstances do NOT keep secrets from one another. People know that if they tell me, they are in effect telling him, and if they are not okay with that they don't need to tell me either.


If I were your wife I'd be pretty pissed off right now. Hopefully you two can talk this out between yourselves.

As to the secret, it may or may not stay secret. In fact, I would guess that more people than your wife know by now, because if she did read this thread, she may or may not have told others. That may suck, but life is messy, despite people's best intentions.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:10 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if this other woman wanted you not to tell your wife? Too stinking bad. Some promises are wrong to be kept, and this one is in that category.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:16 PM on December 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Actually, the mother does not get to choose whether or not the child has a relationship with his parents. For evidence of this, look to our court system. It's always about the child, not the parents.

Your wife already knows. You need to tell her anyway. One way to look at it is, there will be no way to hide it from her once the courts settle this on behalf of the child.
posted by Houstonian at 2:54 PM on December 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've already answered this question, but I have to counter some inaccurate info in other answers. No matter my own or others' opinions, if this woman's husband is the legal father--as in named on the birth certificate--then you do not have an automatic legal right to start demanding things, even if you are the biological father. It depends on the state jurisdiction, for one thing.

Please, after you tell your wife, you really must consult with an attorney. You need to not only understand your rights, but also your potential liabilities.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:53 PM on December 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


she said that she would be willing to stay in touch (sparingly, I assume) and have me present, if I wish, if they tell him

i just wanted to comment on this part since it seems your wife now knows. i know a woman who was told her father that raised her was not in fact her real father. i think she was 13 when it happened. i can't remember if her bio dad was there at the time she was told, but the whole thing was quite traumatic for her. i'd just suggest asking a counselor what is the best way for your son to be told. it might be easier on him if his parents tell him privately and then you could meet him at a later time. it would be an awful lot for anyone to absorb that info and then have to meet their real dad right then too. good luck with all this. you are in a difficult spot just finding all this out years later.
posted by wildflower at 5:30 PM on December 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Tell your wife. ALSO tell the other woman you told your wife. Even if you made a promise to her not to tell anyone, she doesn't get to have her people in the loop while you do not.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:30 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your wife comes before everyone else. This is non-negotiable. Do not continue to lie to her.
posted by random thoughts at 9:35 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Tell your wife (well, tell her to her face as she already knows it seems), and go through all that other shit you need to in order to recover your relationship with her - and do it NOW.

Your family also deserve to know, at least your parents.

And yes, some DNA or blood tests to confirm paternity. The stakes are high, and at this point all you have is 'probably'?! EVERYBODY - she and her family, you and yours - needs better information than that.
posted by GeeEmm at 7:56 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


You need to deal with what you've done to your marriage before you go upending this little boy's life. You don't even know this child or what could cause trauma to him. You need to think about what the consequences of suddenly being revealed as the biological father could have on this child.

You and your wife need to go to counseling. And you need to give her some space until she has the energy to cope with all of this. "I fucked up" isn't a real apology.

It's exhausting to be lied to. It exhausts the love and energy the person being lied to has when attempting to forgive and to set things right when lying is involved.
posted by discopolo at 2:36 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


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