This married man was shocked to learn that he had a son from a woman he had met years ago. He was conflicted and confused, but finally decided to reach out to him…
My husband and I are pretty typical. Dual income, no kids and are hoping to have one or two within the next few years, but are in no rush and are enjoying this time in our lives. I have a white-collar job, and he works for a startup. Of course, we have had our problems, but have always managed to work through them and seem to always come out stronger.
My husband received a Facebook message over the weekend from a woman saying that he is the father of her five year old son. Although he didn’t immediately remember who she was, after confirming a few details he was able to place her as a one night stand right before we just started dating. Although it might seem that there could be overlap between she and I, given the kid’s birthday and you know, math, I do believe him when he said that he slept with her only once a month before we started dating. So this isn’t an infidelity situation.
On the one hand, I’m irrationally angry with him. This should not be my problem as I was not the one who decided to have unprotected sex with someone I did not know while wasted.
A different side of me feels robbed, and the protective side of me also feels life my husband has been robbed, albeit in a different way. He didn’t know about this child and consequently has missed many of the traditional milestones.
He broke down in the middle of our living room apologizing and saying that he always imagined that his children would be with me, and that this is not the kind of father he wanted to be.
The kid looks exactly like how my husband looked at 5. And I think he should get to know him. Even if this impacts my life negatively since this is not the kid’s fault. I told him to just reflect for a while and not to make any decisions until we know more.
After a lot of soul searching on David’s part, he came to the conclusion that, as much as it would be easier to bury his head in the sand and pretend that this never happened, Alex is his son and at the very minimum he needs to make sure he is safe and happy, and that if he does nothing, he will think about this every single day for the rest of his life. And if we do decide to have kids, they will be an even bigger reminder of his other son. At one point it came out that when he had said that he didn’t want to be involved initially it was because that is what he thought I wanted to hear and that if he had to pick between his son and his marriage, he was choosing his marriage, but that he didn’t really know if he could move forward if it actually came to that.
From my side of things, what I wanted was for him to make his decision independent as to what I thought and wanted, because ultimately if something happened to me, he would still to deal with the consequences of partaking in his son’s life and that he can’t undertake something of that magnitude just for me.
The truth of the matter is though that I know my husband very well, and at the end of the day, he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he ignored this situation.
We had a home DNA test and it was confirmed that my husband is the father. Not that there was any doubt in my mind. But the situation is even more f*cked up than I thought.
Jessica (the mother) and David spoke on the phone and she told him a few things that were concerning:
– Alex (the son) is currently living with his father Sam (I guess stepfather would be more appropriate… but keep reading). From what we can guess, he has been living there since 2013. This raised a bunch of red flags. Children’s Aid wouldn’t place a child with someone they believe is abusive, and even more telling… they tend to favor the mother. So this is weird.
– Because of a complaint that Jessica lodged, Sam was charged for assaulting Alex in 2013, but he was acquitted
– She says that in 2013, she voluntarily placed Sam in foster care because she kept passing out and thought it was dangerous as it would mean Alex was alone
– Children’s Aid is on Sam’s side and, in the files, she is not portrayed in a good light at all
– She did not realize that David had moved eight hours away, she assumed we were still in the same city.
– She has another court case soon regarding custody.
Sam knows that Alex is not his son, but is in denial and thinks that the DNA test is wrong since it is a home test. He wants to keep full custody of his son. Jessica wants to have full custody of her son, and is hoping that by throwing his biological dad into the mix, the courts will take Alex away from Sam and award him to her and that we can then have visitation (or probably more accurately, pay support and stay away).
David asked that the children’s aid and court papers be sent to him so he could formulate a plan.
Based on what we know, which admittedly isn’t much, it seems as though Sam is a good father. There are ton of Facebook posts of Alex building a snow fort, Alex swimming in lakes with his Dad, Alex dressing up as batman… just normal stuff you expect to see from a proud father. Jessica… not so much. Honestly, she looks high in most photos. Based on the reason as to why she gave him up temporarily, the photos, and the fact that he isn’t living with her, I’m assuming it’s an opiate addiction, but am just guessing.
David ultimately wants what is best for Alex, and if it means having him with us full-time so be it, but right now it seems horrible to pull a five year old from the only home he really knows because of DNA. So we are waiting for the files, and will be talking to the caseworker to see if our impression is right. We don’t trust Jessica at all so she is not an option. If it turns out that there are issues with Sam, we will fight for full custody.
If Alex is happy, well-adjusted, and Sam is a good Dad like we believe, David will be signing away his rights and give Sam his medical and contact information in case it is needed. He also had the idea to write a letter to Alex explaining his actions (that he found out about him at five, but seemed like he had a good home and a great Dad and felt like what he is doing was in his best interests but that he loves him and is there for him and can reach out if and when he is ready) that Sam can give to him when Alex is older (if he wants to). Of course, it will ultimately be Sam’s decision as to whether or not he wants to tell Alex about his biological dad.
I’m not sure if this is the right thing, but it seems horrible to make a five year old go live with complete strangers eight hours away from Mom and Dad if it can be helped. Sam is the one that has been playing with him, taking care of him when he is sick… Sam is his Dad.
We have a big battle ahead of ourselves, though.
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