January 14, 2008,
E. asks from Carol Stream, IL on January 14, 2008
Telling the Kids About a Half Sibling
First a little background. I found out my husband was having an affair.
I tried to work it out and get passed it, until his girlfriend got pregnant.
I found out in June and I filed for divorce. The divorce was final 11/13/07.
She is due this month. My question is; I know that my husband is the not the only one she was sleeping with (she told me so). However she swears the baby is his. I want a paternity test, before my children get attached but my ex says no. Either way I think my kids have been through too much this pass year and I am not sure they can handle it. Do I have a right to request a test (I know not legally, but morally); should we wait 6 months to a year to tell them? They are still getting used to the idea that daddy does not live with us anymore. And if and when we tell them…. How do you do that?
One thing that I should add is that my ex and his girlfriend are not really together. My ex lives with his parents. He thinks they should know the baby, because they are siblings. I think my kids already feel they do not have their whole father and this is just going to add to their feeling of loss. Help!
E.S. answers from Chicago on January 14, 2008
I would wait to tell them until you find out that it's his AND if he regularly cares for this other child. If your ex wants nothing to do with this child, there is no point in telling your kids about s/he until they are older. I have 3 half-siblings and am glad to share my life with them. The ONLY way I am able to share my life with them is because my dad is a part of my life. I have a full sister who hasn't seen the half-sibs in 10 years and they don't know her well(the youngest doesn't remember her at all). Obviously, we all know each other exists but we were also older and integrally involved in each others lives for some time.
J.B. answers from Chicago on January 14, 2008
I dont know from experience how to answer this, but I feel for you. I too think I would want to know if the baby was truly his. I first would want to see if he actually has anything to do with this child too begin with. His story might change on it being his once it is born and he has to help support the baby. I feel that honesty in a suttle fashion is what you need to do here. Explain to the children as much as they need to know and reassure them that no matter what you love them and that you always will love them. You might want to call your ped or a professional counsler and ask them for advise on how to handle this. Have you talked to the the pregnant ex-girlfriend? How does she want to handle this? Maybe together-as hard as it is you two can come up with a plan.
Bottom line best of luck, you will figure it out!!
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T.K. answers from Chicago on January 14, 2008
My heart goes out to you. This is a horrible situation that your ex put you in. You or your ex should tell the children (but not until you know for sure if it is your ex's), I am sorry, but if it were me, I would want to know if I may in fact have a sister or brother (even if it half) and would want to have it out in the open sooner than later. I wish you all the best. Please let us know what happens. Good Luck.
R. answers from Chicago on January 14, 2008
I responded to this once before. No, you should not tell your kids about a sibling that may or may not be your husbands. The baby won't even be part of their lives. It will complicate matters even worse. If your ex- husband wants to tell them--that should be HIS JOB. If he and this other woman were living together and raising this baby together than that would be a different story.
And no, I don't think forcing a paternity test should be your role. It's your ex-husband's mess and he should deal with it on his own.
Good luck to you.