Should I tell my son that hubby is not his biological father?

Monday, August 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Should I tell my son that hubby is not his biological father?

Hi Achokis,

When I met my husband, I was a single mum of a one-year-old boy. But my husband didn’t mind and took me with my baggage.

In fact, he has been too good to my son and I that the boy has grown up knowing he is his father. He is now 17 years. 

Recently, he overheard my mum-in-law talking about him with other women and the fact that my husband isn’t his biological father. This bothered him and he sought clarifications from me.

I lied to him that those were just old women’s stories, but I don’t think he believed me. I haven’t had the courage to tell him the truth.

I don’t want him to know the truth from somewhere else, yet I fear that telling him the truth may affect his relationship with my husband. What should I do? 

Our take

Who really is a father? Is it the one who sires a child or is it the person who brings up a child and is there for them as they grow up?  You husband has in every way been a father to your son and nothing should change that.

Hubby’s support

However, it is important for your son to know the truth because, as they say the truth sets us free. As long as he still doubts, especially after hearing what his grandmother said, it will affect him and his relationship with your husband.

He may begin to resent him and even rebel against you as his parents and any other authority in his life. Teenage boys crave for their fathers as that is where they draw their identity from. And so when questions about whom his real father arises, it may complicate things.

So what can you do? First and foremost, have a conversation with your husband. Remember it also concerns him as he has tried his best to be in every way a father to your son.

Talking about it with him also brings you together in the same team as this issue requires a united approach. Appreciate your husband’s effort this far and assure him of your continued support. You also need his support and wisdom as you navigate this issue.

Break the news

Then, together, look for a convenient time and place to break the news to your son. Be the one to start the conversation as you have more relational capital with your son.

Apologise for not telling him the truth and explain to him why in the first place you didn’t see it prudent to tell him about his real father.

Let him know that your motives were right. It may be hard for a time, but things will get better as time goes by if you keep the communication lines open. 

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