I have something I need to do, and I am not sure how. I have suspected since my son was born that he was not biologically mine.
My family warned me back then, and I had my own suspicions, but I became attached to him and decided to let it go. All would have been well, except my son is acting out and wondering why he is like no one in the family and resembles none of us. What should I do? Should I tell him? I do not want him to find out another way, and his mother is hell bent on keeping the secret that he may not be my child.
Signed, Daddy’s baby – maybe
Dear Daddy’s baby – maybe,
Let me first say that you are to be commended for raising a baby from a boy to a man knowing you may NOT be his father the entire time. I would have advised you to let “sleeping dogs lie,” but something in your letter struck a chord. The young man himself thinks something is off and secrets are being kept, which cannot lead to anything good.
I also suspect that Mom may not want to address this, since you never mentioned her at all beyond the fact that she is alive and middling.
So, here is my advice for what it’s worth. Ask your son to meet with you, have him tell you what is on his mind, find a good therapist or a wise and trusted family member, and gently broach having a paternity test done to ease his mind and yours.
Be honest, tell him why you want to clear the air, let him you know there was a question about his paternity and STRESS that it did NOT make a difference to you, because you have always been his father and will always be, no matter what happens.
He will be upset, so be ready for that. Down the road however, he will breathe a sigh of relief that his identity will be clearer, as long as his mom can give him some answers should that test return and say you are not his father.
Life is filled with all kinds of intricacies; mistakes can and will happen. Since he is a full-blown adult, he is old enough to sort through the quagmire of family secrets with support and love. As the drama unfolds — and trust me, there will be some — own your part in it. Tell him you could have gotten a test, but there was a part of you that was afraid to confront the notion that he may not be your child. Tell him that as he grew, you kept the thoughts in your head to yourself, to keep “peace” in the family. Apologize for not saying anything, even as he questioned it and began acting out in ways harmful to him. Hold him, for he will be devastated, and remind him that you will be right there with him no matter what. Truth is always a better pill to swallow than eating guilt and makes it easier to sleep at night.
What should I do with a friend that is mean-spirited, always getting “dirt” on others, yet smiles in their faces at events? She now makes me very uncomfortable and I want to spend less time in her company. I just don’t want the drama that comes from disconnecting myself from her.
I am sure you have heard the saying, “when people show you who they are – believe them,” because you clearly want to remove yourself from this situation. Have you had this conversation with your friend yet about this? Please be aware, short of blocking this person and going out of your way to never be in the same space with them, that uncomfortable conversation needs to happen so you can move on. Muva has had people in her midst she’s had to give a side eye to while making mental notes. Our behaviors say more about who we are, if we pay close attention. Real friends are not perfect people, but they must have values that align with yours. Gossiping tongues have never led to anything good, so trust your gut instincts and move on if the behavior continues.
Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational/entertainment purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. This column, its author, the newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.