(Closed) Looking for some advice

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
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  • Post # 16
    477 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    I’d be a little careful for two reasons. I’m not saying don’t let them meet, but think about all potential results.

    1. You are tying yourself and your children to another family. In order for the kids to see each other you and their mother will have to participate. Not necessarily bad, but introducing them while you have to facilitate the relationship means that you could end up spend a lot of time with the whole family. 

    2. You tell your children that your ex husband is the “dad who helped make them” which seems like a good way to talk about it neutrally that hopefully doesn’t make them feel resentful or conflicted about not seeing your ex. I’d want to know a little more about how this woman talks to her son about the same situation? Does she speak angrily? Does her son want his father to visit? I’d consider how alternate stories about their bio-dad might make them feel. I have a similar “dad who helped make me” and my mom worked pretty hard to remain neutral. Whereas my bio-dad’s second wife, who he divorced quite recently, says awful things about her ex in front of their kids and I know they are really hurt by it. If I was younger I know that I would’ve been pretty devastated if I heard those words from them, even if I didn’t have a relationship with him at all. 

    Post # 17
    3562 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    View original reply
    BrynneF :  I will come at this from a different angle, since I experienced this personally as a child. 

    Quick background…My dad was previously married and had a son.  7 years later, he fathered me. Then shortly after he fathered another son.  We all have different mothers.  When I was about 2-3 my mom and dad got back together and eventually married. 

    Son #1’s mother was basically a deadbeat druggie.  From what I’ve been told, my dad & granny took care of him until he was about 4ish, and that’s when his mom got cleaned up, remarried, and regained custody of him.  After that, she kept him from his father and he grew up thinking that his dad wanted nothing to do with him.  I found out this brother existed when I was about 8 years old, but I wasn’t able to meet him until I was about 9, even though we lived in the same town, due to his mother keeping him from his biological father.

    Son #2’s mother was also a deadbeat druggie.  Long story short, she took him to another state and dumped him on her parents, all while collecting child support from my dad for years.  I found out about both brothers around the same time, so I was about 8…but I also never met this brother until I was about 14–as that was when the grandparents called wanting to know why they weren’t recieving child support checks, my dad had no idea that his son was not with his mother. 

    I will say that the only affect of knowing about these 2 half-brothers at a young age had on me was that I couldn’t understand why I could never meet them or have a relationship with them.  I felt a lot of anger towards their mothers for keeping them from me, and I still do to an extent.

    My older brother and I have a great relationship, I see him often and I’m very involved in my nieces’ lives.  We are very close.

    My younger brother and I have an OK relationship.  Meeting for the first time as teenagers, I guess we just never really were able to establish that brotherly/sisterly bond.  I try to visit him often and stay involved in my niece and nephew’s lives as much as possible, but it’s very one-sided…he rarely makes an effort to see/talk to me.  He does keep in touch with my mom and dad, and his bio-mom is not in his life.

    Neither brother has a relationship with each other…they see each other around the holidays at a family gathering and that’s pretty much it.

    I guess my point is that kids are resilient…they can handle things in ways we can’t even imagine they could.  I would bring it up slowly and play it by ear from there.  


    Post # 18
    7805 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    While I have not experienced this first-hand (so some may consider my opinion irrelevant because of that), I don’t think you have any responsibility at all to tell your children about half-siblings they might have through their biological father. That is HIS responsibility, if he feels they should have a relationship (and given his involvement, it appears he doesn’t care). While you happen to know about this boy, there could be others, and while they may share parts of your children’s DNA, they don’t share any of yours. That boy, and any other half-siblings that man might have helped create, are not your responsibility, and they are not your family.

    Part of my attitude on this comes from my own father, who was adopted. He never knew his biological parents, nor did he ever want to. In his opinion, anyone who cared so little about him (he was not formally adopted, but instead left alone and neglected) didn’t deserve any part of his life. He firmly believed that family is what you create, not what you are born to. In your situation, I don’t think that knowing that their biological dad made other children and abandoned them will help your children find fulfillment or make them feel more connected. It will only serve to confuse them further, IMO. I would reject having them meet.

    Post # 19
    320 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I can see why you are torn.  If it were me, I would want to know my siblings and I would probably carefully set up a meeting.  Whatever you decide, remember that kids are incredibly resilient and so much more open that we are as adults.  The reality is that your daughters do have a brother and at some point, they will probably know about each other.  The question is, how you manage that information – I almost think it is easier to share when they are little than when they are teenagers when more emotion and angst gets added into the mix.  I would probably go for it, it a very managed situation.

    Tough call- you’ll do what you think is right.  Maybe go see a counselor to get some neutral advice on how kids react to this sort of situation?

    Post # 20
    765 posts
    Busy bee

    I personally have never been in this situation, but know others that have. In every case I was told about, it was one where they ‘waited until they were old enough’ they were always angry they weren’t told sooner.

    Best I can say about it. 

    Post # 21
    588 posts
    Busy bee

    I know you feel betrayed by what your ex did to you and I understand why you’re not so excited about meeting her or letting your kids know about their half sibiling.

    Do you know if she knew he was married? I bet you have questions for her and I think this is great opportunity to ask her all the things you ever wanted to know about this situation. Being honest about your feelings is what will help you get closure.

     Relationships take time no matter how you are connected! Let her know you would like to talk via messenger and maybe meet for coffee before your the kids can meet. Get to know her and build trust btw each other.

    good luck




    Post # 22
    1076 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I have a similar situation with the deadbeat dad and I have an 8 year old. He hasn’t yet reproduced again but if/when he does, I see NO reason to introduce the kids during children. If, when they are teenage adults, they want to make that decision, then fine. IMO, the other mom needs to stop meddling. Just from that single interaction I think she’s pushy and likely has a tendency for the dramatics.

    Post # 24
    1836 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Complicated as it may be, they are siblings and as such should know each other — at least somewhat. My dad told me, shortly before he died, that I have an older half-brother out there. I wish I’d pushed him for details. Now I’ll never know him. More family is a good thing, generally speaking. If this child’s mother ends up being drama, then drop contact. But I think the girls should know of and be able to meet their brother. 

    Post # 25
    303 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I have very close friends who experienced exactly this.  Their mom decided she didn’t want them to know they had half-siblings until they were adults, figuring that it woudn’t be a good idea to tell them as children.  I cannot tell you how much strife this has caused in the kids’ relationship with their mother, now that they know. To a child, it doesn’t matter whether it was or wasn’t your responsibility to tell them, to a child (I’m thinking of an adult child) who trusts you implicitly I think all they see is that you withheld information from them that they had a right to know (to them).  This of course is just the perspective that I’ve seen first hand.  Children are much more resilient than we give them credit for in a lot of cases, and children also tend to be much more forgiving and open to meeting others.  That might explain why in a lot of the first hand responses above you notice that those who met half-siblings when they were younger tended to be able to develop closer relationships than when they met their half-siblings as adults.  Anyway, each situation is unique… and maybe you should meet this boys mother in real life first, and try to get a feel for what kind of person she is, and exactly what she’s after for her son, and how far she’s willing to pursue this etc.  This is definitely a complicated situation and I wish you the best of luck with it. 

    P.S. With regards to her contacting your ex- I’d be more inclined to think that she wasn’t totally comfortable contacting you directly so she tried to go through your ex first (assuming he would talk to you), rather than think that she would go about arranging a meeting without speaking with you first… my two cents 🙂

    Post # 26
    5148 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2010

    Regardless of who their father is or whether or not he is a deadbeat, they ARE siblings. I have “full” siblings, half-siblings, and step-siblings, and they are ALL my siblings as far as I am concerned. 

    Even at 7 years old I was fully capable of understanding my father had another child (a new half-sister for me with the same woman he had an affair with while married to my mother.) Whatever my mother’s feelings about my biological father and his actions(they did separate and divorce), she never interfered with my (or my other siblings’) rights or opportunities to know our other siblings – half or not. I would not have been happy to have that right denied to me even at 7 and I would have been incredibly angry and resentful to not be told about my other siblings for years – until I was a teenager or older.

    Post # 27
    2155 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I think you should absolutely 100% tell them and allow them to meet. What harm could it possibly do? Kids are far more likely to accept the situation without hard feelings or complications than a teenager or adult would be. I don’t think you have a right to deny your children the information that they have a sibling or to prevent them from meeting. I have to say if I were your daughter and you did that to me I would be absolutely furious with you later on and it would damage my relationship with you enormously. It sounds like you want to withold the information from them for selfish reasons – because it might make your life more complicated. But you can’t change reality and reality is that they have a sibling and as such they are going to meet eventually, so why not face reality now and let them have a brother.

    Post # 28
    1469 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    View original reply
    BrynneF :  This is a tough situation.  If you yourself wouldn’t feel ill effects from being around the boy’s mother, then I would tell your girls.  It sounds like your husband is wonderful and being every bit a “real dad” to them so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

    Post # 29
    78 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    Maybe you could ask to meet the mom one on one first?  In person it might be easier to discuss the situation, and also feel out if she is legitimately a mother trying to find some family connection for her son or someone who is looking for some sort of drama.  For example if she spends the whole time bad mouthing your mutual ex v. spending the time talking about her son / asking about your girls.

    Post # 30
    5081 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2014

    I’m also in the camp that you should tell them. 

    I grew up with a deadbeat dad who had three children with three different women. I’m the middle one. I grew up knowing that I had half-siblings and I met them a couple times. Unlike PPs in similar situations, I don’t have close relationships with them outside of being facebook friends, but I think it’s good to know they exist. I was perfectly capable of understanding that my father had other children with different moms at a very young age. 

    Everybody is different and having a deadbeat dad will affect them in different ways. Not everyone develops “daddy isssues” because of it. I was never angry with my father or sad and I don’t resent my younger brother because he still has a relationship with our father. I feel nothing for my father. It sounds like your girls have a good support system with their step dad, I’m sure they’ll be ok no matter what you decide to do. 

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