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This is my first post here and I apologize in advance for how long it will be. I just found about something that I am not willing to discuss with anyone I know at the moment, so I figured this might be a "safe" place to write it all out and perhaps get some thoughts or advice. I also had no idea which board would be best for what I'm about to post, but thought this might be the most appropriate.
My husband and I have have 2 children ages 5 and 7. He has always been a great husband and a very involved, wonderful dad. I want to emphasize this because I can honestly say that what I just discovered has me in complete shock.
My husband told me 3 days ago that back in 1995, when he was 20 years old and in college in California (years before we met and we live in a different state on the west coast now) he had a 1 night stand with a girl from the East coast. The girl was also 20, and she was only visiting a friend at his college in California for the weekend. He used a condom and the condom broke. They exchanged phone numbers and next day the girl went back to the state where she lives. A few months after she left, he went to his dorm and found 8 messages on his answering machine. He called her back and she told him that she was pregnant, that the baby was his, and that she had decided to have the baby. He told me that he was scared. That he had some doubts about weather or not the baby was really his, but he never questioned her about it. He told her that he didn't know what he could offer since at the time, he had no car or driver's license, no money or a job, and they lived so far away, but that he was willing to try to figure something out for the best of the child. He tells me that they kept in regular contact over the phone, and then she had the baby. She mailed him a couple of pictures and a letter telling him what she named him. He tells me that she never asked for anything at all. After getting the pictures and the letter, he attempted to call her and left several messages on her answering machine for days. He also sent her letters, but he never heard from her again. He had told my mother in law and my mother in law mailed her a package for the baby. She spoke to her over the phone once, and was planning to fly there to meet the baby, but attempted to call to make arrangements and she, as well, never heard back from the girl. My husband tells me that at the time, 1995, he had no internet and there was no facebook or anything like that to find people easily, and he just gave up on trying to find her. He doesn't know anything else or what ever happened to her or the child because all communication stopped. I spoke to my mother in law about it last night and she says that when my husband told her, she got very upset and asked him why hadn't used protection, and she tells me that he was crying and told her that he had, but it had broken. She tells me that after not hearing back from the girl, she made the decision to let it go, as she didn't know with certainty if the baby was his, and they never heard back from her again.
My husband tells me that all these years, he has tried to "google" her from time to time and has not been able to find her. She had a very unique last name, but some people in history also had that last name and that's all that comes up online. He tells me that every March, which is when the child was born, he feels depressed, and that back in the day he used to go out and get drunk and cry himself to sleep on the day of the child's birthday. He told me I could try to find them too so I would see how he wasn't lying.
At first, I got extremely upset, of course. How is it that I NEVER heard about this before?! My mother in law has known all these years as well, and never said a word to me, and how is it possible that my husband possibly has a 17 year old son who he has never met?! but for some reason, my anger has quickly turned into extreme sadness.
I went online and tried to search for her and the child by their names and found nothing. Not on google, not on facebook, not on any social media network.
Then yesterday, I decided to search some public records in the state where they lived, and after a while, I was able to find her. She has a different las name now, she is married so she has her husband's last name, and the child (now 17) has her husband's last name and the same first name my husband told me.
I went on facebook, and neither her or her husband have a facebook, but the kid does. I clicked on his profile picture, and my heart sunk... He is the spitting image of my husband. Same nose, same eyes, same tall, lean body. I swear if someone would have shown me his pictures and told me that was my husband at 17, I would have believed it without a single doubt. They simply look the same. I have no doubt that this kid is my husband's biological son. I found some other pictures online from his high school sports team, and showed them to my mother in law, who had the same reaction I did. She looked at the first picture and in a soft voice said "oh wow.. same nose, same eyes, same lips". I showed my husband as well, and he feels devastated. I was able to find out their address, and the mom's phone number, and he wants to contact her, but he knows that it is not that simple. We don't know what this kid has been told, we don't know if he think his mother's husband is his biological father, we don't know if he hates my husband, we don't know anything at all about them actually! My husband only met her once in his entire life. Of course we don't really know how their lives are, but in pictures, they appear to be a happy family, and he looks like a happy, healthy kid that partcipates in sports at his high school.
I feel sad about every aspect of reality in this situation. I feel sad that this child has never met my husband and grew up without him. This kid is no less deserving than my children are of having a great dad. I feel sad that my husband missed out on ever meeting him or being there for him growing up. I feel sad for whatever struggles his mother may have been thru possibly as a single mother or who knows.. It's just a sad situation. I also am aware that the possibility remains that my husband could be sued for 18 years of child support, but that's not a something that we would try to avoid or fight.
I think that if we decided to do anything at all, the first step would be for my husband to contact the mother and go from there... but we haven't made a decision yet. We don't know what to do at this point and I think we will need to think about this long and hard before we make a decision, but not doing anything at all and going on as if this kid doesn't exist now that we've found him seems equally hard.
Wow, that's a difficult situation and I'm sorry you're in this position. I don't think this is something that anybody outside of your situation can really advise you about because it's a very personal decision that carries a lot of consequences for everyone, whichever way you decide to go. I think that if you do decide to contact them, contacting the mother first would be the right thing to do. I don't think that your husband (or you) should feel any guilt about how long it has taken to find this woman; it would seem that she decided not to involve your husband.
I think your husband should be very grateful to have such a loving and understanding wife!
I hope that this works out well for you. Good luck; my thoughts and prayers are with your family!
I cant really command emotions but I think you both need to relax and not let this take over your happy lives. Remember, this woman made the decision to stop contact even tho she knew your MIL and DH were trying. Its not his fault...no guilt should be felt.
Weigh how important finding out for sure is to you and your family. If you feel you absolutely must find out if this boy is his then contact the mom, do the DNA test(dont just assume cuz the boy looks similar that he is your DH's cuz many women date similar looking men), and work out a deal for financial responsibility if thats what is wanted by all parties.
My husband told me about a similar thing when we'd been married for about 6 yrs. It stings a bit but geez it was years before we met and another lifetime in many ways. That woman slept around on my DH which is why they ended their relationship, later she claimed the child was his but everyone was in different states and when DH demanded a DNA test she disappeared and stopped contact except years later she talked to DH's brother(who wasnt a part of DH's life anymore by then).
He's chosen to let the boy have a happy life. He knows, after speaking to his brother in 2009 when the boy was just about 18, that the boy is happy and doesnt know about my DH(and Ive seen the boy on Facebook and he does look similar to my DH as well).
So he's left it at that. If this boy ever learns about another possible father than DNA testing will happen and we will go from there. But until then we move forward with our lives and our happiness, leaving this boys to his.
You just do what you feel is best...weigh pros and cons of moving forward.
Thoughts and prayers! I hope everything works out. You've really handled everything with grace and that is great. I don't think this is your hubby's fault at all and I hope he is not carrying it that way. If you decide to go forth with it then I would talk to the boys mom and try to do it in a way that is friendly even though it is painful. I think this will be painful for everyone....and you will really have to sit down and figure out if it's the right thing to do or not for everyone involved. Never being in that situation I honestly don't know what you should do. I am so sorry, that really is tough.
Trisha--proud stay at home mommy and wife.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and advice. After letting this consume our lives for a few days we had a long coversation and decided that we are going to let this go for now. We realize that making contact with them at the moment would involve pain for all parties which we feel we have no right to do to a kid (17) who is in his last year of high school, seems to be doing well and doesn't need us or probably even know about us, especially considering that we don't have any real evidence of dh being his biological father. We realize that if he does know something and is interested in finding out about his genetics or having any contact we will be open to that if he ever contacts us (my husband is very easy to find online). We may revisit the subject and change our minds in the future, but for now we think that this is best for everyone. Thank's again