help!!! dh might have a child??

myfampgMarch 8, 2011

My head is spinning -- not sure where to start. I hope not to ramble...

When DH and I met, he told me he had a long relationship/engagement MANY yrs ago.. At the time 11... Now it's been 15 yrs. Almost 16. She got pregnant, they lived together, engaged, very turbulant relationship.. Lots of fighting and he finally broke it off right when the baby was born. He knew she had cheated twice but didn't care. Went to the hospital and all she wanted was for him to sign the birth certificate. He said he wanted a paternity test just because he wanted to be sure (I actually don't like men doing this but I guess if the woman is unfaithful then they have a right to their test). Anyway, she refused. He refused to sign until she allowed a paternity test. He visited a week later and had all the paperwork and money for the test and she refused saying the baby wasn't his and she knew a test was a waste of money. He told her if she changed her mind, to let him know. DH went on with life never hearing from her again. He lived in the same house for 12 yrs, same phone # until we moved, by the way, the number is the same still.. And he worked at the same job for all of those yrs as well. He said he really did not feel the baby was his but felt a little guilt because he did love her.

Fast forward. This has never come up. Except when we were dating and he told me about it. I even looked up his ex on facebook to see what she looked like and there were no pics of the baby at all. No mention of her either. He thought maybe she gave her up since she was so young. Well last night I guess DH got a wild hair up his behind because he looked up the baby's name and found her on facebook. Only one really blury picture of a bunch of girls so who knows which girl she is. Well I looked up Mom and she has actually in the last week added a bunch of recent pictures of her daughter. Same name that DH says she was given at birth. So I pulled up the pictures and OMG... She is gorgeous. And she looks just like DH. DH has these amazing eyes and dimples and she has the exact same color amazing eyes and these gorgeous dimples...

I showed DH and he said 'WOW.. She is gorgeous she looks just like my mom'. I said I KNOW! And she looks just like our DS.

So I said what are you going to do? He said 'nothing what can I do, she's 15 and very happy and what can I do?' I said I agree. And we also agree that she is close enough to being an adult that one day she may say I need to find my dad and she will come looking for him. So I said 'be prepared it might happen, it might not' he said 'i've always known it could happen'. So I just stare at him thinking... You've always known it could happen... Why didn't you take the first step? Why not force a DNA when she was a baby? Just because mom said NO that doesn't mean you couldn't have fought for one. He says that he was young and didn't know what to do so he did nothing. Just waited for her to call him. He said he was certain she would call for money which he was prepared to pay when that time came but he didn't want to fight.

Why am I conflicted? What should we do? Is it wrong to leave it alone? Is it wrong to interrupt her life at this age? She's happy and very well taken care of according to facebook. She's so gorgeous. Wow. I never thought I would feel this way. Anyway - I am not even old enough to be her mother. DH is 10 yrs older than me... I am 30 so only 15 yrs older than the little girl. Well heck she isn't a little girl but you know what I mean. I can't stop looking at her picture -- she looks just like him it's nuts!

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wow, what does DH want to do?

Is mom crazy never wanting to pursue anything? Not CS, not father/child relationship, nothing.

Now I am wondering if someone else is on her birth certificate or some other man (stepdad or mom's BF) plays the role of her father, so to speak, so mom didn't want to disturb.

I would not contact a child because who knows if she believes someone else is her dad (or in case someone else actually is her dad)so why disturbing her peace, but maybe I would contact the mother and ask? Not you I mean, DH.

Just to ask what's going on? I think I'd ask the mother. There is no danger in asking her. The worst thing she'll do is hang up the phone.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:24PM
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sounds like your husband doesn't want to know;
I think I'd be disapointed in him.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Yeah, talk about mixed emotions. Dh must be thinking 'what to do, what to do' and partly afraid he'd do the wrong thing and/or impact the child in a way that would be shocking and/or upsetting to the girl. I get the curiousity has to be strong, but I'd try to curb it and let DH take his time and seriously think about what he wants to do and what he thinks might be best for the child and initial contact then to BM. This could really rock the girl's little world.

I like PO1's suggestion of speaking with the BM if he decides to do anything at all. Do they still live in the same community that your family does?

I can't blame Dh for requesting a DNA test if BM was cheating on him. As they fought constantly and were not married I think he was very much in his right to request and expect prior to signing. Who knows. The girl really may have a different biological father out there and it is not him, or they may have gotten married for all the wrong reasons and ended up making everybody including the child miserable. Actually the BM made this decision for him way back almost 16 yrs ago...without any word in contact or about CS or anything at all I think it left plenty of room for DH to have done exactly what he did. Sit back and wait. It must of been hard at the time though. Wondering if the child was indeed his. Wondering what to do or not do next.

Don't be hard on DH over the past and the what-ifs. It's been 16 yrs and what happened happened. He's never hid the fact a child could be out there nor has he ran from the fact BM could contact via his home/phone at anytime during these years. Give him some time, but support and let him weigh this all out by himself in his own way in his own time. Maybe if he decides to call BM he can at least know more of the child and if a relationship and a change to know her (if it's what child and dad what both want) might be possible. But I think the last thing he would want to do is make first direct contact with the child...even if he is the father he should not just bust into her life...he currently has no idea what the child knows, has been told, or might wish.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:57PM
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Sylvia -- yes I am disappointed in him. :( he is such a great father and is a wonderful stepdad.

When I said sounds like you don't care -- he said would I have looked her up if I didn't care?

So????? I don't know.

According to DHs friends, I was told SHE was very abusive to DH. I sort of see the effect it had on him and we don't talk much about it. He won't hit a lady so I was told he just stood there and took it. A friend said she would beat him on the head call him a dead mute(DH is mostly deaf in both ears, wears hearing aids since childhood)
I was also told she ended up moving in with the man she cheated on DH with right away after he left and that man raised the little girl -- for a while bc someone else told me she is on marriage 3. No one seems to have kept contact with her but seem to know people that she works with or knows...

I also (being a biomom) told DH she is probably NOT the person she once was. She has probably matured and changed an obviously she loves her daughter -- she looks very well taken care of. I am not the Sam person I was 15 yrs ago- for sure!

I don't think we should make any contact. I would NEVER think of being the one either. Lol I am too chicken. I would leave before causing trouble with that family. If DH wants to contact his ex I will support him but I am willing to bet she has NO idea about him. I think it just shocked me that she looks just like him. I think he is scared to bring more drama to our already hectic lives ... And who knows what would happen ... I am disappointed bc I think he has missed out. I am disappointed bc he may have a life before us that he ignored. I am disappointed bc he is such a great father and either 1. He walked away or 2. She lied and he had no idea but I still don't know what to think. I keep thinking my eyes are playing tricks on me. Wow

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Oh my.

It's different with men. I can't imagine being a man and being confronted with that decision, especially at a young age.

All I can say is watch him closely. If anything doesn't resonate well with you, take it as a sign.

This girl deserves to know her family. Her family deserves to know her. I think the BM should be contacted.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:42PM
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Silver -- my mom said the same thing. His parents! Omg they have a grandchild they no doubt would have loved and cared for. He is their only child so all these years they missed out on part of HIM. They gave up thinking he would ever marry and have a family bc that relationship caused a dry spell for him for 10 yrs! He didn't date, he didn't go out. His family told me he was quiet and to himself, almost depressed until he met me and he completely changed back in to his happy outgoing self. He says that's not true he just had no interest in dating after all of that happened.

On the other hand, she may have NO idea she has a father out there. He says he doesn't think she Is his and he felt like she wasn't his from day 1 bc of the cheating. It was a 1/3 chance... But omgosh she looks so much like him.

I have decided to just let him decide. I won't bring it up again until he does. He is playing awfully close with DS tonight. Just holding him and being quiet. Just not his normal self. I'm sure he has a lot going through his mind.

They live in the next town over -- only 15 min. Crazy!! So close yet so far.

If any contact is made it would be between him and BM. I will not get involved out of respect and it's his place not mine. We would never think to contact the 'child' bc she is just that .. A child and I do not feel that would be appropriate at all. Mom should be contacted first by my DH -- I don't think he will contact her though. And no he has never hid the fact that it is possible. He told me right away when we met and we have discussed this with his parents and his friends before. Just never knew what she looked like. She's beautiful though that is for sure.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:00PM
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I read my last post and it sounds like I've already concluded that this IS indeed his child... BUT what I should have said was.. Those were the thoughts running in my head... That IF she were his -- his parents have missed out and so on. Lol this all has made me loopy!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 10:37PM
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It's not 'new' information really, the girl has been around for 15 years. It's new information for you guys to see this photo, but she was always there, and the info was not too hard to find out by the sounds of it. Your DH has never before looked into it seriously, that is what it comes down to.

I would be struggling with contradicting emotions for DH. And also with my own prior knowledge in this whole thing, being with a man who chose not to find out if he had a daughter, so he could be involved in her life, and you knew about this.
That would weigh heavy on my conscience. For me personally, there's no excuse good enough to explain why he turned away from (possibly) his child. He could have demanded DNA-test, this wasn't up to BM to permit or not to permit. And the more violent that relationship was, the more I would have thought it was important to be in this kids' life, instead of leaving her with the abuser. I don't get that. How could he just leave it be, without even knowing, and live with that for 15 years?! And why did he decide to look on facebook now?

This has been discussed with his parents? So they are aware of the possibility, and they have accepted their son not pursuing? Did they not encourage him to find out, support him (AND their possible granddaughter) to get to the bottom of this?

Are you planning to go to this town one day and park across the road so to speak so you can see her in the flesh? It's just a hunch I'm having, it's tempting. I would not do this though, if DH is going to establish contact it needs to be via BM. Possibly with a counselor present. Because yes, I do think contact needs to be made, better late then never, but it's up to DH.

Sorry to sound harsh, but I'd rather be honest about what I think about this.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:36PM
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I think this is your H's battle ar and he has to fight it himself. The worst thing you can do is to begin to judge him on what he should have done or could have done 15 yrs ago. I am sure he has gone through lots of emotion and inner turmoil and he needs not you, his wife, to pass judgment on something happened before you even got there. It is so easy to be a monday night arm chair quarterback. If you truly love him, then just be his friend, be his supporter of whatever he chooses to do.

This was in the past and I am sure there were so many factors involved like the young age, the mother's state of mind, their relationship. I am sure your H has had many sleepless nights of thinking about what he could have done, should have done and the burden certainly weighs heavily on his heart.

We cannot live in the past for the past is long gone, and we cannot live in the future for the future is not yet here. We can only live in the present moment, taking care of what are, so that the future is better.

Why does this weigh heavily on your conscience?. It should not for you were not even involved.

Just let it be.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:14AM
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I do believe contact needs to be made but only to BM, DD should not be contacted, if she was raised by someone else and someone else is her father (bio or not), showing up now and disturbing her life is unnecessary. Most likely she does not know anything about your DH. Give DH some time and then suggest contacting BM.

I do agree with yabber, generally spelaking I have no respect for men who turn away from their children, BUT saying that...DH was told that DD is not his, he had no reason to doubt it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Nobody suggested living in the past.

This is about character;
I think that the fact that OP's husband didn't make any attempt to determine if he indeed had a child reflects on his character, & today, in the present, he still doesn't want to know about it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 5:21PM
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I agree to a point with your view, Sylvia. So far this DH has gotten a bit of a benefit of the doubt from me for several reasons. One state laws differ and two, this falls just about the time there were major changes in claiming and proving 'father'. I'm thinking it was mid 1996 when hospitals started doing the 'father' paper work and waives and agreements?

I can't blame this DH requesting a dna considering he was one of three. I'm not sure if at that time this mother could automatic reject his dna request by withholding her consent or not. No, after a certain date legally she could not, or at the most delay it until a possible father hired and drug in an attorney. Sixteen years ago things were sometimes different especially for unmarried mothers/fathers.

I do agree that in the, what now is almost 16 yrs, this DH could have exercised and persued a course to possible child rights. What may have not been possible at the actual time of birth rapidly has become possible and fairly routine in questionable births.

There is a good chance this child has spent yrs (this BM has been married 3 times since her birth) wondering why her 'daddy' did not want her, who he is ect. She might hate the thought of him as he never stepped forward. I have no idea what this child knows or how she may feel.

I also have a bit of a problem with the line of thinking that just because the current photos of this child seem to present a happy well taken care of child that this has always been true in her life. I have no idea what her childhood was like as BM moved from husband to husband. Is the man who first raised her even still in the picture?

I find it strange there is no mention of a child in face book and now suddenly there is and lots of photos but only current recently uploaded ones. Where has the child been all these years? So many questions.

I guess if we're going to dump character on what little 'we' know, we best dump on his entire family who also knew and did nothing. I can't imagine a possible grandchild of mine being out there without knowing at the very least she had everything she needed and was indeed being well loved and cared for. This child is nearing college preps. Will she have all the resources to go? Just so much to think about.

This man has to make this decision on his own, but it bothers me there is all this staring at her photo online by his entire current family. Like little stalkers. Yeah, she's beautiful, but what if she were not? What difference does it make.

I'm not trying to pick on OP but she has know for at last four years or so now, knew since she first starting dating the guy... why all the shock and 'oh my' now?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 6:51PM
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It's 'oh my wow'now because it's real to me NOW. Before I had no idea how I would feel if she looked like him. He really does not believe and did not believe she was his. Yes she has the same color eyes and dimples but he still does not 'believe' (so he says) that she is his. I am not stalking her. I looked at her picture. If you put a pic on an open facebook page, it's not stalking for someone to look you up and look at your pictures. You put them out there so there has to be some degree of knowledge that anyone can look at your pictures.

I DO have conflicting feelings towards DH for the entire situation but it was never my place to 'force' him at the time that we met to track this girl down. I believe I told him I could NOT believe that he did not pursue a test. I believe our laws changed in 2001 on paternity waivers and father's rights got very strong around that time. My brother's daughter was born in 1995 and at the time, his ex was allowed to put his name on the birth certificate without his consent. And he had to fight for 3 yrs for a DNA test which was very expensive. My DH at that time in his life had not a penny to his name not even a car so a court battle was not within his means. As far as his parents, I love them but I have no real comment on how they do things even now. They live too far away and lived far away at the time too so although they knew she was pregnant, they weren't much of a support system. Basically DH pissed away his college funds drinking and partying and by that point they were teaching him tough love. What happened 15 yrs ago has nothing to do with me. I can't punish DH for the mistakes he made back then, no way is he the same man he was then that he is now. I think the reason Dh stayed alone for 10 yrs was because of the guilt and anguish he felt but no real concept for what to do. He has friends that although they are his 'friends' they didn't really give good advice based on the fact that they were all young and 'dumb'.

I think what got DH 'curious' this week is that we have talked about when we will have another baby. We talked about names and girl vs. Boy and I just think maybe his gears started turning. Although I don't agree with how he handled this mess 15 yrs ago, it doesn't change how much I love him today, yesterday or how much I will fall in love with him all over again tomorrow morning. Or that we are married and we have a family and he is a wonderful father NoW.. He made mistakes but it's not my place to judge, he has to live with his decisions ... Just as any human being will. I have to just support him.

No I will not be parking across from her school and watching from a distance. Creepy!! Looking at a facebook photo and stalking from my car are two different things. DH does not want to make any contact with the mother at this time. He sees no point. It's too late and that's his decision to make I guess. I don't know how I feel at all. I haven't thought of much more since this came up. I think it's just the 'guilt' I feel for him. Like someone said-- she may have spent her entire life wondering WHY her father didn't want her. It's not really THAT simple. It's not that he didn't want her, he was told she was not his. NOW if you are a man and you believe a child belongs to you, you can file with the attorney general to have a DNA test. Back then, he would have had no rights to order such a thing. He went off what he was told regardless of if it were true. I think if it were NOW knowing the kind of person he is, he would fight. But now that all of these years have gone by, the struggle to know what the 'right' thing to do is... Is just that... A struggle. Is she happy? Does she know anything? Does she have a 'father'? I really cannot hold him accountable for 'walking' away given his age, the information he was given ... He asked for a test IN the hospital and it was refused. Because it would have been negative... According to BM. Why would she lie? Except to just hurt him. Did she NOT 'need' child support? Did she not want to share custody? He said he never asked for custody or anything. He offered money to help support her and she didn't want it. He worked 3 jobs while she was pregnant so she didn't have to work the entire time and then for a bomb like 'it's not yours' to be thrown on him. I don't know? What would any 'guy' have done?

And I say she is beautiful because she is. I would never have said she was UGLY. I think she looks just like my dh and a bit like her mom, her mom is beautiful too. Maybe I shouldn't have commented on her looks but that's where my 'oh my wow' comes in... She looks like my dh and she is a very pretty girl.

I think all I wanted was to vent my shock. My confusion. My disappointment that NOW Dh is curious and honestly, I think he has always been curious but has never had open access to a picture. He only got on FB this year and has been looking up lots of people. Just like anyone with an FB does. I dont know what to say to him. I don't know how to support his feelings when I am conflicted in my own. My own father walked away from me and my siblings and was in and out of my life. Sometimes I think my life may have been different If he were more involved then I think it would have been best if he would have just gone away and disappeared. I also have a brother with a child that has been alienated from all of us, so I know the things BMs will do to keep he BD from their kids just out of spite. So like I say, I am mixed. I don't know both sides of the story but I do know that if this were me... I would carry so much guilt if I intentionally told the father of my child that he was NOT the father AND I refused a test, but knew he was the father, the blame would have to be on me. I also know that there is NO way I could go 15 yrs without busting at the seams from keeping a giant secret. Dh says that she was very much about money and high maintenance, he has no doubt she would have gone after child support at least after a few years. But he also said she would have fought tooth and nail to keep from having to share visitation or anything like that... I probably will never know... I told DH just be prepared that one day the girl may show up and say 'hey, you're my dad'... And that's where we left it. He said well she will want to know one day if she doesn't know already and if her mom is honest then that is when we will know because he said he is not contacting his ex. And that is the end of the conversation.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Well everybody seems to be ready to jump on myfampg's DH yet how many men do not bother seeing their kids because "evil BM" says :"no"? How many do not bother filling for visitations or pursue their legal rights to have a schedule and see their kids just because they don't want to bother? And everyone is like "oh poor innocent guy" victim of evil mother.

But here is the guy who is told that the kid is not even his, yet he is expected to prove it otherwise.

Myfampg, we have no ways of knowing why BM did what she did, possibly because she knew DD is not his, otherwise she would wnat at elast some help. Well they look alike, so? I would not make any conclusions.

I wish your DH contacted his ex right now and asked her the truth. I understand how you feel. I would be devastated if SO had another child somewhere else and did nothing about it, I would suggest for him to contact the mother. But that's all we could do, make suggestions. You cannot force your DH.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Myfam, you have my sympathy. This must be a big shock. My DH's daughter is beautiful as well, and looks just like him. It's amazing. And my DD looks a lot like her father too.

Hindsight is 20/20. What matters now is how it's handled.

I really hope your DH contacts the BM. I can't imagine not knowing at this point.

We had a 'mystery' family member emerge in my family and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to our family. What joy we've had because of this additional person.

I hope the same for you.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I agree PO1. I've shared my SS's story I think a while ago. He went through similar. 'Go away, leave us alone, you're not daddy blah blah'. My SGS was a product of a one night stand. "Nope, no DNA, Nope, go away, we don't want or need you, stop **cking up my life". Well, at least until BM needed SS and then the frantic 'help, I need you, come immediately' came. She was endanger of losing SGS to 'her selected daddy' due to her own issues.

We didn't have to wait for as long as this OP's story is, but my SS went through an awful lot to finally be able to claim his son and be a part of his life. Even after the call, it was a while before a mandatory court ordered DNA could get through. 'Selected Daddy' stood in his way, but a good lawyer waded us through it.

SGS is now 14 later this month, we've been able to share in his life since just before he turned 4. It was hard for me not to judge, but it was too late for 'what the hell where you thinkings' at SS or 'grudges' towards BM. All that really mattered at that point was BM needed help, wanted us in her life along with SGS and we came out swinging legally and financially to help her and to get SS, BM and SGS through this.

Little guy, well not so little anymore, instantly stole our hearts. And through help and lots of support BM has been able to become a productive adult and she's a great mommy to SGS. "Selected Daddy" poofed, never actually wanted SGS was just a way to control BM...SGS was scared of 'Selected Daddy' and cried when he would scream at his mommy.

I do get SS a bit angry at me at times when I side with BM over SS...but he knows really that I do and will side with what is in best interest of the child, it's not personal. It was wonderful to watch SGS blossom and strive as he was so shy, skittish and like a rabbit to dash for a hole when he first came into our lives. He had not had a good first few years with BM and her 'selected preferred daddy' fighting and her in and out of inpatient mental hospitals due to the stress (she had severe anxiety attacks and depression and meds would have to be adjusted, she could not care for SGS at times).

SS had to have a lot of money to make up for paying back the state for public money and CS, plus starting the then CS , health insurnace blah blah. But he stepped right up, worked extra to cover it all and has been a good father and has a very close relationship with his son. We have no idea how she actually found SS, (they parted with threats of restraining order if he did 'go away', at the time he thought he was doing the right thing and the only thing he thought he could do). We assume she tracked him through somebody working at the local branch of his large corporation. We're just glad she was able to. My DH and I knew nothing about this child's existance until SS called after BM's call and said he was on his way, needed help. Then was not the time to judge, worry about the past, the mistakes...what mattered now was the present and the future.

I do kinda get the 'looks' thing, sometimes the genes are so strong in the 'looks' department. First time I saw this child, I knew. He is the spitting cross of his father and mother. HE has the family ears, eyes, nose, chin...but just a touch of BM to soften it. I pulled out photos of my DH at four and it was like the two were time warped twins.

--"I wish your DH contacted his ex right now and asked her the truth"-- [PO1]

So do I, but as stated [also Po1] "I would suggest for him to contact the mother. But that's all we could do, make suggestions. You cannot force your DH.".

I think it might be best to know once and for all. It's a heavy load OP's DH is carrying. As stated somewhere above 'the worse BM can do is hang-up on him'.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Wow everyone is so quick to judge. It is difficult to have a relationship with a child when it is not supported by the custodial parent. It is better for the child to live in a peaceful environment with one divorced parent, than an one filled with fighting, anomosity, and putting the child in the middle of two divorced parents. Love is not about you. Love is sacrificial. Sometimes the most loving thing a parent can do is to walk away.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 6:32PM
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