Sex Secret: He's Not Your Son!

Father and Son
Does DNA trump a moment like this?
Everyone has a dirty little secret. This is a safe place where we can share them (anonymously, of course). Go ahead, spill. We won't tell. (Thanks again to!)

This Week's Confession:
"He's not your son. I don't know who is, but I didn't cheat -- I was pregnant when you met me. You were so kind, wonderful, and loving, and when I finally got up the nerve to tell you I was pregnant, you were so excited about 'our' baby that I just didn't have the heart to say anything. I don't deserve you, our son, or our life. I am a lying slut. But my son is a wonderful little guy, and he does not deserve to lose his father because of MY f**kups. I'll never tell you this. My son deserves you, even if I don't." -- Anonymous

This is a doozy, as confessions go. Your guy assumed the baby was his, and you went with it. But then? You guys married and created a loving home with this little boy. I'm having a hard time condemning that.


In the not-very-distant past, there would have been no way to prove this kid's actual lineage. Blood tests are an inexact science, and DNA testing is really brand-new. A few generations ago, your little secret would have been yours and yours alone, and frankly, I would not have blamed you for keeping it under your hat. Things are great now -- why rock the boat?

A friend of mine found out her brother is really her half-brother from a first marriage she never realized her mom had had. One of my mom's closest friends went to her grave without telling her daughter she'd been born Jewish. My family is quite a blended mix. And my husband's family? Oy, nobody knows who anyone is. These are the kinds of things that come out later and leave people wondering. But life is messy and complex. Sometimes, that's okay.

I realize many relationship experts will swoon with horror at this idea, but I'm very practical. And I don't believe in baring your soul for the sake of some kind of proof that you're devoted to a relationship. Of course, if you have a secret that's eating away at you -- like, say, you were a Nazi prison camp guard, and your mate is Jewish -- yeah, I would say your marriage deserves a little more chit-chat. But this nuclear bomb could blow your family apart, and as you say, your son deserves the only dad he knows.

But. (You knew there'd be a but.) This is the modern era. People can figure this stuff out. What happens if you guys have a second kid, and his blood type doesn't match this one? What if someone needs a kidney, and he finds he's not a match? (Didn't that happen in a recent movie?)

I'm not saying to tell. I'm saying have a Plan B if it comes to light. Otherwise there's no reason to bring it up. You don't know who the real sperm-donor is, and even if you did, he's a stranger anyway. The only thing I'd work on, if I were you, is self-esteem. Calling yourself a "lying slut" is only going to make your guilt and self-hatred worse, which leads to depression. Which takes away from your ability to be the best mom you can be.

You had a period of indiscreet sex. My guess is that there's some dark stuff in your past that led to that. You met this great guy for a reason -- because you deserved to. Trust that, maybe get some therapy to deal with your low self-worth, and start to believe you do deserve all these good things, no matter how you got them.

Go ahead, beat me up in the comments. I can take it!


Image via Kwanie/Flickr

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