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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many long years ago, 1998 to be exact, I had a child with a woman. Long story made short, our loathing for one another can't be accurately conveyed on this forum. I signed away my parental rights and have not laid eyes on this child, a son, since July 1, 2003.

Fast forward to 2009, married to my current wife and in 2014 and 2016 respectively, we bring a son and a daughter into this world. They have no idea of this son of mine from the past. When would you start down the road of this story if it were you?
 

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You signed away your rights to a child because you hated his mother? Hate her all you want, but that shouldn't have extended to the innocent child.

Regardless, this sort of thing is best talked about from the beginning, rather than sprung on the child. Would it be the end of the world if they find out later? I doubt it, but there are age appropriate ways to tell your kids that they have a half-sibling and why he is not in their lives.

You can tell them that when you were younger you had a son with a different woman, but you weren't ready to be a daddy yet. That woman raised the boy and thankfully another daddy was around to step up and was ready to raise him (I assume this is the case, since most judges won't sign away parental rights unless another man wants to adopt the child).
 

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Why did you have sex with a woman you hated so much. Sad that you didnt step up and be his dad but there you go. Your children are still very young, but I think the older one would have some understanding of it if you told him. It may well be that they will want to try and find him later on, I would if that was my half sibling. Also he may come looking for you at some point, or find relatives from your family on one of those DNA sites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why did you have sex with a woman you hated so much. Sad that you didnt step up and be his dad but there you go. Your children are still very young, but I think the older one would have some understanding of it if you told him. It may well be that they will want to try and find him later on, I would if that was my half sibling. Also he may come looking for you at some point, or find relatives from your family on one of those DNA sites.
As I said, its a long story. We met in spring 1997 and things were on the serious downhill by mid 1998. Had sex one last time and conceived him. He was born in July 1999 and I found out about this child in mid 2000. From there, the battle was on. I tried to be dad but her and her family hated me and made it as difficult as can be. She sued me multiple times and won. At the end, the choice was face contempt of court over and over again (20K in debt to her) or give up. I gave up due to my lack of resources. I was a kid from the trailer park working in a warehouse. Legal aid and such was only an option if I had a sex change (not joking).

Ok, well it seems as if waiting another 3 to 4 years may be the best thing. They will try to find him and who knows how that will go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You signed away your rights to a child because you hated his mother? Hate her all you want, but that shouldn't have extended to the innocent child.

Regardless, this sort of thing is best talked about from the beginning, rather than sprung on the child. Would it be the end of the world if they find out later? I doubt it, but there are age appropriate ways to tell your kids that they have a half-sibling and why he is not in their lives.

You can tell them that when you were younger you had a son with a different woman, but you weren't ready to be a daddy yet. That woman raised the boy and thankfully another daddy was around to step up and was ready to raise him (I assume this is the case, since most judges won't sign away parental rights unless another man wants to adopt the child).
Yes, another man came in to the picture in early 2002 and they married in 2003. The issue was that she was determined to make it difficult for me. Well, she succeeded. I was a kid from the trailer park and working in a warehouse scraping by. I did not have the funds or family resources to take her on. 20,000 in debt to her and it was not going to get better. I was never going to have the relationship with him that I wanted. So we made an agreement, I would stop pursuing custody and the judgments would go away as long as I signed away my parental rights.
 

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As I said, its a long story. We met in spring 1997 and things were on the serious downhill by mid 1998. Had sex one last time and conceived him. He was born in July 1999 and I found out about this child in mid 2000. From there, the battle was on. I tried to be dad but her and her family hated me and made it as difficult as can be. She sued me multiple times and won. At the end, the choice was face contempt of court over and over again (20K in debt to her) or give up. I gave up due to my lack of resources. I was a kid from the trailer park working in a warehouse. Legal aid and such was only an option if I had a sex change (not joking).

Ok, well it seems as if waiting another 3 to 4 years may be the best thing. They will try to find him and who knows how that will go.
Well it sounds as if you tried very hard, how sad that she made seeing him so difficult. I bet she has told him that it was you who didnt want to see him. If you ever meet him you can tell him the truth. They may try and find him when they are much older but they may not who knows.
 

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I'm a little confused. Is it your wife that does not know about the previous son, or your youngest children? Or both?

How old are your youngest children?

Your oldest son is an adult now? Has he ever tried to make contact with you? He may not want contact....



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm a little confused. Is it your wife that does not know about the previous son, or your youngest children? Or both?

How old are your youngest children?

Your oldest son is an adult now? Has he ever tried to make contact with you? He may not want contact....



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Wife knows the story. The two children that we have had are 6 and 4. My son from the past is 21. No, he has never initiated contact. I'm leaving it up to him to find me if that is what he wants
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well it sounds as if you tried very hard, how sad that she made seeing him so difficult. I bet she has told him that it was you who didnt want to see him. If you ever meet him you can tell him the truth. They may try and find him when they are much older but they may not who knows.
I fought her tooth and nail trying to take my rightful place as dad but it was not to be. From Aug 2000 to May 2003, I would go to her house and visit him for 1 hour. 99% of the time, there was an entourage of people who loathed me within 2 feet of me every step of the way. If that does not show love and dedication, I am not sure anything does. Besides, paying child support/judgments put me in the poor house. After all that, I was taking home about $400 per month which was not enough to pay rent and own a vehicle.
 

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Once they have kids of their own, there's going to be kickback from this. They just won't understand it. That said, I'd let them know. I mean, you need to find out if they will even be welcome to meet each other first though. I'm sure your first son has some real hatred for you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once they have kids of their own, there's going to be kickback from this. They just won't understand it. That said, I'd let them know. I mean, you need to find out if they will even be welcome to meet each other first though. I'm sure your first son has some real hatred for you.
Its very likely that he does. However, I dont know. I have had zero communication with them since July 1, 2003 and am blocked from all of their social media profiles. I have spoke to folks online and in person and think that I am going to wait until my children are 8 and 6 respectively. That will put them in 3rd grade and 1st respectively. Its hard because the topic comes up indirectly. From being around him, the oldest, I knew that I wanted a family. Not only a family but I wanted a second chance at having the high energy boy.
 

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My husband actually has a half-brother and the story is similar to yours. I'll share that story here in case it's of any help to you.

My father in law (now passed on) was 20 years older than my mother in law. He had an ex-wife and a son, and I don't know the whole story but I do know that marriage ended abruptly and on bad terms when his son was around 3. My FIL moved from California where he was living with them, back to the east coast where the rest of his family was. He never had contact with his son or ex wife from that point forward to my knowledge. I don't know why and I personally cannot imagine leaving my 3 year old behind...but I am sure there were some reasons.

My FIL remarried to my MIL a couple of years later, and they had two sons together... my husband and my BIL. When my H and his brother were around 6-8, the half brother reappeared. He was 10ish years older. My H did not know he existed and then one day he just showed up, and was introduced to my H as his brother. My H said he doesn't remember much but he does remember thinking it was weird. Soon after the half brother was gone again and never reappeared. H said they spent one Christmas together and then never saw him again.

I don't know why. My FIL always had bad things to say about the ex wife and I never once heard him say anything about his son. I have never met him. I have a feeling that the son didn't want much to do with FIL, as even as an adult he didn't reach out again.

I didn't even find out about this half brother until I had been with my H for 5+ years. He is never spoken of. To my H and his brother, he doesn't even exist really. Just some random person they met as kids a couple of times.

I had to track him down when FIL died a few years ago to make sure he had notice of his death (for estate purposes). I gave him my contact information, the funeral information and sent him a note to contact us if he wanted, but he never has. To be fair we have never made an effort beyond that note either.

I think that if you want a relationship with him, you should reach out and see what happens. I wouldn't worry so much at this point about telling your younger kids, unless you rekindled a relationship with him and he's going to be part of their life. They should be told in the future but at their current ages (and even 6-8) they might not fully understand.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My husband actually has a half-brother and the story is similar to yours. I'll share that story here in case it's of any help to you.

My father in law (now passed on) was 20 years older than my mother in law. He had an ex-wife and a son, and I don't know the whole story but I do know that marriage ended abruptly and on bad terms when his son was around 3. My FIL moved from California where he was living with them, back to the east coast where the rest of his family was. He never had contact with his son or ex wife from that point forward to my knowledge. I don't know why and I personally cannot imagine leaving my 3 year old behind...but I am sure there were some reasons.

My FIL remarried to my MIL a couple of years later, and they had two sons together... my husband and my BIL. When my H and his brother were around 6-8, the half brother reappeared. He was 10ish years older. My H did not know he existed and then one day he just showed up, and was introduced to my H as his brother. My H said he doesn't remember much but he does remember thinking it was weird. Soon after the half brother was gone again and never reappeared. H said they spent one Christmas together and then never saw him again.

I don't know why. My FIL always had bad things to say about the ex wife and I never once heard him say anything about his son. I have never met him. I have a feeling that the son didn't want much to do with FIL, as even as an adult he didn't reach out again.

I didn't even find out about this half brother until I had been with my H for 5+ years. He is never spoken of. To my H and his brother, he doesn't even exist really. Just some random person they met as kids a couple of times.

I had to track him down when FIL died a few years ago to make sure he had notice of his death (for estate purposes). I gave him my contact information, the funeral information and sent him a note to contact us if he wanted, but he never has. To be fair we have never made an effort beyond that note either.

I think that if you want a relationship with him, you should reach out and see what happens. I wouldn't worry so much at this point about telling your younger kids, unless you rekindled a relationship with him and he's going to be part of their life. They should be told in the future but at their current ages (and even 6-8) they might not fully understand.

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Very thought provoking. I have thought about reaching out to him. Those Mondays when I would see him were the highlight of my week. By 4 pm or so, I was giddy with excitement about what I was going to do with him. I was ready to be a devoted dad but the situation was not meant to be. The pain has lessened as time goes on but it still bothers me that I was not given the chance.

None of my family (mom, dad, brother, sister) have ever met him so definitely some parallels.
 

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Man, all I can tell you is I am in the exact position. I have two older sons from my first marriage, 23 and 27. I haven’t seen them in 13 years. I have 9 year old twins from the current horror show I’m going through. My twins only know their sister, my youngest daughter from my first marriage. They have no idea they also have two older brothers. I’ll tell them when I have to tell them. They are 9 and not yet quite into social media. I do know the day of reckoning is coming. I hear the 27 year old has a son, so that makes me a grandpa yet I don’t even know his name. After covid, this should make for a strange family gathering someday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Man, all I can tell you is I am in the exact position. I have two older sons from my first marriage, 23 and 27. I haven’t seen them in 13 years. I have 9 year old twins from the current horror show I’m going through. My twins only know their sister, my youngest daughter from my first marriage. They have no idea they also have two older brothers. I’ll tell them when I have to tell them. They are 9 and not yet quite into social media. I do know the day of reckoning is coming. I hear the 27 year old has a son, so that makes me a grandpa yet I don’t even know his name. After covid, this should make for a strange family gathering someday.
Yeah that is going to be one awkward family gathering.

It bothers me only because I wanted to be dad and was emotionally ready for it. I was ready for my more selfish, adult pursuits to get put on the back burner. Days spent with my (at that time) 3 or 4 year old son... count me in. T
 

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my father told myself and my brothers in Greece, over dinner 6 months after my mom's passing....imagine feeling the pressure of living your entire life with the pressure of having to be the best as the oldest, and a model for the rest of my siblings......then at 38 find out that you have a half brother 3 years older and a tank leader in the french army......so yeah that happen. and no i never met him and the last time i spoke with him was at my dad's reading of the will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Recently found that I am blocked from viewing his social media pages. Therefore had someone else look at them. Damn... been so long but yet hope that we can meet again some day.
 

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my father told myself and my brothers in Greece, over dinner 6 months after my mom's passing....imagine feeling the pressure of living your entire life with the pressure of having to be the best as the oldest, and a model for the rest of my siblings......then at 38 find out that you have a half brother 3 years older and a tank leader in the french army......so yeah that happen. and no i never met him and the last time i spoke with him was at my dad's reading of the will.
The DNA testing services that became popular a year or two create a lot of stories like this. Your aunt or sibling participates in this, and finds out you have a half sibling.
 
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