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'My husband had a child before we got together and I just found out, 14 years later.' UPDATED 2X

'My husband had a child before we got together and I just found out, 14 years later.' UPDATED 2X


"My [39f] husband [38m] fathered a child before we were together and I just found out, 14 years later."

Here's the original post:

After 12 years of marriage, and 2 children together, I received a Facebook message yesterday from a woman who told me that she has a 15 year old daughter that my husband has continually denied since her birth. The child was produced from a ONS and afterwards, my spouse did everything he could not to see his child. The mother eventually had his parental rights terminated and she moved away for many years.

Fast forward to now, my husband has buried this secret as deeply as possible. On the other hand, his daughter is now having some issues and her mother contacted my mother in law in January, imploring him to reach out to his daughter, threatening to tell me if he did not.

Apparently they had a 30 minute FaceTime (which he lied about last night until confronted with evidence her mother provided to me and then he admitted that it was true) and then he blocked the account so she could not contact him again.

Her mother claimed she sent the message out of love and concern for her daughter, and I understand that she wants her to have a connection with her biological father. But she blew my entire life up in the process.

My husband has lied and lied and lied, even after confronted last night with hard evidence. He eventually admitted to everything, but only when backed into a corner. I asked him to leave the house last night so I could clear my head. But the truth is that I can't even look at him rn.

I don't think I've ever felt so dumbfounded, hurt, confused and betrayed all at the same time. My instinct is to call a lawyer to see where I stand, legally and financially, as I'm not sure I can continue this marriage knowing that I might never feel like I can trust him again.

My family thinks I'm being rash bc I'm hurting SO much and this is 12 hour old information. Also, knowing how he abandoned his first child makes me feel disgusted. Last night, he spoke about her as "a mistake" and "a dark secret". He was never going to tell us about her existence bc he was embarrassed.

Regardless of what happened between he and I, there is a teenager out there who shares 25% of her genetic material with my beautiful children. I don't want that child, who did not ask to be born into such a messy situation, to be separated from her family forever. Even if he doesn't want to see her, I'd like my kids to eventually know their half sister. She deserves to be loved and supported, even if her father cannot.

So now I'm left with options and questions, and I don't know how to proceed. Do I start the process to end my marriage, or do I try to keep my family together? When do we tell our small children about their half sister? Anyone who has experienced this, all advice is welcome.

Relevant Comments:

Commentator asked if the older daughter knew about OP’s husband and her family. And if OP’s husband has lied to her before.

OP: The older daughter knows about us, and wants a relationship with him and our kids. which is why her mother reached out. You are asking all the questions that I have been asking myself all night. He has lied about things before, and I feel like I've been sleeping with a stranger for 14 years.

Ok-Prune-3952: I completely understand. This is beyond a lie. This is a child’s life. Your life is now forever changed. Why did he say he kept this from you?

OP: He said he was embarrassed. Since his parental rights had been terminated so many years ago, he felt like she didn't exist. He kept insisting that she was not his child, just a mistake that he made as a dumb kid. There's more background story that will make him look even worse, but it's irrelevant at this point, just there to further add insult to his character.

IrregularBastard: If there is no paternity test there is no way to know the kid is his. Who else did she have ONS with at that time?

OP: She produced a paternity test that was taken after the baby was born. She is his child.

anillop: Wait he legally terminated his rights? If so then he did not abandon the child he was legally released from responsibility if that's the case. That's very different than just abandoning the child because the mother had to have consented to the termination. This is a very different situation than you originally gave.

OP: The mother of his child has his rights terminated when she was a baby, which he had no problem signing away. My point is that he lied about her existence from the time we met, whether he was legally responsible for her or not.

EmiliusReturns: This is not rash. He lied to you for 15 years, abandoned his child for 15 years, and then when confronted continued to lie and conceal. He is lying by omission to your kids about their sibling too. I could never trust him again. And did his parents know this whole time???

OP: Yes, his parents and sister knew the whole time.

Two months after her original post, OP shared this update:

I had a request to post an update and interestingly enough, I saw a message today that he actually posted in the divorce subreddit after this all happened (he deleted it), and it was full of half truths. This is what's been going on, and will answer some of your questions.

The mother (Carrie) of this child (Dani) has been in contact with us both since this happened. She says that the reason they told me after all these years was bc Dani wants to be involved in the lives of her 2 half sisters, my bio children.

She has not asked for back child support or anything like that. But now Dani has decided that she wants nothing to do with my spouse, and Carrie doesn't seem to be facilitating the relationship with my family the way she originally stated. It seems like something is amiss but I've been lied to SO many times, that honestly, I just can't tell anymore.

The termination of his parental rights. According to the both of them, she tried to push him into fatherhood, and when she finally realized that he had zero interest in being a Dad, she had him sign away his rights and then proceeded to disappear until Dani was 8. My spouse never paid child support and was never asked to pay child support, both of them have told me that.

Then Carrie got married and Jeff adopted Dani. I can't see my spouses original post, but judging by the comments, he made it seem like he signed his rights away so Jeff could adopt her, but that's a lie.

Dani was 8 when she was adopted, not an infant. Carrie tried to contact my spouse to sign those adoption papers in 2016, but he blocked her, so she contacted my mother in law who had him sign the papers, and connection ceased again.

Then they disappeared again until June of 2020, when Carrie reached out to my mother in law bc Dani wanted to connect with her paternal biological family. My mother in law and sister in law proceeded to have a 2.5 year relationship with Dani thru phone/video calls, sending presents/money, all the while hiding it from my spouse and lying to Carrie,

telling her and Dani that my spouse knew but wanted nothing to do with them. I know this to be true, as I heard my mother in law admit it over the phone to my spouse while I was silent on a 3way call. My spouse had zero idea that anyone had contact with Carrie or Dani until a week after I found out about this situation.

In January of 2023, Carrie delivered my in laws an ultimatum, either produce Dani's bio dad or they would contact me and let me know what's been happening over the past 15 years.

My spouse then agreed to a video call with Dani, where he promised that he would tell me and make an effort to make her a part of our lives. Within hours, he had Carrie blocked and his mother and sister were so scared of their lie being discovered, that they stopped talking to Dani altogether, without an explanation.

Fast forward to September 2023, my mother in law texts Dani to "have a good school year" and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. A few weeks later, I received the message that would change our seemingly happy life forever.

Presently, he has cut off his family completely. Carrie has also cut off all communication with his mother and sister. They are toxic, and it is the right decision for right now. He comes from a long line of liars and he is no different. He and I are both in therapy. Marriage counseling starting next week. I'm having good days and bad, as expected. My oldest child will be starting private therapy as well.

We haven't told her about Dani, but I don't feel right about keeping this secret and I know both of my kids have been suffering from the fighting and disruption to their normally quiet lives. I've been trying to put my pieces back together, but I'm still very shattered. I'm journaling out my feelings but anger is present a lot. I don't know if I can ever trust him again.

I don't know if I can ever trust anybody again. But I'm working on it with a lot of help from my parents, friends and therapist.

How do I build trust again with the father of my children, even if it's just as coparents?

Relevant Comments:

Blue-Phoenix23: Well, there are different layers and types of trust. You've now learned you can't trust him with your heart. That is no longer on the table for him. But the big question with co-parenting after divorce is can you trust him to care for the kids you have together on his own?

If the answer to that is yes, then it makes everything a whole lot easier. He is now a business partner, and the business is successfully raising the kids.

There are basic steps to divorce with kids - first get a lawyer. Figure out the housing situation. Work out a joint custody agreement with him, via lawyers and parenting apps if necessary. Start getting your feet under you and figure out what you have to do next. I know this is overwhelming, it's a lot to deal with. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

You can figure out how to get the kids together with their half sister later, when your game plan is in place and you know what is next. Stay strong, you can do this.

OP: I have a lawyer and I (not we) own the house we live in. I have a good job and can provide for us. My parents are wonderful ppl who have been a great support system. This bomb exploded 8 weeks ago, I have all my ducks in a row.

mamanova1982: You should set up a meeting with the other mom, and introduce your kids to their sister. If they have a close relationship, at least that'll be one good thing to come out of all of this. The 2 of you can be the adults and foster a relationship between the siblings.

OP: They live across the country and the mom has not been good about returning texts or calls. I'm a bit confused as to why she told me all of this just to retreat back into hiding. Bc now that I know, I want to foster this relationship, but there's a barrier. I'm very frustrated.

Sources: Reddit
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