Sasha Answers: My Dad’s Affair
Dear Sasha, I recently found out that my dad had an affair over 22 years ago, from which came a son. My half-brother actually contacted me through facebook like 5 months ago - turns out we have the same dad, and he had proof to back it up, so I asked my dad, and he said it was a mistake he made, that it’s all in the past, and he wants nothing to do with him.
My brother desperately wants to meet us, and I want to meet him too. I’m an only child, always wanted a sibling, but when I told my dad, he said he didn’t want me to meet him, and my mom doesn’t know about him either, so he asked me not to tell her. I think that’s sh-tty of my dad to act like that, but he’s my dad, and I love him, and I don’t want to ruin my family, but I feel really sh-tty for not telling my mom, and I also don’t want to turn my back on my brother... I don’t know what I should do.
Your father might be able to “forget” that he has another child out there in the world, but I don’t think that means you should follow suit. I’m sorry, but that’s a real dick move on your dad's part. This is one of those situations where you can’t just pretend to un-know it – the truth is out there and there’s no turning back. I wish I could promise that this is gonna pan out like an Oprah family reunion, but I’m guessing it’s going to be a bit more Maury Povich.
There will no doubt be a lot of resistance from your father, so you have to know that before moving forward. It doesn’t mean you need your dad’s blessing in order to have a relationship with your brother, it just means you need to be okay with the fact that you’ll most likely have to keep it separate for a while, maybe even forever.
But S, my main concern is for your half-brother because he deserves to be recognized – not kept secret or hidden away. Now of course he’ll be happy to have you in his life, but his main goal for reaching out to you was to get to his father and I’m sure he’ll be crushed when he finds out that his/your dad wants nothing to do with him. So you’ve got to be sensitive to your new bro’s feelings and don’t be surprised if he pulls away from you because of that.
As for your mom. How the frickity frack does she not know about this?!?!?! If it was me there’s no way I could NOT tell my mom, but I don’t know your family dynamic. So I’m thinking it’s probably in your best interest to sit on this for a while before getting her involved. And if I’m being perfectly honest, your dad is the one who should be the figuring all this sh-t out, not YOU. So for now, see how the relationship with your brother goes before blowing it all out in the open.
Keep me posted on how it all turns out and I’ll help you figure it out step by step. xx