Should I tell my children they have different dads? - Advice column

Fiona Caine is a trained counsellor. Here she gives advice on relationships.

Sunday, 16th June 2019, 11:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 11:19 am
Fiona Caine gives advice to a mother on explaining he and his sister have different fathers

Q. My husband and I have been married for 16 years. My daughter is 19 and my husband knows she is not his, but he adopted her, and she has his last name.

We also have sons and my husband is definitely their father. However, I am scared about what will happen when they get older and find out? I do NOT want to tell them but am worried that they will find out.

A. Providing your daughter and husband are relaxed about the issue, I see no reason why you shouldn't just tell your sons now in a way that is appropriate for their age. Otherwise, I think you should at the very least accept that they may one day find out, and stop worrying about what will happen when they do.

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If they are attending school, they will have come across many different types of family arrangements, from single parents to large merged families. So, far from being shocked by their own family situation, I think it far more likely that they will simply accept it as perfectly normal.

Q. My husband left me suddenly a few months back and moved in with his brother. He said he wasn’t sure he loved me any more and that he needed some space.

I have no idea whether someone else is involved but I am suspicious. I’ve told him I love him and want him to come back, but if I try to get him to say what he’s feeling he says I should divorce him and look elsewhere. Despite this we still sleep together.

A. He’s left you with no real explanation, and may or may not be seeing someone else. And as he thinks it’s acceptable to still visit you for sex, it’s disrespectful.

If you let him continue like this, he’s under no pressure to change his behaviour. So, much as you may be reluctant to force this issue, I think you should consider putting a stop to the sex.

Remind him you still love him. Then say that he’s still welcome to visit but only if he’s prepared to talk with you or a Relate counsellor (relate.org.uk) about the problems in your relationship.