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Thread: My boyfriend just told me about a child in his past...

  1. #1
    hmiddle

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    My boyfriend just told me about a child in his past...

    First of all, I love my boyfriend very much. We have been together for a year and a half and have been living together for almost a year. We both are very stable professionals and have talked about marriage and children in our future.

    This weekend was his birthday (37) and his childhood friend (who he has remained close with throughout his life) came to visit. When his friend and I were talking, his friend said, "you know, I'm glad that Jeff has found a great girl because he has been through some tough stuff - I mean, he had a kid that he thought was his and it turned out to be someone else's kid..." I was shocked because he had never mentioned anything about this situation to me.

    When I confronted him about this situation in his past, he told me that he was married for about two years 15 years ago - when he was about 19 years old. He said it was a very rocky and abusive relationship and she had a baby. He thought the kid was his and was very excited, then later had a paternity test done and discovered that the kid wasn't his. However, under California law he is still paying child support to this day because the paternity test wasn't done before the kid was 2 years old. He said it was a terrible situation and didn't know how to tell me because it still upsets him.

    Now I am doubting whether or not I really know this man...this life experience obviously affected him deeply and he didn't share it with me. I don't even know if he would have ever told me at all about it...

  2. #2
    Sparkly Eyes

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    I'd be upset too...does he see this kid at all or is he just paying for him?

  3. #3
    hmiddle

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    He's just paying for her and hasn't had any contact in 10 years with the mother or kid. He said that he's looking forward to her turning 18 so he can put it all behind him.

  4. #4
    Sparkly Eyes

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    I don't know. This could be particularly something he doesn't want to talk to people about. Unless you think he is secretive about a lot of things in his life, I wouldn't give him a hard time for it.

  5. #5
    Moontiger
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    I would be very upset if something like this was kept from me. Have you asked him why he never told you? How long until the child turns 18? It might be a good idea to schedule a session with a therapist to work out what has happened because of this.

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    lukeb
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    That does make a difference, yes he could have told you but since this kid is not part of his life, it does belong in his past. It shouldn't affect the future you have together. There might be things you have done in your past that you haven't disclosed to him. The key issue is whether the things done in the past are going to have an impact on the future that you are both going to share. It is only then that you really have a right to know. Well that is at least my opinion.

  7. #7
    hmiddle

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    Thank you for your replies. He said that he didn't tell me because he just wanted to leave it in the past and he doesn't like talking about it. The kid is 15 right now.

  8. #8
    lavenderdove
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    Well, it isn't his child and he's been stuck with a very nasty legal consequence paying child support because he happens to be married to the mother. There are lots of states trying to reform laws like that because it really isn't fair to the man involved.

    So he hasn't done anything wrong. Would you be upset if you learned he owed payments on a car for another 3 or 4 years? Really, this is no different a situation since he is not the father nor required to stay in contact with someone he divorced. If this much time has passed, he probably only owes for a few more years at most til the child is 18, and frankly, he would have my sympathy paying for a child for 18 years who is the result of his wife's affair!

    Many people have bad experiences that don't require confession. For example, if a woman was raped 15 years ago, this is very traumatic and she doesn't need to confess this experience unless she chooses to. In my opinion, this man was financially raped by his ex wife, and cheated on too, and had an absolutely horrible thing happen to discover a child is not his AND is a long term financial obligation.

    So i wouldn't hold this against him at all. I'd sympathize with him to be honest, how terrible this happened, an emotional and financial rape by a woman he loved! He did nothing wrong, and is fulfilling his legal obligation to pay child support, which many fathers who ARE the father of the child refuse to do...

    So no harm no foul here in my opinion. He isn't obligated to spill everything that ever happened to him in his life to you, only things that affect you personally like STDs or a child that is in his own child and in his life and will be in yours over the long term. This unusual situation fits none of those parameters and you shouldn't feel betrayed etc. because it has nothing to do with you and is just a financial obligation for a few years and he's not married to you nor are you responsible for that financial obligation.

    And you might spend more per month on shoes and clothes than he does this obligation, and you don't need to disclose that to him either. So put it in perspective because this isn't his child, just a financial 'gotcha' from archaic child support laws developed before paternity could be so accurately established and children were assumed to belong to the husband if there was a marriage at the time of the birth.

  9. #9
    HESJUSTSTUPID
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    I think before marriage couples should get together and discuss their finances. How much one makes, bills, investments, debt, credit..and all that jazz. Now him paying child support should of came up in one of these conversations. He shouldn't of held that from him.

  10. #10
    Crazyaboutdogs
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    We have been together for a year and a half and have been living together for almost a year.
    When I confronted him about this situation in his past, he told me that he was married for about two years 15 years ago - when he was about 19 years old. He said it was a very rocky and abusive relationship and she had a baby. He thought the kid was his and was very excited, then later had a paternity test done and discovered that the kid wasn't his. However, under California law he is still paying child support to this day because the paternity test wasn't done before the kid was 2 years old. He said it was a terrible situation and didn't know how to tell me because it still upsets him.
    I think this is a huge big deal. If two people have been together for 1.5 years and have been living together for 1 year, then a previous marriage and paying child support is information that should indeed have been divulged. I don't care how tough it is and how emotional it is...that is something you DO NOT keep from your partner. It doesn't matter that child was not his after all..the fact still remains is that its seems like you didn't even know that he had been married before let alone the child issue. That is a huge secret to keep from someone who is supposed to be your partner and keeping that kind of secret is unacceptable. I also don't buy the rationale that just because you aren't married doesn't mean you don't have to know this information. Of course you should know...because firstly, he is divorced rather than has never been married (not sure if he lied about never being married) and second, even though the child is not his, he is legally bound to that child right now.

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