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What would you do?


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Im interested to know what others would do in this situation. Some info first. My parents are both nearly seventy, bin married from their thirties. Four children, now all around late twenties early thirties which includes me. One day a letter arrived for my dad. Hand written envelope, which as it looked strange, my brother opened it. It was from a man claiming to be a son of my father. Didnt give age or who his mother was, just some contact details, address and phone number, and the fact he had children. My brother showed it to me and my two sisters. We chose not to show it to our dad, and kept it secret. Still have letter, but none of us made contact. It still crosses my mind as to what to do even though this happened about 2 years ago. What would anyone else do? I have this fear of finding out this man is in between our ages and so our father has at some time cheated on our mother. But it could also be that this man is older than any of us and been conceived before my mother and father met. I know my brother was wrong to open the letter in the first place, but we did not want to destroy our family. This is niggling me as to what he looks like, what is his age etc. What would anyone else do?

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First of all, the letter was addressed to your father, not to you or your siblings, so opening it is against the law. That being said, the damage is already done. I think your father has a right to know that someone is looking for him. It may not be what you want to hear, but if he made a mistake in his past, it is up to him to deal with it. Unless your father is senile and you are his guardian, you do not have a right to dictate what he does. I am sure this will be a very difficult thing for your family to deal with, but imagine if you were the person who had written the letter, looking for your parent....

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I agree with the above post. I was really shocked to read about it. Especially as your father was in his thirties when he got married... why would you jump to the conclusion that he might have cheated on your mother? The chances are good that this man may have been the outcome of a relationship prior to the time your parents were married.

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I do understand that it was wrong for my brother to open this letter. And i do get the point that how must this man feel about not getting a reply. I know how I would feel. But I think it would tear my parents apart. They are quite reserved and old fashioned. My father has recently had a heart attack. I dont think it would help to disclose this on top of that.

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I agree with the above posters.


I think what you should do is give him the letter and tell him how very sorry you are.


It was not your right to open it or keep it from him.


and SO WHAT IF HE CHEATED ON HER. If that letter came fro HIM its his business and not yours!


If you really do have a brother out there why wouldnt you want to know them?

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Southerngirl is right. Yes, obviously it would be a big deal to discover that your father cheated on your mother, but it's an issue for him, not you. Additionally, if they are happily married, why are you jumping to the conclusion that he did cheat on her? This may be a previous relationship. I agree with ycmanvs.

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Well really you don't have much of a choice unless you are prepared to deal with the impact it will have if you do not.


This really is not your business it's your dads. He is entitled to know about the letter and you should make him aware of it.


If it is his son that is trying to contact him you have no right to stop that and he may well find out anyway and where will that leave you? What after getting no response from the letter the son decides to come knock on the door and speak to your dad direct.


You dad realises that you have kept this from him for 2 years. At that age 2 years is a long time to loose.


And if he dies before he finds out how will you deal with blocking him from seeing one of his children, you can justify it however you want but the guilt will still chip away at you anyway.


Do yourself a favor and let this burdon go. It's not yours to carry

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Toosey...first of all hugs...this must be 1 tough time for you not knowing which way to go as it changes the paths of the future for many....i think it is great to post it on here and to give yourself time to work out the best outcome...only you and your brother can finally do that, but you both have to be comfortable and ready to make that choice.

Also understand that this may backfire and he might get mad but not for to long i'm sure...life has a reason for making changes and why some people enter our little lives that we like to keep secure and protect..like you are doing...but this will come to the surface again wether you tell your dad or not...

I feel it is best to get your dad privately away from your mum...say nothing but hand him the letter....let him read it and walk away giving him the time and respect to sort that moment out...he will soon come to you and have that talk with the answers that you are so wanting.

Presuming is a bad thing as you have no facts and all your doing now is creating stress for yourself...

Your family will be just fine, but don't go pointing any fingers or saying words that can't be taken back...try hard ok and it will take strength to be silent and just let it unfold infront of you...all the best for you and your family and you never know maybe even a growing family that might add more love into your family circle

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I believe you should tell your father. Of course they things do happen but usually you hear about them on shows like Maury and Dr.Phil but never in real life. I say you should get a paternity test just to be on the safe side, you never know her mother could of had multiple partners or boyfriends and she could be convinced that it is your fathers kids and not Tom, * * * * or Harries.

There is the possibility that the kid could be older, way older, your age or younger then you. Of course if he cheated its bad but what if he didn't?

I believe that everyone is entitled to know who their father/mother is or was, sometimes its better not knowing.

But look if he grew up getting raised by only his mother then he may have no real male figure in his like. I think you should make him as well as your dad happy knowing he has a son. Give your half-brother a chance to spend some time with his and your dad, let your dad enjoy his grandchildren.

In the end its all up to you and it could me a make or break deal with your parents future and health.

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I think that was a very selfish thing that you and your brother did...How dare you open your father's mail in the first place....and how dare you both hide this from him for 2 years...Do you know what's it's like to not have a father!!????DO YOU!!??? It hurts me every SINGLE DAY!!!...You should be ashamed of yourselves!! How old are you??? What are you jealous?? This poor man is now suffering, because he thinks that his father is rejecting him...!!! You could've had a new brother, and could be an aunt to some wonderful children right now, if you weren't so jealous...

"Oh...My father cheated on my mother, so we'll just keep this from them..."


What give you the right?


Also, if it just so happens your father did have an affair, I'm sure your mother would be willing to forgive him, being that it was so long ago...That's their business anyways, not yours or your brothers...You are playing games with peoples lives here, don't you see that???...Someone needs to speak with you and your brother about your behavior, because you both were way out of hand!!


Now, for the right thing...You need to hand that letter over to your father in private, without your mother present, and let him decide whether or not he wants to contact him...Also, let him decide when the right time to tell your mother would be....!!


It's not your business...So stay out of it...!! and do the right thing!

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Okay I'm not here to pass judgement on who did what when & why.


Since you have the information & it's driving you nuts--realize that your mother & father are humans with all the flaws the rest of us have.


There's no reason why something that might have happened how ever long ago it might have happened should "tear your family apart". If it did happen-your father never left your mother and it's really their business-not the kids'.


Now-what to do about your curiosity. If you have a really good relationship with your father-fess up & talk to him discreetly.


If you don't then do some research on your own. You have the info in the letter-that person knew how to contact your dad--it would be easy to contact him & ask him questions-tell him your father is getting up in age & you want to clarify some stuff--then clarify some stuff


You might want to do some background checks using the local Police Department, Property taxing authorities and the County Clerk's office (Deed records-voting records-divorce records-marriage records etc) first


Still this knowledge, now that it's here, is not going away. Just don't forget


Curiosity killed the cat


It's your dad's responsiblity to speak with your mother about this-nobody else's.

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If you don't then do some research on your own. You have the info in the letter-that person knew how to contact your dad--it would be easy to contact him & ask him questions-tell him your father is getting up in age & you want to clarify some stuff--then clarify some stuff


I don't think it's her place to do her own little "research"...Like you said...it's not the "kids" business, it's her fathers business only....She needs to give him that letter, so that he can have the choice about what he wants to do....I think she needs to do it now, because 2 years is long enough, don't you think? The guys will probably feel different about his father now. I'm sure he's regretting even trying to get a hold of him, because he thinks he got rejected...

You might want to do some background checks using the local Police Department, Property taxing authorities and the County Clerk's office (Deed records-voting records-divorce records-marriage records etc) first


Again, not her business...Even if she does all this so-called "research", it's still not going to make a difference, her father should decide what to do, not her or her brother....


Her dad wasn't apart of his potential sons life for a long time, and she and big bro just added another two years...It's time to make some progress now!!



She needs to do the right thing!!

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My intention was to help this lady-not dredge up old issues with someone else


Yeah I guess you're right...Seeing that this is a "HELP_FORUM"..>But I got frustrated, because I don't have a father, and I felt that she was very selfish in her doings...You could at least admit that she was being selfish and not thinking about this other person...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone for their replies. Some of which I feel were a bit over the top. The reason why I posted this on here was because I was and have been thinking a lot about how I would feel if I was the person who wrote that letter. I would be gutted that I had not got a reply. But also as a few of you have said, I was going to contact this person myself and explain the situation. I am not in the possession of the letter. And I do realise it could be any day that this person turns up on the doorstep, which in my view would do no harm. I cannot imagine what way my father would take the news, as he quite reserved and a quiet person. And I am also worried about his health.

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i don't agree with what you did, but like you said if it were you and you had sent your estranged father a letter only to find out he never contacted you, you would feel some resentment toward him right? sure you could think he never got the letter which in this case is true your dad never did.


i think you should tell your father what you and your siblings did and tell him how sorry you are and that you shouldn't have kept it from him and understand his reason for being angry and let him try and contact this person.

who knows this person could be a loving and caring person who just wanted to meet his father.


i hope it works out for your family. =)

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