From: Connie in Austin, Texas
My 14-year-old daughter’s biological father may be a man I had an affair with while married to my current husband who is the only father she has ever known. I have been tormented about this all these years and am hoping the two of you can help me figure out what is best to do. Do I tell my daughter? Doesn’t she have a right to know as she grows into adulthood?
Advice from Marcia:
My initial reaction is kind of pragmatic. I think if you knew that your daughter and husband were related, the whole problem would go away. I think it might be possible to get two samples of their hair and send it to a lab. If it turns out that the other man is her father, frankly, I think it’s best to let it go. What good is it for anyone to know this information? If there’s no chance of your daughter finding out from the other guy, I’d say, make peace with yourself and let it be.
Advice from Dr. Rick:
This to me is a perfect example of the fact that blood is not always thicker than water. Your daughter has a father and that is the man that she has known and loved and has loved her for fourteen years. I think you need to try to find a way to forgive yourself for the mistake you made, but to potentially complicate, devastate and perhaps destroy the family you have makes no sense to me. Remember that your daughter’s welfare is the driving concern not the alleviation of your guilt.
Although we basically agree on the final advice: Marcia thinks there could be a chance that the horrible feelings Connie has may be nullified by finding out that there has been no issue over the paternity. Rick thinks why bother if the final decision is to let it be whichever way it might turn out. Marcia thinks it would take the burden off Connie’s heart if it turned out that the dad is really the dad. But Rick and Marcia agree on the important point that either way, Connie should forgive herself and move on.
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