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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Jun 11, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

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#1
Jun 10, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: My mother was involved with my father while he was "separated" from his wife.

When he found out she was pregnant, he went back to his wife. He stayed with his wife and had three more children. None of them know about me.

I met my father after I graduated from high school. We tried to have a relationship, but it ended quite badly many years ago, mainly because he wanted to keep his contact with me hidden from his wife and children.

I did not take well to being the family secret, and we have not spoken since.

I have now found my siblings on Facebook. They are all adults (18 to 24).

I think they should know about me, and I would like the opportunity to have them (but not their parents) in my life.

I'm afraid of how our father will react and am nervous to contact them. Do you think I should, and what's the best way to do so?-- Long-Lost Sister

DEAR LOST: Let's think this through. You contact these siblings on Facebook. You tell them, "I'm your long-lost sister. I'd like to have a relationship with you but not with your parents."

These siblings might feel very loyal to their folks and might not take kindly to your attempt to control this potentially fraught relationship from the outset. Most important, if you did this, your effort would likely fail.

The way to these siblings is not through social networking but through your father. You'll need to try again.

The tone of your query is punitive. Until you make peace with your biological father's ample failings, you will not be able to complete this important family circle and forge new relationships. The burden is on you to handle this carefully.

Let your father know that you intend to contact your siblings. And then ask for his help. If he refuses, then you'll have another decision to make.

DEAR AMY: I have been dating a woman in another city for five months. We've seen each other almost every weekend. We get along well, and I can see us having a very long relationship. I have two teen boys and a girl who live with their mother. She has two daughters, ages 6 and 11, who live with her.

Our parenting styles differ in some ways, and I'm wondering if this will be an issue.

I raised my kids to be respectful of others and their privacy, and to be self-sufficient, even at an early age.

She tends to spoil her girls, especially her youngest. She seems to have the run of the house for the most part, and that's something I would never have done. The girl sleeps with her mom every night and will go into the bathroom when her mom is in there.

She is a very sweet girl, but what I see is a child controlling a parent, and the parent enables it.

Am I overreacting, or is this something that should be addressed?-- Confused BF

DEAR CONFUSED: If your girlfriend's parenting style bothers you now, then yes, I'd say it will surface as an issue later.

For now, however, you should keep your views to yourself.

Your children are older, and you may have a more seasoned perspective, but if they are living with their mother, this tells me you are also not their primary caregiver. A single mother with two daughters parents differently from a noncustodial single dad with two sons.

If your girlfriend solicits your views, then weigh in. Otherwise, give your relationship much more time before you tell her that her sweet 6-year-old needs to grow up.

DEAR AMY: I'm a 74-year-old grandmother of four great-grandchildren. My birthday gifts are always money, since it is an opportunity for them to either save it for something special or blow it, if they see fit.

When I read "AG's" complaint about an aunt sending one of his children a meager $25, my ears started to burn. What a selfish family this is!-- Burning Mad

DEAR MAD: Many readers were shocked by the blatant selfishness expressed in this letter.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#2
Jun 10, 2013
 
1 Well lamy, I agree with you. The father cannot control whether this person meets her siblings, and frankly, can you blame her for feeling a little punitive?

2 Conflicted here, but yeah, you need more knowledge of the family dynamics, and dont forget bozo, you could very well be being perceived as a threat to that little girls world.

3 Yeah, the world if full of greedy asshats. Not new.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#3
Jun 10, 2013
 
1- So you're feeling vindictive about being the family secret and you want to spill the beans?
liner

Patchogue, NY

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#4
Jun 10, 2013
 
LW1: How about Mom? It takes two to tango you know.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#5
Jun 10, 2013
 

Judged:

1

LW1 - A total stranger contacts me on FB and claims to be my long-lost sib, wants to connect, but doesn't want to be in touch with my parents. Yep, I am going to jump with joy and really trust this person and become best buddies. Definitely.

LW2 - Nope. That's not going to work.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#6
Jun 10, 2013
 
L1: If the other siblings don't already know, the dad will probably deny it. However, it could have came out at some point. Hey, I say go for it as long as you brace yourself for it not working out.

L2: If it bothers you while you're not living together, it's going to bother you big time when you are.

L3: I think most people on this planet (that read it) thought it was very selfish.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

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#7
Jun 10, 2013
 
LW1: unfortunately, I see this only resulting in a mess. What's likely to happen is that you contact them, they ask dad, dad says "that's bs" and they call you a liar. If you then further prove that you are who you say you are, your half-sibs might come to believe you but that may also cause a rift between them and their father that they may subconsciously blame you for.

I just don't see any of this working out, unless your father is willing to come clean with his family. And people are still going to be peeved off even in that situation.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#8
Jun 10, 2013
 
LW1: Nice try Lamy, but this dad will not consent to introducing the LW to other children - he has a long history of keeping the LW a secret, why would he suddenly change his mind now?

The LW needs to figure out why they *really* want to contact these half-sibs. If it is to punish this cr*ppy dad, then the LW needs to go seek some counseling. If it's a true desire to meet these people, without input from dad, then they need to be realistic and be prepared for rejection.

LW2: "Our parenting styles differ in some ways, and I'm wondering if this will be an issue."

Yes it will be, but your real issue is that you live in different cities. If you really plan on being in these kids' lives, then someone is going to have to move.

LW3: Oh, imagine! Teenagers are self-centered. Whoda thunk it?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#9
Jun 10, 2013
 
liner wrote:
LW1: How about Mom? It takes two to tango you know.
??? What's your question about mom? He was seperated and presenting himself as available at the time.

Since: Feb 10

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#10
Jun 10, 2013
 

Judged:

1

I have twin half-brothers who were the result of an affair my dad had about 40 years ago and my sister found out about them by accident about 25 years ago, when both of our parents were still living - Mom didn't know or at least didn't acknowledge knowing about them.
I had no interest in meeting them then, and I have no interest now. LW can contact them if she wants, but shouldn't be surprised if they are not interested in a relationship with her. Their dad may owe her something, but they do not.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#11
Jun 10, 2013
 

Judged:

1

itser wrote:
I have twin half-brothers who were the result of an affair my dad had about 40 years ago and my sister found out about them by accident about 25 years ago, when both of our parents were still living - Mom didn't know or at least didn't acknowledge knowing about them.
I had no interest in meeting them then, and I have no interest now. LW can contact them if she wants, but shouldn't be surprised if they are not interested in a relationship with her. Their dad may owe her something, but they do not.
My husband has a bunch of half siblings that he's not in contact with. There's just so many strings attached that it's best to leave well enough alone.

Since: Jan 10

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#12
Jun 10, 2013
 
L1: I agree with Amy, sort of. I think you need to tell your sperm donor of a father that either he tells his kids about you, or you do. Give him a deadline. And I guess I can't say "don't tell them via FB." I don't know how else you should tell them. Snail mail? Nah. Private messages via the internet seem okay by me.

P.S. Don't pre-hate/judge your bio dad's wife. She may be better than he is.
P.P.S. Your mom played as big a role in this debacle as your bio dad did. SHE could have pushed for him to acknowledge you, pay child support, etc. But she didn't. SHE made a baby with a married man. So she's no angel in this.

L2: End it. You will end up fighting over these differing parenting styles, then you'll break up, and the kids will have to deal with the fall out. Amy is wrong. End it now before it gets even more painful (and difficult) to do so.

L3: Aw, Amy, you are SUCH a tease. You give us useful rehash just once and it sets us up to think you might do it again. But nope. Useless rehash once again.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#13
Jun 10, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: I agree with Amy, sort of. I think you need to tell your sperm donor of a father that either he tells his kids about you, or you do. Give him a deadline. And I guess I can't say "don't tell them via FB." I don't know how else you should tell them. Snail mail? Nah. Private messages via the internet seem okay by me.
P.S. Don't pre-hate/judge your bio dad's wife. She may be better than he is.
P.P.S. Your mom played as big a role in this debacle as your bio dad did. SHE could have pushed for him to acknowledge you, pay child support, etc. But she didn't. SHE made a baby with a married man. So she's no angel in this.
I had to g back ad re-read the letter. Indeed the is nothing about whether Dad paid child support.
If he did, he would have had a difficult time hiding it from his wife for 18 years-- unless he was very well of, which raise other questions.
If he did not, you have to ask why LW's mom didn't pus for it. The first possibility is that perhaps mom wasn't sure how paternity test would tun out.

I agree that LW's tone is punitive and that approach is almost a guaranty that tings will end badly. She had to pick it up from someone and the only possibility is her mother who was clearly bitter at being deceived and abandoned.

Bad vibes all around.

Since: May 13

Monterey, CA

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#14
Jun 10, 2013
 
liner wrote:
LW1: How about Mom? It takes two to tango you know.
I was just going to post that. Mother is not blameless here. But LW needs to put the past behind her and either forgive her parents or leave it alone.

Since: May 13

Monterey, CA

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#15
Jun 10, 2013
 
itser wrote:
I have twin half-brothers who were the result of an affair my dad had about 40 years ago and my sister found out about them by accident about 25 years ago, when both of our parents were still living - Mom didn't know or at least didn't acknowledge knowing about them.
I had no interest in meeting them then, and I have no interest now. LW can contact them if she wants, but shouldn't be surprised if they are not interested in a relationship with her. Their dad may owe her something, but they do not.
A good friend of mine has two half-sisters from her dad's long-term affair. They knew about each other for a long time but the 2 sisters just recently met the rest of the family. My friend says that one of them looks a lot like her. My friend's dad is a real piece of work, but my friend went to counseling for a while to get rid of her anger and has forgiven him for his many human failings, which include verbal and physical abuse. Her dad is very ill right now, and she calls her half-sisters to keep them up to date on his condition. Her full siblings are still feel angry and resentful. I think LW needs to get to a healthier emotional state before attempting to contact the siblings. Even then, I think she needs to realize that they are not necessarily going to welcome her into the family with open arms. In fact, I'd say the odds are against that happening.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#16
Jun 10, 2013
 
Team Red today

Since: Feb 10

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#17
Jun 11, 2013
 
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
A good friend of mine has two half-sisters from her dad's long-term affair. They knew about each other for a long time but the 2 sisters just recently met the rest of the family. My friend says that one of them looks a lot like her. My friend's dad is a real piece of work, but my friend went to counseling for a while to get rid of her anger and has forgiven him for his many human failings, which include verbal and physical abuse. Her dad is very ill right now, and she calls her half-sisters to keep them up to date on his condition. Her full siblings are still feel angry and resentful. I think LW needs to get to a healthier emotional state before attempting to contact the siblings. Even then, I think she needs to realize that they are not necessarily going to welcome her into the family with open arms. In fact, I'd say the odds are against that happening.
I agree.
I forgave my dad for everything a long time ago (and I don't think that cheating on Mom, or the children who resulted, call for my forgiveness) so that isn't it for me. I just don't see that our DNA is a basis for a relationship. Frankly, I would think that the fact that he never even acknowledged them is all they would need to know. I can't imagine that I would need to know anything else in that situation. I remember their mom though, and there is a real strong possibility that she has no idea who their father is. They look just like my brothers, but I don't know that she would know that, and even as a child I knew that she was making the rounds of all of dad's friends.

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