General Question

TROLL's avatar

How would you deal with this?

Asked by TROLL (378points) May 21st, 2009

I have recently found out that my “Brothers“are not my Fathers sons.I don’t know if he knows and at 83 i won’t be telling him.
My dilemma is do they have a right to know?

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23 Answers

Supacase's avatar

Well, I can’t really answer that for you, but maybe I can help you come to a decision. How did you find out? Is it your place to tell them or would it be the responsibility of the person who told you? If it were you, would you want to know?

I’m glad you aren’t telling your father. That would be a sad way to live out the rest of your life. Which makes me wonder – if your brothers found out, would they tell your dad or stop seeing him?

elijah's avatar

They are still your brothers regardless of biological father. You were raised as brothers. Your father raised them, therefor he is their father. It’s not their fault, so don’t hold it against them.
I think they have a right to know, but it has to be done with tact. Are you sure it’s even true? Make sure you aren’t jumpling to conclusions or following rumors.

TaoSan's avatar

I know this sounds a bit off, but having the right to know, doesn’t always make it good to know.

I don’t subscribe to the notion that every drama of my life has to be rubbed under my nose because of my “right” to get it. The man is 83 years old, let him be in peace.

Just my 2 cents really…

elijah, don’t smoke

Loried2008's avatar

I would leave that up to your mom.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If they do need to know, for whatever reason? I feel your mother, if she is capable, should be the one to tell them. Then she can explain what happened and get it hashed out instead of you being the one to drop this news without full knowledge of the situation.

Loried2008's avatar

I’m very sorry to hear that :/

If it was me, would not tell my dad… I think it’s better to let him see her how he saw her… Skeletons should be left in the closets. Maybe talk with your brothers about it if you think they can handle it and you all decide as a group weather or not to tell him.. If you really think it’s necessary..

susanc's avatar

Who told you this?

cwilbur's avatar

What possible good could come out of telling them?

CMaz's avatar

Are you all adults? It comes down to how you connect with one another. If he is old and there is a slight possibility that the good life he lived had such a controversial event in it. I would not. Besides, does it really make a difference. You are all still family and that is what is important.

galileogirl's avatar

The only way you could know they are not your brothers is through genetic testing. I doubt that happened. If you think they are not your father’s sons because of what someone said or wrote you may be causing a lot of pain and problems. It would essentially be passing on gossip or hearsay. What would be your motivation for doing that?

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m with @galileogirl on this one. Wanting to tell them something you aren’t 100% certain is true, that could damage your family dynamic, is unconscionable.

I KNOW plenty of info for one entire branch of my family that is damaging to their family dynamic. It will not be shared unless someone comes a questioning…even then, I’ll let my moral compass decide whether or not it’s beneficial for the party to know.

MissAusten's avatar

A few years ago, I was going some genealogy research online and through an online forum connected with someone who turned out to be my dad’s half brother. My grandparents divorced when my dad was a newborn and he never knew my grandfather. This half-uncle of mine was really confused as to why I was researching his father (my grandfather) who had passed away without telling his four other children about his previous marriage and first son. He didn’t even know if his mom knew, and wasn’t about to ask her. The fallout from this was pretty bad for them, and for my dad. I think the half-siblings were worried my dad would try to get money out of them or something. My dad only wanted to get to know them, as he always regretted never getting in touch with his father. They also had a very hard time reconciling their memories of their father with this new information. They thought he was a great father, and didn’t understand how he could have a child that he’d never met. After a few phone calls and letters were exchanged, they made it clear they never wanted to hear from us again.

For my dad’s sake, I wish I hadn’t “met” his half-brother or gotten him in touch with my dad. It was like he got to be rejected by that side of his family all over again.

So, give yourself some time to think about all of the possible consequences of sharing what you know. Look at it from several angles, consider the feelings of everyone involved, and try to do what’s right—not what’s easy (or dramatic). Good luck.

basp's avatar

Is there a reason they need to know? Are you the appropriate person to tell them? And, without genetic testing, there is room for error.
If I were you, I wouldn’t tell them. As someone pointed out earlier, you all were raised as brothers and that counts for a lot more than genetics.
(I hope you are not motivated by the fact that dad is old and you would have less competition for any inhereitance. I’m not trying to say you would do something like that since I don’t even know you, but I work with the elderly and I’ve seen this sort of thing happen…..)

essieness's avatar

I think they have a right to know. I mean, it’s going to be rough, but put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to know? No matter how devastating? Would you feel betrayed if you found out one day that the tables were turned and they didn’t tell you? I don’t know about your family dynamics, though, so maybe it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. And I agree, at 83, there’s no reason to burden your dad with that news. Wow, what a pickle.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m sorry, @TROLL.

Well. This is something. You’re the only one who knows the family dynamics. I would think very carefully about the motives for telling them and the repercussions of this information on everyone involved before I said anything to anyone.

bea2345's avatar

Unless it is essential that they know, keep it to yourself. You know your own family. Some kinds of information are strictly need-to-know.

TROLL's avatar

@EVERYONE,thanks for the advise.
Story goes like this….Mother left Father back in the late 60s,it’s what she did,it’s all we knew.
Anyway Dad brought three boys up on his own and we had very little to do with Mother right through our formative years and as i got older i found that i had no feelings whatsoever for her,this due to her abandonment of us at a very early age.
My two brothers persued her but i had other ideas.
I have always thought that my Brothers were from another Father but i kept it inside,they do not look, act, or have any of Dads mannerisms so two and two made four.
(for me anyhow)I recently attended my mothers funeral and in attendance was her present Husband.
I sat next to him at the wake and came right out and asked him in a manner that gave the impression that i already knew that they were not my “full brothers”.
This Man knew all about it and the fact he thought that i was aware of the situation he blurted it all out and told me that they were from different Fathers(him not one of them)and although it should have rocked me to my boots i was pretty calm and still am.
I treat them exactly the same as before i knew and i at this moment in time am resigned to not saying anything to anybody.
Still,do i have the right to keep this info to myself and deny them the right to know who they really are.

cwilbur's avatar

@TROLL: I reiterate: what possible good could come from this revelation?

You go on and on about “the right to know who they really are,” but you haven’t yet answered that question. Will it improve their relationships with each other or with you? Is there any possible benefit that could come from the revelation?

If you have to stop and think hard about that to come up with something positive, don’t tell them.

TaoSan's avatar


Yes, you do have that right IMHO. Because it really wouldn’t do any good. People make the mistake to believe that biological kinship is a prerequisite to form a strong sibling bond, when in fact it is not.

Some times the past is best left unstirred. Ask yourself this way: Do you see a chance he’d look at you and tell you he wished you never told him? If so, just let it be. That would be my personal opinion.

galileogirl's avatar

If what your father said was true, that he knows he is not their father, it is his business not yours. However at this point even he is probably not 100% sure. If a man and woman are living together even if they are not regularly intimate for years, there might be a ‘once in a blue moon occasion”. I know of a couple who hadn’t had relations for years and just as they were about to separate, well 9 mos later they had a baby abd stayed together for another grueling 7 years for the child’s sake.

Leave it alone. After your father has gone and things are not so emotionally charged, you might want to bring it up tactfully. They already may have some idea and wouldn’t appreciate your dropping a bomb. For now MYOB!

basp's avatar

Why do you think they ‘have a right to know’?
And, even if they do have a right to know, why do you think you are the appropriate one to tell them?
Leave it alone.
(if there was an extreme medical reason for your brothers to have this knowledge, then I would consider things differently.)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would want to know

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