I had everything a man could wish for; a beautiful family backed by a lovely wife and a son I adored.
We were the perfect family until, three years later, I noticed some changes in my wife.
She became extra cautious and had this paranoia cloud hovering around her.
Out of the blue, she started carrying her phone wherever she went and rarely left it unattended as she did before.
When I noticed her behavioral change, I approached her calmly to share what was wrong.
She maintained that all was okay and blamed her uneasiness on stress from her workplace.
She promised me she would share whatever was bothering her with her boss.
My instincts implied that she was dishonest with me, and I embarked on a secret mission to discover the real issue.
I managed to get hold of her phone one morning after she went to shower.
I couldn’t believe my eyes after I came across a WhatsApp chat she had with someone I couldn’t recognize.
The man was blackmailing my wife and extorting money from her in exchange for his silence regarding the possibility of me not being the biological father to our son.
My mind went blank for a while as I struggled to digest what I had read.
My wife came from the shower, and I could see her fear-filled reaction when she saw me holding her phone.
What followed was a teary confession of how she had a brief intimate encounter with her high school crush during their reunion.
I had traveled out of the country for a brief work-related assignment when her high school reunion took place.
My wife revealed how she took more wine than she should have at the reunion party and opened up to his high school crush about how she secretly adored him.
He took advantage of her drunkenness and countered that he was crushing on her too but feared she would reject his advances.
Sobbing, she continued narrating how things escalated quickly, and they hooked up in his car, which she regretted later when she returned to her senses.
If your wife starts behaving strangely out of the blue, don’t sit on it.
Find out what is bothering her, and if she doesn’t open up or her explanation doesn’t add up, investigate.
If she gives you a reason to doubt paternity, ensure you reach the bottom of it rather than living in doubt.
Inconsistencies in family medical records and mismatching blood types are other signs to help you discover the truth.
I wanted to know why she never told me anything even though we were already engaged to get married.
She said she feared I would call off the engagement, and she couldn’t bear losing me.
I asked her if it ever crossed her mind that there was a chance I wasn’t our son’s biological father.
She affirmed that the thought crossed her mind occasionally but couldn’t gather the courage to tell me.
Her revelation affected me greatly because I couldn’t imagine looking into my son’s eyes and thinking he wasn’t my blood.
However, I had made peace with the fact that I would remain his father regardless of the paternity test’s results.
I had to be strong in the presence of our son because, at his young age, I didn’t want him to notice a drift between his mother and me.
I had initially thought of leaving the house and staying in a hotel for a few days, but my wife begged me to stay.
We pretended everything was okay before our son, but I never wanted to see her face when we entered our bedroom.
The paternity results came out, and my worst fears were confirmed.
I wanted to leave and never come back, but the bond I had established with my son since his birth was intense, and I couldn’t bring myself to leave him for a mistake he wasn’t aware of or responsible for.
I asked my wife if she had plans to meet our son’s biological son and inform him he was a father.
I still remember her exact response while seething with anger:
“That excuse of a man doesn’t deserve to know sh*t. He took advantage of me at my weakest moment and went ahead to blackmail me. That piece of paper may suggest that he is my son’s biological father, but I would have to die before letting him come anywhere near my son”.
When the man texted Karen reminding her to send him money failure to which he would contact me with the paternity details, she texted him back in block letters warning him never to contact her again.
Otherwise, she would report him to the police for sexually assaulting her during the reunion.
She also reminded him to forget about the possibility of being her son’s father because even if he were, she would move mountains to ensure he wouldn’t come near them.
Paternity betrayal can make you go nuts or experience destructive emotions.
Some men become suicidal, while others become violent towards their wives, but nothing good comes from anger.
After learning the truth, it is essential to approach the matter delicately.
If you are quick-tempered, lying down until you calm down is necessary.
As absurd as it may sound, hearing your wife’s side of the story is essential.
Nothing justifies lying about paternity, but some women do so out of frustration and wanting the best lives for their kids.
Avoid being judgmental and seek to find the reason for her deception.
Additionally, your wife may need more time to be able to give you answers; she also needs time to absorb the scenario.
More importantly, only involve the kid once you reach a consensus on the next step.
Seeking support from your confidants and families will also help you to cope with the emotional and psychological impact of the unfoldings.
I would lie if I said I had difficulty understanding what had transpired.
I had no choice but to be strong for my son, and I forgot everything for a while when I played with him.
Back in my mind, I knew that his mom had done the right thing to protect our son from his biological father because he had proved manipulative and insensitive.
We decided to separate for a while, citing work-related reasons to our son because we didn’t want him to think we were going our separate ways at his young age.
Being alone helped me process my thoughts and feelings. I searched the internet for stories of men who had gone through similar cases and was astonished by the revelations I came across.
I encountered several publications addressing paternity fraud.
There is a publication that intrigued me, reporting that 1 in 10 British moms can’t tell their child’s biological father.
That’s just in Britain, but women lying about paternity is a global issue.
I didn’t picture myself going through it, yet here I was.
I read about how some men had raised kids they thought were theirs through college, only to realize later their wives had deceived them.
Somehow, I was relieved I had discovered the lie earlier, but that didn’t change the fact that my wife had betrayed my trust.
If you are in such a situation, process the findings and avoid immediate confrontations.
The revelation may make you an emotional mess, so find a way to cope.
You may write down your feelings or find a friend you can confide in.
Engage in activities that will occupy your mind to avoid dwelling on the betrayal.
Spend time with the child; never let them feel like you are drifting away.
Children shouldn’t bear the consequences of paternity betrayal.
Forgiving your partner may be too soon, but let it be a priority because you two must get along if you still want to be in the child’s life.
If you can find a support group to join, don’t hesitate. Sharing problems is one step to overcoming them.
Seeking professional counseling helped big time in navigating through the challenges of dealing with such lies in relationships.
I discovered that no matter how much I tried to heal on my own, I still needed to undergo therapy and counseling.
My counselor helped me accept the reality and commence a healing journey because I couldn’t turn back time even if I tried.
We would also attend joint counseling sessions with my separated wife to understand each other better as we co-parented our son, who had no idea what we were battling.
I wanted my family back, but I had to do so from a place of healing, and I prayed to God to give me strength.
My wife revealed she was pregnant with our second baby while we were separated.
She told me she had found out about her pregnancy before our separation but feared my reaction.
I had mixed feelings about her pregnancy, but my counselor helped me process the reality.
I eventually realized this was God’s way to reunite our family and return to my wife and son.
Nothing prepares a man for how to deal with paternity betrayal from their wife or lovers, but when it happens, seeking professional counseling can help you navigate your unexpected reality.
A therapist is best placed to help you deal with the emotional turmoil resulting from the revelation.
If you intend to maintain your emotional connection with the child, a therapist can help you mentally prepare how to approach the situation.
A therapist is also best placed to advise you on whether to stay in the child’s life or let go based on the surrounding circumstances because your peace of mind is also critical.
Lucky for us, our paternity case did not involve third parties because we were able to solve it by ourselves.
Also, the extortionist never contacted my wife again, and I vowed to protect her if he made a move again, even if it involved the police.
Most paternity cases, however, don’t go as smoothly because most women don’t give in easily, especially when they know they are guilty of lying.
In such cases, men should pursue legal means to coerce the women into agreeing to a paternity test.
Once the test is out and it proves you are not the biological father, you may consider separation, which means you have to explore the option of shared child custody; that is, if you still want to remain in the child’s life.
A consultation with a family attorney will help you weigh your options, considering you are already emotionally invested in the child’s life.
There is no doubt that women can keep secrets, but when it comes to lying about paternity, you can look for some signs.
However, the signs shouldn’t be conclusive evidence, and the only way to clear your doubts is by approaching the subject with your wife openly and maturely or taking a paternity test.
These signs include:
- Your wife diverts attention to other things during paternity discussions.
- The physical dissimilarity between you and the child. If the child doesn’t resemble you or anyone in your immediate family, it may be because you are not his biological father.
- You also have a reason to worry if you discover your wife was sleeping around with other men when she conceived.
- If the child resembles someone your wife used to know or knows, you should also seek answers.
- If your wife has a history of lying, there is no reason why she shouldn’t lie about paternity.
- Were you having an intimate relationship when the child was conceived? While conception and due dates may not always be precise, you have a reason to worry if you were never intimate with her when she conceived.
- Another sign to act upon is a slip of the tongue from a relative from the wife’s side or her friends when, for example, they have had too much to drink regarding the child’s biological father.