Great Britain

My wife had cousin’s baby and I want my ‘son’ to know the truth before I die

DEAR DEIDRE: MY wife had an affair with my cousin and gave birth to his child.

I knew the boy wasn’t mine but have brought him up as if he was.

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While he and our other two sons don’t know the truth, I know it will come out one day and, as I am dying, I would like to tell them.

I would much rather they find out from me than anyone else.

I am 56, my wife is 54 and my sons are 31, 29 and 28. I count the eldest, the one who isn’t biologically mine, as one of my children.

My wife has always been very domineering and short-tempered.

But following her fling, things really fell apart.

One evening while we were arguing she gleefully told me she could have any man she wanted.

She went on to gloat that my cousin couldn’t resist her and had visited her the night before while I had been at work.

She didn’t explicitly say they had sex but I knew what she meant.

I was so hurt but we had just got married so I decided to try to make our relationship work.

Her attitude stayed the same, though. It was utterly miserable.

So when she got pregnant, I knew the baby couldn’t be mine.

She refused to even discuss this, saying only: “There’s nothing to worry about.”

I decided to bring up the child as my own.

I bonded with him and, even though he was a lot fairer and taller than me — just like my cousin — I loved him.

Things improved a little between my wife and I and we had two more boys soon after. This time I knew they were mine.

But inevitably, our relationship deteriorated and my wife even admitted seeing my cousin again.

I was furious and retaliated by having an affair. When she found out, she hit me.

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I’ve never told anyone but she whacks me regularly. My sons don’t understand why I put up with it. I would have left but, now that I have cancer, there doesn’t seem much point.

I do, however, want to make sure the boys find out the whole truth from me.

DEIDRE SAYS: Even though you are suffering with cancer please reach out for help and support.

You should be able to live your final days without fear of violence. I am sending you my support pack on abusive partners.

To be sure your eldest is not yours, you would need to do a DNA test.

But before talking to him, think carefully about the effect the news would have on him and the rest of the family.

It would also help you to talk to a counsellor, to decide on your best path.

I am attaching my support pack on counselling, which will help.

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