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My brother finally introduced us to his fiance - she's my ex!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Forbidden love, The ex-factor, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 September 2018) 15 Answers - (Newest, 13 September 2018)
A male United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

My brother has recently introduced the family to his new fiancée - but there's a massive issue. Basically he lives away and none of us have met her before - we only knew her name. We were all excited to meet her - but when he introduced her to everyone I felt sick by the fact that I do already know her.

In fact me and her used to be seeing each other when I lived in my old city. We were never as serious as they seem to be - however we do have a child together. I've never told my family this - they're very Christian and would be ashamed to find out I pay child support for a child out of wedlock.

Another issue is that she's been very manipulative in the past - I don't know her intentions yet but the fact that she's acting perfectly normal around all my family whilst holding onto my brother's hand makes me wonder what she's up to.

I've mentioned my family to her when we were seeing each other - so she already knew his name and what he looked like before getting with him, and so I am concerned that she has manipulated him to get back at me somehow, and also worry what her intentions are further.

The thought that my brother could be my daughter's step father (he already lives with her at the moment but he is unaware it's his niece) is terrifying me - and I am unsure how I should move forward and address the situation to all my family.

View related questions: christian, fiance, my ex

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A female reader, mystiquek Japan + , writes (13 September 2018):

mystiquek agony auntI've been on DC for over 10 years and this whole scenario doesn't make any sense. Your ex girlfriend that you have a child with and no one in your family knows anything about just happens to be dating your brother and he knows NOTHING about your past with the lady??? Your parents have a grandchild that they know NOTHING about??? Sorry..this whole thing sounds very suspicious. Unbelievable to be honest.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (13 September 2018):

N91 agony auntThis could get all kinds of fucked up if it gets any further.

You need to tell your brother immediately. End this now. How bizarre would it be for your brother to be married to your ex and he become the step father to his niece? How would this even work? The levels of awkwardness would be through the roof. Not to mention the lengths of lying you would have to go through to cover your tracks.

I’d say she’s up to something odd here, it sounds all too convinient that she’s ended up with the brother of someone who left her single with a child in the past. Although I could be wrong, but the only person who knows that is her.

For the time being you need to tell your brother and let him decide what he does with the information. You can’t hang around with this any longer.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Honeypie agony auntAhhh EDIT:

Does it seem odd that out ALL the men she could be dating... she is dating and now engaged to your ex that your family knows nothing about? Yes. Very.

should have been...

Does it seem odd that out ALL the men she could be dating... she is dating and now engaged to your brother and your family knew nothing about? Yes. Very.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. It’s time for you to be an adult. Tell your family about your child, their grandchild and niece.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Honeypie agony auntTake your brother aside and tell him, SHOW him proof. (which shouldn't be hard if you are paying child support to her and the child).

Does it seem odd that out ALL the men she could be dating... she is dating and now engaged to your ex that your family knows nothing about? Yes. Very.

I also find it odd that SHE never mentioned her child father, I mean she MUST have seen pictures? Social media? Something that would indicate that HE is the brother of her baby-daddy. (you)

Now she might keep secret because she doesn't want to get you in trouble and because she KNOW that she and this child have been YOUR dirty little secret. so she might have kept quiet for YOUR sake.

But your brother DESERVES to know. You KID deserves to know her/his father (you) - don't you think?

The sooner you have a chat with your brother the sooner this is out in the open and you can OWN your actions and he can decide what HE wants to do. (if anything).

Tell your brother - YOU OWE him that.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Code Warrior agony auntDon't continue to be cowardly about this. Tell your family the truth - including your brother. Let the chips fall where they may. Better to have a short period of discomfort than a lifetime of worry trying to keep this a secret. Note that you may lose your brother over this, but better to risk the loss of your brother than to risk allowing him to fall into a trap set by her. If you allowed that to happen to happen to your brother because you were too cowardly to face the music yourself, that would be unforgiveable and your name would be mud.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (12 September 2018):

janniepeg agony auntThere has been a breakdown in communication in both sides of the family. Your family does not know about your child and her family does not know about you. There is nothing more un Christian like to raise a child without the support and acknowledgment of extended family. Everybody is keeping silent but it's the child who suffers from being a nobody. Regarding the child's surname (maybe she took mom's name) and biological father, everybody is being hush hush, as long as dad's paying child support so let's not bring up the uncomfortable conversation? Your ex took this as an advantage to deceive by omission. She is waiting for that moment of shock factor. Maybe she is tired of living in the shadows, in secret. She is dropping the bomb that yes, her child is yours, being born out of wedlock does not have her a lesser Christian. Children are innocent and we are all human. I assume your brother is Christian too, so she is trying to make you feel bad by not proposing to her before. If that's her reason to get married, it won't go well. The foundation of her marriage would not be based on love, because it sounds like she purposefully looked for him to date him while concealing the real identity of her child.

You have to talk to your brother about this and hope that the marriage won't continue. The talk won't be about jealousy and uncomfortable feelings. Those are unimportant compared to issues towards their marriage and the child's future. If she wants to shine truth about her child, there are better ways to do this than to wreck a family's relationship, or to mock Christianity.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

Here are some things to think about.

1. Yes, you have a sticky situation here, but you’re being pretty hard on yourself. Yes, take responsibility for your indiscretion of fathering a child out of wedlock, but the weight of the world does not fall on your shoulders because they met and decided to marry - everyone has to pitch in to resolve things.

2. You do not really know whether or not she was aware that you two were brothers.

If she was aware, as you suspect, there is a possibility that she has already informed your brother about your history, and he is OK with it, and they have a plan to deal with the whole schmozzle. But if she had already told him, would you expect your brother to say something to you? Only you can answer that.

If she was aware, and she did not inform your brother, then that is very bad judgement on her part. Some may call it wrong, dishonourable, unethical, or immoral even, and potentially she is going to be the bad guy in your brother’s eyes, for not telling him early in their relationship.

IF she was NOT aware that you two were brothers, then you have a sticky situation that you have to deal with together. Start off working with her in good faith, that is, without assuming she has any ulterior motives.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Well, come clean with your brother. Tell your family the truth. Do you not visit your own daughter? How could he be with the child and her mother all this time, and you're just now finding-out they're together?

I guess your past has now caught-up with you. Apparently you ditched that woman with a kid, and she found her way back to you. Intentionally, or inadvertently!

You can't hide this from your brother. She has to tell him who pays the child-support; and her daughter has to know who her biological-father is. You set this trap for yourself.

You can't honestly say what her ulterior-motives are; and your paranoia may deceive you. For all your brother knows; they're in-love, and he just may know more than you think!

He may have decided to do right by the two of them; in spite of how you're handling it.

Karma is a hoot, isn't it?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

Couldn't quite believe what I was reading - and I've read a lot of posts on Dear Cupid, over the years !

It's time to man up. This is going to be VERY hard, but this woman cannot possibly have any good intentions. There is no way on earth that she is being considerate and compassionate by NOT telling your brother that her son is also his nephew - she is up to something, but don't waste time guessing what that could be.

Instead, you MUST come clean about what has happened. Start by telling your father, if he is still alive, and ask for his guidance and forgiveness (that's if you want to keep your faith). Not only did you act outside of your faith by fathering an illegitimate child, but you also betrayed your family by not telling them what you had done. If your's is the kind of religion / faith that involves using shame as a way to try to control people - I'm not religious myself and I am quite aware of how shame is deployed as a technology of control - then realise that you have experienced shame and have tried to avoid it's consequences by hiding the truth from people and that now is the time that you have to face up to the shaming part of your religion and deal with the pain and possible rejection this involves.

You have not behaved with emotional maturity. This is precisely what this woman is calculating upon. The longer you leave this, the more power she gains over you - it literally is like silence and time will store up more power for her. The very best you can do is 'spoil' her manipulation by owning up to your family. One final thing though - did you actually get a DNA test done before accepting the child is yours? If not, it would be a wise move...

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (12 September 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntYou need to own up to your brother about your child. I don’t care how judgemental your family is; your daughter deserves not to be a secret! It’s not her fault you and her mum ended up conceiving. She will have issues her whole life if you’re just a sperm donor, rather than a father. Tell your brother, then talk to a lawyer about a mediation with her mother to arrange for legal visitation. Time to grow up and be a dad.

As for this situation, it’s highly unlikely she’s manipulating him or trying to get back at you. It’s possible, but not something you should talk to your brother about. You do need to stop hiding your daughter away, though.

Let your brother and his fiancée do what they want, don’t make it about you, but you need to tell everyone about your daughter because it’s not fair to her.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

Too many secrets going on here.

You need to be upfront and have a word with your brother.

Its important because a child is involved.

Your child.

I think its better you reveal this to your brother now.

I can understand the woman wanting to date your brother.

She has found you reliable and decent.

Their is no shame in her wanting to be close to your brother because she feels that he too is safe.

The problem lies in your family.

Denying that you have a child because it would offend your folks is a strange thing to do although not much of a crime.

It just leads to a sticky situation like the one youre now in.

This is not the womans fault.

If they get married the child will still have the same grandparents and extended family members.

The problem is the secrecy.

The grandmother and grandfather presumably didnt know they were grandparents.

Have a word with bro.

Speak to your ex and clarify your standing in this.

Maybe your bro has secrets too.

Possibly there is even some confusion over who is the biological dad .

For all anyone knows bro could have had an earlier secret association with your ex and who could know if the child has the same DNA.

Are you and bro twins.

I know twins have their own set of rules sometimes.

I think that you have a right to be in your daughters life having paid child support so far.

This little girl is probably going to have to settle for two dads, one mum and if she's lucky both pairs of grandparents.

The feelings of the child should be the focus of your conversations.

Not accusations or story swapping.

Just an honest adaptation to everyone realising that there is now a little girl in the family.

If you had done with your ex and moved on emotionally then you should be glad that your bro is willing to put up with the mother and be a visible presence in her life.

And you can still play your part in the childs life while dating someone new.

Unless you are having second thoughts and wishing you were marrying her mum.

If thats the case you left it far too late to make a last minute 'yes,I do want you' decision.

Again the problem lies with you because you toyed with the ex's feelings by giving one message and then reversing it at the last minute.

You dont need to keep these secrets.

The child has a right to life.

Your ex has the right to move on.

You have the right to explain your parenthood and continue dating elsewhere and your parents have a right to adapt to the fact that they didn't acknowledge their own grandchild for all these years.

After that you all have every right to be happy for the sake of the child when you all get together for family events such as birthdays and barbecue s.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

You won’t know her intentions until she shows them. Aside from that I get the impression you pay child support for your daughter but she doesn’t know you are her father?

You brother is engaged to your Childs mother, he lives with them so is helping your ex raise YOUR daughter. I’m surprised that at your age (late twenties) you’ve hidden fathering a child because you are scared of what your parents would think?! Chances are the truth may come out in the end anyway.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

I think you should have a talk with your brother to let him know of your relationship with your ex and child. Let him decide how he wishes to handle it. Should he decide to accept your ex and child, then I feel you should support his decision and confront your family together. It does seem ackward, but your ex is your past, your relationship is over, you have no say in who she is with. Your brother is with her now, it is his decision whether he accepts the situation or not.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2018):

Wow. You just never know when something’s gonna come out of the blue, do you. But anyway, you’ve got to deal with it somehow. The big issue of course, is does your brother know who is the child’s father. If he does not know and they get married, I’d say there is a very good chance that sometime in the future he will find out. And then he is going to ask you why you didn’t tell him. So either you or the fiancée has to tell him and soon.

Regarding your dim view of the fiancée’s character and her unknown intentions, I’d say start by not saying anything. You don’t need anything else driving a wedge between you and him. Your brother is a big boy. He will find out for himself. When your brother learns about the child, he may point blank ask you what you think of the fiancée. Then you have to be as delicate as you can, but you have to be honest. Don’t give him your view of her character, stick to the facts of things she has done and let him interpret what they mean about her character.

There’s probably a million ways to handle this, but here is the short version of what I would do. (1) For starters, be supportive and happy for the couple. (2) Somehow arrange to have a private talk with her. Ask her if she has told your brother or intends to tell him about your relationship with her and the resulting child. You have doubts about her, so make it clear to her that you are going to have a conversation with your brother about her and the child, whether or not she has or intends to. Give her the choice of speaking to him first. (3) Your brother and his fiancée will have to discuss how they intend to raise the child. Surely the fiancée has thought about this already and has a plan of some sort. Let her reveal her plan first and see if it is reasonable and what the implications are. Tell them that you want to know their plan. Will they adopt her? Will they eventually reveal her birth father to her? If yes, then all of the rest of the family will surely find out. Quite possibly it may be best not to tell the whole family now because some blabbermouth may inadvertently reveal the facts to the child.

This is obviously a difficult and delicate matter. If there is anyone that you could turn to for help or guidance it would be a good idea to do so.

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