A man asked the subReddit "relationship advice" for guidance on how to confront his wife over the shocking results of a paternity test on their 12 year-old son.
Posting under the username throwRA8507, the person identified themselves as a 34 year old married man.
He told the story of how he discovered his son wasn't his biological child.
The man started by explaining how he and his wife got together.
"A little back story before I get to the meat. My wife and I met when I was 20. We had a drunk hookup the first night we met. We continued seeing each other after that night. A few weeks later she found out she was pregnant. We stayed together and I proposed a few months later."
He admitted to having doubts about the pregnancy's timing.
"I had doubts about her pregnancy lining up with our timeline but I never brought it up or discussed it. Not to mention I was in the military and deployed a few months later."
Even though he had doubts about getting married, he felt it was important for the baby's sake.
"My proposal weighed a lot on her carrying my child. I grew up in a home without a dad and never wanted that."
Unfortunately, the marriage ended up not being that great.
But he has one reason for staying...
"Fast forward 12 years we are still married. Though it has been extremely volatile and rocky I've stayed together honestly because I could never part from my son. I can't let him grow up with an absent father. So I've made it work. Our marriage is dead outside of our child."
A chance meeting with an old friend led to new information about his wife.
"I ran into an old friend who I knew around the time I met my wife. He asked if I was still with her and I said yes. He mentioned how 'it was crazy I dated her and then you stole her from me!' I wasn't sure what he meant and asked him to elaborate. He said 'it's no big deal but I was seeing her up until that weekend you met her.'"
The man was once again filled with doubts about his wife... so he took action.
"I dropped it but inside my doubt and insecurities ran wild. I couldn't get it out of head. I broke down and bought a home DNA test kit and used it on my son and I without telling my wife."
Turns out that his suspicions were true.
"The results came back today. He is not my son. 0% chance I am his biological father. I'm destroyed. My whole world is upside down. I'm just on autopilot at the moment. I don't know how to act or feel. I'm just a zombie right now."
But that didn't change how he felt about the child.
"One thing I know is no matter what he is my son. I've been by his side the moment he was born and will absolutely never abandon him. Absolutely nothing will change that."
What may change is how he wants to approach his marriage.
What I haven't decided is how if at all I bring it up to my wife. I feel like my whole marriage was a lie. I can't help but wonder if she knew. How do I confront her.
He stressed that despite everything, he doesn't want to hurt his wife.
Regardless that I'm not in love with her I still love her. This will crush her. This will absolutely devastate her. I don't know what to do. I plan on seeing a counselor/therapist ASAP. So many emotions and thoughts flooding my mind. Just need some help to bring me back down.
Overall, the man was very confused by this huge and potentially life changing realization, and wanted to see what others thought he should do about it.
People on Reddit commended the man for not letting the paternity results ruin his relationship with his son.
"He didn't know any better than you did, you both grew up knowing each other as father and son, and DNA only changes that biologically. It doesn't change all the time you spent together, all the time you spent raising him, all the time he spent knowing you as his father and you are still that person and so is he. Family is so much more than blood and I'm glad you're on board with that."
"'One thing I know is no matter what he is my son'."
"That's the single most important thing to remember as you move forward, regardless of what you do. As you've written, you've been there since the first day - more than the actual bio-Dad - and the results of test don't change the last 12 years of your life or the entire life of your son."
But people couldn't understand why he was still with his wife if the marriage was failing.
"My first thoughts while reading this (before I even got to the part with the results of the DNA test) were that you should consider splitting up with your wife. From what it sounds like, you're not exactly happy with her. Life is too short. I think that the results of the DNA test are irrelevant."
They felt that it was better for them to separate than for the child to grow up with unhappily married parents.
My parents split up when I was thirteen and I was so relieved when they did. I'd rather have a broken home than an unhappy home.
lookingforbeautybaby said their parents had the same mindset as the man:
"My parents had a dead marriage but refused to get a divorce until I turned 18 and moved out. I understood that they were trying to be nice, but the constant fighting and mind-games they played with each other kinda fucked me up mentally. Divorce may be what's best for your son."
Original poster throwRA8507 eventually updated the post to say he would consider everyone's advice and consider what to do next.
"I appreciate all the support and words of advice. Both good, bad and the bulls**t. I'm going to sit on this until I get my head right."