A couple had their life turned completely upside with a major revelation.
28-year-old Redditor throwRAthrowaway28 discovered that his 33-year-old bisexual boyfriend’s past reemerged and would soon affect both of their lives forever.
Still reeling from the dizzying life change, the Original Poster (OP) solicited advice from strangers in Reddit’s Relationship Advice column and wrote:
“My boyfriend found out he has an illegitimate son (14 m). I don’t know what to do.”
In an update, the OP acknowledged a misstep.
“I apologize for calling him ‘illegitimate’ I just thought it was a good word to describe the situation whilst keeping the title short. I understand how that can be offensive.”
“OK so I never thought I’d ever make one of these because I usually pride myself in my problem solving skills but this is something I literally never expected to happen to me.”
“My boyfriend of 3 years in August got a weird call from a social worker a few days back. I should note that my boyfriend is bisexual and has had sexual relations with women in years past, well, turns out when he was 19, he got a girl pregnant.”
“I asked him what he knows about her and he said basically nothing, they met during a school event (he went to Bowling Green) and they hooked up and he never heard from her again.”
“I naturally had a lot of questions following that. The social worker, we’ll call her Grace, came down to meet us (him specifically) and gave us the run down if we seemed fit to take in the child.”
“Unfortunately, his biological mother tried committing suicide a few weeks back and it left her in a vegetative state. Her mother helped the social worker track down my boyfriend.”
“All they knew of him was he studied Communications at Bowling Green and that’s how they found him, class of 2009.”
“It’s been a very confusing scenario, Grace offered us a choice. She said that we are fit to take in Michael (fake name) assuming the blood test comes back positive, or he’ll be placed on a foster family roster.”
“The chances of him getting actually adopted are slim to none.”
“My boyfriend said if the blood test comes back and he is the father, he will take him in. I was not consulted first but I think it’s the right thing to do.”
“Blood test came in, he’s the father. Michael is supposed to move in on Friday.”
“What can I do? What should I do? I’m terrified.”
“My boyfriend is nervous and things just aren’t the same right now. There’s an entire teenage human being moving in on Friday and we’ve barely talked about it.”
“Grace comes by daily to check in on our routine. We both work full time but we’re home all day because of [the virus]. We bring in a decent amount of income so money won’t be an issue.”
“We have a spare bedroom that’s furnished so we won’t have to do much in terms of that. I’m just scared you guys.”
“Have any of you been blindsided like this before? I literally have no preparation for a situation like this.”
“I have so many questions. I need all the support I can get. Thanks.”
This Redditor lauded the couple for being so accommodating—when others in their situation might struggle in accepting a teenager as a new member of the family—and offered suggestions in making a smooth transition.
“This may sound dumb, but damn, I am so proud of you, both of you, for how you’re jumping in to help.”
“It’s weird, it’s a big a** change, you did not have a lot of time, but you are going to statistically at least, save this kid from a life of abuse and crime.”
“The foster system is not kind and the kid of a mom who tried to kill herself and will never recover is going to have a lot of trauma.”
“Set up for therapy. Family therapy, individual therapy for every one of you three.”
“Get the kid a thorough medical eval to make sure his mother hasn’t left him with any physical issues (mentally ill parents may have neglected their children’s needs, even if of course we’d hope he arrives in good shape and sound health, it’s something to watch out for) and just take things as they come.”
“Be his guardian, be like a cool uncle to him and try to help him focus on what he needs. He probably needs to grieve his mother, who in her state is completely unavailable to him.”
“He may have a lot of anger at you two at first and needs to work through it. Give him time, but also extend that same patience towards yourself.” – Joshuainlimbo
“This is great advice. I also want to add that sometimes fear and pain are expressed in the form of anger.”
“Kids, even teenagers, are new at expressing emotion and they often don’t know how. Remember that.”
“This kid’s mom tried to kill herself and now his life is completely turned upside down and he might go through a stage of anger. Don’t take it personally and don’t stifle it except when he might hurt himself or others (or his or other’ property).”
“Try to help him find a healthy form of expression, an outlet. It could be writing, drawing, music, sports/exercise. He’s going to need it. He’s going to require a lot of patience. Sometimes the people that are hard to love need it the most.”
“Good luck. I wish you 3 the best. I hope you make some happy memories together.” – Daedaluswaxwings
A foster parent offered encouraging words.
“It’s ok to be scared.”
“My husband and I are foster parents and first thing we learned is to be communicative and define and set house rules for the children.”
“Children and even older ones need structure and boundaries so they know what they can and cannot do and what to expect from you and your boyfriend.”
“Just be open and understanding and willing to work with them with whatever they need. Good luck.” – Smokedeggs
This Redditor suggested the couple maintain a semblance of the teen’s daily routines to help him assimilate into the new environment.
“Find out (if you don’t know already) what the boy’s current schedule/routine is so you can plan for this to not be disrupted.”
“E.g figure out how he’s going to get to and from school, any hobbies or clubs he might be part of, etc. What is his usual morning routine, what does he like for breakfast, when does he usually eat dinner.”
“The more constants you can keep, the easier he’ll find it to adjust. And if there are any conflicts with your current routine, you can iron these out quickly.”
“The reason I know the above is because I was in a similar situation to your boyfriend’s son, except I was a few years younger than him and already knew my father.”
“The whole situation was a shock but having no disruption to my regular routine really helped.” – sugarsponge
Taking him shopping was another helpful advice from Redditors.
“I suggest offering to take him somewhere like target to be able to decorate the guest room to be more for him, and getting to learn about him in the process!” – starry-skies-
“I was gonna suggest this, also potentially having a care package ready with stuff like snacks, drinks, maybe a few gift cards to some generally decent stores like Starbucks or Gamestop, but i can imagine that without knowing much about him it’d be hard to coordinate a gift like this.”
“But I’d feel like even if they weren’t necessarily things he loves he’d still get the sense of being welcomed into their home.”
“Ross is also a really good place to get home decor items, they have bed sets for a decent price, but I’d imagine target/walmart would be better so he could also pick up toiletries and other essential items if needed.” – justanotherlickdick
This Redditor emphasized that from this point on, the kid becomes the top priority and there is no turning back after making a decision to take him in.
“You’re scared, that’s understandable. But big boy pants on now, if you’re a grown man that is worried about his relationship imagine being a kid whose mom just tried to off herself, meeting your biological dad for first time.”
“As if being 14 wasn’t already confusing enough.”
“I get it, you didn’t sign up for this. But make a decision really quick. Because when that kid gets there he is the priority. His mental health, physical health, everything.”
“Last thing he needs is to notice animosity, resentment or infighting between you and your boyfriend because of his presence.”
“So, I understand if raising a 14 year old isn’t something you want to do. Or if your boyfriend didn’t consult you, but he’s the dad and I’m grateful he’s taking responsibility. That kid comes first now.”
“So if you want out, that is ok, just hurry up and bounce before kid gets there so he has one less trauma to deal with. Otherwise read some books, prepare to put this kid first and best of luck!” – Tuasdad
Many of the Redditors wished the couple good luck and cautioned them not to give the kid any more trauma than he has already experienced.
“I know it’s not MY obligation but my boyfriend is the man I’ve chosen to love, warts and all.”
“I could take some time to myself sure, but even if I did it wouldn’t change the fact that regardless of the situation, he’s the man I want to do it with. And it just so happens to be this circumstance, something I would have never expected but here we are anyway.”
“It’s a curveball for sure but I wouldn’t let either of us do it alone.”
Despite his fears, it appears the couple will provide a loving home for the new member of the family. Much luck to them, indeed.