Dear Amy: I was married in 1990. My wife and I had a daughter together.
In 1999 I found out my wife was cheating, and so I ended the marriage. We had been together for 10 years. Our daughter was 5 years old when we split.
Now — all these years later, my daughter called and said that she wants to “meet her brother.”
I was shocked and said, “What?!”
“Yeah,” she said, “Mom told me that you have a son with a woman.”
Um, 100 percent not true.
I started to think about it and I’m pretty sure that my ex told our daughter this so that I would look like the bad person that caused our divorce.
I want to ask my ex why she did this, and tell her that she needs to talk to our daughter and tell her the truth, or I will.
My relationship with my daughter was great, and then it started to change.
It occurs to me that this is probably the reason why.
What should I do? Should I try to fix this, or should I try to forget about it?
— Wondering Dad
Dear Dad: Your former wife’s infidelity led to the ending of your marriage.
You quite obviously shielded your young daughter from the truth during her childhood, perhaps to protect and preserve your privacy, as well as her relationship with her mother.
She is an adult now. At this point the truth behind your breakup has taken on some bizarre characteristics.
Do NOT say to your ex: “Either you tell the truth, or I will.”
You should not trust your ex with any version of this story. Her lie is profound and hurtful; don’t tempt her to embellish further or to put her own spin on these long-ago events.
You should tell your daughter the truth. Don’t re-litigate decades-old hurts. Just tell her the truth and answer any questions she might have.
Dear Amy: A few years ago, I was abruptly ghosted by a friend.
I asked what was wrong, but received no reply.
I have a suspicion as to the reason, which is based upon a slanderous falsehood that she was told about me.
This still bothers me, both because of the lie and the way that I was so abruptly dropped.
Should I just accept it and move on, or should I try to find out for sure why I was ghosted by contacting my now ex-friend?
— Ghosted and Confused
Dear Ghosted: You’ve already asked your ex-friend why she abruptly pulled away. Don’t ask again.
You have also tried to accept this and have not been able to.
I vote for the truth.
This person is already ghosting you. Bottom line, she will probably continue, no matter what.
You have one shot at this, so make it good.
Write exactly what your suspicions are. You have the right and the duty to correct the record regarding this “slanderous falsehood.”
You could also state that the way she chose to handle this hurt you then, and continues to bother you.
Doing this will help you to move on. And you should move on.
Dear Amy: A reader questioned why people investigate their DNA and then contact biological family members — implying that people who do this don’t know that the family they were raised in is their “real family.”
I am adopted and in my eyes my parents are the ones who raised me. Their family is my family.
I did DNA testing to find out more about myself.
I did contact people on both biological sides and was met with open arms.
This is not the case for many.
What this contact has given me is the ability to fill out medical forms correctly. I no longer need to write “adopted” in my family medical history.
I now know that I need to make sure to get testing because of the cancer history of my biological father.
I’ve gained siblings I never knew about.
My brother (also adopted but with different birth parents) now knows about his family medical history, including extensive cardiac history. Although he was met with a different outcome in terms of reunion with bio family members, he has no regrets.
Not all adopted children are looking for relationships with our biological family, but we are looking to fill in the blanks and understand ourselves better.
— Adopted in Louisiana
Dear Adopted: In terms of filling in these blanks, DNA testing has been a gift. It is every person’s right to know their biological history.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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