Dear McKoy: I had done something I am not proud of. I got pregnant when I was seventeen years old. I was having consensual sex with my uncle at the time, but I didn’t tell anyone he was the one who got me pregnant. My son is now ten years old and my uncle secretly takes care of him.
I am now in a happy relationship and my boyfriend of five years treats my son as his own. He wants us to get married soon. I have a big problem though. My son keeps asking me who is his real father, but I can’t let anyone find out I was having sex with my uncle. Also, I love my boyfriend very much and I’m afraid if he learns about my past he will leave me. This secret can destroy many lives, even my uncle who is now married and has two children. Do you think I should tell my son that his father is my uncle or let sleeping dogs lie?
Dear Brittany: I know this is difficult for you, but don’t panic. If you decide to calm your son by telling him the truth, there will be a lot of consequences to face. In a matter of time everyone will find out. Also, knowing that he is the child of an incestuous relationship may negatively impact your son. His cousins, who are now stepbrothers and stepsisters, may harbor hostility toward him, putting a strain on the entire family.
I suggest you tell him something to put his mind at ease. You may provide a vague story regarding his father, such as that he left the country or that you have no idea where he is. You will not only be protecting your uncle and yourself from embarrassment, it will be in the interest of the whole family. This is something that can cause disunity among family members and set a negative example for future generations. How will your entire family perceive you once they learn about this? There’s a lot on the line here, and it needs to be safeguarded for the sake of the entire family.