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Section: children, relationships

Dear Ann Landers,
The letter from "Totally Baffled in Spokane" really struck a chord with me. "Baffled" wondered why her father would wait until she was pregnant before suddenly declaring that he wasn't her real dad. I am living that same nightmarish scenario. I have struggled my entire life to keep the dark secret that our son is a product of my wife's affair. I feel sorry for "Baffled," since she did nothing to deserve this pain, but I also understand her father. I have spent years pretending to be happily married to a woman who ruined my life. I am continually plagued by the thought that my son should know who his biological father really is, especially when the time comes for him to become a father himself. I would tell him, but I can't bear the thought of his suffering. I plan to carry this secret to my grave. -- Anonymous in California

Dear California,
I assume you have some kind of proof of this and that the boy's biological father is still living. Does he know about this son? I suggest you discuss this dilemma with a wise physician, lawyer or clergyperson and ask for guidance. I am reluctant to advise you on a matter of such grave importance, knowing so little about the cast of characters. Good luck. You're going to need it.

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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers