Man discovers that he is not the father of his 20 yr-old daughter


**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a close friend, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

Becoming a dad is one of the most amazing things that can happen to a guy. It's a chance to be a role model, teach, and protect. And, for better or worse, it's a permanent job. At least, that's how a guy I once dated felt.

He married his high school sweetheart after five years of dating, and they had a daughter shortly after that. They were happy, and life was good. But when their little girl turned 20, everything changed.

It started with a phone call from his wife's best friend. She had some "uncomfortable news" to share: his wife had a one-night stand before they were married, and, as a result, their daughter might not be his.

Needless to say, this was a huge shock. His wife confessed, and they divorced soon after. But the real bombshell came after a paternity test revealed that the other man was, in fact, his daughter's father.

It had been a few years when he shared this with me, and the relationship with his daughter remained strong. But he still felt like he'd lost something that could never be replaced. His daughter went to therapy and initiated contact with her birth father. However, even after all this time, it's still difficult for him, knowing she is biologically related to another man.

While the marriage was irreparable, he and his wife are now on friendly terms, and he's even met his daughter's birth father. He says it was a strange experience but ultimately healing.

When infidelity leads to pregnancy

In this case, they weren't married when the affair happened, but cheating is cheating. So the question remains: Can a relationship survive if your partner has a child with someone else?

A 2019 Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology study found that sexual infidelity ranks as one of the most unforgivable forms of cheating because it can lead to pregnancy.

"Our findings indicated that sexual infidelity was associated with more negative reactions and a lower probability of being forgiven than emotional infidelity. One reason is that sexual infidelity may lead to pregnancy and, thus, potentially have more severe negative consequences than emotional infidelity." —Menelaos Apostolou

Even if the relationship survives the fallout, the relationship dynamics between all parties are forever changed. The idea of co-parenting with the other person can be daunting, to say the least.

Cheating is cheating, no matter how you slice it. And when sexual infidelity leads to pregnancy, the consequences can be severe for all involved. If your partner has a child with someone else, your relationship will likely be tested. But if everyone is willing to put in the hard work, there's always a chance for forgiveness and a new beginning.

If you were in this situation, what would you do? Let us know in the comments.

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Intimacy + Relationship-ing Coach | Writer. Helping singles & couples create healthy loving relationships.

Los Angeles County, CA

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