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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, November 28, 2012

How can we accept
my husband’s son?

Dear Tita,

My husband, Roy, and I have been happily married for 16 years and we have two daughters aged 10 and 14.

My problem began when Roy arrived home one day, looking deeply bothered. He sat down with me and tearfully told me that years ago, when we were having problems in our marriage, he had an affair with a former co-worker, who got pregnant with his child. When she realized that Roy wouldn’t leave me for her, she resigned from her job and went to her hometown in Cebu where she gave birth to a baby boy.

Roy had been sending financial support for his son until she told him to stop as she had gotten married. But after three years of marriage, her husband left her when she got sick with cancer. She died six months later, leaving her son with her sister. But now, her sister has been diagnosed with cancer, too, and so she contacted Roy asking him to take his son.

Roy cried, begging me to forgive him and asking me to agree to our taking his son into our home. I was in a state of shock listening to my husband and, reluctantly, I agreed to his request.

When we told our daughters, they were very emotional as they couldn’t believe that their father could cheat on their mother. They asked me not to let Roy’s son stay with us, so I explained that the boy had nowhere else to go and that he was their stepbrother, after all.

The day Roy brought his son, Gino, to our house, he was very scared and hardly spoke. Roy tried to make him feel at home but Gino was not very communicative. I could see how hard Roy tried to bond with his son.

Secretly, I had feelings of resentment at the amount of attention he was giving to his son. Gino has been staying with us for almost a year but he hardly speaks to us. The only one he feels at ease with is Roy. I know our daughters resent the closeness of the two and they feel jealous.

How can I make them accept Gino when I myself feel resentful?


Dear Betrayed,

It takes a very special kind of person to accept her husband’s child by another woman. You can’t avoid feeling resentful at this living proof of your husband’s infidelity.

If you truly love Roy, you could begin to accept his son Gino. The poor boy is just a victim of circumstances and it is not his fault that Roy was unfaithful to you. Your daughters can’t help feeling jealous and resentful of their stepbrother as they can sense your own feelings.

Try to see Gino’s situation: he lost his mother and he feels lost living among strangers who resent his presence. If you could find it in your heart to be more compassionate to him, I’m sure your daughters will overcome their own jealousy and begin to accept Gino as a member of the family.

I hope and pray that you will finally begin to forgive and accept this boy.



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