I have a good and happy family, even though my father is separated from us. My maternal aunt and her grown-up son live next door to us. She is a single mother and has never told anyone who the father of her son is.
My cousin looks exactly like my father but he has never acknowledged him as his son. There have been rumors on both sides of our family about the paternity of my cousin for as long as I can remember. My aunt used to live with us before my parents separated, until one day she just left because she got pregnant.
We never gave this mystery much thought until we moved next door to them. My cousin’s girlfriend saw a graduation picture of my cousin with my father where our family was not invited. I remember my father talking to my aunt quietly on the phone and stopping if people would pass by.
My mother has asked both my father and my aunt point-blank about the rumor but neither has ever confessed. We think both are just too embarrassed to admit the truth.
Short of my cousin filing an action in court, what can we do to make my aunt or my father tell us the truth? What can we do to make my father stop lying and own up to his responsibility? We just hope to make things clear.
What is the problem here? That your aunt doesn’t want to divulge the paternity of her son? That your father wouldn’t confess he fathered this boy? That the boy is an uncanny doppelganger of your father—for comfort?
You said your father is separated from your family, and is clearly living the life he wishes. Why is there too much hand-wringing from your side, or is it only you that’s having this problem? What will it accomplish if your cousin turns out to be your half-brother? Are you worried he’d get a piece of the family pie? Is there much at stake?
If there’s no pile to talk about, is it just your curiosity that is killing you which you want resolved?
If neither your aunt nor cousin is bothering anyone, why even bring up going to court? Is there a crime involved? It is your aunt’s prerogative to keep a secret, her choice to the death, if she so desires.
And how do you know she hasn’t bared the truth to her son? Has anyone been privy to their most private conversation? It involves just the two of them, and it’s nobody’s business but theirs. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Take a deep breath and be mature and open-minded about your perceived problem. Let sleeping dogs lie. Nobody is going to die if you never find out the truth.