Son’s father could be my husband’s cousin

May 22, 2023

Dear Pastor,

I have, for years, been a regular reader of your column. I have learnt a lot. I have always wanted to write to you, but I have been afraid.

When I was 18 years old, I had sex with a man who was the first cousin of my boyfriend at that time. As young people, we were always fooling around and going to young peoples' parties, and things like that. My mother was not strict and my father didn't watch us, but he was not a bad father, because anything I wanted he gave to me.

I have had sex with a few of the guys from my area. Some of them were my schoolmates. Anyhow, I settled down with one guy. I once went out which his cousin, and on our way home he asked me for sex. We stopped at a particular spot -- it wasn't busy -- and we had sex in his father's car. We did not have protection. I was fully conscious of what I was doing. He came very fast. I asked him what would happen if he got me pregnant and he laughed and said, "What a bam bam that would be."

This man is three years older than me.

I had sex with my real boyfriend about a week after the encounter with his cousin. I then missed my period and I told my boyfriend. He was very concerned, but then he said he would take care of me if I was pregnant. I told him I knew he would take care of me but I did not want to drop out of school. He gave me money to go to the doctor. The doctor told me to come back at a certain time, and when I went back he told me that I was pregnant. I was really worried, but I did not believe that it was my real boyfriend who got me pregnant. I knew it was his cousin.

I told my eldest sister what was happening and that I did not believe that it was my real boyfriend who got me pregnant. It slipped out of my mouth that I fooled around my boyfriend's cousin, so it could be him. I begged her not to say anything, so she told me I have her word.

When I had the baby and I looked at him, I said this baby is not for my boyfriend. Nobody ever said anything to me, but when the child started to grow up, my mother said to me that that child didn't resemble my boyfriend. She asked me if I was sure that it was for him, and I told her yes.

I should say that my boyfriend and I got married some years ago.

Pastor, I am having big concerns now because my sister and I had a big dispute and she cursed me and told me that I am no good, because even the child that I have is not for my husband. She also said that she is going to tell my husband that that child is not his.

In order to protect myself and to take shame out of my eyes, I asked my husband if he has any doubt in his mind that he is not the father of our son. He did not answer me, but I asked him another time and he said since I asked him the first time he has been looking at him and wondering why I asked him. I told him that I am just wondering how come he has never got me pregnant again. We only have one child and the guy, his cousin, has three children with his wife.

My sister has not carried out her threat to tell him my husband that our child could be his cousin's. However, I am beginning to feel that I should tell my husband about what happened between me and his cousin. I am, however, afraid because he has always said that if his woman cheats on him, he is going to break up the relationship. I don't want to lose my husband, he is a darling. He treats me very well. I don't know when my sister will tell my husband what I told her. I am really worried.

My husband is a public figure and we really have a good life together. Our son is doing very well, and I have a good job.

Please, I am begging you for your advice.


Dear V,

Regardless of how you look at this situation, it is very risky to tell your husband what you did with his cousin many years ago. He might forgive you, but it is also likely that he will curse you and tell you that he will never trust you again.

It does not appear from your letter that you have ever discussed this matter with your husband's cousin.

For peace of mind, you can do a DNA test, or you can just leave this whole matter alone, because your sister might never carry out the threat she made to tell your husband what transpired between you and his cousin.

You have carried this guilt for a long time. Do you think that by telling your husband, this would set your conscience free? I do not know whether it will.

Your husband has accepted your son as his biological child, so I suggest that you leave it alone. Others might not agree with me, but that is how I see it. It is unfortunate that you confided in your sister. You cannot trust some people, even your near kin.


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