DNA test could expose my secret affair and rip happy family life apart

DEAR DEIDRE: A SILLY mistake I made in my twenties has come back to haunt me – and I fear it could rip my family apart.

I’m a woman of 53 and I’ve been married for 30 years to a lovely man, who is 54. We have four grown-up children and two grandchildren.


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But I have just discovered my oldest daughter, 28, is not my husband’s child.

All this has come about because she and her 26-year-old sister have both become interested in our family tree.

My family are from Ireland and my husband’s are originally from Italy.

Our daughters had been planning trips to Italy and Ireland to trace our roots but because of the pandemic it didn’t happen.

My two girls are inseparable and, unbeknown to either of them, they both had the same idea to buy a DNA test as a present for the other.

The tests give information about ancestors and help find new relatives.

When my eldest daughter got her results back, it said she only shared 49 per cent of the same DNA as her younger sister.

She was shocked and said it meant they could only be half-sisters. Now I can’t sleep or stop crying.

You see, 29 years ago my husband and I were going through a bad patch.

And after going out with friends and getting drunk, I had a one-night stand with an acquaintance.

When I found out I was pregnant soon after, I was convinced it was my husband’s.

Now I am sure my eldest daughter’s father must be the man I had sex with.


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She’s always looked different from her siblings. Now I realise she must look like him.

I feel ashamed and absolutely shattered. If this secret comes out it would destroy my family.

But how can I keep the truth about her father from my eldest daughter?

DEIDRE SAYS: The results of the DNA test have understandably thrown you into a state of panic.

But don’t lose sight of the happy life you’ve shared with your husband for nearly 30 years and the family you’ve built, made sacrifices for and love very much.

DNA tests can be imprecise. Don’t jump to conclusions based on the scant information you have.

These types of tests are based on averages, not absolutes. The amount of DNA siblings and half-siblings share does vary.

You can read about this issue on cellmark.co.uk or call 0800 470 2521 for more information.

But whether or not the results are accurate, you need support to work through your feelings.

Otherwise this could destroy your wellbeing and your marriage.

Often, secrets and lies can be more damaging than the truth.

Enlist the support of a counsellor to help you deal with this.

My support pack How Counselling Can Help explains more.

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