A man who has let his 12 year old brother call him ‘dad’ for his entire life was left facing the dilemma as to whether to tell him the truth about their relationship.
The man, who we’ll call Sam, was born when his parents were 19 and his brother, who we’ll call Josh, was born years later when they were 42.
When Josh was just four months old, the parents divorced and ‘both wanted nothing to do with the child’.
Despite Sam, who was 23 at the time, trying his best to convince his parents that one of them should take responsibility for his sibling, he ended up becoming his brother’s legal guardian and Josh moved in with Sam and his now wife.
For 12 years it had all been going smoothly and Josh had been calling his brother dad and his wife mum throughout his childhood, unaware of the real situation.
Sam and his wife also had two of their own children, who Josh believed to be his brother and sister.
He wrote: “Some of my uncles and aunts come to visit occasionally and they are really disgusted at the fact he calls me ‘dad’ and they are surprised I haven’t told him the truth.
“They constantly messaged me, talked to me in private and I cannot chat to them without this one particular topic rising up – badgering me to let him know already but I refused.
“I discussed this with my wife and she thought it would be wrong to tell him the truth because none of my parents wanted to take care of him and I’m the only person in the world who gave him the ‘father figure’ everyone deserves.
With Sam torn between telling him the truth and not wanting to hurt him, others on Reddit applauded him for stepping up when no one else in the family had to take care of his brother.
They also encouraged him to have the conversation with Josh sooner rather than later.
In an update, Sam says he visited a therapist for advice for the best way to tell him, before sitting down with his wife and all the children to ‘burst the bubble’.
Sam broke down as he explained who he was and who Josh’s parents really are, and his brother became angry that he hadn’t told him sooner and stormed out.
“I thought I messed up big-time,” said Sam, “until one day while my wife and two children were out doing shopping and we were alone, he came up to me and said ‘I know you’re not my real father, but I want to let you know you’re the best dad in the whole world. Sorry for before’.”
“I hugged him and things got pretty emotional. It would be a big lie to say my house is normal now (far from that), but things are slowly – ever so slowly – starting to brighten up.
“There’s no longer anything to hide anymore and it feels like we are born again.”
The happy ending proved to be a bit too much, as one wrote: “I’m crying man this is so uplifting.”
Another said: “Oh man I felt the tears welling up in my eyes! Thanks for the (rare) heartwarming update!”