A child of an affair speaks
Masanda Peter discusses the woes of a secret love child.
Every child would love to enjoy access to both parents anytime they want. We do know of the important role parents play in our lives. As parents ourselves, we are being shown every day the importance of our presence in our children’s lives. This is however not the case with some children out there. I had a chat with Siphesihle, a young girl of 20, who unfortunately does not have access to her father because she is the secret love child. Her father is married and had an extramarital affair with her mother and she was the product of that affair. We have read of high profile men with secret love children; think of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Jackson and many others and the hurt that goes with this. In the past we spoke to women who are taking care of mistress’s children now we’ll hear how a child born out of such a relationship feels.

The secret love child. How do you feel about that label?

I am a 20-year-old woman and I lead a normal life like any other person my age; I have big dreams about the future and believe that I am normal. I would not want to associate myself with such a label but then for the purposes of this interview I will touch on how I was conceived which touches on the label.

So how did you get to know about being a secret love child?

Growing up I used to see my father from time to time but soon realized that our meetings with him were short. My mother and I met with him in secluded areas but since I was young I did not make anything out of it I was happy with the gifts he brought me but the meetings stopped. When I got older I started asking questions; I wanted to see more of him and my mother explained to me that I could not.

What she tell you about him?

She told me that my father had his own family and I was not allowed to go to his house.  This of course made me ask more questions and one day she called me into a room and explained what had happened between her and my father. I also noticed that my father had been married long before I was born and when I did the maths and took what my mother told me it all made sense even though I was devastated. I was conceived while my father was married.

How do you feel about this situation?

I am not proud of what my mother did and I am not happy with the secrecy around me because I now realize that my existence might break a family. My father supports me financially but that is as far as it goes. I have not had him being present at my birthdays, graduation and other important milestones. I know that the father/daughter relationship is more than likely never to happen because of the situation around me. It is unfair to me but what can I do?

Are you angry at your mother or father?

Maybe not angry as I used to be because I made peace with the situation but they could have done better where their choices are concerned. My mother did her best in raising me and I appreciate that but her moment of fun with my father has deprived me of a father. It hurts that I have a father I cannot fully access, his existence in my life is through money. I would like to sit down with him and get to know him better have him hug me and tell me that he loves me. His other kids get to spend time with him, celebrate Father’s Day with him but I cannot. I hope that once day I can be introduced to my siblings but I am not sure whether they will welcome me. It’s an uncertain situation that I am in and one that will hurt many people. A heavy burden to carry at times but then again like I said the best is to make peace with the situation.

How are you coping?

There are days where I wish things were different. I appreciate that my mother explained the whole situation to me truthfully. At least I know what happened and right now I can only hope that one day my existence will be known and will not live under the shadow of secrecy.

What advice can you give to parents, especially those involved in affairs?

Be responsible, know that one day your actions may come back to haunt your children. Think and act wisely.

Read more by Masanda Peter

Should a secret love child have to live a life of guilt?

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