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Dad wants tell his kids that their recently deceased mom was cheating on him. AITA? UPDATED 2X

Dad wants tell his kids that their recently deceased mom was cheating on him. AITA? UPDATED 2X


"WIBTAH if I told my (M46) kids (M16) (F18) their recently deceased mother (F44) cheated on me?​​​​​"

The wound's still a bit fresh. A month ago, my wife of 22 years tragically died in a car crash. Cynthia was one of those drivers that loved to stare into her phone and unfortunately this bad habit caught up with her in the last week of January. I was pretty devastated when the police showed up at my door and told me she had a fatal accident, and I wanted to honor her somehow.

At the time of the accident, I had no idea she was having an affair. The last four or five months I did notice she was pulling away and our intimacy decreased, but I thought this was just something that happened to couples after 20 years, so I didn't pay much mind to it. But, at least from what she told me, Cynthia started to get into writing. She was constantly on her laptop, typing away at all hours.

She told me she was working on a fantasy book, hopefully the first of a series. When I asked more, she said it was about a fantasy world where a super advanced human race appears and interacts with orcs and elves and magic with laser guns and high tech. It sounded very cool, and Cynthia promised as soon as she had a first draft she liked, she would let me read it.

I decided to honor her by getting the draft of her book and hiring a writer to clean it up and publish it with a novelty press. I got on her laptop and... no book. No sign at all. I opened her Chrome, thinking she might have written it in Google Drive and saw a bunch of pinned tabs. One was a facebook messenger tab, with a ton of her messages with a man, "John."

I have no idea who John is, never met him, but they talked about meeting up, exchanged photos, everything. The last message John sent her was two days before Cynthia's accident, the two saying they loved eachother, and him saying he was going on a business trip to Germany. The messages between Cynthia and John has shown they had met up at the house more than once, so I already had the locks changed. Not sure if John is back yet, and frankly don't care if he is.

I was thoroughly devastated. She did have a Google Drive tab, but in her drive wasn't a book about Elves vs Vulcans, but a shared document with '"John." The document was a plan her and John drafted on how to divorce me, turn the kids against me, and take our home and as much money as possible. One thing she noted was she has been taking money, a few hundred a month, and putting it in a separate account.

I got the bank thing sorted out, and the money in the kids' college account. I've also been going to therapy twice a week now. It is hard to be mad at someone dead, especially someone everyone else in your life is grieving and praising as a wonderful wife and mother. I have asked my therapist if I should tell my kids about what Cynthia has done and what she was planning to do.

My therapist cautioned me about this. He said that they just lost their mother, and being told this would be condemning her memory; Damnatio Memoriae. Maybe now is not the time, but I think eventually would be a time for my kids to know.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Distinct_Armadillo said:

Now is definitely not the time to burden them with that.

mikekel58 said:

The right time to burden them with that is never. What purpose would it serve? Let them have good memories of their mother. Take it to the grave.

MeatofKings said:

I lost a parent in my teens. That’s definitely not the time to spoil their life further if she was a good mom. You should catalog it all and put it away where they can’t find it. Once they are on their way in adulthood, say 25+, you could share it if there is actually a reason to.

Also, it is normal for the children to somewhat idolize their mom meaning looking back with nostalgia and positive memories. Sorry for your double loss of your wife and the belief she was the love of your life. That’s harsh.

heartbh said:

Yea don’t do that. Find someone else you can confide your conflicting feelings in, your kids have a right to know this eventually, but not now, not for a long time.

Minute_Box3852 said:

Ywbta but I would suggest finding out who this john is and make sure he does not show up in your lives such as at the funeral or anything. Sounds like they had some big plans involving your kids and who knows what this pos could say.

processedmeat said:

There is no need to tell them now. Let them grieve. The truth will come out eventually.


Some things have happened since last time. To answer some questions, I have gone to the bank and got control of Cynthia's account, and transferred the money into a savings account for the kids. Also, my kids already suspected. Tuesday night, my eldest Michelle said her and my son Jason had something to say to me. They sat me down in the living room and Michelle said "We think mom was cheating on you."

They both said they weren't sure, but it was eating them up seeing me in extreme grief the past month, and they thought I should hear what they suspect. They brought up how Cynthia was always away, and when she was at home, she would say strange 'observations' about me.

Stuff like "Isn't it weird your dad's working late this week?" This is one of those 'seeds' Cynthia mentioned in her document that she wanted to plant in the kids. Michelle said her suspicions went high the week before the accident, when she got home from school and saw a strange jacket on the coat hook by the front door. It wasn't any jacket Jason or I had, so she was very suspicious about it.

I told both my kids that I didn't tell them, but I found evidence on their mom's computer, when I was looking for the book she said she was writing. Michelle wanted to see the evidence, but Jason said he doesn't want to think or talk about mom for a while. I shared the info with Michelle, after she insisted she already suspected her mom and was ready for it.

It feels good to now have someone close that can talk to me about this beyond my therapist. Yesterday afternoon, I was home alone when I heard someone jiggling the back door's knob. I went to the door and saw a man I never saw before trying to use a key on the lock. I told him to step back from the door and he almost jumped. I opened the door a crack and asked him who he was and what he was doing in my backyard. It was John, Cynthia's affair partner.

He told me that he worked with my wife, and he just got back from a trip and saw Cynthia died on social media, and him and Cynthia were starting a business. They had a business bank account with his investment money in the business, and he was wondering if I could help him get the 'business funds' transferred over.

I looked him straight in the eye and said I was at the bank and Cynthia didn't have an extra business account, and I had no idea what he was talking about. John also said that he wanted to check my wife's things for any sensitive business documents. I said he was a stranger and wasn't welcome in my home, especially since he tried to enter without permission. John looked defeated but did suggest he would consult with a lawyer about his "sensitive business documents" and "business funds."

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

BeginningMotor8836 said:

Holy s***. I’m so glad you changed the locks!! I can’t believe he had a KEY - to your HOUSE!

littlebitfunny21 said:

Change the locks if you haven't already. Very sorry about this. Glad your kids suspected and are handling it. Good luck to you all.

laughter_corgis said:

NTA. File a report with the cops. Change all locks, garage codes, get cameras installed, and let your lawyer know what went on.

Mr_Pink_Gold said:

What the f-k? He had a key to your house? I suggest you find out his wife' socials and send her the "business documents."

Sheldon121 said:

Yeah, no doubt that John (a fitting name!) wanted to find and destroy anything incriminating, before you did and tried to blackmail him (his thinking.). You should change your locks now, as you didn’t collect the key from him, but good for you for refusing to allow John (chuckle) into YOUR HOME. Boy, he had a lot of nerve.


Had to clean up some situations. Just remembered this existed, so I'd pop in to update.

-Some people were upset with my comment about my wife's bad texting habit catching up with her. Have to admit, emotions were, are and probably still will be high for quite a while regarding her. It was pretty callous to say, I admit.

-The locks were changed long before John showed up, when I saw based on their conversations that he was at the house several times. Also, the backdoor is in the same room as the home office, so of course I could hear someone trying to open it.

-I've had a credit check done on Cynthia, and checked with all local banks, I got the only account she had. Been going through our financials for the last year and there were several withdrawals by her, a few hundred here or there a month, which it appears were deposited into the 'getaway account'. The getaway account did have an extra approximate 2 grand in it versus what she took out. Could be John's money? Can't be sure.

-Cynthia hasn't worked in two years. We reached a level of financial stability to where Cynthia wanted to retire early and 'focus on being a fantasy writer'. No idea where she met John, and honestly it's beyond the point of caring right now.

-Didn't recognize John from the photos because most of the shots were not 'facially focused' sorry to say.

-I did take some advice and hired a PI to investigate John. He is a 40 year old married carpenter, father of 3. Lots of people suggested I destroy his marriage, or sue him, but honestly this whole ordeal has me exhausted. I am just happy to have Michelle and Jason with me.

-Still going to counseling every week, and the days are getting better.

Now for the update. In Cynthia and John's "master plan," one of their ideas to alienate my children from me was to create a narrative of me cheating. They put screenshots of various escorts from some sort of website in the document, saying they could easily pay one to claim I was sleeping with her. Cynthia picked a rather large woman who looked like she had some rough years and seemed gleeful in the idea of making the children think I slept with that woman over her.

Surprise, Sunday night, who was knocking at the door but that woman. She immediately tried to cause a scene, and tried to make the adulterous claims, but I simply said "Did John *lastname* send you?" and she immediately left without a word. John called me later that night and said he wanted his 'investment money' and he knew how to hurt me. I told him we were on a recorded line(a bluff) and he was silent before saying "wrong number" and hanging up. Might need to start looking at an RO now.

Here's what top commenters had to say after the second update:

Bonnm42 said:

You should just call him out. Why let him continue this charade? It’s disrupting your peace. Just tell him “I saw the file. I know everything. That’s how I knew you sent the escort. Although what purpose it serves now, besides pissing me off enough I tell your Wife about the affair, I don’t know.

I have the evidence saved. My kids know their Mother was cheating. If you keep pursing this, I will take you to court, press charges and sue you for harassment, threatening bodily harm and alienation of affection. Don’t try me again.”

Tiny_Ad_5982 said:

Blows my mind that you're not destroying this guys life. Stop turning the other cheek. Defend your family. The guy is putting everyone in danger. What the f-ck do you think would happen if he actually broke in and found your son or daughter there. Get a grip. Kick this shit into his backyard. Get the police involved.

BunbunmamaCA said:

Honestly, I'd send copies of everything to John's wife. Not out of pettiness or revenge, but just to force John's attention off of you and your family. I'd also speak to a lawyer and the police on what legal options you have. Otherwise he'll continue to bother you guys. A rational person would have walked away after his ap death. He instead didn't call off the escort and tried to break into your home. I would be concerned about him escalating.

Top-Effect-4321 said:

YTA for not blowing this guys life up. You’re grieving and he sent a prodtitute to try to discredit you to your kids, why? Just to ruin your life? Let his wife know, let his kids know, sue this ahole.

North-Reference7081 said:

Hey so you need to listen. Tell the guy's wife. That way he will have something else to focus on instead of bothering you any longer. And after the stunt with the escort, he deserves it. You're pulling your punches. Stop doing that.

CanWeJustEnjoyDaView said:

Just send the file to his wife she deserves to know the truth, don’t you wish someone had told you the truth before the accident?

Everyone was on OP's side for this one, but felt that he should be more proactive in protecting his family after the second update. What's your advice for this situation?

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