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Family finds out mom is engaged to ex-husband’s new GF’s ex-husband. AITA? + Update

Family finds out mom is engaged to ex-husband’s new GF’s ex-husband. AITA? + Update


"AITA for getting engaged to my ex-husband’s new GF’s ex-husband?"


I (49F) and my ex-husband (50M, let’s call him Kevin) got divorced and the straw that broke the camels back was when I came home with a present for him for our anniversary and he accused me of getting it from whoever I was sleeping with and threw it away.

He didn’t even open the present, which was a Rolex watch he had looked at multiple times and expressed he liked. I talked to a divorce attorney after this and we filed within a month and he moved out.

I told my attorney about this and he wanted to know where he moved out as Kevin wouldn’t list his new address. It was revealed he moved in with his new girlfriend (50F, let’s call her Jenny).

I actually knew Jenny as our oldest kids have been in the same class since pre-k. I also knew Jenny and her husband (52M, let’s call him Terry) just got divorced right before us too.

It takes a little over a year to finalize the divorce since Kevin couldn’t agree to any terms. A few weeks after the divorce, Kevin and Jenny went public with their relationship on a luxury beach trip.

Terry sends me a friend request that I quickly accepted (I’ll admit, at this moment I was being shallow because he’s undeniably attractive. He’s 6’3, tan from working outside on his farm, and fit) and he messaged me right after.

Just asking if I had seen the post and blah blah blah. The conversation quickly turns into making plans to get dinner and drinks one night. It was Kevin’s first weekend with the kids so Terry and I went out.

It sounds sappy, but in that moment, I knew this could be something. it felt natural talking to him and like I didn’t have to walk on eggshells or tiptoe around things. He was the first person to actually look at me while I’m talking and we agreed on almost everything.

I invited him over after we left and we had a few more drinks and watched a sappy love movie and had so much fun making fun of how unrealistic it was. We somehow finished a bottle and a half of wine so I invited him to stay the night.

He offered to sleep on the couch but I told him he could sleep in the bed since I still wasn’t sleeping well because I wasn’t used to sleeping alone. The next morning, I made us breakfast and we agreed that we should do this another time and that it was great.

As we were eating, Kevin texted me that he was down the road to drop the kids off. Terry rushed to her dressed and left. It felt terrible making him leave like that and of course, the first thing Kevin asked was about if he saw Terry’s truck coming down our road. I told him nope and he dropped the kids off and left.

That was 4 years ago and shortly after that, Terry admitted to me that he wanted a relationship and I said yes. We kept it private all this time because it’s really no one’s business to know. As long as we were happy together.

We just celebrated our 4th anniversary and beginning in November, Terry started to hint that he wanted to propose and wanted me to move to his farm in another town since he lived an hour and a half away. Our anniversary was December 1st and he planned a surprise dinner with all our friends to propose to me. I couldn’t believe that he really did all this for me.

All our friends were incredibly supportive and agreed that we seemed happy together and deserved to be happy with each other. The next day, I made a post that we were engaged. This was the first post about Terry and I on each other’s page.

Right after the post, we started to get calls, texts, FB messages from Jenny’s family, Kevin’s family, and Jenny sent a long message to Terry saying she couldn’t believe we would do this and didn’t check with them first and how insensitive it was to get engaged when we “knew” her and Kevin were on a break because of the fighting.

He ignored all her messages until we both got messages from my family saying we were horrible people for getting engaged “inspite of Jenny and Kevin” and how they no longer wanted to see my kids and wouldn’t be attending the wedding.

Terry started to help me sell my house since he also works for a real estate company and we packed all my stuff up and sold all the furniture and moved me into Terry’s house. I left my job and was actually able to get a job at his company as a secretary.

He has two sons who treat me very well. They don’t call me their mom (I don’t expect them to either), but they do tell people I’m their step mom and they surprised me with a basketball mom shirt with their names and numbers for Christmas.

I couldn’t stop crying after seeing it because it was so meaningful to me to see how they considered me their stepmom. Kevin had the kids for Christmas and we were supposed to begin the normal split custody in January.

Since the first of the year, the kids have said they don’t want to see me and Kevin said he’s talking with an attorney to change our custody schedule and that he wants full custody.

I am finally happy with someone that loves me, planning a very small wedding with only friends and family that was supportive of our relationship, and have two new stepsons that love me, but I feel so empty without my kids.

I took them to meet Terry and he had been to dinner with us a couple times and he treated them like his own and he never got onto them or was mean to them. I feel so conflicted about what to do. My kids won’t even talk to me over the phone and refuse to see me. So, am I the asshole for getting engaged to Terry?

Edit: my kids have always known Terry and were introduced to him after a year and a half of us dating. They had no problem with us being together and knew about the engagement as Terry took them to pick out the ring.

It’s not like he’s a total stranger to them as they’ve been around him multiple times and been to his house. I hope this can clear up some confusion and I plan to elaborate more when I have an update.

[mini update: I was able to talk to my usual therapist about a session next week to help the kids talk and maybe help them understand the truth. It’s next Friday when I would usually pick them up so hopefully it goes well🤞🏻)

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


I would look into parental alienation when talking with your lawyer over your ex's wanting a new parenting agreement and your kids not wanting to talk to you anymore. I'm not understanding why it was ok for your ex and his new girlfriend to plaster their relationship all over SM, but you make one post after 4 years of quietly dating and all hell breaks loose. Unless there is something you're leaving out, NTA.


NTA. Your EX poisoned your kids. Shame on him. Sounds line the new man is a complete upgrade over the EX. Good for you. Your kids hopefully will see thru all his vitriol and come back to your open arms. You didn’t cheat. Fate gave you good karma & your EX bad karma. F-him. And his new soon to be EX. You deserve happiness. Best wishes for a happy life.


NTA. How old are your kids? I wonder what their dad/your ex is putting into their heads. While he’s going for custody, you may want to go after him for parental alienation. He sounds like a real winner!

The OP responded here:


17, 15, and 10.


NTA are your kids ok??? what have you done wrong? Their dad is allowed to have a new relationship but you aren't??

The OP again responded here:


They’re okay from what I’ve seen. Terry and Jenny’s kids have tried to be friends with them, but they have said my kids don’t talk to them. I won’t try to act like I’ve done nothing wrong, but I feel like when they started to ignore me, I started to go to Terry’s kids sporting events more.

I would attend my kids games, but they didn’t even acknowledge me after or before. I felt useless going so I didn’t even attend the last game. But I still dropped off presents for Christmas, offered to take them to dinner for Christmas without Terry or his kids, and to just spend time with them.


It sounds like your ex husband is putting the kids against you. If they were fine with you before your new relationship it’s odd that now they don’t want anything to do with you.

Especially with their dad jumping RIGHT into a relationship after y’all divorced. Which I’d like to say is a d*** move which means HE was cheating the whole time. Also, wth is your family mad at you?! Is okay for a friend and YOUR ex husband to get together, but Lord forbid you get with her ex.

Now it’s a problem?? Totally NTA! If you truly believe this your mate then I say go for it! Bump everybody else. The kids will come around eventually. He can’t get full custody just because you’re in a ew relationship.

Three weeks later, the OP returned with an update.

"[UPDATE] AITA for getting engaged to my ex-husband’s new GF’s ex-husband?"


I’m not sure how much of an update this is, but here we go.

To start, I’m sure him and Jenny had an affair when we were still married and I really don’t care to know.

I don’t let them waste any of my energy worrying about them and what they do or did. I probably could’ve worded the end of my post better. Terry isn’t a stranger I just pulled off the street and got engaged to.

My kids have always known Terry as his kids are the same age and played the same sports. I told them I was dating someone after a year and a half and introduced them to him shortly after.

They’ve been to dinner with Terry and me and been with me when Terry came over and been to Terry’s house where he lives. He’s a very busy and hard working man so we didn’t get to spend very much time together where I live or with my kids so I would usually spend time at his house, but I never skipped time with my kids to see him.

Terry is a farmer, land real estate agent, owns his own business, and a volunteer firefighter so that is why I decided to move there instead of the other way around. He has roots in his area while I was free to move.

I did tell my kids prior to the move and engagement that I would like to one day move there. They did tell me that they really wouldn’t be interested in moving there as they like the school they attend and didn’t want to switch.

I was fine with that and told them if I did, I would still like them to stay even if it’s for a weekend or when they’re on break. Terry also took all 3 of my boys and his 2 to pick out my ring so it wasn’t a shock to any of them. Terry asked all three of my kids individually if they were fine with it before he even proposed.

I was also asked about if they could come to his house and yes, they could. Terry has a very nice ranch house he built with 5 full bedrooms and 3 empty finished rooms in the basement that could be bedrooms.

They’ve already stayed there too before the engagement and had no problems. Terry also has a room that he calls his office that he offered to clear out to make room for an upstairs bedroom so one kid didn’t have to sleep downstairs if all 5 were staying at his house so they could have their own rooms and privacy.

I didn’t want to act like I was hiding my relationshipwith Terry, but we wanted to take things slow and not rush. Hence why we didn’t post to social media or tell our exes. Obviously, friends knew. You can only tell people you’re friends for so long before they catch on, but we only told very, very close friends who won’t gossip and tell everyone.

And lastly, the last question was about my job. Yes, I went from a director of a department to a secretary. A secretary making just under what I made as a director. You all would be very surprised what small town local business secretaries make.

I’m a secretary/accountant for the land real estate company as well as Terry’s business he owns and his farm. I go to work at 2:30 AM with him and don’t leave until he does around 9 PM and still have farm chores after. So, for everyone degrading my career, I work my butt off.

Now onto the update:

After that post and the advice, I called my lawyer who agreed that he can’t keep the kids from me and that he was definitely doing something to make them flip like that. He did say we could go to court, but I told him I wanted to try and resolve it without court first.

I’m not ashamed of it and I’ll admit it, I see a therapist for my own health. I talked to her about getting a session with just my kids and she agreed. I called Kevin after that to say I want to have a talk with only the boys and he could drop them off, but he could not attend.

The therapist was able to finally get them to open up. You Reddit detectives were correct, he turned the story to that Terry and I had an affair for years before we got divorced and even tried to tell the youngest that Terry could be his dad because I was cheating then.

Which isn’t true as I never cheated on Kevin in our entire relationship. I was able to tell the kids the full truth and I felt like a 50 pound weight was lifted off my chest.

After, I had never been happier to hug all 3 of them. I made sure to express how much we missed them and are happy to have them home. And completely unexpected was all 3 gave Terry a hug next.

Terry isn’t one to cry about much or cry very easily, but the second they hugged him, I saw his eyes water up and I knew I was making the right decision and picked someone who loves these boys as much as I do.

They spent the weekend with us and I was able to tell the older two the full story about Kevin and Jenny, how the marriage fell apart, and once again invited them to live with us.

They both said that they actually wanted to, but since Kevin had fed them lies, they didn’t want to be around us. They get out of school in May and are planning to move with us for the summer.

This will hopefully be a good opportunity for them to bond with Terry’s kids and their friends. I will not be pushing them to move here as it’s their own choice, but deep down, I really do hope they do.

I think going to a smaller school and living in a smaller town will be better for them then living in a city. I told my youngest a more watered down version of events. I did make sure to tell him that Kevin is his real dad and what he told him about Terry was not true. He seemed to understand it.

So, for the moment, Kevin is fine with the boys moving here for the summer. All three asked him instead of me and I think that helped a lot. Showing him it was their decision instead of mine. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

I’m over the moon with how much this is working out. I’ve talked with my lawyer and he said the older two are able to decide where they go, while Kevin and I would have to come to agreement for our youngest.

I don’t want full custody as I think kids need their father in their lives, but my lawyer is urging me to fight for full custody. With travel sports starting up, Kevin and I were able to agree on a temporary agreement of me getting the kids on weekends that they have a game.

I will pick them up on Fridays, go to the game on Saturday, and bring them home Sunday. We’ve been talking with lawyers about a permanent agreement. They were able to agree with the older two having a decision as long as they didn’t miss anything required such as school.

Some things Kevin has told the kids is that Terry is still dependent on drugs (to make a long story short: about 2 years ago, Terry had been having neck problems and saw a chiropractor for the first time in his life. That chiropractor broke his neck in 4 places (C4-C7) resulting in him needing 2 surgeries and becoming addicted to pain killers.

He was on them for a year and it took him another 6 months to get off, but he’s been clean since of any prescription pain killer), said that Terry and I wanted to take them away and never let them see their other family, tried to accuse me of misusing medication (I get even more sick and nauseous taking pain killers so I refuse to take any.

Even after a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery), and I also found out Jenny was calling them “my boys” and wanting them to take her last name (that is still Terry’s because she refused to change it after the divorce). So, there’s still lots we don’t know and hopefully will one day.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:


What your ex did was emotionally abusive to his youngest. He told him he might not be his dad. You should go for full custody than letting him poison your children. He was fine causing them distress to harm you. Stop thinking it’s good for them to have a relationship with a father who would hurt them to hurt you. He isn’t safe.


I agree with your lawyer on custody here. Your ex is intentionally alienating your children from you. In the eyes of the court, this is child abuse. You really need to have them in consistent therapy and begin building a case because I can assure you that just because you’ve told the kids the truth, it doesn’t mean he’s going to stop feeding them lies.


Moral of the story? Chiropractors aren't real doctors, sorry not sorry.


"And completely unexpected was all 3 gave Terry a hug next. Terry isn’t one to cry about much or cry very easily, but the second they hugged him, I saw his eyes water up and I knew I was making the right decision and picked someone who loves these boys as much as I do."

What a supremely Hallmark moment.


I think the ex and Jenny is just jealous that OP has a better marriage and happy. I do hope OP is able to fight for the kids cause what the ex-husband is doing is terrible and abusive. Especially towards the youngest one. I am not a parent but parental alienation is one of the most harmful and sicken thing to do towards children.

So, do you think the OP is in the wrong here? If you could give her any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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