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Man blows up entire life for younger secretary; 'I lost everything and my life is over.' AITA? UPDATED

Man blows up entire life for younger secretary; 'I lost everything and my life is over.' AITA? UPDATED


When this man is shocked by how he ruined his own life, he asks the internet:

"My affair with my secretary completely ruined my life. AITA?"

I know I'm going to get a lot of shit, for the absurd age gap and the way we started. And I agree and I deserve it but I would really like some genuine advice past going to counselling (she won't agree and I can't afford it anyways).

Tangible things that I can work on and introduce to help us get past this either as a couple or as effective co-parents.

Long story short: My ex-wife and I were together since middle school. We have four daughters in their teens. I was a SAHD and part time worker for most of my life until my youngest was in middle school.

My ex agreed to invest in a passion project business of mine. I hired a receptionist. We started an affair and she baby trapped me. Now we're living together and have a young son.

She resents me because she feels she was fooled. She saw me as a business owner who had a nice car, nice clothes, took her to nice places etc. She thought I was rich so she got pregnant on purpose (admitted it, not an assumption) hoping to use me to not work and sponsor her family from overseas.

Well actually my ex-wife and her family are the rich ones. None of our homes were in our names. We were "renting" from her parents and giving them a nominal fee with the expectation that these homes would be left to my ex (and me) after their death.

This allowed my ex's salary (~150K, not huge in the high COL area) to stretch and we lived a really good life. I left our marriage with half our savings (~25K) and my personal property and car. I lost my business due to lack of funding and I did not seek alimony.

I resent her because I feel I was fooled. I thought she loved me and couldn't believe the interest a young, hot woman showed in me. She was incredibly persistent and pursued me strongly.

But she has no feelings for me, no care or desire. Now that the ruse is dropped, I can't believe I gave up my entire life for what I see was an ego trip. I loved my ex-wife, really I did and still do.

But I had never been with another woman and any attempts to open our relationship were shot down. This was like a dream come true and I was weak.

Now both me and my gf are in a place we didn't imagine. She's living in a shitty apartment with an old man and still has to work. I've lost my kids, the love of my life, my family, my lifestyle, my business and it's all 100% my own fault.

She stopped being intimate with me as soon as she found out I wasn't rich. We're still together on my end because I feel like I need to have something to show for this shit show of a situation.

At least I got a son and a partner out of it. At least it wasn't for nothing. And also because I don't trust her with our son. She would never agree to give me full custody and she's not a good mother.

I would be worried for his safety and the people she would have him around. I honestly don't know why she hasn't left me from her end.

What can I do to improve this situation? I know logically it would be best to break up and co-parent but I'm afraid for my son and I'm embarrassed for myself. Is there a way to salvage this situation?

I'm thinking of just telling her we can have an open relationship. She can sleep with whoever she wants and go wherever she wants as long as she lives here so I can have my son 100% of the time (I work from home). I don't know if that's the answer here though.

I had an affair, my ex-wife divorced me and my kids absolutely refuse to speak to me.

I was an incredibly involved dad. Most of their lives I worked 1-2 days a week and then stayed home with them the rest. I was closer to them than their mom and I'd like to think I've never disappointed them before this. I made a mistake, it's been over 2 years since it all came out and I haven't been able to make any headway.

My eldest is hung up on the fact that I now have a young son. Every first born of each generation in my family has been a boy for a long time and she broke the streak. I honestly could not care less about that, I've always thought that pressure was stupid and I'm not a traditionally masculine guy that always wanted a boy.

But she's so hurt that I have a son and is convinced that's all I've ever wanted and he's replaced her and my daughters. None of that is true. All of my girls said they don't consider themselves to have a brother and want nothing to do with him.

All four of them feel betrayed and blame me for breaking up our family. I deserve the blame, it's my fault and I take responsibility. But I can't change the past and I don't know how I can begin making up for it.

My ex has full custody of them but I'm supposed to have visitation one weekend a month. They're all in therapy and it was suggested to not enforce the visitation and respect their boundaries while they work through it. I've done that the entire time and there's no progress made.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what I can do here? My ex absolutely hates me but was always supportive of the girls staying in contact with me. She's respected their wishes but still gives me updates once in a while.

My eldest is turning 18 soon and graduating this coming year and probably moving away for university. I feel like the time to make up with her especially is slipping away.

I know I'm the shitty person here. I was a terrible husband but I was honestly a really good dad and I miss my girls. Has anyone been through something like this? How did it turn out? What are your suggestions?

adsan writes:

I'm going to try my best to give advice without judgment. There is no saving yourself from embarrassment and the only thing to show from this shit show is your son, who is completely innocent.

He doesn't deserve to grow up thinking what you have right now is a healthy relationship and really, can you be a good father when you are miserable? I truly feel the best thing would be to separate and co-parent and try to rebuild your life. And try to rebuild a relationship with your other kids.

Second would be to live as roommates and co-parent. That second option will only work if she agrees and is mature enough to handle it (which sounds doubtful). You messed up. You know it and everyone around you knows it.

Own it and figure out what you want with the rest of your life. Living a half life to make the most of this shitshow you created is not the right decision for you or your son.

throwsa5 writes:

You need mental help. I can’t feel any empathy for you. You might actually be a narcissist. You’re blaming a 23 year old. Take some responsibility.

She’s probably a damaged young woman that saw you as a white knight but really you’re a fg grifter flaunting his wife’s money to impress and manipulate a young woman. Let’s call it what it is.

She’s a person, someone’s daughter. I guess the fantasy died real quick when you had to stop objectifying her and saw her as an actual human being.

Maybe she did love you until she found out everything about you is a lie. You lied. That’s why she hates you. She thought she was involved with a man who ran a business and was successful. Instead she got a loser who LIED.

Stop saying she baby trapped you. YOU’RE TWICE HER AGE. You’re an adult. Take responsibility for your own se%ual health. No wonder your daughter is disgusted by you.

You are a predator. Don’t act like you think a 23 year old should be on the same life experience level as you.

You’re blaming everyone but yourself still. This isn’t anyone else’s fault.

You knew you were attracted to her when you hired her, stop lying to yourself and everyone here. You set this up and you’re only pissed that you got caught and your easy life went away.

Leave this girl alone and pay child support. I feel so sorry for all the collateral damage you did. I pity your ex and your poor daughters bc they will never trust men again.

You’re a bad person and so is your affair partner. At least she has the excuse of being young and dumb. You’re just disgusting.

And now, OP's update:

Good news: my girlfriend and I have broken up. She has gone back to her home country and left my son with me. Refused to sign any formal custody agreement so I'm hoping she stays there and doesn't bother us again.

I'm pretty sure if she comes back and demands time with him I have a good case for maintaining custody. She's not even interested in face timing with him so he remembers her. I feel bad that my son will deal with a shitty/absent mother but I hope I can get him into therapy as he grows.

Bad news: I've tried my best to insist on visitation with my daughters and that has fallen through. They absolutely refused to see me. They wrote me a letter together that says how much they hate me, how betrayed they feel, how they'll never forgive me and how my son will never be their brother.

To not even bother telling him about them because they'll never be interested in knowing him. Just to forget about them altogether and move on with my "new family". I have no legal recourse.

The youngest is 13 now, old enough to have a say in custody arrangements. And I don't think forcing them to see me would do me any favours long term anyways.

They also included pictures of their mother's wedding. My ex has no obligation to tell me about her personal life but I'm pretty pissed that there is a man living with my daughters that I didn't know about.

It is a family friend that has been in their lives 10+ years so not a total stranger but still hurt to see pictures of their recent wedding and family pictures with my daughters. They mentioned that they have a father figure and don't need me anyways.

The whole thing really hurt. I know I have no right to feel hurt that my ex has moved on when I cheated on her. But their whole relationship has moved very fast so I'm now wondering if they started it before we got divorced. No way to know now. Doesn't matter anyways.

My ex agreed to keep me up to date and send pictures of my daughters once in a while. After dealing with my son's mom, I'm grateful she is so good to our girls and I don't have to worry about their well-being.

I'm trying to focus on being a good dad to my son and patiently waiting for my girls to grow up and reach out. It may never happen but I'm hopeful that they will understand me more as they become adults and gain context for life.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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