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Man finds out horrifying secret 18 years into marriage, 'Do I abandon my kids?' AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.

Man finds out horrifying secret 18 years into marriage, 'Do I abandon my kids?' AITA? MAJOR UPDATE.


When this father of two finds out the truth about his family, particularly his kids, he asks Reddit:

"After 18 years of marriage, my wife just told me something that has ruined me. AITA?"

My wife Kelly and I have known each other for over 20 years and have been married for 18 years. We have 17-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, and I found out that they aren’t mine 2 days ago. My kids were got those ancestry tests for the family and we found out that I am not their father.

Kelly and I met each other as coworkers at a job right out of college. We both were very ambitious, so after working for a couple of years, we decided to start our own business.

We fell in love, and a year after starting out business, we got married. A couple of months into marriage, we had a massive fight over the direction we wanted to take our business in, and I left our home. She came to me a couple of weeks later, and we compromised.

We’ve been inseparable ever since. Kelly got pregnant around that time. We’ve been through thick and thin; our business has been through several hardships but we weathered them together.

We were always there for each other; we could always depend on each other. I loved her so much. She was a part of me and I couldn’t even imagine a life without her.

I trusted her absolutely until this happened. Kelly has been crying and apologizing constantly. She told me that during the time we had that fight at the start of our marriage, she got drunk one night and slept with a random guy, and that she has not cheated on me since.

The betrayal has left me disoriented. I told Kelly I needed time to process this and I’m currently staying at a hotel. I don’t know what I’m even doing anymore – the last two days have been a blur. My life is a lie.

I feel like a zombie, completely unable to feel or process anything. I don’t intend to abandon my kids – I might not be their father, but I’m still their dad and I love them dearly.

Right now, I’m sitting on my hotel bed and I have not eaten anything today. My thoughts are a mess, so I’m writing this down to help me process. Kelly has always been a great wife and an excellent business partner. I don’t know if I’ll be able to look at her the same again or if I’ll be the same person again. I don’t know how to move forward.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at the top responses:

mintgiver writes:

Imagine what those kids are going through. They feel like they blew up their family. They wonder if Dad loves them. They don’t know who they are. They are angry with the only parent they have left.

In a perfect world, you being the kids to the hotel with you for a talk. They need to know that you aren’t angry with them, but the situation takes time to process. Everyone needs love and reassurance now.

You may decide to stay in their lives completely. You may even get upset when they find their bio father.

None of this has to do with your wife. You have two different problems here. The one with the kids is an emergency.

masterpick7 writes:

I can empathize with this. There was a point in my marriage where we were heading to divorce and a pregnancy appeared. Maybe chance, maybe intended, nevertheless we had a son.

Years later when I play those days in my head I wonder if I had a dna test done what I would find. Never pursued it because he is my son that I’ve raised and cared for, my fishing partner, camping and hiking buddy, my best friend.

I couldn’t predict how I would handle finding out he wasn’t mine. So no test and god forbid he ever gets sick and needs a kidney or something like that and I find out I’m not a a familial donor.

So my advice is this, you’ve raised those kids. You’ve seen their highs and lows as they grew. You’ve impacted their lives hopefully in a positive and meaningful way. Don’t let this change how you interact with them. They have no guilt in this.

As for your wife, you two have a lot of talking to do. don’t rush into making decisions, take time to reflect on your history together.

logicalcup7 writes:

OP, absolutely give her no quarter. Relentlessly interrogate her about her thought process and motivations for doing this (and for putting herself in the drunken situation to begin with and allowing a man to come onto her)...

get to the root of how she felt before, during, and after betraying you, and find out if she's genuinely guilty and deeply remorseful for her actions.

It's okay to be utterly enraged right now if that's how you're feeling. Hating her is okay too, but that one will hurt you as well and won't get you anywhere in the long run.


She probably even lied about being drunk. I wouldn't be surprised if she sought out some random f in a pathetic flurry of sexual frustration and resentment.

Women can be sick and demented as f. I'm tired of it not being pointed out. Men aren't the only ones who can develop disgusting sexual indecency.

But it IS extraordinarily easy for women to act out their twisted fantasies, because guys are so tremendously giving. Its BAD man. I wouldn't be able to look at her like a human being until I knew for a fact what the hell she was thinking and feeling while doing this, and then what the hell she was thinking and feeling when she came crawling back to her "partner".

ampfather writes:

I don’t understand why women do this. One fight, and they need another man dick or something to make themselves feel better and then they regret it and come back.

Brotha you might not be their biological father but you’re still their father regardless. You’ve been with them through thick and thin for the past 18 years. A few more won’t kill you, if you still love your wife that is after finding out what happen and how she never told you all these years.

Your kids they’re going to college soon and doing their own things soon. You gotta see what you want. Take your time eat some food, drink some fucking water. Take a damn shower, cold usually works best when you feeling dead inside.
Smoke some weed if you smoke if you don’t then ignore that and chill out.

Think about how the last 18 years has been before you make any big decisions. If you was happy maybe you can look past it and continue the rest of your life.

globallyiny writes:

First of all, I’m so seriously sorry! That is heartbreaking news and Reddit is joking about something clearly not a joke. No matter what - take pride in that you are a stand up gentleman and an amazing dad and all 3 of them are lucky to have (had) you.

You will always be their dad no matter what and no one can take that from you. I suggest taking some time like you are doing to gather yourself - reach out to a close friend or relative if available for emotional support while you process these feelings. If you guys were to reconvene - therapy would probably be a good move.

As a woman, there’s no way she simply “forgot” that a random stranger ejaculated inside of her vagina, 20y ago or not. I don’t see a reality where she truly had no idea that they could’ve not been yours. She knew.

She had her vagina for 20 years before that .. she knows when someone jizzes in her or not. She should have told you straight up when it happened and she found out she was pregnant. There is no excuse.

A tiny part of her has always known that this could be the reality no matter what she/Reddit says. You are the judge of that behavior and if you think it’s okay or not. Forgiveness - if that’s something you’re into.

Depends on the content of her character and your marriage. But she did you wrong and she did her children wrong. She made a huge mistake with devastating consequences for 4 people (their bio dad included). Is it worth rearranging your entire life? That’s up to you.

Best of luck to you and wishing you peace & healing during this time! Again, you are an awesome dad and your kids are blessed to have been raised by you. Cheers.

effectiveambition writes:

Divorce her, she lied from day 1, all those 18 years, she was lying, faking so that you invest on them your time, youth and money, while she was enjoying every bit,eating from both plates and with no accountability.

Cant imagine such a selfish prick that she used your love, energy, attention, innocency, trust, so that she may hide from her responsibility. Kick her, if you financially sound then sue her for all the money. And start a new life, keep your relation with the kids, but now there will be some boundaries.

foxyfreck writes:

Consider finding a therapist for yourself and consider finding a therapist for your kids (they might or might not have some big and confusing emotions about this as well, and having someone removed from the situation to help them with those emotions can only help).

Then, consider therapy as a couple with your wife, to figure out your next moves together and to talk it all out in a safe, controlled environment. You say she’s always been an excellent wife and business partner.

You seem to have a beautiful life together. I know it’s difficult to see now, but the fact that this happened 18 years ago doesn’t automatically mean your entire marriage was built on a lie nor does it mean you can’t trust or believe in your wife and all she’s done for and with you over the course of nearly two decades.

It’s entirely possible, perhaps even probable, that she’s honestly and actually always been faithful to you, true to you, had your best interests at heart and loved you (and you alone) well and to the best of her abilities, all of these years.

It’s also possible she’s been lying for 18 years and that no matter what the truth ends up being, you won’t feel capable of continuing the marriage. That’s okay, too.

Many people in this sub (and on Reddit in general) claim that things like this must lead to the demise of a marriage or relationship.

Many of those same people might not feel that way or come to the same conclusion when discussing these types of situations and personal tragedies in regards to close friends, family or even themselves.

I’ve come across comments more then once from people I know IRL offering advice that I’m 100% certain wouldn’t match the advice they’d give me or another loved one, as well as giving advice that was entirely the opposite of what they felt when faced with the same issues they were commenting on with such conviction.

Don’t take everything everyone says in these comments to heart. You know yourself, your wife and your kids better than anyone else, online or otherwise.

A therapist can help make sense of your thoughts and feelings in a way that is safe and healthy, and then, a therapist can help you and your wife do the same together, no matter what the outcome.

At the end of the day, whatever comes of this, whatever decisions you make about your marriage and your family’s life together or apart, must be something you can live with.

You need to be able to sleep at night, look yourself in the mirror, feel able to look your kids in the eyes and feel able to move on with life, whether that involves remaining in your marriage or something else.

These things take time to work through, no matter which way you choose to go. Be gracious and gentle with yourself in these first raw days. Don’t make hard, fast and permanent decisions right away.

Take care of yourself (again, please eat something) and try to get some rest. Wake up tomorrow refreshed (and eat again; we all have to eat every day!), and go from there. Good luck!

And now, OP's major update about the situation:

Thank you for the overwhelming response I got on my post. I just wrote it down to clear my head and get my thoughts in order.

The day after my post, I called my children and told them I loved them. They were scared that I might leave them. I told them that they're still my children even though I'm not their biological father and that I won't be abandoning them.

I just needed to think about my relationship with their mother. I saw several comments telling me that they're not my children because they don't have my DNA, but it matters very little to me. I raised them and they're my children.

I spent thinking about how to move forward with Kelly after that. I was angry that she hid the fact that she slept with someone else after we got married. I calmed down and really thought about the whole situation.

I really wanted to call my lawyer to talk about separation but I kept thinking about our life together, so I decided to talk to Kelly and give her a chance.

I called her and went back home the next day. My kids were thrilled to see me and we spent some time together. Kelly and I went up to our room after that. I didn't speak to her properly since we saw the results.

I gave her time to talk. Kelly told me that it had never even occurred to her that the kids couldn't be mine. She told me that when we had the fight early in our marriage, she was angry at me leaving over a business dispute and after waiting for me to return, she went to a bar one day and got wasted.

She picked up some guy and didn't remember much that happened that night. The guy was gone before she woke up the next day and she felt extremely guilty after that.

She wanted to tell me but was afraid that I would leave her. To be fair, I was a hot headed and stubborn guy back then, so I probably would've filed for a divorce without a second thought.

To her, it was drunken mistake that would never come out, so she didn't want to risk our marriage. And I would've never found out about it if she didn't get pregnant that night. She broke down multiple times and apologised constantly throughout the conversation.

I believe her story. Kelly has been my rock and partner throughout my life and I wouldn't be where I am today without her. We trusted each other absolutely. This ordeal has made a massive dent in my belief in her as a wife, but I still trust her as a partner.

We had long conversations about our future and I told her I was willing to give us a chance. I made it clear that we might not succeed and I might leave, but I was willing to try. I assured my children that no matter what happened with my marriage, I would always love them and be their father.

We decided to give marriage counselling a try. My wife asked a therapist friend of hers and she recommended a counsellor. We have appointments starting next week.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's update:

killingjoke7 writes:

I'm gonna level with you here dude as there's a lot of aggressive and insensitive comments on here given the mental state you are in. But I'm gonna frame the paragraph above to you from a different perspective.

She said that the thought never crossed her mind that the pregnancy could be the other guy's at the time. But if she was willingly and actively trying to keep it hidden from you, like she admits. Then surely the possibility would have crossed her mind at least once?

But the thing that makes this even worse, in my eyes, is that she openly admits she took your CHOICE away from you. She knew she had been unfaithful and that you wouldn't react well to the news.

Any man or woman has a right to be angry in those circumstances. If she had chosen to give you that knowledge, you could have then acted how you saw fit, to make a decision on YOUR future, when you learned she was pregnant with another man's children.

Instead she chose to lie. Now the last 18 years of your life has a dark cloud hanging over it. Thats an incredible amount of time to take from someone.

Like people have said in other comments "You are a better man than me" because in my honest opinion you have every right to be angry and not give her a chance or a choice in the matter. She never gave you one.

electraunderthesea writes:

"she was angry at me leaving over a business dispute and after waiting for me to return, she went to a bar one day and got wasted" "To her, it was drunken mistake that would never come out" "it had never even occurred to her that the kids couldn't be mine."

I'd have a bit more respect for her if she had the decency of telling the truth. 1) she went to bar to get wasted just because you had one fight and you did not come home 2) somehow ended up sleeping with another guy and somehow does not remember anything 3) somehow it never occurred to her the kids might not have been yours.

This reeks of her trying to diminish her responsibility for this royal mess; I do think she went out explicitly to have a one night stand, at the very least, and she knew very well the kids may not have been yours but she had too much to lose.

However, it is very possible this was just one extremely dumb action that does not reflect on her personality as a whole, and that she was genuinely dedicated to you and the family afterwards - and Ii do hope this is the case.

She still has an incentive to not tell the whole story as you are still on the fence, but in the end it may not matter much. I just think you need to move forward with this process knowing you may never know what really happened (odds are you will never know what really went down that night or around that time period)..

but I think what is key here is whether the last 20 years of common life are worth giving it a try for a humongous mistake and lack of judgement, and if you truly have no further reasons to suspect she may be hiding something else (again, other than what really happened that night) or has been anything but loyal to you.

herbdinner7 writes:

It definitely crossed her mind. Who are we even kidding? SHE made a mistake and hid it from YOU to save HER feelings. That's fd.

She's been your rock all these years, except for where it counted, your marriage. I don't know your wife very well, fair enough, but if I had ever been stupid and spiteful enough to have an affair after a fight, and I'd felt guilty, I'd be pretty motivated to make the marriage work too.

The moment she was unfaithful, Kelly wasn't the same person you married anymore. You have been allowing a stranger to sleep on your bed all these years.

The serotonin and dopamine and endorphins mays be doing the talking right now, but you'll wake up in a few days, weeks, months and realise that lest you lose your memories, you'll remember this injustice forever and it'll colour every interaction you have with her and your kids.

I've seen it before in my parents, which is why I have promised myself to be honest in my relationships. They say you can rebuild trust, but that's not entirely true. You can only patch it up.

The only reason you should stay with this woman is if you are entirely sure that you have no possibility of doing better. Please, take care of your heart and soul.

OP provides ONE LAST UPDATE years later:

As a lurker on this sub, it feels weird seeing my story posted here. It was a hassle logging back into this throwaway account after a year, but I wanted to post an update and advise that might be useful for people in similar situations.

We are still together. Our relationship has been mended - I wont say its like before because it never will be, but we are in a very good place. Getting to this place wasn't easy - there were days that I felt like I was wasting my time because I couldn't trust her anymore. But Kelly was very patient with me.

Therapy helped immensely. Whenever I felt like giving up, my children were my motivation to keep trying. It was a difficult journey, but I am incredibly lucky that I was able to mend my relationship.

This is my advise - You are not obligated to try and fix your relationship if you feel that it has been irrevocably damaged. I decided to try because I loved my wife deeply and trusted that she was telling the truth.

We had been through so much, both in business and in our relationship, and I knew I had to at least try to save it. Even after you try, you will most likely fail and thats okay. Also remember that people will judge.

I made the original post to organize my thoughts, and I had people calling me a cuck and p%%y even a year later. I don't care about that, but you might.

What do YOU make of OP's dilemma? Did he do the right thing? What would you do in his situation?

Sources: Reddit
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