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Man threatens cheating wife; 'Follow these demands or I divorce you.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Man threatens cheating wife; 'Follow these demands or I divorce you.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this man gets revenge on his cheating wife, he asks the internet:

"AITAH for getting revenge on my wife after she cheated?"

I (34M) have been married to my wife (32F) for 5 years, and we have 3 children. A few months ago, I found out from my wife’s texts that she had been cheating on me, and I confronted her about it.

She confessed to it, and gave me an entire breakdown of her affair, which had lasted for a month. I was devastated and asked her why.

She gave no excuses for it, and said she had caught feelings for her affair partner which were wrong and she had acted on them (he was her coworker). I asked her if I lacked in anything, and she said no, and she was in tears.

I needed a few days to process this. My wife gave me space, but she asked me many times to reconsider divorce because it would uproot the lives of our children. She said she would do anything I wanted for the rest of my life.

After a week, I decided that I needed only one thing from my wife to completely forgive her, and that was to call each and every one of her friends and family and confess to her affair. I told her that was my only condition.

She was really hesitant and asked me if I could reconsider the condition because this would ruin a lot of her friendships and family relationships and that it was just cruel but I told her this was what I needed as a part of my forgiveness process, and that if she didn’t do this, I was going to start looking for a divorce lawyer.

Over the next week, my wife made a phone call to all of her friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, pretty much anyone she knew and confessed to her affair.

It was hurtful, and there was a lot of crying, my wife was hurled with a lot of shouting. By the week’s end, my wife had called everyone I had wanted her to call.

It has been a few months, and my wife and I actually have a really strong relationship now. However, my wife has pretty much become isolated from her friends and a lot of her family. This has hurt her a lot, and she spends a lot of nights crying, but she says this was worth it for our relationship and for our children. AITAH?

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

haayu writes:

YTA. Honestly, I get why OOP wanted this condition, but coercing her to go through with it despite the impact this will have on your children is fg awful. He prioritised himself the whole time.

Not how his kids might feel being isolated from family members or friends, seeing their mother turn into a whole different person, and being surrounded by angry, sad people for ages, potentially witnessing a lot of conflicts and confrontations every time their mother runs into one of these people.

Just a fucking awful thing to do to your kids, especially when kids will so often try to figure out how this is somehow their fault. All they’re going to see for months is confrontations, conflicts and their mother becoming a shell of herself as people they love rip into her.

It was her fault she cheated, and the impact that has on her kids is entirely her fault. But it could have been handled a way better way, a way that prioritises their mental health and wellbeing. It could have waited until they were old enough to understand.

Now they’re going to be isolated from key relationships and family members and friends throughout their parents’ divorce, and that is entirely OOP’s fault. Those poor kids. What a fg awful thing to do to them.

airbornairmadill writes:

While I definitely think it was the wrong move to force her to confess to everyone. I can kind of understand where he is coming from. I had an ex that cheated on me. It was a one time thing but with a person I considered a friend. Which sucked.

But I stayed with her. Didn't tell anyone. Just tried to get over it. Years later, after we broke up, I told two close friends about it (one of them even knew the guy). And it was such a relief. Just to be able to tell someone and not be alone with it.

I didn't say anything at first because I didn't want people to think less of her. And I directed all (well most) of my anger towards the dude and not my ex. I feel like it was a weird thing to do in hindsight. But it is what it is I guess.

wordlsysource writes:

The way I'm reading this is that this was not some well thought out plan of revenge. To me it reads:

"My wife cheated. She must now suffer the consequences of her actions. I made my wife suffer the consequences of her actions. I don't like the results. I don't want to suffer the consequences of my actions"

Some people are suggesting that this is a work of pro revenge. I'd argue that it's an act of failed revenge by a guy who didn't think it through properly. The way the update reads doesn't scream "Mwahaha! I succeeded in my cunning plan." but rather "uh oh..."

repond writes:

You ended up being the AH. You broke your wife. What she did was extremely wrong but what you did making her tell everyone or divorce was truly just to humiliate her like you felt humiliated. But she lost everything (family and friends) she has no one.

I bet you still have your friends and family. You gave her the option, tell everyone or divorce. She did what you asked of her and now you want to divorce her. You can't fix this you are a grade A AH.

You should have just divorced your wife in the beginning but I feel you wanted her to pay by squashing her spirit. Maybe she should find the AP and move on with him. At least she'll have a chance to smile again.

greymoria writes:

Saying you will do anything someone wants for the rest of their life in order to be forgiven, that's just bullshit. It forever puts both parties in a dynamic that's very unhealthy. But the way he exploited these words is just mind boggling.

What other outcome than an isolated depressed wife was he expecting, or was that his hope that backfired? I kind of get it if he would like some very close friends or relatives to know, so that they could offer them support through this.

But how he went about creating a drama bomb the size of a supernova, just to humiliate both his wife and him, and not to mention their children, I just can't wrap my mind around that.

She might have destroyed their marriage, but he destroyed their possible futures. I would so hope you could apply: "Be kind, rewind" on this entire mess. Perhaps that supernova explosion could create a wormhole to make that possible..

grave22 writes:

NTA. I did this. It wasn’t an affair, per se, but it was physical cheating. I didn’t make him tell his friends, but I told my family and he had to tell his. I did this because we were planning a wedding (I found out about the cheating two months before the wedding), and I wanted it called off.

My other condition was he needed therapy and we needed couple’s counseling. He did everything I asked and we stayed together.

Why did I do it? I wanted him to take the blame. I didn’t want to be seen as the person calling it off for some random reason. We told our friends that it was because of some family issues on my side. This was not untrue, so it didn’t feel like a lie or cover up.

The way I see it and the way I deal with it now is that he made a thousand bad decisions doing what he did, but I’m staying with him for a million good decisions and the millions more he will make over our lifetime together.

I’m not embarrassed to stay with a cheater, we needed to grow and learn together. He knows that I’m gone if it happens again and we are working on rebuilding trust.

I wish it didn’t happen, but I don’t regret any decisions we’ve made since then. My family is kind and accepting of him and I have a good relationship with his. We don’t talk about it much because it’s in the past and we’re moving forward.

polaa writes:

YTA. I hate cheaters, but this is the first time I have ever sympathize with the cheater over their supposed victim. After what you did, you have absolutely no right to divorce for your wife. you made a deal and she followed through. she is paying the price for doing that now.

And since that price is high, you want to leave her. What a POS. at a minimum, you should call your family every friend and every person she called.

Tell them what a horrible human being you are to have required her to do what she did and what an even more profoundly disgusting creature you are to be contemplating divorce now. tell them that you deserved to be cheated on for being this wretched creature you are.

Advise them to avoid you at all costs. And then give up any custody rights to your children to ensure that you don’t infect them with your vile values. That’s the minimum.

crann writes:

YTA. Wow. I have to be honest… I have been cheated on. Not just cheated on, but after 18 years together and four children, my ex decided to have an affair with the family friend that our oldest daughter is named after. So I kind of think I have room to speak here…

Never in 1 million years would it have occurred to me to try to fully humiliate my ex like this. Was I angry and hurt? Absolutely.

But going scorched earth like that and totally nuking someone’s life as though a nuclear Tsar Bomb (look that one up, it’s really bad) had detonated would not bring back my sense of self or allayed the hurt his cheating caused me.

Obviously, if somebody were to ask me, I would be very honest and say exactly exactly why the marriage ended. But I didn’t get to ignore the fact, no matter how much I wanted to, that he was still my children’s father. That totally destroying, his life would have severely impacted his ability to co-parent our children.

My need for retribution would never outweigh that fact. I had to make the choice to forgive or to kick him out, basically. And then, honestly, when I reminded him that I only had two rules…

Don’t lie to me and don’t cheat on me, and he broke both of them, he decided to leave. And honestly, she took them in, and they’re still together 20 years later. So there you go. Shit happens.

But with this guy, everything was about revenge. None of it was to actually get over the hurt. Because it wasn’t going to get him over the hurt. It was about destroying his wife’s life. And I mean, utterly destroying it with no regard to what that might do to her, and through that, that was going to impact their children.

I’m not worried about the rest of the family. Their adults. They’re going to have to deal with this, however they can. But you cannot think that utterly demoralizing and humiliating and destroying anything and everything in a person’s life… Every single relationship… Would end well.

And for him to now be saying that he’s thinking about divorce because she’s just not the same person? No shit, Sherlock. You’re not the same person. Her cheating had ripple effects, no doubt.

But what I see here is that he wanted divine retribution. He wanted everyone to know he was wrong. He wanted to be the martyr who stayed. He wanted all the glory of being such a good person to forgive her. But he couldn’t do that without her confessing to every single person in her life, nothing and nobody… Except him.

And I can totally see him, lording it over her how he forgave her. I can totally see him with some sort of savior complex because… Don’t you feel better now you can best sort of bullshit.

It just feels to me like this was all for him, even more than it was anger and hurt. And I just have to wonder if that wasn’t why she found her herself in an affair to begin with.

Obviously, I don’t approve of affair. If you’re unhappy, get the fuck out. If you find yourself really attracted to a coworker or the mailman or the dry cleaning lady or your barista or whatever, it is a red flag for you to figure out what the hell is going on in your relationship. Why aren’t you happy. Why are you looking outside for validation or whatever.

But this guy is a piece of work. I don’t approve of what she did. But I approve of what he did even less.

And then for him to try to tell us that he still loves his wife, but she’s not the same. Yeah, she’s not the same. Because you didn’t actually forgive her. You just wanted to humiliate her. You wanted to hurt her.

And now, OP's update:

I feel really guilty even typing this out, but I am now considering a divorce. While I still love my wife, her personality has completely shifted over the past few months, and she is no longer the joyous and energetic person I fell in love with.

Instead, she’s always sad, gloomy, cries often, and very very clingy to me.

I admit that I made a mistake asking her to confess her affair to everyone, because it has just changed her personality completely. I wish she could go back to her joyous nature but I don't know if its possible anymore.

I am not sure how to tell my wife I am considering divorce because it would just break her heart.

Sources: Reddit
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