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MIL debates; 'How do I tell my DIL about my son's multiple affairs?' AITA? UPDATED 3X

MIL debates; 'How do I tell my DIL about my son's multiple affairs?' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman is torn over what to tell her DIL, she asks the internet:

"How should I tell my DIL about my son's affairs? AITA?"

Hello all, I'm fairly new to posting on reddit and I'm on mobile so please forgive any mistakes.

My son [28M] has been married to his high-school sweetheart Olivia [26F] (fake name) for 5 years now. two weeks ago was my son's birthday, he went out of state with some of his community college friends to spend time at a resort. Olivia had chosen to stay in-state as she is heavily pregnant with twins and high risk [7 months].

I told my son to cancel the trip and stay with his wife, but she insisted they go have fun. So, I insisted she stay with me so she can stay in bed and she accepted with some pushing.

Now, I love Olivia. she is sweet, respectful, and like a daughter to me. Her own parents were not great, so we bonded easily as she dated my son. We talk daily and see each other often.

After my son got home from his trip, I could tell something was off. he wouldn't accept any drinks I offered him, refused to kiss Olivia instead giving awkward hugs, and was overall incredibly cautious. I asked him over and over why he's acting so strange but he beat around my questions and went home with Olivia.

Throughout the following week Olivia would tell me more of my son's odd behavior. He moved into the guest bedroom, refused to eat any of her meals, refused any kind of intimacy, etc. Whenever I spoke to my son about it I got one word awnsers or he would ignore the topic completely.

this week he came to my home in tears, clutching a folder filled with visibly crumpled papers. After calming him down he told me that on his birthday trip his college friends gifte him w/ multiple "workers".

apparently he contracted 2 "STIs" [G0nrrhea and HPV]. I was blunt in why he was telling me and not his wife pregnant with twins. That's when he begged me not to tell her about his affairs and to let him stay with me while he treated his infections.

I flat out told him NO and that if he wasn't going to tell his wife, I will. He then got angry, shouting and crying saying how I'm going to rip his family apart before it's even started because I refuse to let him have any fun.

he accused me of favoring Oliva and wanting to separate him from his children as I did to his own father. (This was not true and another story). I had to call on my neighbor whom I am close witn to help escort my son out of my home. edit: I did find the papers he brought and they were not medical results but instead bank statements.

I'm thinking about how this will hurt Olivia and possibly her twins by telling her and maybe my son is right, so please help me find a way to do this with minimal damage to my dear family.

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

sweetnataliemayson writes:

NTA. There isn't treatment for HPV and she has the right to know about her risks of exposure to it especially being pregnant as it can be transmitted during childbirth though that risk is very low.

HE chose to take these risks and the fact that he doesn't want to tell her is concerning as to what risks he's exposing her to or at least willing to expose her to without informing her. He made choices and he has to pay the consequences. You care about her and absolutely care about her safety here.

I would absolutely tell if this was my sibling trying to hide it. There are things that can't be tested for right away and can take 6 months to show up on in testing which means he could be putting her at risk for a number of other things that haven't actually been properly tested for yet...

hiswife61 writes:

It is awful that your son put you in this position. He really needs to grow up. If he wants to have his fun, then he should leave his wife. You really are in a tough spot. I think his wife has a right to know that she has been exposed to STIs.

My guess is this isn't the first time he has cheat. This is probably just the first time he is coming so close to being caught with the STIs. So, if you don't tell her, the chances that he will continue to cheat are probably high.

Continue to offer support to your DIL no matter what the outcome. Maybe she will leave him, but she will probably still need your help and support. Let her know that whatever she decides, you'll be there for her and the babies. Offer her a place to stay. Good luck OP. Please keep us updated.

wombat writes:

Wow, your son sounds like a real dumpster fire. I stopped reading when he started getting agressive and irate, and blamed you when you told him you weren't going to keep his dirty secrets for him.

That's not somone who cares about his family. He just cares about alleviating his own cosmically important guilty conscience.

My advice is to tell your son you'll be interested in forgiving him and having a relationship with him after he's divorced.

Until then he owes a debt of gratitude for cleaning up his mess and you're not interested in talking to him until then, and he's not welcome in your house.

Tell your daughter in law the news. Tell her to take a look at her husband's recent medical bills and statements if she doesn't believe you. Then tell her you'll always be there for her and you consider her your own child.

You'd adopt her if you could. Tell her it's going to be a few years before you'll be willing to speak to your son and you don't recognize the person he's become anymore.

Whomever she's married to certainly isn't any son that you remember raising. You cringe at the thought of a depraved selfish stranger like that being anywhere near your grandchildren, but you don't really have a choice in the matter.

Tell her you'll help her out with any legal fees and you'll be there to help with her kids anywhere, anytime. If she needs food, clothing, etc. Tell her if she needs a place to stay, your home is always open to her.

throwawaylofve66 writes:

You’re a great mom/person. Do not listen to a thing he says and his accusations, he’s just projecting his anger becuase he has lost his control. HE decided to hook up that night, HE decided to be unfaithful to HIS family,

HE decided to rip his family apart that night he decided to cheat and he’s just projecting that onto you. He’s a complete idiot, how dare he do that to the mother of his children and think he can get away with not telling her.

This can cause some serious health issues to Olivia. He is busy thinking about himself, I have a feeling Olivia does not deserve him at all. She deserves better.

And now, OP's first update:

She is 7 1/2 months along with twins. she struggled with infertility and had multiple miscarriages before successfully carrying her twins. She's high risk and was recommended bedrest until labor after hitting 6 months. I have permission from Olivia to share this.

I absolutely plan to tell her. But I just don't know how. She loves my son dearly and she has no immediate family on her side as she went no contact with them after she got engaged to my son 7 years ago.

I don't want to put Oliva or the babies in harms way by telling her and causing her so much pain but I can't let my son's recklessly harm them with his mistakes either.

I have no idea why he decided to confide in me. Maybe he thought I would protect him from his consequences, which I admit I had foolishly done a few times in the past when he would get into trouble, but he was a child then and in all honestly I wasn't that much of an adult either.

I know he's not telling me the whole truth about something, I just don't know what or how to find out.

I would usually say "I wish I wasn't" as I try to stay out of my children's relationships. But I'm glad I am involved in this, as hard as it is, I don't want my son getting away with this nor do I want him to accidently ruin not only his life but Olivia's and the twins'.

I'm praying that no pregnancies resulted from his foolishness, and even if paternity is uncertain, I wouldn't wish for any children to grow up not knowing their parents like I did.

The bank statements he left here are all from months ago. I'm not sure what they're for. He left with everything else he brought, so I don't think I'll know for a while as he's not speaking to me.

He was sober when he came to pick up Olivia, at least I hope, and I didn't offer him alcohol because I knew he would be driving with Olivia in the car. I'm really not too concerned with his sporadic behavior as I'm having Oliva stay with me until things settle.

I will be having the talk with Olivia, I've already requested she stay with me til she goes into labor, which she agreed because of my son's distant and because she likes my bathtub more than the one in her apartment.

She's such a sweet soul. I hate the idea of breaking her heart like this. I still love my son, but this entire situation has changed how I see him. I don't know what that says about me.

I've told her I'm making a "double rainbow baby" post to my Facebook, which I am as she's past 6 months and ready to make her announcement public for extended family. she wanted to wait until she was sure she'd carry to term as she lost her previous baby at 4 months.

I will try to convince her to get tested at her next appointment after ive spoken to her about the situation. I don't know how I'd feel towards my own son knowing he was doing this for so long, infected his wife and possibly children, and still doesn't want to come clean. it breaks my heart.

in the end I want them both to be happy and safe. I took in Olivia when her mother kicked her out at 18, I was with her through every lost child, and I mothered my son at only 15 years old.

I'm not saying any of these things make me entitled to their lives. I really don't know what I'm saying at this point. I just want them happy and my grand babies safe and loved. that's all I've wanted for them. I just wish I could fix this. I am very embarrassed. I thought I raised him to be better.

Update 2:

hi all, I've read through all of your comments, and I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond to them all this situation is just so hard.

In one of my comment replies, I'd said Olivia would be with me until labor and another for the weekend. She was going to stay the last couple of months, but my son convinced her he'd take care of her.

Well, Olivia is here, and she did want to talk about my son's behavior. As many guessed, she does think something is going on and confronted my son about it. He did not take the accusations well, and a fight insued.

Things got heated before I arrived to pick up Olivia, and when she got in my car, I could see her arm had a large hand mark on it. she was hysterical, and it broke my heart seeing her cry so hard. all I could do was pull over to a parking lot and hold her as she sobbed in my car.

She told me that she was sure he cheated again. yes, again. apparently, he cheated on her multiple times in the past. First, when they first began dating, she forgave him, and he promised he'd never do it again.

He then again cheated with one of her braidsmaids during his bachelor party. I asked why she never told anyone or left him. She said, "I didn't want to lose my mom and my husband at the same time."

that broke me. I felt like I'd failed her. I didn't protect her or notice how he was hurting her. I saw them as a picture-perfect couple, high-school sweethearts with a set of twins to match my own.

I just held her and told her how sorry I was for being so blind. all she did was sob. I can still hear it echoing in my head. I got her some of her favorite fast food on the way and drew her a bath, where she is now.

I can hear her sniffling and quietly sobbing in the bathroom. I feel so lost. My son has blocked my number after I took Olivia with me, and honestly, I think it was a smart move because I can't trust what I would say if I could speak to him.

I've never felt like this before. I don't know what I'm feeling towards my son, but I can't call it love or patience or care like I'd always had, and that breaks me. I feel like my little family is crumbling, and I can't hold it together.

I won't be telling Olivia the news tonight. In a way, I think she already knows. Thank you all for your kind advice.

OP's 3rd update (about her own pregnancy):

Unfortunately, I can't say my pregnancy with my triplets was outside of this range of terrible pregnancies. I had gotten pregnant at 15 to a man who was 26 at the time.

My parents kicked me out, and he was all I had left being pregnant and a teen. He was verbally and physically abusive towards me for my entire pregnancy and even some years after which was especially hard as i had lost my third baby and almost my life giving birth, I was riddled with PPD and was in constant pain from the healing as i had torn during labor.

Luckily, I was able to make my escape, and I've raised my two children on my own. I love my children, and while I don't appreciate my son being so very out of control, he's still my son, and I'll always love him as a mother.

Parenting can be a gift or a curse or a pandoras box where you'll never know or even understand what you've got. I wouldn't trade my children for the world and If I had to, I'd go through it all again to be a mother to my daughter, son, and Olivia.

I've never been supportive of those friends of his. He never makes a good choice when around them, and I've had to bail him out more than once because of him. He's always been an intelligent, kind, and intelligent child.

he was an honors student, and he got several scholarships but chose to drop it to go to college with Olivia. While at the time I didn't approve, I always through it showed how much he truly loved Olivia. It hurts to think about these things given my situation. I don't want to think ill of my son, but his actions hurt me and my family.

I was with my abuser for 3 years after I had given birth. we were not in a relationship before I got pregnant. He was the son of a close friend of my mother's, who she'd had a 6 year affair with a couple years before I was born.

[paternity proved I am my father's, though, that didn't stop him from leaving after knowing about the affairs]. my mother would often push me onto him whenever his father was around, and he'd use that opportunity, I guess.

I don't like thinking about this. he never put his hands on my children, only me. as I was the only woman in the house at that point as it was before my daughter [my son's twin] transitioned.

I thought that since he never hurt them and was never aggressive with them, they wouldn't develop these tendencies. I hate to think I was wrong. I know my son is better than him. i just don't know what happened.

Update 4:

Hello again, and hopefully, for the last time. it is 3 am and this is long, so please bear with me.

The most overwhelming response was that I needed to tell Olivia and all the risks of not telling her. Well, she's been told. the other night night, after her bath, she sat me down and begged me to tell her all I knew, she swore she could handle it but knowing I knew something that she didn't about her marriage was eating her up.

But, I told her that it was going to break her heart to know, and I suggested that she wait until she's had time to relax and take some of the stress off herself and the babies. She insisted she wanted to know everything.

So I told her all the information in my original post. She took it just about as well as you might think. My fears were quelled as they hadn't been intimate besides things such as kissing for 3 months as Olivia didn't want to risk anything.

I just held her as she cried. she kept repeating how she couldn't lose her family again, and it just tore my heart to pieces again. I reassured her babies or no babies, marriage, or no marriage she was my daughter, and wouldn't leave her for anything.

She ended up getting in contact with my son later that night, and all night, I could hear her sobbing through my bedroom wall. I'd been thinking all night about how everyone has been talking about my son. How he's a monster and just like his father, it genuinely hurt my soul that some part of me agreed.

Yesterday morning, Olivia convinced my son to come for breakfast. My son agreed to come over and talk, and with the agreement, he'd come clean about everything with as much evidence as he could find. This was a mistake, as many comments suggested keeping her away from him, and I really should have listened.

At breakfast, he was, of course, asked to share the truth and the whole truth up front if he wanted any chance to see his children. So, the truth.

He never hooked up with multiple hookers. The resort they were staying at was in the same city as his girlfriend. The trip was not a week-long, as he claimed. He was only with his friends for that weekend.

After that, everyone but him went back home. He spent the rest of his time away with his girlfriend, whom he had been seeing for the past 6 months.

She was pregnant and threatening to expose him if he didn't step up for their baby, so he ran to me with a fake story of getting infected so I'd house him while he hid from his wife and girlfriend.

The bank statements he left behind were all the expenses he'd spent on her and her baby from a previous relationship, that he was keeping from Olivia.

he had evidence to prove all his claims true from plane ticket dates to text messages to pictures of them on her social media. Olivia had no emotion through it all. She just sat there with tears streaming down her face.

Olivia hasn't been able to work since getting pregnant and was using her money instead of their joint account to make it easier for my son to take care of them both. He was trying to wipe the statements before Olivia could put two and two together as she has experience in accounting and helps with managing their finances.

The thing that broke me is that my son had been in contact with his father for the last 2 years, and I had no idea. His father knows where I am, about Olivia and the babies, the other woman, and her children, about my daughter's transition, all of it, because of my son.

He found my son on Facebook, and they've been in almost frequent contact since. His excuse? I speak to Olivia daily, and if she can have a parent to talk to, so should he.

To say a fight ensued would be an understatement. Olivia lost her temper completely and put her hands on my son before I could stop her.

He pushed her off, and she fell onto my glass coffee table. My son ran before my neighbor came over due to the commotion, and I took Olivia to the hospital for her injuries.

She is staying overnight in the hospital to monitor as her blood pressure was too high for her to be released the same day. I still haven't had any contact with my son after he left, and my heart is in shambles.

Olivia refused to speak with police and has refused to press charges. So, I'm still waiting on my daughter's availability to explore Olivia's legal options on divorce, custody, and (possibly) a protective order. My daughter's wife has agreed to speak with Olivia when she's ready as she is a licensed trauma therapist.

I don't think I'll be coming back to this account, I'm going to be devoting my time to my family, and hopefully, I will be able to salvage what is left. I realize how invasive this entire post situation is and I will be showing Olivia my posts and comments when she is better. Thank you for the advice and kind words.

Note: I will not be answering any more questions about my ex, my childbirth experience, my childhood, etc.

All of those questions are very invasive, and the memories are incredibly painful, and I've gone a decade or so without thinking about any of the terrible crap from my youth. I've shared all I'm willing to share in my previous comments. You don't have to believe it because I lived it and know it to be true. Thank you.

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

Sources: Reddit
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