Here's the story:
My husband and I have been married for almost two decades. We have a daughter who is my favorite person on this earth. She is so fantastic. She will be starting her senior year of high school and is preparing to apply for colleges.
I was contacted recently by another woman, who informed me that my husband had an affair with her, and when she found out about me, he arranged to pay child support for their child under the table so that I wouldn't find out.
She sent me a number of documents recording bank transfers, which I was able to match to transfers from our accounts, as well as photos of my husband with their child through the years. She also provided the dates of his visits to her, which line up with several of his business trips.
I was totally devastated and took the time to think it over and verify everything before I confronted my husband. I have decided that I am going to wait a year until I tell him that I know and file for divorce. It will be a terrible year for me but I know I can fake it since he's traveling for work a lot anyway. I have decided to do this for several reasons:
1. Our daughter will be applying to college soon and will be starting a really important year. I don't want to blow her life up with a divorce and the bombshell that her father was unfaithful and now she has a sibling that neither of us knew about.
2. My husband has many more financial resources than I do. I am well aware that if I file for divorce while our daughter still lives at home, he will leave me to care for her and will make me fight tooth and nail for monetary support and will likely drain me with legal fees, as he tends to be litigious. I make enough to support myself comfortably, but not enough to comfortably support myself and my daughter.
3. I fear that opening this door will open others. That is, I worry that he may have other children that I don't know about, which would only magnify the hurt for both me and my daughter, and I don't think that now is the time to handle it.
My question is, does my plan make me an asshole? I feel slimy not telling him right now and faking my affection for him, but I fear for my daughter's wellbeing and my own ability to support us. AITA?
NTA he deserve everything that’s coming for him. Use the time to lawyer up, and gather evidence, document his assets.
NTA. You do whatever you think you need to that is best for you and your child. Screw him.
NTA. He kept a big secret for years. You are trying to do what is best for your daughter, which is very admirable, and to protect yourself as best you can from the fallout. There is nothing wrong with that after he’s lied for so long and you know he will not do things amicably.
NTA - the main thing here for you (and reasonably so) is your daughter and trying to manage the situation to cause the least long term impact for her. The timing of her finding out when leaving for college might wind up hurting and confusing her deeply but it might protect her relationship with both you and her father to not see the immediate fall out first hand.
Are you able to get therapy for this year though?? To be honest I'm worried about your mental and emotional wellbeing in this plan, a year is a long time to carry such a weight. I hope that you have people you can lean on
NTA—but please consult with a lawyer before you take this route. You may end up screwing yourself—for example it’s possible to get court ordered child support or an agreement to fund college while your child is under 18, but if you divorce after she’s 18, that won’t happen. He should be the one paying your legal fees if he’s the primary provider, as well. Please consult a lawyer.
NTA. You’re handling it very well. Most people would be much more vindictive and vengeful for something as terrible as this. By showing your concern you’ve already shown you’re an infinitely better person than him.
ESH. I get your reasoning and I’d probably do the same thing if I was you. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why your husband is an asshole. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are planning to spend the next year lying to the man and your daughter. Planning to pretend to be a happy family when you are anything but. Etc etc
Those aren’t good things to do. Quite the opposite in fact. (Again I would do the same thing. But that doesn’t make it not an asshole move)