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'AITA for not agreeing to a paternity test unless my husband goes to therapy?' UPDATED

'AITA for not agreeing to a paternity test unless my husband goes to therapy?' UPDATED


"AITA for not agreeing to a paternity test unless my husband goes to therapy?"

Here's the original post:

I (28F) and my husband (32M) have a three year old son together. There has never been any doubt that my husband is the father. I've never given him any cause for concern that I cheated on him; he acknowledges all of this.

Last week, he came to me and said that for the last few months, he has been "plagued" (his word) with this anxiety that our son is not his. They don't look identical, granted, but they definitely share similar features and I see my husband whenever I look at my son. I was obviously blindsighted by this. I had no idea he was having these thoughts.

I asked him to explain why he thought that he wasn't his and he couldn't really provide any answer other than "a gut feeling." He asked me if I would be okay if he got a paternity test done so it could ease his mind. I initially said absolutely not, no way in hell; I was very very offended. He told me that he could just do it without my permission and I said if he did that, I would never forgive him.

My husband does not have a history of anxiety but he did lose his job back at the start of the pandemic so he's been with our son most of the time while I work my full time job from home. I know this hasn't been easy on him. I'm not a psychiatrist or anything but maybe he is starting to resent our son or something from just having to be around him constantly.

After our heated first conversation, I spoke with some friends about it, and they said that he was probably having psychiatric problems due to the stress of not having a job. I came back to my husband and said that if he went to therapy and maybe started taking some anti-anxiety meds, that I would consider getting the test.

He was very upset at this and said that once he got the results of the test back, he wouldn't be anxious anymore and that I wasn't being fair by making him go through a whole "rigmarole" (again, his word) just to get "peace of mind", which was a phrase he used a lot during this. He again threatened to just get the test without my "permission" and I said this would effectively end our relationship.

I think there's something more serious going on here and I thought that my solution here is as fair as I'm willing to be. My friends are divided, some think I should just take the test and others are saying he's being insane and that if I cave to this, there's just going to be something else. I need some neutral perspective here. AITA?

Edit: I haven’t read all the comments here because the amount of responses has been overwhelming. However, I want to say that I really do not appreciate strangers attempting to diagnose my husband over the internet; it is disgustingly presumptuous. I’m his wife and I don’t feel qualified to do that, which is exactly why I want him to go to a LICENSED therapist.

Another thing i’m seeing pop up is that i’m somehow demanding that he take medication. I said “maybe” medication, meaning that I only think he should be on medication if a LICENSED therapist prescribes them to him. I don’t want to shove pills down his throat, which seems to be what some people think I want to do.

As for the numerous suggestions of marriage counseling as opposed to individual therapy, I think this is a great idea (I didn’t initially consider it because I was so focused on it being HIS problem but we are ultimately a team) and I’ll suggest that to him today. Hopefully, it goes better. Thanks everyone for your input.

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

thisyearasaghost said:

NTA. Even in the best case scenario where this is all due to anxiety brought on by the pandemic don't believe that after the test he'll be better. Soon it'll be 2 tests. Then 3 because he'll be afraid of false positives.

This type of anxiety gets worse until it moves on to something else, I've had the same obsessive anxiety for years and it didn't get better until after therapy and medication. I still struggle. Stand your ground OP.

[deleted] said:

op im so sorry for saying this but according to my psychology prof if your partner is obsessively worrying about you cheating on them, they are likely to be cheating on you; guilt projection.

Practical_Heart7287 said:

NTA. That is offensive to you and to your child. If my husband did that to me I would have told him the same do this behind my back, it’s a dealbreaker. Adios, AH.

FactBearsEatBeetss said:

NTA but honestly, if he’s accusing you of cheating-which is what this is-you’re allowed to be offended. I would agree to the test but present him with the two card method:

one for a therapist and one for a divorce lawyer and let him decide since you’re now the one being put through “a whole rigmarole” where your husband has implicated that you’ve been unfaithful and essentially forced him to raise the product of your infidelity.

And SoftVampiric said:

NTA. Validating someone's anxiety is often not the best way to deal with it- you'll end up constantly going out of your way to reassure him, and it won't help with the overall problem. He'll move on to fixating on something else. He needs therapy. Tell him if the therapist recommends a paternity test, you'll do it.

She later shared this not-so-positive update:

Thanks to everyone who commented on my original post. Unfortunately, this is not a great update. If you don’t want to read it all, the bottom line is we’re heading toward divorce.

I took some of the commenters’ advice to go to couples therapy, which we did that same week as my first post. I had to push him a bit to get him to agree to the therapy but I told him it was either this or I would never give in to the test.

The first zoom session was a little awkward since neither of us had ever done therapy before. After listening to both of us, she basically said that she thought we should do the test to see if that eases his anxiety, and that if it doesn’t (which, at the time. was my concern) that we could go from there.

So my husband was thrilled and I agreed but I wanted to be on Zoom with the therapist when we received the results so we could talk it out with her there, which he was fine with. So we do the test and we did our Zoom session when our results were in. And surprise, surprise, the paternity test says he’s 99% likely to be the father.

He didn’t appear relieved or happy or anything of what I expected. Maybe this was unfair but I did expect him to cry and maybe apologize to me for his lack of trust. This wasn't just my imagination though because when the therapist asked him in our first session how he would feel if the test came back saying he was the father, he said he would feel relieved.

But he was angry. He kept saying that it was over and that he didn’t want to talk about it. He kept repeating “its done” over and over when the therapist would try to ask a question about how he was feeling and he was obviously not listening when I tried to talk about my feelings.

And when I told him I wanted to talk about it, he yelled at me (which he NEVER does) “What else is there to f@@king talk about?” I was mortified that he was talking to me this way in front of a therapist and she said we should schedule a new session once he “had time to process.”

After the session, he wouldn’t look at me or speak to me. That he was so upset that he WAS our wonderful son’s father made me absolutely lose my mind. We screamed at each other and it ended with me saying that I can’t do this anymore.

He’s at his brother’s apartment now (finally away from our son, which is obviously what he wanted all along) and my mom is now staying at my place go help me out around the house. I texted him this weekend asking if he wanted to do another therapy session and he asked if I really thought that would help and I had to admit that I didn’t.

The speed at which this whole thing happened (just a month ago, I would have said we have a happy marriage!) is still completely shocking to me. But I don’t see us recovering from this. This felt cathartic to type out though so thanks I guess.

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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