When this woman discovers that her husband has a 5 year old child from a one night stand during a stint of infidelity and is hesitant to involve herself in any way with his daughter, she asks Reddit:
Over 5 years ago my (F38) husband (M38) husband and I separated. He had an affair. He entered therapy and eventually I decided I wanted to see if we could rebuild our marriage.
I forgave him, and over the last 5 years he changed a lot. I opted to not know everything that happened while we were separated but I knew there was a one night stand. He truly put in work to become a healthier man and a better husband. We’ve been married 16 years, if that is relevant.
A month ago he was contacted by the one night stand. She just got out of jail (I can barely believe I’m even typing these words), and she told him that 5 years ago when they hooked up she got pregnant, and that if he didn’t Venmo her $500 she would tell his wife that he has a child.
He was shocked because this was the first time he heard about this. She won’t agree to a dna test willingly so he is having to get a court order. She also says she slept with multiple partners so she isn’t 100% sure he’s the father.
Obviously this sounds sketchy, but she sent him pictures of the child and I would be shocked if he WASN’T the father.
I feel devastated. My feelings are complex but I’m in therapy, so that’s not why I’m posting. The child has been in the grandparents’ custody for years (along with the child’s sibling), since the mom has been in & out of jail.
I have been through a lot. I have diagnosed PTSD, and sometimes it is not manageable, but I am in recovery.
I don’t know what to do because I don’t want this child in my life. I have a stepmom and I know what it feels like to know you’re resented. My stepmom didn’t have to tell me she resented me for me to know. I sensed it.
Later in life she confessed as much to me and apologized. We have a good relationship now but being resented made an impression on me as a child.
We have other kids together who are teens. The thought of having to explain to our family & friends, let alone our other children who this child is, absolutely f-ing guts me. I feel like puking just thinking about it. How would I tell my teenagers about this child especially when blackmail is involved?
It was humiliating enough to be cheated on and have everyone know my business. I lost friends when I chose to let him come home and chose to try to restore our marriage. One of my former friends told me that she lost respect for me and that she was disgusted that I would give him a chance to hurt me again.
How would I tell our kids? If this child is happy, healthy, and being loved by her grandparents (which appears to be the case), isn’t it kinder to let her keep living her life without interruption?
I don’t know if I could ever see this child as anything other than the product of my husband’s unfaithfulness. Obviously I support him sending child support if the dna test does prove he is the father.
Am I an asshole for not wanting this child in my life? Be honest. Are the only other options to be: playing stepmom to a child who will forever be a reminder of my husband’s unfaithfulness; divorcing a man I love with all my heart because I don’t want to stand in the way of him being in the child’s life?
UPDATE 1: Infidelity caused the separation, and it wasn’t what I guess you would call a legal arranged separation. He took some suitcases with a small amount of things to his mom’s for a few weeks.
The one night stand took place during those few weeks. A few people are saying it wasn’t cheating because we were “separated” but moving a few suitcases to his mom’s didn’t make him any less married.
UPDATE 2:This child wasn’t abandoned by the father. My husband only just now found out about this and hasn’t even had the opportunity to get a paternity test yet, which will happen.
We separated as a result of the infidelity. & no I wouldn’t divorce him for choosing to have a relationship with this child. If I chose divorce it would be because I can’t heal past the pain I feel enough to be a good stepmom. I would rather step away than for a child to pick up on my reluctance and feel rejected.
UPDATE 3: He definitely does recognize that he has already caused hurt. He owned that 5 years ago. He just meant that this decision is going to cause new additional hurt. No matter what, this will cause more pain and now he has to try to make an informed decision as to what choice will cause less pain long term etc.
UPDATAE 4: Also legally he has no obligation to pay child support for a child he didn’t know existed and whose mother now refuses to cooperate with a DNA test. Pretty sure his “ass would be covered legally” if he ignored her attempt to blackmail him and went along on his merry way. That’s not what’s going to happen though, and nothing can really be decided without the paternity established (which is already in the works).
He had an affair and a one night stand. I’m sorry if I worded that confusingly. Just for clarity, I would never ever treat a child badly. But kids have a way of picking up on things anyways.
The separation was a result of infidelity, and moving a few suitcases to his mom’s house didn’t make him any less married. Having se% with someone who isn’t your spouse while you’re married (regardless of whether you just moved some bags out), it’s cheating.
UPDATE 5: He hasn’t abandoned a child. He didn’t know about a child. Thank you this is helpful. When I said he said it was up to me, that’s probably not a good wording and oversimplified.
He’s very conflicted and confused because every option has the potential to hurt people. He’s willing to go at whatever pace I’m comfortable with and he isn’t going to try to pressure me into playing mommy to a child he conceived with an affair. We found out literally a week ago and don’t even have a paternity yet because he’s having to get it court ordered.
No one is keeping him from “his child” except maybe the woman who hid she gave birth to a child that was potentially his 5 years ago. I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion I was actively trying to keep him from his child.
UPDATE 6: No actually we found out about a child now, 5 years later. My decision to reconcile our marriage and forgive him did not include a child because neither of us knew about a child. If I had known, I would have been able to choose with all the information.
I don’t know what my choice would have been. I can’t turn back time. But if you read this and came to the conclusion I’m belly aching and jealous, then congratulations on never having lived through anything as difficult as the shit I’m dealing with.
It is a little more complex than him saying “I’ll do what you want”… He’s shared his own conflicting feelings with me. He feels like every single option has the potential to hurt people, including the child. Regardless of what decisions are made, a dna test and child support will happen.
UPDATE 7: He’s willing to go at the pace I’m comfortable with. He’s willing to spare me humiliation to the best of his ability. There’s more but I feel like if I share anymore this won’t be as anonymous as it needs to be for all parties involved. The paternity test definitely has to come before any of these things can be decided, but it still feels like it’s looming over my head.
We both want the dna test because we both would prefer this to be resolved, and we both would feel bad if he actually did have a child that wasn’t being financially supported.
FINAL UPDATE: As far as what he wants, he feels almost equally conflicted. On one hand he wants the child to have a father if that’s him. On the other hand he is humiliated and doesn’t want to put me through more pain.
He feels like maybe the unselfish thing is to not disrupt the child’s life if all her needs are met and she has a family that loves her. On the other hand, he feels like he might be a shitty person for not trying to be involved.
But he also feels like that if he has a relationship with her, but doesn’t make her feel a part of our family, will this hurt the child when she’s older and realizes she was a secret?
He says he feels stuck because every choice has the potential to hurt people and he feels like he needs to choose the option that has the least potential for harm. Unfortunately there is no clear way to know what choice that would be.
I think you’re putting the cart before the horse, here. Why get the DNA test? Make her take him to court. This is her issue, she needs to pursue it. She doesn’t even have custody of the kid. The grandparents would have to go for child support.
No where do you mention what he wants. Have you two talked about the plan moving forward if the grandparents takes this to court? If he doesn’t want to be in the kid’s life, either, then just pay child support if ordered and nothing changes.
Frankly, you two were separated. I know that’s not a divorce but it makes the “cheating” less elicit, if that makes sense. Unless you all set out boundaries. Mostly, it was your decision to accept that the marriage was broken but you both wanted to fix it. That’s commendable.
Not many people do that anymore. Be proud that you two came back together to make a stronger marriage rather than dwell on people who don’t understand. It’s not their journey. You don’t need their approval.
Ehhh. YTA. You are entitled to feel however you want, however, you chose to take him back knowing he cheated on you. The child is irrelevant. The child is also not a product of infidelity, since you were separated at the time.
You CHOSE to take him backing knowing that he was unfaithful. If the only way you could accomplish that was by burying your head in the sand and pretending he was a saint, well, welcome to the consequences of YOUR decisions.
You are wrong. The CHILD is not the reminder forever of your husband's unfaithfulness. HE IS. And if you can get over that and suck the dick he stuck in someone else, then YTA for blaming a child for what its father did. Be a better person than your stepmother.
It seems a little unfair that the child will “forever be a reminder of your husband’s unfaithfulness” while your husband is just “a man you love with all your heart.” How are you able to look at your husband and see less of his unfaithfulness than you would an unwilling child participant in this ordeal?
I think if you work through the fact that the thought of this child is only just triggering your own resentment for your husband and that deep down you haven’t really forgiven your husband- it’ll make this situation easier to deal with.
Wanting to accept your husband back after an adulterous affair and a separation kind of signs you up to brace yourself for a surprise like this.
I hope for your own sake that the child is not your husband’s. But even if it isn’t, I hope you take this as an opportunity to really feel out if you’re willing to remain this man’s wife. I truly do hope the best for you. This is absolutely a difficult position you have found yourself in.
YTA. You don't want that child to feel resentment? Then grow the f up and act like an adult. You know who can control how you act twords her? YOU! And when he had his one night stand you were separated so that child isn't the result of cheating.
Do you know what it's like growing up thinking your father doesn't give a single F about you and wants nothing to do with you? Because I do. Mine bailed when I was 2 and reached out to me maybe 5 times on his own in the last 30 years. 3 of which he wanted something from me.
And as far as being embarrassed? You chose to take him back after his actual affair so thats on you. You allowed him back into your life and if anyone is a reminder of the cheating ITS YOUR F-G HUSBAND
NTA. Woah woah woah, OP, take a breath think about this a second. A one night stand who has been in and out of jail has now contact your husband after 5 years is attempting blackmail for $500 and refusing a paternity test.
Your husband needs to drop the court case, refuse to pay child support until the ONS agrees to the paternity test. This is her issue to figure out and if she won't do a paternity test then you and your husband are off the hook. She can go to court over this, not you two.
Cut all contact. If she continues to harass and threaten, seek a restraining order. DO NOT GIVE HER ANY MONEY, INFORMATION OR ATTENTION. She had 5 years and is asking for $500. How is that not ringing warning bells and red flags??? That's not for her kid, that's for her and likely to use the money for whatever she got charged for in the first place.
Ignore it. You're NTA, nor is your husband. She is. Your husband also needs to cut full contact though. Otherwise this will not be dropped, OP. She needs to seek legal counsel if she wants CS, not your husband to figure out paternity.
So to answer NTA. Keep your cool, think about it, make a decision, wait for the results of the paternity test, if he is the father, inform your husband about your decision. I personally would neither want to do option 1 to myself nor the kid. You have a third option with the following rules: Your husband is allowed to co-parent.
The kid stays out of your home. You will not get involved with the kid. No calling the kid or mother within the house. If you choose so: No talking about the kid or mother with you unless necessary (financial and meeting related info).
If you choose so: Your family comes first; You husband has to inform you about when he plans to meet his child asap, if he fails to do so and you make plans including him, then he has to cancel the meeting with his kid. You can basically treat it as if its any other activity your husband does without you.