Posted by u/Throwaway_33001:
16 years ago, just after giving birth to my daughter I found out her father (52M) was cheating on me (38F) with two of my sisters. We’d been married 5 years at this point and I was of course devastated.
Neither of my sisters knew he was having an affair with the other, and it came out because my Mum found out about my older sister, after which my younger sister admitted what had been happening as well.
When I confronted him, he didn’t say a word. He walked out and I didn’t see him for nearly 4 years. He continued to send money each month, but there was no other contact or explanation for his behaviour.
I cut all ties with my sisters. They’ve also never tried to contact me to apologise or see their niece. When it comes to family functions, my wider family have always made it clear that if I am coming they are not welcome, but if I’m not they are they are. I didn’t ask for this, but my family said that as I was the one who was hurt, I didn’t deserve to feel awkward.
This meant my daughter had never met her aunts; and as I never had cause to talk about them, and my wider family never spoke about them she didn’t know they were her aunts.
When my daughter was 4, he sent a letter explaining he had spent the last 2 years in therapy, dealing with various mental and addiction issues and while it was no excuse for his behaviour he wanted to try and make amends. I was skeptical, but didn’t want my daughter to never know her father so very slowly we started having more contact.
My daughters now 16 and me and her father have a civil relationship. He’s supported her financially and emotionally as a father should and he’s always been respectful of my boundaries - I’ll never forgive him for what he did, however I do believe my daughter is better off for having him in her life.
About a week ago, my older sister added my daughter on Facebook and they got chatting. My sister told her she was her aunt and she wanted to start “mending old wounds”. My daughter asked what she meant but my sister refused to say “it wasn’t her place” and told her to come to me.
I was furious - I called my sister and screamed at her for upsetting my daughter and not coming to me directly. I thought it was manipulative and another example of why I didnt want her in my life.
I then had to sit down with my daughter and explained what had happened. She was devastated and said she doesn’t want any contact with her father.
I told her I didn’t want that, despite his mistakes he had proven he is now a good father and what happened was between me and him. She was a adamant however and so I respected her wishes.
Her father is devastated and believes it’s my fault for telling her and I should have made something up about why I fell out with my sisters. However I don’t think it would have been right to lie to her.
I asked my friends and a few of them said I should have protected my daughters relationship with her dad - and her not having him about will hurt her more than if I had lied to her. So AITA?
I was 18 when we married, he was 30.
I was still very young, and infatuated. He was very immature and didn’t see an issue with the age difference, when he clearly should have.
We started dating when I was 16 and I introduced him to my parents when I was 17.
My parents know if they brought up the age difference, and openly disapproved of the relationship I would have pushed back, and they wanted to make sure we still had a good relationship so that if they did start to notice signs of manipulation, abuse, they were close by.
Questions, answers and comments:
You still say 'We started dating when I was 16' so I am asking you, as the mother of a sixteen-year-old girl, to imagine her dating a thirty-year-old guy. Would you be cool with that? Or would you be creeped out?
Throwaway_33001 OP responded:
Of course not - I never said it was OK. But I also think my parents had the right approach in that situation - and had they pushed back, I would have as well. And had I been isolated from my family, then I would have been in an even worse situation.
We met through a part time job I had at the time at a pub on weekends. I shouldn't have been working there till I was 18; but it was a family friend who owned it who kept an eye on me and I was just glass collecting and serving food. He (my ex) looked younger than he was, I looked older. I thought he was about 20 (still too old for a 16 year old), he thought I was about 21.
It wasn’t till our 2nd or 3rd date I think that we actually talked about our ages. Obviously at that point he should have walked away - but all I meant was he didn’t set upon me knowing I was 16 when he asked me out.
Eww! Your husband married a much younger woman and proceeded to have sex, not only with her, but also with her two young sisters. This is sick.
I don't think YTA for telling your daughter what happened, but you are somewhat TA for blaming your sisters and forgiving your husband. Your daughter seems to have a clearer view of this than you do, and is perfectly justified in rejecting her father.
Throwaway_33001 OP responded:
One sister was younger, one was older. My younger is adopted and only 3 months younger. She was also early 20’s when the affair started - so an adult, old enough to know better. My older sister was 30ish.
NTA. Not only was the truth the right thing but if you had lied, your awful sister would have “accidentally” revealed the truth to your daughter anyway.
NTA - truth hurts, but finding out you’ve been lied to hurts even more. It’s not your fault he had a wandering dick and that your sisters had no boundaries.
Update from OP Throwaway_33001:
It’s so good to hear that the majority of you agree with what I did. It’s so good to have a sanity check as I really didn’t feel like lying to her was the way to go, but was so worried if done the wrong thing!
I’ll definitely take on board what a few if you said about giving her time. You’re right - she has only just found this info out so I get that her anger is off the scale right now.