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Woman's fiancé unexpectedly dies; he leaves her everything, then she meets his wife.

Woman's fiancé unexpectedly dies; he leaves her everything, then she meets his wife.


"AITAH for letting my fiancé's wife keep half of everything after his death?"


Herbert (52) and I (49) had been in a relationship for 9 years and he proposed in 2022. It was my choice to not rush a wedding date due to my sister being sick for a long time for currently unknown reasons.

She's always in and out of the hospital, getting tests done, and no doctor has figured out what's wrong yet. She's the most important person in my life and I set a firm boundary that there would be no big wedding without her there.

The past year has been extremely difficult for her health and there's too much of a chance that she wouldn't be there. It was actually his idea to have a big wedding, not mine. I told him I would've been fine just going down to the courthouse.

He always said that having a big wedding would be the final nail in the coffin to all his family members who said he'd never achieve anything in life after dealing with addiction and mental health issues when he was younger.

While I never thought he needed to prove anything to them, I respected that it was important to him as he also said it would be the final chapter in that part of his life.

Herbert owned a truck driving business. While he wasn't the one driving the trucks, he did travel every few months for weeks or months at a time. I travel for work too, as I'm in the same industry and am also gone for weeks at a time, so it wasn't a big deal to me.

We'd video call while we had dinner and watched a movie or show together. He never left the calls suddenly. There was never any weird or suspicious noises in the background. I was usually the one who ended the call first. There was absolutely no hint of cheating or another person being there with him at all.

This past summer Herbert died suddenly from a heart attack. He had just gotten a good clean bill of health from his doctor a few months before, which made it even more devastating.

We were out shopping and it happened in the grocery store. He didn't mention feeling ill or anything like that. We were walking and talking and then it happened. He died holding my hand.

After his death I tried to retrieve his death certificate so I could begin the process of setting up the funeral, seeing what would happen to our home as we weren't married yet and the house was in his name, etc.

That's how I found out he was married. He had never mentioned a wife before. The most he talked about were a few ex girlfriends, which is expected of anyone our age.

Before me, he said his longest relationship was 5 years but he spent most of his life single, causally dating and focusing most of his time on his business. My dating history was the pretty much the same before him. A few relationships that lasted a year or two, a lot of time single, causally dating before we met.

It was devastating to find out that he was married, and even more so finding out that he had 3 kids. We had the kids conversation early on because I can't have children. He said that was okay because he never had the fatherly instinct in him.

Finding out he was married caused a lot of issues, obviously. His wife assumed I knew about her and that I was a homewrecker. She refuses to believe that I didn't know about her. I asked if she knew about me and she said no.

She had no idea that he was cheating. I tried to rationalize it. He lied to both of us. Neither of us knew about the cheating. We should be angry at him and not each other. I tried to keep the peace between us, but she decided to make a lot of posts on various social media sites about me ruining her family.

I tried to defend myself at first, but after about 20 messages telling me how horrible of a person I am for ruining her family, I gave up. There was no point in even trying. She's made her mind up and there's nothing I can say or do to make her believe me.

I can't fault her for that either. I'd probably assume the same thing if I was her. We're both going through a mix of anger and grief. She's leaning more towards the anger side. I get it. It hurts, but I get it.

I found out all of our video chat were done at their home. He'd tell her that he had a headache, which he was apparently famous for having despite never having that issue while living me, and wanted to go lay down. Or he had some big meeting and needed to hop on Zoom. Or whatever excuse he told her.

The kids knew to stay downstairs when he had a headache or was on a call, and his wife would care for them. That's when he'd call me. Sometimes the calls were for a few minutes, sometimes they were for a few hours.

Never once was there any indication that someone else was with him. The background was always a white wall, which made sense as he said it was in a hotel room. It didn't look like he was in a bedroom.

I'm sure every video call from my end looked the same. Just a plain white wall, unless I was in our home. Even when I was away for work and he wasn't, he'd call from our house.

The thing that really got me is that I assumed his family lived in another state, but they lived less than 20 minutes away. Most of his trips were him driving back home to them.

There were thousands of chances of us bumping into his family. We had dinner in restaurants minutes away from their house. We walked around our town clearly as a couple while he knew his wife or someone they knew could've driven by.

He took me to work with him a few times. I even went on work trip to another state with him once. Did any of his co-workers know about his wife? Did they assume I was his wife? No idea. I don't know if it's stupid or brave that he did all of this so close by.

His wife and I ended up seeing each other at the will reading. He left everything to me. Everything from his business, cars, life insurance and house that his wife and children lived in.

She started screaming that she was going to be homeless because of me. I tried to tell her that I would let her keep the house. There is no part of me that wants it. There is no way I could take that from them. That's their home.

When I received everything, I contacted a lawyer about how to divide everything between her and I. I wanted her to have half the money, their house, the cars she drove, anything that was already a part of her life.

I didn't want anything from the house she lived in. That's her and her children's home, not mine. I wanted to keep the house we lived in, the car I drove the most, and the business.

Everything else could've been hers. If she wanted to come over and sell everything in our house that was his I would be okay with that. I can't image what she was going through. They had been married for almost 20 years. I was really trying my best to be fair to both of us.

I wanted to keep the business, as I work in the same industry and was already in a higher up position. It wouldn't have been too drastic of a change for me to take over. Plus, last year we had talked about me switching over to his company.

I wanted to finish up some big things I've been working on at work for years, so we decided I'd switch jobs sometime in 2024 or 2025. My job knew about my plans to leave and agreed to keep me there until the projects I was working on were completed or at a place where my input wasn't need anymore.

I asked the lawyer to draft up paperwork to ensure she made money from the company every year. She could have some official job title that ensured she was paid without having to worry about working. Or, if that couldn't work, send her money directly from me every month, set up a trust, or something like that.

It's not some multi-billion dollar company, but it does fairly well. I wanted her to have enough to not struggle or worry about bills or groceries or anything else. I wanted to make sure her kids have a college fund too. If they go to private school, then I'd pay for that. I wanted to set up a trust for her kids as they too received nothing in the will.

Our lawyers talked and she ended up saying she didn't want anything from me. She said I was trying to rub it in her face that I got everything while she got nothing. That was never my intention, but I'm not going to fight her on what she's convinced herself to believe. My intention was to try to somewhat ease the hurt and betrayal we're both feeling. What else could I have done that would've been fair to us both?

I talked to friends about it and most of them think I was in the wrong for offering her anything. They said it was rude of me to do that to her no matter what my intentions are as she's always going to view it as an act of charity from the other woman.

I guess I can understand how she could think that, but how is it rude to even offer her anything? Wouldn't it have been ruder to kick her and her children out of their home and take everything they own?

That's never something I'd ever do. I felt like I was trying to be rational with everything and do what was right for all of us. But they insist that offering her anything is worse than offering her nothing, which I can't comprehend.

More info: The wife claims they had a perfectly happy life with no big marital issues. Everyone from her side of things who has contacted me through social has said the same thing. I don't know of any of their personal problems or much of anything about their personal life. The kids are most certainly his as they look exactly like him.

The will reading happened in the traditional way because it was in his will that he wanted it to happen like that. My only guess is so it would be a bigger slap in the face to his wife for whatever issues they had.

They weren't legally separated or divorcing, but that doesn't mean there weren't discussions about it. I don't know what went on in their personal lives. Their house was only in his name, as was the house we lived in.

His wife does have the right to 1/3 of everything according to our state's laws, but she hasn't fought for any of it yet. I still stand by my offer of her having half or more of everything. He didn't skip out on holidays with me.

He was with me during nearly every holiday, the only times we weren't together where were when I was working. I do question how his wife didn't know and didn't question anything. As an outside looking in on her side of things it does seem like she had far more to be suspicious of than I ever did.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NAH, except for Herbert. You did the honourable thing by trying to help his wife but she threw it back at you.

Could you leave it six months to let emotions settle and make the offer again?

The OP responded here:


I want to give her as much time as she needs to say yes. The plan right now is to have everything that would be hers in a separate bank account so it doesn't get mixed in with my finances and transferring that over to her if she ever wants to accept it.

If she doesn't, then I'll add it to the children's trust at some point. I've been thinking about giving her until the youngest child turns 18. If she doesn't accept it by then I guess split it between the children? There's a lot of legal issues with it that haven't fully settled yet, but that seems like a good plan as of right now.


I think that's a very loving and generous plan! You're NTA here for sure! Herbert though... what a d!cK move, no? I mean I could see cutting out the wife if the children were of age and giving it to them, but to cut out all three like that is beyond the pale. Just Wow!


Especially if the wife was a SAHM, and he suddenly left her with nothing? No source of income, no house, nothing that reflects all the time and work she put into the family for 20 years? Total d!cK move.

And I hope the wife pulls her head out of her bum and accepts the offer for her kids' sake - or does she really want to uproot all their lives and live in poverty, just to score some imaginary point?


As a wife myself, I would never blame the other woman for what my husband did our lives, especially not when the other woman had no clue that he was married with kids! She needs to stop being this way and think of her future and the kids future! Both of these women are victims and they should be working together!

So, this is obviously a shocking and devastating turn of events for everyone involved. Do you think the OP is making the right call here? If you could give them any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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