About 14 years ago, I (M42 today) got my Masters degree in Engineering but was struggling to find work. I did eventually land a job working for a medium-sized company, but even then I was still struggling financially as I owed so much debt in student loans and lived in a pretty expensive city.
It was admittedly a pretty low point in my life. I’m sure many people can relate to the feeling that you’ve done so much schoolwork and then don’t have much to show for it. I did, however, build a good relationship with my boss (M84 today), as in my mind this was the easiest way to earn promotions and, in turn, a high income.
Eventually, I met my boss’s family. One thing that quickly became obvious was that his daughter, Rose (F39 today), liked me a lot. I didn’t think too much of it at the time because I thought mixing my professional and personal lives would be a bad idea.
Also, I did not reciprocate her feelings in any way. Though for obvious reasons, I was always exceptionally polite to her at every interaction.
Long story short, my boss’s wife (F78 today) found out Rose liked me and I started getting invited by my boss to his house pretty regularly for things like dinners, etc. Throughout all of these, my boss and his wife would somehow always steer conversations in ways that led to me talking to Rose, they would leave the room for some reason or another just leaving the two of us together.
Later, my boss would even tell me things like how I felt like family and he’d be happy to recommend me to higher positions, etc, since his wife and daughter are so fond of me. Needless to say, I started talking more to Rose, and within weeks I got a promotion.
While I will admit to not feeling much of a romantic connection with Rose, I did put a lot of effort into fostering that relationship, and she was happy with the attention I was giving her. After a few months of this, we were married.
As you can imagine, my career really took off then. However, I did leave the company roughly 2 years after getting married. With the recommendations I was able to get from my former boss/father-in-law and several other people he introduced me to, I was able to secure a good position elsewhere.
Today, I can happily say that after being married for 12 years and having 3 children together, there is no other woman I’d rather spend my life with. Because I feel like this, I’ve always felt that my primary motivator for getting married to Rose is no longer relevant.
That being said, I had lunch with two of my long-time friends, Michael (M43) and Wilson (M38), a few days ago. We haven’t seen each other in about a year, so it was a nice opportunity to catch up. I’d like to add that Michael and Wilson are both familiar with my situation as we were in regular contact back then.
At one point in the conversation, Michael asked if Rose ever found out “the real reason” why I decided to marry her. He thought i should. I told him, of course not, and that her finding out would be needlessly painful for her.
Wilson agreed with Michael, saying things like honesty and transparency were the main things he and his wife picked up from couples’ therapy and that it would be better long term if Rose found out.
I reaffirmed to them that Rose does not know what would be best for our family, and the conversation largely ended there. That being said, I have started to think more about what they’ve said and do feel a little guilty. AITA?
Rarely will I ever give advice to anyone telling them to keep something from their wife/gf/SO basically(lie to them). Please don't ever tell her like ever.
YTA for marrying her for the reason you did. Personally though as a guy who grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood I completely understand the struggle and doing whatever(within reason) to get a bit head and provided ones shelf a better life then what they have or where they started from.
So having been happily married, likely raised 3 good kids and both now seemingly love each other very much and both have for quite awhile I assume. I think one thing kinda cancels out the other. Overall NTA. Best of luck I hope she never finds out and it ends happily ever after for everyone.
Please don't ever tell her.
I don't intend to.
Dude seriously delete this post right now. this is a very popular subreddit, your only like 82 comments in but this could totally blow up. the details are way too specific if anyone in your life sees this she might.
Whether AH or NTA, giving Michael and Wilson the nuclear key codes to detonate your marriage was not the smartest move you ever did.
Don’t ever tell her. It’s probably been in the back of her mind the whole time. I’m sure someone in the past might have tried to use her that way. My mom didn’t love my dad. She married him to get away from her controlling family and to move to the US. They’ve been married over 50 years now, and they LOVE each other. She has told me the truth, suspects my dad knows, but will never tell him.
I know they would each sacrifice their lives for each other. It’s a lie, but an acceptable one, and YTA for marrying her for profit, but never let her know. Focus on the now. I’m glad you got away from her dad’s company, that probably reassured her somewhat. The two of you have built a beautiful life. Don’t mess it up over two friends you see once a year.
Are you an a**hole for marrying your wife just so you could get promotions?? Um.. yes, yes you are. Glad you decided you really do love her, but your first intentions were really sh*tty.
I just saw my previous post this morning and was surprised (and a little overwhelmed) by the amount of responses I received. Nonetheless, I do think it is appropriate to provide a quick update.
I had time to do some self-reflection over the past few days, and my conclusion is that I am probably the luckiest man in the world to have such a fantastic wife and wonderful children. Rest assured that I have no intention of my wife ever finding out the “real” reason why I decided to marry her.
Also, I am very confident that my two friends won’t say anything to my wife. I failed to mention it earlier, but I also have some ammunition on Michael’s marriage, and given that Wilson is in couples therapy, I’m highly doubtful he’d say anything. Even without this, I can’t imagine either of them overstepping such a boundary.
I’m sure many of you are wondering how they knew in the first place. The reason they knew was because we were all housemates at the time and they were able to witness the situation unfold firsthand. I guess you could say that while I'm largely an introverted person, I still talk a lot especially with my friends.
I do still feel guilty about my initial motivation to pursue my wife, but also very grateful for how things turned out. I like to think she's also grateful. Over the last few days, I have been trying to turn this gratitude into action to make my wife feel appreciated. Yesterday, I brought her breakfast in bed and in the evening after work, I brought her (a surprisingly expensive) bouquet of flowers.
Tonight, we have reservations for her favorite restaurant and a sitter who will watch the children. I know these things are minor in the grand scheme of things, but I want to do more thoughtful things for my wife. This will be my early New Year's resolution.
Mutually Assured Destruction is an odd way to have friendships.
I don't think this is the relationship killer that you think it is. There's a few ways to rephrase the whole story to make it sound sweet and romantic.
"I'm so grateful to your dad for encouraging me to spend time with you. Sometimes I think about what my life might have been like if he hadn't done that; knowing me I might have remained lonely and clueless forever. But instead I have you and I am the luckiest man in the world and I hope to spend the rest of my life proving that to you."
This is the way! Her dad saw something in you that would be good for his daughter, and he made sure that the two of you got to meet each other. What a beautiful gift of trust from him to the pair if you. Sure you originally agreed to it because he was your boss, but now here’s this beautiful incredible woman you couldn’t imagine life without. It worked :) Kudos to dad in law for matchmaker talent!
I agree. I think OP makes it worse by how he tells it. Most people didn’t experience love at first sight. OP obviously wasn’t repulsed by her. So their love grew over time. Not that big of a deal.
My love for her certainly did grow over time. When I first met her I thought she was physically stunning (and still do), I was just very caught up in my own life (largely finances) also I thought that mixing my professional and personal lives would not be good.
Also, our personalities were opposites.She was certainly attracted to me and when her father covertly encouraged me (with some incentives,) I went with it. Regardless, I love her and the family we've created together more than anything.
So, what do you think? Should the OP ever tell his wife the truth?