For some background info I (43m) have 2 children with my late wife Kayla. Sam (21m) and Liz (16f). All fake names. Kayla passed away when our kids were 15 and 10. I won’t give specifics about how she passed but she was struck by a car when she was on her way home from work.
She really was the love of my life and to say that her passing hit our family hard would be an understatement. I promised myself that if I got back into the dating game I wouldn’t date anyone for at least a couple years for the sake of my kids. 3 years after my wife’s passing, I met my now fiancé. We’ll call her Amanda.
Things went slow and I didn’t introduce her to my kids until we had been dating for about a year at that point. Now we’ve been together for 3 years and are engaged. Amanda and my kids have always had a good relationship.
Neither of my kids are super close to her, but they have always been friendly and welcoming to her and Amanda has never overstepped any boundaries my kids have, like trying to replace their mother.
At the beginning of Amanda and I’s relationship, she was a bit insecure about the fact that I was a widower. During the first few months of us dating, she would constantly ask things like “if Kayla had never passed, would I still be with her right now.”
I always kept my answers brief and told her that I didn’t like thinking about the “what ifs” and that she was the one I was dating now and that was what mattered. Eventually she stopped making these comments and I stopped worrying about it.
Now, to the issue. My parents were hosting a family dinner to celebrate my fiance and I’s engagement. It was my mom and dad, my late wife’s sister and her husband, Sam and Liz, and me and Amanda. Dinner was going well, we were all making small talk with each other and talked about wedding plans.
About half way into dinner my mom made a comment about how she was “so happy I was able to find the spark I had with Kayla in someone else.” I don’t think anybody really paid much attention to the comment but then Amanda laughed and said “I’m happy she died, otherwise I would have never gotten him to myself.”
The tone of the dinner immediately shifted and everyone got extremely tense, especially my kids. Amanda noticed the shift and started awkwardly laughing like she was trying to play her comment off as a joke.
I was honestly just frozen as that was the first time she had made a comment like that. My kids looked disgusted and Liz got up and walked out to the car. Sam waited a bit longer, like he wanted me to say something, but I was still in shock about what Amanda had said.
To make a long story about the dinner short, the dinner was kind of ruined. So, I said my goodbyes to everyone, grabbed my fiancé and we all drove home. My daughter hasn’t spoken to me or Amanda since and it’s been 3 days. I got tired of it and pulled my son aside to ask him what I should do.
He said something along the lines of, “I’m a grown man and don’t care who another grown man marries, but I don’t want a women who speaks like that about our mother around my sister.” Sam’s comment stuck with me and now I’m considering calling off the engagement entirely.
She’s never made comments like this before but I’m worried if I let it slide this one time, it will become more frequent and it will affect my daughter. I need some advice from outside perspectives and just want to do right by my kids. WIBTAH if I called of the engagement because of the comment she made?
NTA. Saying that she is glad that somebody passed so that they can be happy is pretty fvkked. Saying it at a family dinner with the person’s family and kids there is beyond fvkked. While it is true that they wouldn’t be in this position without their passing, it’s not something one should be thinking about and definitely not talking about.
I mean she could've said something like "it was an unfortunate event for all of you but I think she was the one who brought us together to be there for each other" she could've gone in any other way but she decided to allow her insecurities be in the way because she know if kayala didn't pass, OP wouldn't have been with her. She has always been competeting with a dead woman and will Continue to do so.
My husband passed away, if anyone said anything like that it would not go over well. You are right though, she does believe she's competing with a dead woman, and that kind of insecurity is hard to get past.
I agree...my guy passed away about 4 years ago and I have since remarried. He likes to say that he thinks that he sent him to me to take care of me. He knows that I would not have ever met him if he was still alive but would never say anything like this to me.
Heck, this man actually went out and bought a nice box for all of my saved momentos from my old life - he found them while I was unpacking in an old Jcrew box that I had dragged around and thought I needed a nicer place to keep everything.
Yeah, shes never going to let this go.
You can. Your son just told you the deal. It's her or them.
Edit: Wow I didn’t expect to get this much advice so shortly after posting this. Nonetheless thank all of you for the advice and even the people calling me a bad father. I think your guys words are what I needed to pull my head out my a$$. I will try to talk to my kids alone tonight before speaking with my fiancé and we’ll see where it goes from here.
I’m pretty sure my fiancé and I are over though. I’ll update late tonight or tomorrow on how the talks with everyone goes. Thank all of you again for setting my head straight.
I promised I would update everyone after I had talked to my kids so here is the update. it’s kind of long so I hope that doesn’t go against the rules of this community. I’m also gonna use this update as a way to clarify some of the questions people were asking in the comments.
Did my fiancé apologize to anyone at the dinner party?
No she didn’t. I honestly don’t think it even registered or has registered to her that what she said was wrong.
Does fiancé have social anxiety?
Not to my knowledge no. In all the time I’ve known her she’s never shown any signs of social anxiety and doesn’t have a history of it.
How old was my late wife?
She was 37 when she passed and we were the same age. Amanda is 41. A lot of people were asking for clarification on the time frame of her passing and when my fiancé and I met.
At this point in time, Kayla has been gone for about 6 years and I met Amanda roughly 3 years after Kayla’s passing. I didn’t mention either of their ages as I didn’t believe it was important because we’re so close in age but I understand why a lot of you guys would want to know.
Now that I’ve clarified the things I was most asked about in the comments, we can get into the update. While I’m writing this update, it’s the day after I talked to my kids. So, last night, at around 5:30, my fiancé left for work. She works nights most days of the week, so I was able to call my son and ask if he could come over so I can talk to him and his sister.
He goes to our local college and lives in an apartment near his school. When he started college, he wanted to move out but also wanted to stay close to us. So, he settled on an apartment a few blocks away from the college. He came over and I called him and his sister into the living room to talk with the both of them.
When they were both seated, I told them point blank that I didn’t think the wedding was happening anymore and that the comment she made was unacceptable. I then (by the advice of the comments) apologized to them. I told them I was sorry for not saying anything for so long and letting the tension thicken in our home.
I told my daughter that I understood why she hasn’t spoken to me and that I was sorry for allowing her to think that I was even remotely ok with what she said. I felt pretty spineless after we had gotten back from dinner that night, so I wanted to do everything in my power to make it right with my kids during the conversation.
My daughter told me that she felt disgusted at the comment Amanda made and even more so when I didn’t defend her mother. She then told me that the past 2 years that she’s known Amanda, she felt like she’s been gradually trying to push her and Sam away from me.
One of the examples Liz gave when was when my son moved out. He moved out when he was about to start his sophomore year of college, and when he mentioned the idea of moving out, Amanda was the one who took that and ran with it.
According to Liz, Amanda was the one encouraging Sam the most to move out. To be clear, I was never against Sam moving out, but I was clear to him to he was welcome to live at home for his college years and even after until he found where he wanted to be.
I asked Sam if he felt pushed out by Amanda, and if that’s why he moved out. He said he hadn’t felt pushed out before he told everyone he wanted to move, but after he put it out there my fiancé kept pushing for him to move out.
Liz cut in and said that every time she brings up college, Amanda keeps encouraging her to go out of state. Liz doesn’t plan on going out of state and she’s been open about wanting to go to the college Sam is attending right now. Liz said she feels like Amanda is waiting till she graduates high school and goes to college so she can move out.
A lot of the comments were right about the subtle comments eventually turning into Amanda wanting my kids pushed away from me. Liz said that she was scared that by the time I eventually noticed the way Amanda was acting. Too big of a wedge would have already been driven between me and them.
I told my kids that I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to notice and that I was also sorry they’ve been been walking on eggshells for so long. I hugged my kids and told that them no matter what, they are my top priority, not Amanda or anybody else.
A lot of comments pointed out that even though my son is grown, he still needs his father, and I made sure to let my son know that I will always be there for him and his sister even when they are well grown. The entire conversation lasted about 2 hours, we covered a lot of the bases we wanted to, and it got emotional on all sides.
In short, Amanda and I are done. I’ve made it a point to tell my kids that none of this situation is their fault, and that Amanda is the grown women who said what she said. My kids and I are ok right now, but they aren’t 100% with me and probably won’t be for a while. I’m completely fine with that and just want my kids comfortable in their own home.
Amanda has tomorrow off from work, so I plan on talking to her tomorrow. I also plan on calling my mother to ask her why she thought it was ok to even bring up Kayla at the dinner. I don’t want my daughter here when it all goes down, so she’s staying tonight and tomorrow night with Sam.
So that’s were I’m at right now. Not super happy about the outcome of me and Amanda, but would rather have my kids happy and healthy than have a wife. Again, thank you everyone for the advice and the harsh words. I’ll update after I call it off with Amanda. Thank you everyone.
I’m sorry for what you and your family are going through. I applaud you for doing right by your kids and your family. Very glad you’re learning all this about Amanda now, before you’re married. I suspect you’re going to find that your mother brought up Kayla in the hopes Amanda will show her true colors.
When you’re ready,‘ don’t give up on meeting someone that loves and respects you, your kids and honors and appreciate the memory of Kayla. They are out there!! I am married to a Lovely man that lost his wife of 14 years. He has 2 amazing kids that I love and adore. We celebrate their mom with some special family traditions that I love and enjoy with them. Good luck!
As bad as it sounds I think his mom definitely mentioned his late wife to see the reaction she would have. I’m that type of person when my friends bring around new people they want to get serious with.
My questions are not in any way to start an argument but you can tell based on their answers how they feel about my friend they are dating. Had his mom never said anything I don’t think he would’ve realized this until it was too late.
"I also plan on calling my mother to ask her why she thought it was ok to even bring up Kayla at the dinner."
You’re going to ask her why she said something that brought out your stbx fiancée’s true colors out into the open?
Dude. You should be thankful that your mother’s comment was a catalyst for you to finally see what Amanda has been doing to your own kids. You say that you and Amanda are done but it sounds like you kinda blame your mom for this when you should be thanking her for pulling the rose tinted glasses off your eyes.
Call off the engagement and relationship if you want, but do not put this on your mom. AMANDA is the one who made the tasteless response, AMANDA is the one pushing your children out, AMANDA is the one in a one sided competition with your dead wife.
Great update in siding with your children. But man, do not call and berate your mother or ask her what she was thinking. There was nothing wrong with what she did by bringing up your late wife at a dinner YOUR CHILDREN (the children of said late wife) were at.
Gosh. I would have loved to have a father like you. You are doing a really good job. Someone mentioned a hidden camera… cover your back in the conversation with her. Just in case.
Ok everyone here’s the update you guys were waiting for. Again, this is a long post, even longer than the last update, and I Suggest reading my previous posts if you haven’t for the contest of this situation.
So where we last left off is my kids and I talked, made up, and my daughter is staying with her brother so she doesn’t get caught up in what was about to happen with my now ex-fiancé. Before the hard part of the day (breaking it off with Amanda) I made a call to my mom to let her know of the situation.
A lot of the comments told me to not bash my mom for the comment she made. Now, thinking back on the situation with a clear mind, the comment my mother made towards Amanda was most definitely a compliment towards her. And that was confirmed in the the call I had with her. My mother, bless her heart, felt extremely guilty for the entire situation.
She fully believed the situation all stemmed from her one comment. I assured her that none of the situation was her fault and that I’ve never blamed her one bit for any of this. We talked a bit more before I let her go.
The call ended at about 9:15 AM and I was left waiting for Amanda to wake up. She woke up at around 10:30 AM, and I didn’t want to ambush her straight after she woke up, so I waited until about 11:10 AM to sit her down and talk.
A lot of people in the comments suggested to secretly video the whole thing. I thought that was extremely smart, so I had my phone set to record in my back pocket the entire time. I didn’t think she’d try to do anything drastic, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
The talk with her went about as well as anyone could imagine, so not at all. I told her I needed to talk with her, that it was serious, and we sat in the living room. When we were seated, I began unloading on her about the comment she made about Kayla at my parents house, how it made my kids feel, how it made me feel, her lack of an apology of any sort of acknowledgment to what she said, and so on.
I told her I expect her to give an apology to my parents, my in-laws, and most importantly, my kids. During the entire time of me unloading on her, she didn’t seem to show any bit of emotion other than her eyes, which were slightly wider than normal. After I spoke my truth, she straight up asked “so if I apologize to everyone, we’ll go back to normal?”
I told her point blank, no. I told her that the comment she made at dinner was not the extent of my problems with her. I then told her that I know she heavily pressured Sam to move out when he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to at that point in time, and that I also know she is now trying to do the same with Liz.
I did my absolute best to leave my kids out of the situation but told Amanda that the way my kids described her treatment towards them, was the main reason I don’t see a future with her anymore.
Amanda was stone faced up until I told her we were done. I think that’s when the panic set in for her. She kept saying that she’ll apologize to everyone, that she’ll make it right with my kids, ect ect. I told her that if she apologizes, I will certainly appreciate it, but we were still done either way.
She was full on crying at this point and asked me “why I wasn’t I willing to try and fix our relationship?” And I told her that even though I loved her (and I will be honest I still love her very much) I was not willing to take another chance of my kids being hurt again the way they she hurt them.
I was frustrated and shot back at her asking her “why she was trying to push my kids out of their own home?” And I got back an answer I was not at all expecting. I was completely shocked at her response, but a lot of you guys won’t be.
A lot of commenters actually hit the nail right on the head with what Amanda was truly like. Amanda responded with “well, I didn’t know you expected me to house somebody else’s kids for the rest of my life.”
I immediately saw red and, after about a minute, I told her get out. I told her that my kids can go wherever they damn please, especially in the house that I OWN and PAY FOR. She tried to retaliate but, in the end, she ended up pack a few bags and going to stay with one her friends.
I emailed a copy of the phone recording to myself. The talk only lasted about 25 minutes, not nearly as long as the talk I had with my kids. So, if anything ends up coming of the conversation, I have all I’d need to keep my name clear.
I’ve texted my kids that Amanda is out of the house for good, that they are welcome to come home any time, and let my son know that if he wants to, he is more than welcome to move back in completely.
My daughter is coming back from her brother’s place in the afternoon and I still have phone calls to make to make to my parents and in laws to apologize for this mess of a situation. Amanda is out of my house but keeps blowing up my phone for us to try to work things out. I’ll let her come by in the next few days so she can collect the rest of her stuff out of my house but she is not welcome to live here again.
I’ll be honest and say that I am a bit devastated. Despite everything Amanda did, I still love her, and I probably won’t stop loving her for a minute. But I’ll be ok. Right now I just want to focus on the family that needs me, and will use this situation as an excuse to bond more with my kids.
Another big thank you to everyone who helped me in the comments. A lot of the advice you guys gave played a part in making things right with my family. I will update if anything else big or important happens but as of now I’m taking it one step at a time and making it right with my family.
It would be a good idea to start packing up her stuff now. A few times toward me, but I've also seen it toward others, when ex partners come to get their stuff, they try to take or ruin things that you had in the house. Or, if not packing, get it put in a spot in the garage or something like that, so she doesn't have access to the whole house.
If you haven't already, change the locks. You never know how she might act out. Not saying she will, but better to be safe than sorry. Good luck my friend.
"Amanda responded with 'well, I didn’t know you expected me to house somebody else’s kids for the rest of my life.'"
Yanno... this line would have definitely killed any love I may have had for her that wasn't already killed off with that vile statement during dinner.
OP, I am so incredibly sorry that the woman you love was not really the woman you thought she was. I know this is extremely painful and devastating. You were planning a life with her and now that is severed. I'm so sorry. You did good. I know you know that but sometimes we just need to hear (read) it. Be well.
The best thing anyone can do with kids is instill the belief they can come to their parents and talk about any and everything. That is how you weed this sh!+ out. Glad OP did right by his kids. Go suck rocks Amanda. Don’t date people with kids if you don’t wanna raise them. Wasting time.
The comments on the original post as well as the first update were UNREAL. SO MANY idiots showing their true colors talking about how OP's fiancee deserves better and OP doesn't love her enough and even trying to justify her choices to push the kids out. I need to get off Reddit before I completely lose my faith in humanity.