When this woman divorces her husband after his paranoia surrouding paternity unveils secrets about her parents, she asks Reddit:
FYI, OP provides a lengthy update and a final conclusion, both of which detail the breakdown of her marriage.
My STBHX Eric (40M) and I (38F) were high school sweethearts, and we grew up in a small town where the majority of the population was white.
Eric is white and while I am not a typical-looking white woman, I have enough features that I could be considered white-passing (I recently discovered I am mixed race, important later).
Eric and I got married after I graduated high school. I became pregnant when I was 26 and had fraternal twins (now 12) EJ (M) and Natalie (F).
As the twins got older, EJ started to look like Eric (blonde hair albeit curly and fair skin), and Natalie started to look like me (dark wavy hair), but her skin would get darker like she had a permanent tan.
Eric and I were confused by this because no one in our families had a skin complexion like this.
Eric became a cop after college. When the kids were 7, Eric got a chance for a promotion which moved us to the city. I started to notice that Eric would make prejudicial comments against certain communities of people that I would shrug off because they were not overtly offensive.
One of Eric’s co-workers noticed a picture of EJ and Natalie and asked if Natalie was adopted as she had African-American features and suggested that I might have had an affair after conceiving with Eric as it was possible that twins could be fathered by two different men.
This planted a seed of doubt. By the time the twins were 11, Eric couldn’t hold his doubt anymore and demanded a paternity test. He explained his doubt so I obliged. The test came back as Eric being Natalie’s father but he would act distant towards Natalie.
One day, I was using Eric’s phone because mine died to look for a recipe for dinner and came across a support forum where Eric was convinced I slept with a black man, was making awful comments about black people, and that I somehow altered the DNA test results.
I was furious and confronted Eric. He said there was no way Natalie could be his and demanded another DNA test. I agreed to prove him wrong and once the test came back, we contacted my parents because I was genuinely confused about where Natalie’s features came from because my parents were white.
After dancing around the topic, my mom confessed that my dad was not my real dad, and my real dad was bi-racial. After looking at an old picture, my dad looked white at first glance but the longer you looked at him, the more you could see his African-American side; I happened to not inherit those genes.
This seemed to appease Eric, but I could not forget the comments Eric made about black people and told him I wanted a divorce.
He apologized and said he couldn’t understand at the time, but I told him it was disgusting that that was what he thought about that community and I refused to raise my children in an environment that fostered and normalized negative thoughts about any community.
Eric and my parents tried to get me to rethink my decision and to go to counseling. I agreed to go to counseling, but I am not changing my mind about divorcing him. AITA?
The messages are already flowing in. To the people who are saying I'm excusing his behavior, I am not. For the threats, grow up. I do apologize if this will trigger something in people as I did not mean for that.
Eric's behavior is inexcusable and there is much work to be done for him.
Wow. I did not expect to get so many responses. I tried to read all of them but couldn’t keep up. For the ones I did read, thank you for the thoughtful words and I do have an update, but I wanted to clear some things up first.
- I’m not sure what you guys mean my mom “lied” to me. While she never outright told me someone else was my biological dad, I never questioned it so it never came up. She told me she would tell me the truth if I ever asked.
And everyone (my grandparents and dad) knew and agreed to tell me the truth if I asked.
- Not all prejudice is negative, guys. The prejudicial comments my husband made was saying a kid would be great on track after seeing them run and they happened to be black or that a kid would be a good businessman one day and they were Middle Eastern...
it didn’t mean anything to me at the time due to my cultural ignorance. With that, my husband gave me no indication he had certain feelings against other communities so stop with the “yOu WeRe OkAy WiTh HiM bEiNg RaCiSt UnTiL iT wAs YoU,” ugh.
- When I said he was distant with Natalie, he didn’t treat her like dirt. He felt disconnected because he had doubts she was his and wasn’t as affectionate. Otherwise, they still interacted.
My husband found out about the reddit post and was mortified because he didn’t realize how his behavior made him look. He also says he appreciates the comments that cut him some slack.
Anyways, he booked a session with a counselor at his job (found out that cops have onsite therapists) for us to go to. We got straight into the issue.
The counselor asked why the comments bothered me so much and I told her that I’ve seen so many innocent people suffer from hatred for something they didn’t do and how it makes people act way out of character.
The degrading and harmful things people would do and say to others based on a characteristic they can’t control and treat them like they were less than human. My husband asked if he thinks he hates me and the kids. I told him idk.
When it was his turn, he confessed to having an inferiority complex to African American men. About how he thought black people were more physically attractive and gifted and that the girls would have crushes on the black boys.
How it hurt that none of the girls would look at them (the white boys). So the boys looked for compensating factors that would make them more desirable: having money, getting careers, not being involved in illegal activity, etc., and it turned into this ugly thing of why like him when I have this.
I was floored. I asked him if he was like this when we met, and he said yes but that I never triggered his insecurities because I didn’t pay attention to them or talk to them, but it was always in the back of his head.
He was worried I would leave him for them, so he started working out, playing sports, and buying cologne to “keep up with them”.
The counselor asked about the comments, and he said that he was looking for validation of his feelings as far as being good enough.
When he considered the thought of me cheating, he couldn’t understand how I could choose a menace to society over him that has provided for his family and given us a home. I was numb because I didn’t think he felt this way.
I told Eric that I want him to write a detailed, heartfelt apology letter to the community he offended. He is not to tell me what it says or show me but to write it and then post it anonymously. If strangers can forgive him and push him forward to help be better, then I can too.
After getting home, Eric wrote the letter then posted it after proofreading it again and again. He’s currently waiting for the comments and in all honesty, it was enough to make me re-think divorcing him.
He’s not off Scott-free but I really appreciate his effort. If anything significant happens, I’ll update again.
Can we backtrack to the fact that his coworkers told him he bet you cheated w a black man and had 2 babies w 2 different fathers? And your husband decided that yeah, you might just have cheated. Wtf? Step aside from the whole kid/race issue.
Your husband actually thought that you had not only cheated but had a medicAl rarity occur. So much so that he double downed on your ethics and decided not only were you a cheater but also so much a diabolical mastermind that you altered medical lab results.
Sister wow! You are such a strategist! /s. His career in the big city has changed him so much that you’re being of mixed race, your daughter favors you and now he is struggling w a mixed wife and child. Don’t doubt he’s also taking your inventory as a mixed woman and finding it lacking.
You can’t come back from this w/o an epiphany from him that he has become racist. That he is taking his racism out on your children and you. You would only be wrong for staying and subjecting your kids to his racist abusive behavior another minute. How are your kids?
Even though your daughter is the focus your son has the same background and has to be confused. You do what you need to do. Remind him actions have consequences.
I tried to rationalize it and say it was stress from his job but then I realized that people from all communities commit crimes at various levels and crime isn't disproportionate...
to the point only one community is always in some legal trouble so it doesn't make sense to associate crime with just one community then I saw the forum and realized he was always like this.
I'm concerned for my children because they have a great relationship with one another and their father (Natalie has noticed Eric's distance but thinks it's because she's a girl and her dad isn't into the girly things she is)...
but as they are growing into their features, they look less like siblings are more like childhood friends unless you knew them when they were younger.
My son will eventually deal with comments from other people and I don't want him to think it's okay for him or other people to think or treat her like she's less than.
NTA, your STBX is a racist, and God he’s a Cop, what could go wrong? You did try to make it work, FOR YEARS. While your Ex accused you of cheating, while he mistreated your daughter, while he continued to listen to his ignorant AH buddies.
FOR YEARS he’s had the opportunity to be a better husband and father but he chose not to be. He listened to a bunch of racists disparage his wife and family and now claims ‘he just didn’t know’.
Well sorry, he had ample time to fix his ignorance and didn’t. He had time to stand up for his wife and daughter and didn’t.
So you’ve already tried to work through this, even so far as getting not one but TWO DNA tests. What has he done to change? F-ing nothing.
He ruined the experience of parenthood during those crucial years of childhood and has alienated his daughter. How do you come back from that? Boo for him. He can cry to his racist bigot friends while paying child support. There’s nothing left of the marriage to salvage.
I would be furious at his poor treatment of his own daughter. Everything else is bad, but to me the absolute worst is the way this man has been treating your little girl. His own child.
This will have lasting physiological effects in your daughter - you should have been making a bigger deal of it before now, but the main thing is that by divorcing him now you are showing her that his actions are not ok and she doesn’t have to stay with a man who doesn’t treat her right.
This is an important message to her as she is hitting the age where she could be forming romantic relationships soon.
I personally find his racism to be appalling- you didn’t think a cop saying racist and derogatory things was a big deal? It’s the worst.
This man is racist towards his own flesh and blood because of racial markers he can see (while conveniently ignoring the fact his white passing son carried the same DNA!). How awful is he to the people he is supposed to serve and protect as a cop?
YTA. You’re disgusting as well. You thought his racist comments were no big deal at first until you found out you have distant Black ancestry. Now all of a sudden his comments are disgusting.
You were willing to bypass all the racism until you found out you were indirectly affected.
White women do this all the time. They overlook their partners racism cause it’s casual racism they can tolerate and participate in. It’s only when it’s violent or in public that they have a problem with it bc it’s embarrassing even if they agree.
You are not wrong. Your husband was not just suspicious. He was determined to see you as a cheater because of his racist beliefs.
He didn't want to recognize that he has reprehensible beliefs, so when those beliefs began to make him want to reject his daughter, he decided to make it all your fault rather than facing up to his own disgusting thoughts and trying to change.
It wasn't just that he thought you were cheating. He chose to believe that you were cheating despite the paternity test because he wanted to justify his hatred of his own child due to his reprehensible and disgusting racist beliefs.
Get out now. Do not let this man infect your life any more than you can help it. Please bring this up in the divorce proceedings, because his beliefs and behavior are not at all the sort of thing you want your children exposed to.
You aren't wrong. Not at all. Anyone who thinks you are wrong about this is not someone whose advice you should ever rely on for anything.
This will be the final update because I am done. I didn’t read a lot of the comments because a lot of them were terrible but, the good news is, you guys were right, and I was a dumbass for believing my husband. I am relieved at the fact racism isn’t tolerated or accepted by the majority despite you thinking I am.
After my husband wrote this apology letter, he received support from people telling him that they were proud he was able to admit his racism and that he was willing to change. I was willing to work through this seeing that other people could forgive him and blah, blah, blah.
A day or two later, I was using our iPad and received a notification for a text from “Mom.” I looked at it and didn’t recognize the conversation until I realized it wasn’t MY mom, it was my MIL. I’m assuming my husband forgot to sign out of his Apple ID so it was linked to his account.
I read the text that MIL was disappointed that I and my kids happen to be of African American descent and that she didn’t expect this for her family but that we were tricked and we are one of the “good ones.”
My husband said he couldn’t believe it either but it’s not my fault my whore mother lied about laying with one of them and that he was going to make sure our kids don’t become one of the bad ones always on the news.
My husband still kept his attitudes that I previously posted per other texts with his mother. I realized there was was no hope for him to change so I am leaving my husband now.
I keep in contact with one of the wives of my husband’s ex-co-worker who moved some cities away and explained to her everything. They will allow me to stay with them until I can find someplace for me and my kids since they have the room. I do have a job so I do not rely on my husband my income.
Sorry for disappointing everyone when my husband gave me that bs story and crocodile tears. In hindsight, even then I should not have, I just wanted to believe there was hope my husband wasn’t racist but we live and learn.
I will not give an update after this because I am exhausted and am only thinking about my kids.
rhuthbarb responded with:
Wow. Good thing you learned their true feelings. Pretty disgusting. Too bad your husband isn’t one of the “good ones”.