When the Original Poster (OP) admitted to a momentary lapse of fidelity, it spiraled her world into unforeseen challenges. From a tense divorce to her father’s cancer diagnosis and a dream cruise, culminating in the financial strain that threatens the education of her nephews, the family’s unity is put to the ultimate test.
Over the course of a year, OP has an affair with a colleague from work. When she chooses not to pursue a relationship with him, he retaliates by exposing their affair directly to her husband of ten years, John.
The Divorce Decision
Despite the betrayal, the divorce between OP and John remains largely amicable. They had grown apart in recent years and the love had dwindled. They focus on what’s best for their son, David.
The Home Remains
OP is adamant about keeping their large family home as it’s the place where she raised David. The house is very valuable at the current market rates. After negotiations, they find a way to make it possible.
A Father’s Diagnosis
Soon after the divorce, OP’s 70-year-old father is diagnosed with terminal cancer. His wish is to embark on one last family vacation, a cruise, a dream he’s long held, but never able to pull off until now.
The proposed Caribbean cruise clashes with John’s time to be with his son. OP seeks her ex-husband’s permission, which he doesn’t grant immediately, insisting he needs to discuss it with David first.
School Fees Knocking
David is an excellent student and attends a pricey private school, which John willingly finances due to his substantial income. John went to private school as a child which helped him get into Harvard upon graduation. He wants the same for his son.
The Sister’s Dependency
Before the divorce, John and OP were funding the education of her two nephews at the same school. Following the divorce, OP’s sister Susan sends the bill to John, hoping that the arrangement still holds. She is disappointed to find out it does not.
John declares they’re no longer family and refuses to pay Susan’s children’s tuition, signaling a clear boundary. He is on his own now, beholden only to his son. What if he remarries and has more children who he would also put through private school?
Susan believes her kids shouldn’t have to change schools just because her sister selfishly had an affair and ruined a good thing. She’s frustrated, feeling that it’s unjust for John to suddenly withdraw support.
OP’s parents attribute the predicament to her actions and recommend she sells the house to help Susan. They even propose she move in with them to save costs so that everyone can continue the lifestyle they had grown accustomed to.
Complications with the House Sale
OP is hesitant about selling the house, unsure that it will in anyway benefit her. The deed is set up so that David will inherit the property after her death, safeguarding it from any potential stepchildren.
John feels detached from OP’s family issues, suggesting if there’s money for a cruise, then others should help Susan through this phase. He doesn’t feel the need to step in and help settle her family’s affairs.
A Father’s Final Wish
OP doesn’t want to antagonize John as he hasn’t confirmed allowing David to join the cruise. She’s afraid of jeopardizing what might be her father’s last wish. She feels torn and alone with everyone voicing their own self-interest.
Overwhelmed with guilt, OP feels trapped between her own desires, and that of her family’s. She wants to support her nephews but lacks the financial means she once had. She realizes her affair and subsequent divorce has far-reaching consequences.
Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?
Distraught over the situation, OP posts her story online for feedback and advice. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “John is no longer paying the tuition, and I can’t blame him. The rest of your family should help here if they still want these two kids to go to that school.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Your financial status has changed. You can’t afford to pay for your nephews’ school anymore, but don’t sell your house.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “The sense of entitlement from your sister and your whole family to your money and your ex-husband’s money is a little amazing.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I can understand the difficulty of changing schools. However, it is not the end of the world. She can look at scholarship opportunities or other types of funding. But it should not fall on your shoulders to provide continued tuition for her kids.”