The Original Poster (OP) finds herself grappling with her husband’s increasing distance after an affair, navigating the emotional turmoil of her children, who desperately seek their father’s attention. As days become weeks with dwindling contact, a fateful night at a music festival brings matters to a head. With her daughter’s heartbreaking realization, OP is pushed to a breaking point, but an unforeseen revelation might change everything.
The Affair’s Aftermath
OP and her husband are separated due to an affair he started with a coworker a year and a half ago while OP was pregnant with their son. At the beginning of June, he moved 90 minutes away, closer to his former mistress-turned-girlfriend after the divorce proceedings were initiated.
The Father’s Promise
OP promises to co-parent, and although he broke his vow to his wife, he reaffirms his commitment to never abandon their one-year-old son and three-year-old daughter. Despite the distance, he expresses his desire to remain a constant presence in their lives.
Initial Efforts to Co-Parent
Initially, OP’s husband stays with the kids for a few hours every few days while OP runs errands and has some time to herself. He FaceTimes his daughter often, although their young son usually sleeps during these calls.
The Widening Gap
The frequency of visits and FaceTime calls declined to once a week, then every other week. By mid-July, the husband ceases his visits entirely. He barely communicates, not even asking about his son.
Financial Strains and Silence
While her husband doesn’t financially support the children, OP doesn’t ask for any favors since she earns three times his salary. She prioritizes her children’s emotional well-being over finances, wanting their father’s presence, afraid that asking for money will push him away.
A Daughter’s Heartbreak
Ten days pass with no call or text from the children’s father. The daughter, longing for her father, breaks down in tears. She tells OP she is afraid he doesn’t love her anymore and wants a new family.
Music Festival Excuse
OP texts her husband after their daughter’s emotional breakdown. He responds, saying he’s at a four-day music festival and can’t talk because of the noise and the amount he’s had to drink. Their daughter is devastated, feeling unloved.
Advocate or Accuser?
OP debates confronting her husband about his neglect. She doesn’t want to be seen as bitter but wants to stand up for her children’s rights to a caring father. Despite her self-sufficiency, OP starts considering putting aside potential child support for the kids’ futures.
Unveiling the Truth
OP discovers that the husband’s mistress is pregnant, adding another layer to the strained father-children relationship and OP’s own emotional turmoil. OP grapples with whether to tell her children about their forthcoming half-sibling.
A Hard Conversation
Fearing the impact on her children’s fragile emotional state, OP confronts her husband about the pregnancy. The discussion becomes a turning point in their relationship, emphasizing the importance of honesty and transparency.
OP and her husband share a raw moment, both realizing the extent of the damage caused by their actions and choices and acknowledging their shared love for their children. The couple agrees to begin therapy, not to reconcile, but to understand their roles as parents.
Seeking Professional Help
The couple addresses their personal traumas and how these impact their parenting. The husband acknowledges his negligence through therapy and commits to being a better father. Together, they work on establishing clear communication and co-parenting strategies.
A New Family Dynamic
The birth of the half-sibling brings challenges and opportunities. The children, while confused, begin to form bonds with their new sibling. OP reflects on the ordeal, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing children’s well-being.
Was The Mother’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and advice from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Co-parenting takes both sides commitment to the betterment of the children. That is not happening in your case. Frankly, you’re being too kind.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Get a divorce, get child support. I understand the prideful ‘I don’t want his money,’ but you have two young children. If you’re good without the money, open a savings account so they’ll at least have something positive from their father when they’re old enough.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “I grew up with siblings that had a different birth father from me, and I watched them get heartbroken repeatedly as he canceled on them. I always wished that guy had no contact with my family anymore.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “You aren’t co-parenting. Not even close. You should have a serious, calm conversation with him explaining how this impacts your daughter and that he will be a distant memory or a stranger who calls once in a while to your son if this continues.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.