Some backstory, when my son Nathan was 2, he met a friend in his daycare class, who we’ll call Abby. Her dad, Jack, was one of the only other single parents there as his wife had left after Abby was born. Jack and I bonded over our children and ended up dating for a year and a half before getting married, and we had our daughter Eliza less than a year later.
Jack and I always raised all three of our children the same, and though they knew that Nathan had a different dad and Abby had a different mum, we had never thought to question if they saw each other as siblings.
Then, last week, Abby and Nathan sat Jack and I down and told us that they had something important to say. Abby started in about how for the past few years her and Jack had been in a romantic relationship. She said that it happened after they were both adults, that they had gone to relationship counselling when it first started and that they were seriously thinking about marriage. Nathan then told us that they had admitted to having feelings for each other as teenagers, but had never acted on it because they were afraid of ruining their friendship, hurting each other, and most of all what we would think.
At this point, Jack looked at me, grabbed my hand and hugged our children. He told them that he was sorry for us keeping them apart and that he ‘could tell how happy they are together’. I just got up and left.
Where I might be the a****ole:
My husband is right, they do look happy together. In fact, I’ve never seen my son or daughter happier. But I just can’t accept this. I haven’t responded to any of their messages or calls, and pretended I wasn’t home when they tried to visit during the day. I’ve been fighting with Jack since this happened, even so far as telling him that if it were my choice they would never have my blessing, and I would put them both in therapy for having incestuous desires. This really upset him, and the fighting got so bad that I had him sleep in the guest house. I’ve never gone this long without talking to my children. I’ve never fought my husband. I have no idea how to navigate this, and every time I think about it their whole relationship just makes me sick and angry. That being said, I know I’m hurting my children. I know I’m hurting my husband.
Where Jack might be the a*****ole:
Since Abby and Nathan told us of their relationship, Jack has been going on tirades about how unsupportive I am, about how bad of a mother I am, and about how I didn’t do this to Eliza (she’s gay, and he’s been comparing her and her girlfriends relationship to Nathan and Abby’s). He’s even threatened me with divorce, how he would get full custody of Eliza (she’s 17) and how he would “take me to the cleaners” if I didn’t accept our children. He hasn’t talked to Nathan or Abby about my reaction, but he has threatened to. So am I a A******ole?
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: