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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DISCLAIMER: This is not from me. This is from another person on Reddit.

I'm not new to reddit. This is a throw away account for obvious reasons. I usually use reddit to talk about grilling/smoking/bbq, football, and electric guitars and amps. I'm a 54yo man with a 54yo wife who I've been married to for 33 years. We have three adult children. Daughters 29 and 26 and a son 22.



My wife and I have had a very normal loving marriage for 33 years (actually 33 as of next month). Sure we've had ups and downs over the years like any long-term relationship but we don't go to bed mad and we're each other's best friends. I'm a hopeless romantic. She's less mushy about romance but loves when I make romantic gestures and I do all the time. Love letters/texts/emails. Surprise date nights to do something fun (last one recently was a couple's cooking class and we had a blast). Sex every week usually Saturday and Sunday. Happy home. No complaints at all from either of us.



Quick background on me. I had a single mom and do not know my biological father. My mother kept every detail of him a secret and took that secret to the grave with her. My wife and our children have always wondered about that. This year for my birthday one of my children bought me a DNA test from Ancestry. They said we could maybe discover something about my biological father. Before I took it all the kids decided they wanted to take one too since they're bloodline also comes from my unknown father.



When we got our test results they were bizarre to say the least. I'm sure some of you have guessed but my oldest two children are not mine. We each got our results separately but the kids had been talking among themselves before they shared with us so they asked if we could do a family dinner at our house and they all came over. Dinner was fine but they wanted to talk to us about something.



Then the bombshell. They said they compared results and that the oldest two children are not my kids. The youngest is. They asked if we had anything to tell them. I said of course not, there has to be a mistake. I looked over at my wife and knew in an instant there was no mistake. She had a look of terror on her face like I've never seen before. At once this calm level-headed wonderful woman I've been married to for 33 years screamed out some kind of gibberish then ran for the bedroom and locked the door.



We all tried to get her to come out but to no avail. We're all freaking out at this point. She immediately texts our phones and asks that we all leave her alone for a couple hours to compose herself and then reconvene at the table and she'll join us. We did as she requested but I'll tell you what, that 2 hours felt like a lifetime and my brain was on overload as to what the hell was going on. I still figured this had to be some kind of mistake. Of course the girls were mine. Whose else would they be? My wife and I weren't partiers or swingers. We're Disney channel people, not Cinemax.



She comes out at about the 2 hour mark and asks the kids if they could please go and that she needed to talk to me alone and that she'd be sure to let them know what's going on as soon as she can. They protested vehemently but respected her request and left saying they'll be back if they don't hear something soon. I'm sitting there just blown away at this point like this isn't real. Like I'm watching a movie except that I'm in the movie.



She then tells me something that has caused permanent change in me. I hope not permanent but it feels permanent. She looks me straight in the eyes and says _____(my name), I had an affair many years ago. It was with ______ (one of our neighbors and friends from the same social circle at the time). It went on for about 4 years until I wised up and realized what a wonderful husband I had and that I needed to grow up and stop acting stupid. Then she put her hands on my cheeks to pull me in and still looking in my eyes said "you are my everything. I am your girl for life. I love you with all my heart. I did a very stupid and selfish thing many years ago. You did nothing wrong. You've been the best husband any woman could ever ask for and I hope we try to put this in perspective and recognize what a wonderful life we've had together and that we don't want this stupid, hurtful, mistake to ruin it." She then said she'd do whatever I wanted, answer any question, leave if I ask, but kept assuring me that I'm her everything and that once she realized how stupid she was being she's never even once thought about cheating on me for a second since it ended.



The man she cheated with is no longer alive. They didn't love each other but had convinced themselves that this sexual outlet from their marriages made them better spouses.



-What devastates me is that my daughters are not my biological children. They are also devastated. They want to know details about this man since he's their real father and that also kills me. They both assure me that I'm their father and they love me with all their hearts but we all know I'm not their father. The other man was. It's also worth noting that until this DNA test, my wife also never knew for sure.

-What devastates me is that the woman I held in the highest regard as far as love, respect, esteem, etc. carried on an affair for years. The woman that has loved me and honored me for decades also betrayed me.

-What devastates me is the question, was my whole adult life to this point a lie? Was my entire marriage a lie? Is nothing real in this world? She has been an amazing wife and partner. I've had ZERO complaints my entire marriage, even when she was cheating.

-What devastates me is this man died a few years ago of cancer and that I can't go talk to him man to man and possibly punch his lights out.

-What devastates me is that I was her first and only (I had only 1 previous teenage awkward quickie in the back seat of a car with a former girlfriend before my wife but that was it for me). Now I find out she was having regular sex with this man for years. How can I get over that?



This all happened pretty recently. Next month is our 33rd anniversary and I just don't know what to do. I asked her to leave and she has been staying with her sister and her husband. She is absolutely devastated. So am I.



Everyone I've talked with about this says that I've had an amazing life with my wife, she's a great wife and mother, she made a horrible mistake when she was very young, and to not let this ruin us. I get that over and over and logically I know that's all true but my heart right now is not being logical.



I was really happy with my life. I loved my wife and children with all my heart. Can I ever get back to that state or has this revelation permanently altered the course of my life? I'm absolutely lost right now and honestly wish I was dead. I'm very seriously considering taking care of that. If I can't forgive her and forget this then I'm going to kill myself. I have no interest in living a different life then what we've had. I'm not that fond of the world anyway except for my family.



Thanks for reading.

9/18/18 UPDATE: Thank you all for the support. It's so much to read and absorb. I'm still numb and in shock. I'm going to take some time for that to wear off before I consider my future. I've talked to my sister-in-law and she said my wife is a blubbering mess. Telling her she always knew this was going to come back to haunt her and that she had tried so hard over the years to make up for what she had done. They're trying to get her to go to a shrink, the same as my friends and family are trying to do for me. I haven't decided to stay in this world or not. I'm still thinking on it. I have no fear of dying, I've had a great life to this point. I have zero interest in any other life. A new life, a changed life, whatever. That doesn't appeal to me. I have to figure out if there is a path back to the life I had built with my wife and family. If there is, I'll stay. If not, I won't. Thank you again to everyone who took their own personal time to respond. I have read and thought about each and every response and will continue to do so. It's nice to think that the world is so cruel that a bunch of strangers wouldn't try to help someone they've never met. I'll post another update in the future. Thank you all again.
Source

Here is part 2.
 

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It's hard to put myself in that situation. I think my inclination would be to file for divorce immediately and start living. But having read this forum enough, I know that sometimes when you're presented with the reality of it, 33 years of marriage, you might end up feeling very differently. The level of deception is profound. She knew all along that the kids might not be his.
 

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I literally started crying halfway through this post for this man. And for HIS children (yes, they are his because he raised them their whole lives. Full stop.). What a...horrible thing for her to do. FOUR YEARS???? Ugh, I won't even say what I think of her. Sure, it's easy for her to be all Lifetime movie about it now....

As far as him? Well, he doesn't sound like the kind of cad who is going to disown the grown daughters he raised - good for him. However, he should feel NO shame if he decides he's done with this wife. And honestly, as far as the kids go, I wouldn't blame them if they were done with her too. She lied to ALL of them, even if she didn't know about the DNA.

My heart breaks for this man.

I would be interested to hear, however, what YOU would do. I assume you would never again speak to the children you raised?
 

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Better this way than to find out your spouse of 33 years has been cheating on you for the last 4 years. In this case I think couples counseling should be the first step. Yes it would be hard to swallow, but think about it. They got married when they were very young. Young people do stupid things, make mistakes and (hopefully) learn and grow from them. It sounds like that is exactly what happened.
Was it crappy that she kept that secret for so many years? Yes it was. It was incredibly selfish of her. But it appears as though she learned from experience and once she did she acted and lived accordingly. This is not to excuse her. There is a huge rift in the trust bond that once existed and she (both actually) have a lot of work to do to repair it.
In regards to his daughters, this should not change a single thing. He raised the girls and he is better than their father, he is their dad! He needs to reassure them that this changes nothing between he and they.
If I were in his shoes I would try to work it out.
 
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For me, marriage over. The kids father is the person who posted this sad tale of a lie lived for 30 some years. Relationship with the kids would continue if this were me. They, I'm sure are just as devastated. The marriage is based on a lie and needs to be terminated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Better this way than to find out your spouse of 33 years has been cheating on you for the last 4 years. In this case I think couples counseling should be the first step. Yes it would be hard to swallow, but think about it. They got married when they were very young. Young people do stupid things, make mistakes and (hopefully) learn and grow from them. It sounds like that is exactly what happened.
Was it crappy that she kept that secret for so many years? Yes it was. It was incredibly selfish of her. But it appears as though she learned from experience and once she did she acted and lived accordingly. This is not to excuse her. There is a huge rift in the trust bond that once existed and she (both actually) have a lot of work to do to repair it.
In regards to his daughters, this should not change a single thing. He raised the girls and he is better than their father, he is their dad! He needs to reassure them that this changes nothing between he and they.
If I were in his shoes I would try to work it out.
This is WAY worse than your spouse of 33 years cheating on you for the last 4 years; This evolved into Paternity Fraud. Lying to relatives, lying to in-laws, lying to her son, lying to her husband, and lying to her daughters. The wife had every intention of keeping her rolls in the hay a secret perpetually and beyond the day she died. She robbed her husband of his decision to continue staying with an adulterous wife and raising her two children she created from acts of deception. The wife is simply a coward who chose the easier alternative. Do I tell my husband I've been having an affair for four years and potentially become a single mother with a life full of stress? Or do I keep my mouth closed and continue living my cushy life afforded to me by my naive, trusting husband and thus avoiding any stress and real consequences to my actions? You're correct that young people do stupid things and make mistakes but that doesn't mean you should be devoid of morality and that they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions. She acted and lived accordingly so as not to disrupt her peaceful lifestyle. We also only have one side of the story from her account. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there is more to this story. Repair this marriage?! Don't make me laugh. I've seen people divorce for much less than this. This is decades of manipulation and deceit.
 

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This is WAY worse than your spouse of 33 years cheating on you for the last 4 years; This evolved into Paternity Fraud. Lying to relatives, lying to in-laws, lying to her son, lying to her husband, and lying to her daughters. The wife had every intention of keeping her rolls in the hay a secret perpetually and beyond the day she died. She robbed her husband of his decision to continue staying with an adulterous wife and raising her two children she created from acts of deception. The wife is simply a coward who chose the easier alternative. Do I tell my husband I've been having an affair for four years and potentially become a single mother with a life full of stress? Or do I keep my mouth closed and continue living my cushy life afforded to me by my naive, trusting husband and thus avoiding any stress and real consequences to my actions? You're correct that young people do stupid things and make mistakes but that doesn't mean you should be devoid of morality and that they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions. She acted and lived accordingly so as not to disrupt her peaceful lifestyle. We also only have one side of the story from her account. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there is more to this story. Repair this marriage?! Don't make me laugh. I've seen people divorce for much less than this. This is decades of manipulation and deceit.
All this the very reason divorce would be completed as quickly as possible. Horrible the lies perpetrated to H and kids. I would be surprised if any talk to this woman at all after this revelation.
 

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This bears a striking semblance to Ambivalent One's posting on SI. Similar situation, LTA with an acquaintance that died nine years into the affair. The thread was called Dazed and Confused, and unfortunately, in January/February of this year, the WW took her own life. She too knew instinctively that this would eventually come back. She was not prepared for the sudden end to her marriage, and the asset split meeting, the one that I conduct regularly, drove the point home that her marriage was done, she had killed it nine years earlier, and she kept the zombie marriage alive by complete omission of the affair. Ambivalent one and his two daughters are left with nothing but detrius that she left in the wake of her affair. TotallyLostMan is suicidal at the thought of his world imploding. His wife one way or another is going to pay for this, and I predict that it will not be pleasant. One of my clients put his wife out of the family home. Their youngest was not his, and he discovered the LTA, then had DNA testing done on all of his children. He knew that his STBXW would crumble if one of the kids turned on her, so he said the most despicable thing in front of the youngest. "Take your bastard with you" The kid hears this, turns to his mother and says, "Is this true?" She answers yes, and the kid proceeds to go off on her. Called his mother a useless *****, and how can she live with herself. She fell apart. Near catatonic. He told his youngest to drive his mother to their grandparents, if he wanted to come home he could, mom was out. She was basically NMC for months following, and as soon as she was healthy enough, she was served.

I try to put myself into my client's shoes when this sort of thing rears its ugly head. In this case, given that he is father to one of his three children, and he was living a life that was a falsehood propagated by a wife that was in CYA mode for nearly thirty years. My first thought would be to drain everything financially, grab my passport, and get lost for a few months or years. Yes, I am a son of a ***** for saying that. What? he's going to leave her high and dry without a penny? Abandon his children? Well there would be one **** of a goodbye note to the kids saying that Mom should find out what life is like as a single after having grifted her husband into supporting, accepting and loving two kids that were not his. I have counselled one BH to take his wife to court, the filing was not done to exact revenge on her, but the corollary outing would have embarrassed the hell out her family that was fairly affluent. My client's FIL paid him a significant amount to keep his mouth shut. Of course that did not outlive the FIL, and my client had a significant bone to pick that ten times the amount of money would not salve, so day or two after the funeral, he tells the full story to her family. His ExWW had a very extended vacation away from everyone, as shall we say, she and her family were held up to intense ridicule. (They were church deacons, pillars of the community, and could not live down their daughter's indiscretion, made worse because the father of the children, was a servant)
 

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This would be so devastating and life-altering, the first few days or so after the reveal I think I wouldn't be able to get off the floor, or eat, or drink or do anything. They say God gives you what you can handle but damn. Their entire life was a lie. It's crazy how history repeats itself sometimes. This woman did the same thing the husband's mother did to him - kept paternity a secret. I feel awful for everyone involved except the wife. Imagine being the kids.
 

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"you are my everything. I am your girl for life. I love you with all my heart. I did a very stupid and selfish thing many years ago. You did nothing wrong. You've been the best husband any woman could ever ask for and I hope we try to put this in perspective and recognize what a wonderful life we've had together and that we don't want this stupid, hurtful, mistake to ruin it."

There are about 10 billion things wrong with what she said and how she said it. No remorse, no apology, no acknowledgment of the devastation and lifetime of lying. And using a fear tactic to keep him in the marriage - "I hope we try to put this in perspective." If it took her two hours to come up with that she has no remorse in her body.
 

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Bruce you bet me to this i saw this yesterday and I thought about this guy the entire day and morning, i felt so so sad for him and trying to place myself in his shoes i could see where you could see your life was a partial lie, but honestly i would rather see the wife take her life over his....she is the one that instilled this deception from the beginning. But one thing for sure i could never look in her face again with out being angry and hurt...I had thought of sending here but not sure if your allowed to do that on Reddit.
 

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a 4 year lifestyle of cheating is not a stupid, hurtful mistake.

It would take about 6 months for my love to turn to hate, and I'd say gtho.

I'd love the two kids just like my bio kids. But I'd hate my wife for the fact that I'd have to think of the 2 kids that I loved so much not carrying my genes.
If this is a true story, it's beyond sad.
 

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Wow. Just, wow. I am not a man, but damn this was hard to read. Based on what kind of man the author seems to be, seems to me he should divorce her ASAP and keep the relationship with the kids going status quo. I don't imagine he will abandon them, he doesn't seem the type, despite the horror he has been handed.

One thing about this that kills me (among all of it)… the wife I'm sure KNEW that they were doing this DNA thing, and she just remained clammed up about it. She had to know the potential repercussions of the results! And she just sat there?? I guess she was silently hoping/praying it would come out that he indeed was their father, and her life of deception would just keep going until she died.

UGH.
 

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I really don't know what I would do if I were in his shoes other than take a good long time to sit and think with her out of the house while I made my decision. It's so much easier when you catch a spouse in the middle of the affair and you can just blow it up and change your life direction. But there's something harder about it being in the past especially if your spouse had tried to make up for it.
 

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First, he should D asap. I would never want to look at that woman again. Parental Fraud ... especially long term ... is as bad of a betrayal as there is.

D'ing first also has another added ... albeit darker ... benefit. If the OP is serious about wanting out of this life, if he D's first, at least his portion of the marital assets will go to his kids rather than his W.

If I was serious about suicide in this situation, I'd make damn sure the W didn't profit from her deception and betrayal.
 
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