Woman Asks If She’s Wrong To Stop Giving Money To Her Dead Husband’s “Affair Child”

Sometimes a person’s secret other life can come out in surprising ways. Take this story from Reddit’s AITA forum, where a widow is wondering just how long she has to support her dead husband’s love child. The OP found out her husband had been having an affair when he died, and that the mistress was pregnant.

For 18 years, according to an agreement between the mistress and the OP, the OP has been putting money in a trust for that child’s future college tuition. Now that the child is 18, it’s time to make a clean break. But she’s facing some criticism from her family. 

“I (52f) am in an unusual situation and need an outside perspective but want to maintain my anonymity. 18 years ago it was revealed, at my husband’s funeral, he had a pregnant mistress (40f). Obviously I didn’t just take the woman’s word for it and stated that she wouldn’t get a cent until there was a DNA test. When it was proven true I was devastated but agreed to set up a trust for the child for college and agreed to let them live in one of my rental properties in a good area rent-free until her child was 18. She had to pay for utilities,” the OP says. 

“She agreed and I made it clear that I wasn’t going to do anything else for her or the child. I also made it clear that I wouldn’t take on the responsibility of fostering a relationship between our children and that it would be my husband’s side of the family’s job.” 

Twelve years later, the mistress’ child got sick and needed medical treatment. She didn’t have the money and reached out to the OP for some help. The OP told her that the original agreement was to borrow money from relatives and that the answer from her was no.

The mistress accused her of being a “monster,” but the OP reminded her she had already provided enough financial assistance, and that she could use some of the money from the college trust for the medical bills. 

“She agreed and her child pulled through. Now that the child is 18 and intending to go to college in the Fall of 2021 the mistress reached out to me about the trust and was upset when she found out that the amount was much less than what was originally agreed upon. I reminded her it was less because some of the money was used for the medical bills and that I never said I would put the money back in.”

“I also informed her that I was going to start charging her rent the following year and she would need to pay or move out. I didn’t care that she was upset because I was always straight forward about the situation but now my MIL and SIL are starting to say that it’s unfair to the child. I don’t see it that way because the mistress had at least 6 more years to figure something out.” 

Is the OP being too harsh here? Or has she already gone out of her way to help? 

“Blows my mind how much family members love to say it’s unfair when they’re not willing to lift a finger to help. Every time anyone mentions it to you from now on – ‘you’re more related to her than I am. You pay.’ Literally just repeat yourself. Expected to pay for the mistress’s kid’s college…unbelievable,” said neverseektotell

“My god. OP has done so much. Mistress has had 18 rent free years to figure her shit out and still can’t do it. And didn’t have to worry about her daughter’s medical bills and STILL had time to potentially replenish some of the money used. And didn’t. Incredible,” said el_deedee

“She was hoping for a free ride. No judge would entertain her if she tried anything legal. 18yrs of free rent plus college money that she pulled from before and didn’t replenish? She couldn’t save money or fix her credit after 18yrs of no rent? You fulfilled your agreement. You’re good,” noted danirdaniels

“I’m sure this discovery 18 years ago was devastating, but you (quite honorably) put your emotions aside for the sake and betterment of your husband’s child – with conditions. You also responded firmly, but not unkindly, when confronted with additional requests in the past. At 18, this child is an adult, and you have no obligation (nor had you any initially, but for many reasons chose otherwise) to provide anything other than a polite refusal. Your husband is long dead, his estate is settled, and she/they have no claims here,” said Gonebabythoughts

“Seems to me that MIL and FIL think that their precious baby boy did nothing wrong and that his widower has to pay for their equally precious baby grandchild to go to college. OP already gave the mistress a LOT more than what she deserved. If the mistress wants money she can take it up with the MIL and FIL since they’re so f—in’ interested. 18 years free rent, AND a college fund when OP has ZERO obligation to this child? Wow. This woman is generous af because if it were me I would’ve never agreed to a DNA test and told her to kick rocks. That’s just me though. And I would’ve told MIL and FIL to deal with it if they really want the child to be taken care of,” observed Sparklingemeralds

What would you do in this situation? 

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Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.