He Refused to Cover His Ex-wife’s Affair Child’s College Tuition and Said, “I’m Not Her Father!” Now He’s Slammed for “Punishing” an Innocent Child for Her Mom’s Mistakes! Was He Wrong?

This Redditor turned to the community for help after his ex-wife pressured him to cover her affair child’s college education. He already paid for child support, so why should he be responsible for this, too?

The Harsh Truth

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OP (Original Poster) legally has three children with his ex-wife: Adam, who is 23; Chris, who is 21; and Sophie, who is 18. The first two children are biologically his, but Sophie is actually his wife’s affair child; he learned about his wife’s affair when she was rushed to the emergency room at two years old.

So, two months after discovering the truth, OP filed for divorce and was granted 50/50 custody of their shared children. However, as Sophie was legally considered his child, he had to pay her child support.

Bitterness and Resentment

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OP felt bitter and resented the idea of having to support Sophie since she’s not his biological child. He tried to fight it but eventually decided to bear it to “save himself the stress.”

Despite accepting this responsibility, he made it clear to his ex-wife that he has no intention of taking on any further obligations as Sophie’s father apart from paying child support. Even so, he would try to be polite and treat her with respect.

Clearing Things Out

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OP later explained that the kids were aware of the reason behind their divorce. His ex-wife admitted to them that Sophie resulted from a one-night stand, but she doesn’t know who the father is; without the biological father in the picture, OP was the one thrown in the deep and required to support Sophie.

He wrote, “Just because Sophie wasn’t mine and I was treated as such doesn’t mean that I was horrible to the girl. I also made sure that my children knew that what happened between their mother and me was not Sophie’s fault and they should never be mean to her.”

Marrying a Package Deal

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After some time, OP met a woman whom he learned to trust. He went on to marry her, and he knew that she and her 17-year-old daughter, Katie, would be a package deal.

He accepted this and did everything possible to be there for his new stepdaughter.

Making Things Work

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Despite the many ups and downs of starting a new relationship, OP built a “great family life” for himself.

OP said, “We’d have family nights. I attended most after-school events, took my family on fun vacations and put my sons through school, and paid for their apartments and cars. They were on their own for gas money.”

A Social Media Slip-up

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When OP’s second biological son, Chris, approached his graduation, OP posted on social media to share his relief. In his post, he said he only had one more kid to put through school.

The Unexpected Request

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A few days later, however, his mood turned sour when his ex-wife contacted him out of the blue, demanding he shoulder Sophie’s college expenses on his own since the pandemic has made “money tight.”

Confused, OP asked her what she meant and reminded her that his legal obligation toward OP ended when she turned 18. He also clarified that the post referred to Katie’s education.

More Drama

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Things got pretty heated when OP’s ex-wife expressed her anger and questioned why OP was willing to support Katie and not Sophie. She argued that neither of them were related to him.

OP then answered, “I knew upfront Katie wasn’t my biological child and agreed to care for her instead of being conned into doing it like I was for Sophie.”

Sophie’s Heartbreak

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After his conversation with his ex-wife, Sophie contacted OP and said she felt hurt and left out. She asked him why he “hated” her so much to have her feel so “excluded.”

OP assured Sophie that he doesn’t hate her and that nothing about the situation is her “fault,” but the circumstances defined their relationship. He said, “The simple truth is that it wasn’t personal. I’m just not her father.”

Unknown Biological Father

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It turns out that Sophie was hopeful when OP made a post, thinking it would be the validation that her mom had promised. But it wasn’t, leading to more “chaos.”

Sophie started to call her mom “horrible names” and demanded to know her biological father. OP’s ex-wife refused and told her if she was going to be “disrespectful,” she had to live elsewhere.

A Startling Revelation

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This turned into a heated argument between OP’s ex-wife and Sophie, and it ended with Sophie being forced to leave the house. His sons contacted him about what happened, and as a result, Sophie is now staying with him, his current wife, and Katie.

OP tried to establish boundaries, but his ex-wife persistently told Sophie that if she behaved well and excelled at school, OP would consider her as his “daughter” once again. This was his ex’s tactic to make Sophie more “obedient.”

The Ripple Effect

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Since then, OP’s sons informed him that Sophie became “really depressed.” His ex-wife is also

placing the blame on him, telling him it’s his fault Sophie felt this way.

Even so, OP doesn’t see how he has anything to do with what’s happening to Sophie.

DNA Testing

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In an edit, OP added that he was aware that having a different blood type doesn’t automatically mean that someone isn’t your child.

So, during Sophie’s stay with him, OP collected DNA samples from her and sent them for testing. However, the result confirmed that she is not his biological daughter.

The Comeback of Negative Feelings

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Everything happening has caused OP’s pain to resurface, putting him in a “bad place” again. He is struggling with how to confront his ex-wife and how to deal with Sophie.

“I feel like such a fool,” he wrote.

Trying to Find a Solution

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OP also shared that, for the longest time, he felt like he needed therapy to deal with everything that was happening. So, he thought that perhaps talking to a professional “won’t hurt.”

He said, “I thought I buried my anger and hurt toward my ex years ago, but now new information has been revealed that’s just making me angry all over again.”

The Community’s Take on the Matter

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Some Redditors supported OP’s perspective, stating he bears no legal obligations toward Sophie. They also praised him for what he had done for her over the years.

One commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. You have no legal or moral obligation to Sophie; you’ve done more for her than you ever should have had to do. They are simply using you for money, and that’s very disgraceful of them. One would think your sons would understand that as well, and your ex is despicable for making Sophie call you and be expecting you to pay for her college.”

The Unseen Costs of a Mother’s Mistake

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However, some users believe that OP’s decision was not wise and could result in Sophie being unfairly burdened with her mother’s mistakes.

One user said, “You’re the a**hole—you and your wife both. As much as you want to deny that she’s family, no matter how you cut it, she is. That was your role in her life that you accepted when she was born. Biologically, at the very least you have to acknowledge that she’s your sons’ little sister, and legally, on paper, she is your daughter.”

The same person added, “Yes, what your wife did was despicable. She lied to you and cheated on you and got pregnant by another man, and tore your and your family’s entire life apart in the process. But people aren’t lies. Sophie wasn’t a lie. She loved you, and still loves you, like all kids love their dads, and you can explain it to everyone as many times as you want, as calmly and politely as you can muster, but it’s not gonna make any difference, especially not to Sophie.”

Do you think OP is really leaving Sophie to bear the burden of her mom’s mistake? How would you navigate such a challenging situation if you were in OP’s shoes?

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This post first appeared as He Refused to Cover His Ex-wife’s Affair Child’s College Tuition and Said, “I’m Not Her Father.” Now He’s Slammed for “Punishing” Her for Her Mom’s Mistakes! Was He Wrong? on Quote Ambition.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.