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Mom Feels 'Guilty' For Refusing To Help Her Ex-Husband Raise His Children After His Wife Passes Away

Photo: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley / Shutterstock
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A woman has been accused of being both "selfish" and "cruel" for not wanting to become a mother figure to her ex-husband's children.

Posting to the subreddit r/AITAH, a 44-year-old woman revealed that her ex-husband's wife recently passed away and, as a result, she's being asked to take on responsibilities that she doesn't want.

She feels guilty for refusing to help her ex-husband raise his kids after his wife passed away.

In her since-deleted Reddit post, the woman explained that she has two 10-year-old sons with her 46-year-old ex-husband. Their marriage ended after she found out he was cheating on her with another woman, who later became his wife. The pair had two children together, a 5-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son.



Despite the way their marriage ended, the woman and her ex remained civil with each other for the sake of their children. They agreed that she would have their sons during the week, while he would have them on the weekends. Their arrangement worked well and he would often bring his other children around when he came to pick up their sons. 

The woman noticed that they were good kids, but his wife would rarely speak to her. Still, she was friendly enough and was never mean to her children, which she claimed was the most important thing. Unfortunately, her ex-husband's wife ended up passing away, which sent him into a deep depression.

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"My sons were worried about their siblings. So I spoke to my ex and he said they were fine. My sons asked if they could have their siblings stay over and after asking my ex he was okay with it. This started happening often and it did give my ex time to get help with his depression," she recalled in her Reddit post. 

Mom Feels Guilty For Refusing To Help Her Ex-Husband Raise His Children After His Wife Passes AwayPhoto: shurkin_son / Shutterstock

When she found that her ex-husband was doing better emotionally, she suggested that he start spending more time with his children because she'd noticed that his kids were getting attached to her. He took her advice, but his kids kept asking for their other siblings and to be at her house. 

"My ex suggested we take them out on weekends together, which now that I think about it, [I] shouldn't have agreed to," she continued.

She ended up getting a better job offer soon after which would provide her better pay, but meant that she would be moving pretty far away from her current home. When she told her sons about the move, they were excited about the change but admitted that they would miss their dad and siblings.

When her ex-husband learned of the move from her sons, he was not happy.

He called her and argued that it wasn't right for her to move their sons away.

"I said we can come visit when I visit my parents. But he wasn't listening and said his kids are going to be upset," she wrote. "I said I'm sorry about that but he will have to deal with it. He called me cruel and heartless and then hung up on me." 

The accusations didn't stop there, and shortly after, she got a call from her ex's parents, who claimed that she was being "selfish" for leaving when their other two grandkids needed a "mother figure" in their lives.

Now, she feels guilty for moving and is being hounded by other family members who agree that she should stay and care for her ex-husband's children.

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People agreed that she wasn't wrong for choosing to put her own life and kids first.

"Your ex's family needs a reality check," one Redditor wrote. "You got a better job opportunity, and your sons are excited about the move. You're not taking away his kids, you're making choices for your own life. They should focus on supporting your ex instead of guilt-tripping you." 

Another user added, "You are not responsible for a man just because you had his children. It is insane to expect you to mother your ex's children because the woman he left you for died. It is cruel to guilt you over that, and the people doing it are selfish people."

"It is okay to want to take this job and relocate. What you will want to do is ensure your kids still get to see their dad with relative frequency," a third user advised. "As for the other children, it will be hard for them, but they have their father, his family, and presumably their mother’s family for support."

Mom Feels Guilty For Refusing To Help Her Ex-Husband Raise His Children After His Wife Passes AwayPhoto: shurkin_son / Shutterstock

This woman's sole responsibility is to be there for her children and to make sure they have a good life and are prepared to be successful adults in the future. As heartbreaking as it is that her ex-husband's children no longer have their mother with them, they still have their father, and he is the one who must step up and be there for them during such a grueling time in their lives.

It's disheartening that he's leaning on his ex-wife to fill the gap that his late wife left in their children's lives. She's done all that she could in a time when he needed it, and for that, he should be grateful.

She allowed him time to grieve on his own while she cared for his kids, but, at the end of the day, his kids need him, not his ex-wife. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.