“For all of my children, I paid for their college education, got them cars on their 16th birthdays, you name it. Lucas and Charlotte went to medical school, and I paid for their tuition. They’re in residency now, and I pay the rent for both of their apartments.”
This dad was talking about his four children, two of whom (Paul and Ruby) were his ex-wife’s kids by a previous marriage. Lucas is their own son, and Charlotte is Lucas’s girlfriend whom OP and his current wife decided also to support since she came from an abusive family.
As OP has already mentioned, the four kids are now adults and on their way to a bright future after his teaching them how to be independent while providing for their needs and comforts.
However, OP wrote in his post how his ex-wife was resorting to guilt-tripping so she could make him support her youngest daughter, Marissa: “The other day, [my ex-wife] told me she needed me to start helping Marissa the way I help Charlotte. Marissa is the child she has with her current husband. I told my ex-wife Marissa is not my child and that I want the best for her because she’s the half-sister of three of my children, but I will not be contributing financially.”
His ex-wife reacted with unreasonable anger, claiming that “Charlotte is not his daughter until their son marries her and that OP is just punishing Marissa because of who her father is.”
But OP refused to be manipulated by his ex-wife’s guilt-tripping tactics. As far as he is concerned, he has already given his best for his four children, all of whom he has treated as his own.
Does his refusal to financially support Marissa, whose parents have jobs as federal employees, make OP a bad character?
Many AITA Reddit members did not think so; in fact, they told OP that he’s an exceptionally generous man.
One Redditor wrote, “So to clarify, Paul and Ruby are not biologically yours. That being said, you treat them and pay for them as if they were biologically yours because they existed prior to your marriage to your ex-wife. Incredibly kind and generous. Especially when your ex-wife split and ended things with you. Your ex-wife and you had a kid together, Lucas, you take 100% financial responsibility and treat him like your child because he his. Congratulations for being a decent parent.
“Now there’s Charlotte, who you’ve known since she was what like 10? Came from a horrible home life, and you became her legal guardians at 14. So again you treat someone who isn’t actually your own child like your own and take financial care of them. Very admirable. The question comes into play about Marissa, who is your ex wife’s new child. So she’s related to Paul, Ruby, and Lucas. Aside from that, you’ve never taken care of her or been responsible for her because you’re not with her mom and her mom has a husband. NTA.”
Another Reddit user expressed the same opinion: “I wholeheartedly agree. Rarely have I thought of someone as the embodiment of the term ‘class act,’ but for me to call OP anything less would feel like a disservice. OP is a wholesome reminder that wonderful people are out there, quietly improving the lives of those they love. You’ve done so much for your children. They’re lucky to have you as their father.
“As for Marissa, she isn’t your responsibility. Where is her dad in this situation? Also, just because you have the financial means to help someone doesn’t mean you should or are obligated to in any way. Don’t let your ex-wife take advantage of you and your resources.”
Meanwhile, another AITA member had to ask: “Is your ex of sound mind, or has she always had this entitled audacity?”Whizzco