Some secrets are too big to last forever, especially when you think the secret-keeper is in the wrong.
Redditor “Possible-Natural” shared on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit how he accidentally revealed that his big brother had a child with another woman.
The Redditor asked the thread:
“AITA for Exposing My Brother’s Secret Child?”
The Redditor explained how he’d carried a big secret in his even bigger family for over a decade.
“So I’m the middle child (24[Male]) of 6+ kids and my eldest brother Jake (37[Male]) and I are fairly close, but about 11 years ago while we were having a fun day at the beach the two of us had stopped at a grocery store to pick up some snacks and I noticed a picture in his wallet.”
“It looked a bit like me, but with darker skin and black hair, I told him I didn’t recall taking the picture jokingly and he told me it was his other kid Gavin.”
“On the way to the beach he told me how he had hooked up with a woman before he met his wife and they had a massive fight due to him not wanting to give up his dream of being a musician to move out of state with her.”
“So he had found out he had another kid and told me I couldn’t tell his wife. Being a dumb kid I swore I wouldn’t.”
After sitting on the secret for so long, when the child in question reached out, the Redditor couldn’t help but reach back.
“Fast forward to two weeks ago, I’m on Facebook and I get a friend request from Gavin (16[Male]). I didn’t realize who it was at first and was going to delete the request but then I recognized the picture and accepted.”
“We began talking and he seems like a really great kid. I told him a bit about his sister (12[Female]) And the other nieces and nephews.”
“He told me he was trying to get into contact with my brother (his dad) but that my brother hasn’t responded, I felt really bad cause myself and my siblings all grew up without our father so I went to talk with Jake.”
The Redditor’s older brother wasn’t too happy about the development.
“He wasn’t too keen about me talking with his kid. My defense was he was my nephew, and Jake didn’t like that and told me he hadn’t told his wife at all or his daughter.”
“I told him that he needs to be a father to his son. Then Jake tried to play coy and said Gavin might not actually be his kid, and implied that Gavin’s mom was a wh*re.”
“This p**sed me off cause our father did the same thing with my older brother Charlie.”
While arguing, the Redditor didn’t realize anyone else was home.
“We argued back and forth and were pretty loud, causIng my niece to come outside.”
“She heard me yell ‘He’s your godd**n son Jake!'”
“Honestly I didn’t know anyone was home besides Jake. My niece got very upset and I ended up being made to leave, I called my other brother Derek and he told me I should have minded my business.”
“Honestly I didn’t want my nephew to have to go through his life without a father. From what I’ve seen over the years Jake is a great dad.”
“So I guess it’s time to ask, Am I The A**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on the OP’s (Original Poster’s) situation, using the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some Redditors assured the OP was not the AH, but his brother was for trying to keep a child a secret.
“NTA. You didn’t out him on purpose. He’s TA for abandoning his child and lying to his family.” – SolelyCurious
“Yeah. He seems to only be a father when it’s convenient for him. Which makes him a shitty dad. NTA” – 5643yeeeeahright
“Abandoning your child, lying to your wife, and accusing the mother of your abandoned child of being a wh*re to evade responsibility isn’t enough to be considered TA?” – RickyNixon
“Being a deadbeat dad is unconditionally bad. Lying about it to your spouse and other children is unconditionally bad. There’s no saving this” – particledamage
“Also children are not secrets. A child’s existence will eventually come to light now. DNA testing has revealed a lot of these.”
“It was a matter of time at best.”
“And OP’s niece deserves a chance to know her brother.” – NeedsToShutUp
Others agreed and also said keeping such a secret from his wife was a new level of AH.
“If you’re in a long term relationship your partner deserves to know about any and all children that predate that relationship imo.” – Tomhap
“If I were the wife I would want to know. What if his mother decided to (rightfully) come after him for back child support? Or his child just pops up at a funeral. She should know that she’s married to a deadbeat.” – InfamousNoise8
A few others also pointed out the OP’s brother had already been ignoring his son for a while.
“How would you have known someone was at the house? It’s not your fault if that came up and some random person heard it.”
“I know all about not growing up with a father and it causes major problems I never talked to my father.”
“I see that as a mistake nowadays, you did the right thing by talking to him about his family, I mean he’s curious and wants to know more about his biological dad, I used to be the same.” – arami323
“And Gavin was already messaging his dad’s relatives after not getting a response from him, if the OP ignored him he would just have moved on to the next relative and the next. This secret had a rapidly expiring shelf life.” – bloody_lupa
“Base off this observation, I’d say not only are you NTA for everything you posted, but you are actually his guardian angel. By answering his son’s request, you gave him time before someone else found out (and someone else, and someone else).”
“And by telling him, you let him know the jig is up and that he needs to start coming clean. The niece being there and accidentally overhearing, just means he can’t put it off any longer.” – elvaholt
There’s no putting the cat back in the bag on this one, but according to fellow Redditors, perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing. After talking through the situation, hopefully this new development will make this big family a little bigger.