Most of us have at least one terrible ex story that would leave our listeners cringing.
But fortunately, there aren’t so many of us who can say that one of our exes gave us an unbearable, life-long “gift.”
Not so for one guy on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After discovering what his ex-wife had done, Redditor jthorne20212021 considered filing a lawsuit against her.
But with the gravity of his idea, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he would be taking it too far.
He asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) for suing my ex-wife for giving me an STD?”
The OP’s wife had a secret.
“So back in 2015 after 10 years of marriage, my wife Jane got an itch and cheated.”
“She cheated on me with the one person I can say I hate, my cousin Bill.”
“Bill ended up giving her herpes, which was unfortunately passed on to me unknowingly.”
The OP’s ex then shared a rumor with everyone.
“When she found out she had herpes, Jane went scorched earth on me in order to save her own face.”
“She shouted to the high heavens that I had cheated, something I’ve always denied, and used herpes as proof of my invalidity.”
“Bill kept his mouth shut, and I didn’t know at the time she was cheating with him.”
“Then she tried to pressure me into confessing and going to marriage counseling.”
“I refused and she filed for divorce in 2016.”
The OP’s life was rough after that.
“With everyone I’ve ever known in my life on her side, the last 5 years have been awful for me.”
“I’ve until this pandemic rarely seen my 2 sons, until she and the majority of her family got [the virus], and they came to live with me during the summer of 2020.”
“I lost my job because my boss told me he didn’t trust cheaters.”
“I lost all my friends, and it was hard starting out from scratch.”
“My family had basically disowned me for cheating on my ‘amazing’ wife.”
“2016, before she started dragging me through the dirt, was the last time my family invited me to any event.”
The OP then found out the truth.
“Then this pandemic brought me another thing.”
“Bill was hospitalized with [the virus] in January 2021, nearly dying.”
“He took his survival as a Sign of God and started to become a somewhat devote Catholic.”
“He decided to reach out to me on the advice of his priest to ask for forgiveness on Friday.”
“He confessed he has a year-long affair with Jane, and it was him who gave her herpes.”
Bill then offered to help the OP.
“I forgave him but said this confession alone wouldn’t help me, since Jane had dragged me through the mud.”
“He offered to make his confession public.”
“Then I asked what he would do if she denies it.”
“He said he had texts of the affair, that she knew she had herpes 3 months before she went scorched earth on me, pictures and videos of their affair, some of which he had sent me as proof.”
The OP considered taking the next step.
“We lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the time, and state law allows me to sue.”
“So WIBTA if I were to sue my ex-wife?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP should absolutely sue the ex-wife.
“NTA. Sue her for everything. And make sure everyone knows about it and why.” – ThatB***hBengali
“NTA. You practically lost everything cos of her. She cheated and gave you an incurable STD but she got to be hailed the Saint.”
“If you have the legal grounds to sue then do it.” – MoodySpidey
“NTA. She intentionally ruined your life. The least you should get is some money out of it.” – eurotrashprince
“NTA. The loss of your job is the biggest thing. If you have proof your boss fired you because he believed you to be a cheater, and also have proof your ex-wife lied, that’s the definition of libel and she absolutely needs to compensate you for that loss.”
“I’d also go after her for a better custody agreement based on the fact she lied, and heck, you could even try and go after her for medical bills related to your herpes and pain and suffering for the long term damage having an STD can do to you, and any future intimate relationships you might want to pursue.”
“Get copies of those texts, emails, videos, or whatever else your cousin has ASAP, get his statement in writing ASAP, then take the tramp to court.” – TheBearWillBeFine
“NTA. Op please do sue the hell out of this woman for everything you can, the std, adultery, defamation, parental alienation everything.”
“She ruined your life and attempted to take your children from you to save face for her fuck up. She deserves to be repaid tenfold. Get your life back.”
“Also, screw your family.” – Alphawolf5916
Others agreed with suing but advised sorting out all the details first.
“Many states allow you to count lost wages and business opportunities in damages for defamation and some other causes of action, and depending on what exactly happened and the local laws, he may have some derivation of business interference or other items he could sue her for.” – ShadowObserver
“I agree with this. But I hope OP finds a lawyer who provides a realistic assessment of what the case will cost to bring, versus the potential financial return from winning. The juice might not be worth the squeeze.” – excoriator
“A lawyer (me) would look at this and say: ‘If we get a judgment against Jane, can she pay or any part of it (i.e., where will my fee come from)?'”
“So, the question becomes whether Jane can pay any part of a judgment. If she’s judgment-proof (can’t pay) then a) it’ll be tough to find a lawyer to take the case, and b) even if OP did find a lawyer the whole exercise would be an expensive waste other than to make a point. There is not a remedy for every wrong, at least in court.” – billhorsley
“I would say NTA with a massive asterisk at the end. If Jane has assets that are worth seizing and there is a good chance he can get them, I say go for it.”
“However, a legal case will consume time and money and even if you win leave you emotionally drained. It will drag up a bunch of pain from that past that will not be healthy.”
“I think OP would be an AH to himself if he does this and there is no benefit to him aside from revenge. Either way, he still has herpes, he still was hurt by a bunch of people who should have had his back, and he is not getting that job back (and would he want it at this point anyway?).”
“If Jane is judgment proof (doesn’t have any money), then what’s the point of putting yourself through all that?” – tofarr
With the OP’s newfound knowledge at the end of the pandemic, he wondered if he would be wrong to move forward with suing his ex-wife, and the subReddit gave him a resounding yes. Though some suggested doing all of his research first and carefully weighing his options, no one criticized his line of thinking and seemed hopeful he would get his life back.