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Single Dad Upset After Finding Out The ‘Toxic’ Mother Of His Child Is Now Pregnant With His Brother’s Baby

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Toxic relationships are, unfortunately, something most of us experience in our lifetimes.  Relationships can be toxic across the board: meaning, toxicity isn’t limited to romantic partners.  It can be parents, it can be friends, it can be siblings, or it can be all of the above.

Reddit user AITAthrowaway18364 found himself in a tough situation where he was dealing with two different kinds of toxic relationships showing up out of the woodwork in one single moment, leading up to a stressful announcement.

Being caught in the middle of the situation, AITAthrowaway18364 made a strong choice and was criticized by other parties involved.  Unsure if he handled the situation correctly, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for further clarification:

“AITA for leaving the call when my brother announced that his gf is pregnant?”

Our original poster, or OP, started by outlining the two difficult relationships at the center of this fiasco:

“My brother and I do not get on.”

“When we were younger he’d go out of his way to make my life a living hell. To my parent’s credit they did tell him off for it when they caught him but they both worked long hours and didn’t have the energy to deal with our arguments.”

“This continued into adulthood. He was salty that he failed his college course the first time around.”

“There was a bad argument in our family a while ago and, I sh*t you not, it all started because I refused the decorate my brothers living room.”

“I wont go into too much detail but he wanted a pretty hefty discount, I said no and he threw a tantrum.”

OP noted that the toxicity of his relationship with his brother cannot be put into words so easily, nor can that of his ex-girlfriend:

“You really need to meet my brother to understand just how bad he is. But hopefully this post will do it some justice.”

“Instead of being a grown up and talking to me, he decided to hook up with my toxic ex girlfriend and the mother of my child. Due to the rules here I can’t go into a lot of detail about what she was like but she was not a nice person.”

“She never really bonded with our son when he was born and I was left to do everything by myself. She eventually walked out on us and refused to have any contact with our son.”

“She’ll post on Facebook now and then about her beautiful baby boy to get sympathy votes but that’s about it.”

OP, now a single dad, has a lot on his plate without emotional distress:

“I have been a single dad for almost three years now and I absolutely adore my son but it hurts to think that one day he might question why his mum didn’t want anything to do with him. How am I supposed to explain that to him?”

“Anyway, it bothered me when my brother told me they’d hooked up together. It hurt even more when he started dating her.”

“It had taken me so long to get over what she did to me and my child and now my own brother was bringing her back into my life.”

And then came the inciting incident:

“Yesterday we had a family video call (parents are high risk and we’re not taking any chances) when my brother decided to announce that he and my ex were expecting.”

“I just froze, I didn’t know what to do or think. I could feel myself starting to cry a little bit and it got a bit harder to breathe.”

“Eventually I decided to just congratulate them and then made up some lie about needing to put my son down for a nap and left.”

Afterwards came the influx of messages:

“I received a bunch of messages from my brother and his gf telling me that I stole their thunder. After I left, my parents and some other family members started worrying if I was okay and not really focusing on their news.”

“My uncle told me that I should’ve just ‘been a man’ and stuck it out instead of making excuses to get out of it, after all it was expected that our kids would be raised around each other.”

OP has no idea how he should have handled the situation, only how he reacted:

“I feel like maybe I shouldn’t have left the call but at the same time it would’ve been worse if I’d stayed and had a full blown panic attack in front of everyone.”

“Some of the family members are split and have argued that I won’t be able to avoid my brother and his family forever but others believe I was in the right to leave that situation. I don’t know what to think.”

Redditors helped OP see where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Reddit, overall, took OP’s side; saying he handled the situation as best as he could have.

“NTA. I think you handled the situation as well as you can.”

“Also, really? Your ex is going to go and date your brother, and have a child with him, yet not take responsibility for her child with you? That’s really messed up.”~DissociativeSilence

“NTA. You made a graceful exit when you heard upsetting news.”

“Your son is amazing because of you and may have less amazing if he had been exposed to his mother’s negative traits.”

“She and your brother deserve each other. I hope that their child doesn’t suffer too much with them (very selfish people) as parents.”~PsychologyAutomatic3


“NTA. I’m a pretty calm person, but I probably would have said:”

“‘I’m sorry, but I’m obviously not going to congratulate you. And if you had an ounce of empathy inside of you, you would have let me know before this call, so I could have avoided it altogether.”

“I’m going to go take care of my son, and I hope to never hear from either of you again. It should have been the end of our relationship when you started dating the mother of my child, but I made the mistake of trying to move on from it.”

“This is too much. I’m officially done with you and with her. I’ll be blocking both of you from this point forward, and I would appreciate it if no one in the family brought any of them up to me again.'”

“And then, I would’ve been done with them. If anyone reached out to me about it, I’d let them know that they’d be blocked too if they brought them up again.”~crystallz2000

“Nta. Your kid is gonna grow up with half siblings but think they’re cousins. His aunt will actually be his mum who wants nothing to do with him.”

“And they’re trying to make you think you’re the a**hole here? Nope. No way. No how. Níl. Non. No. You are totally in the right here and you need to protect your kid from that toxic mess of a family.”~conton30

In fact, some are going so far as to suggest OP cut contact with his brother and ex-girlfriend completely.

“I feel harsh saying it, but it might be healthier for your son to not have any contact with his egg donor, uncle, or half-sibling/cousin.”

“Once he’s old enough to understand how messed up the situation is, which will happen, he’s going to have a lot of emotions about it.”

“If he has an entire childhood of spending time with his ‘cousin’ and ‘aunt’ only to learn that she was the mother who abandoned him, but she somehow loves her other child enough to be a mom to them, that’s going to mess him up for years.”

“It’s going to hurt no matter what, but you have the chance to shield him from an entire childhood of very painful lies.”

“You’re definitely NTA, and anyone who thinks you should be ok with this kind of betrayal against your son is a person you don’t need to waste any consideration on.”

“Also reiterating what many have said before: your son is entitled to child support. It’s your job to make sure he gets it.”~MostlyChaoticNeutral

“NTA. Next meeting meet it head on ‘like a man.’ See how many people think you should just ‘suck it up’ after you lay it all on the table.”

“‘That’s great! So after the child is born, should I introduce him as his cousin or half brother? Should I tell him that this woman he doesn’t know, because she abandoned him is his aunt or his god damn mother?'”

“Personally I can’t be this confrontational, even though on some level I know it hurts me because I’m assuming too much about other people’s awareness.”

“I would be going no contact in your shoes with anyone who supports them, but if you want to stick around and get through this don’t be afraid to bring up this kind of stuff.”~ThatGuy_Gary

“NTA, even a little bit. You did the only reasonable thing you could do under the circumstances.”

“And you 100% do not have to play along with whatever happy families nonsense they’re up to. So your kids are going to be raised together and you can’t avoid your brother forever?”

“Nuh-uh, you get a say in that, my friend. You very much can avoid your brother forever and, honestly, I’d recommend you do. This whole situation is a horrible toxic mess – you and your son deserve better.”~archvanillin

“OP, I’m so very sorry about this – your brother is clearly a [redacted] and your ex sounds like she’s just nuts.”

“First, you’re so very NTA for leaving the call – I’m just amazed you made it off without losing it at him!”

“Second, might I suggest, if the budget allows, some time with an MFT (marriage and family therapist)?”

“Not because I think you need therapy, but because they’re trained in dealing with complicated family issues and in helping people find ways though them.”

“It seems to me that having someone you can unload all this on and say ‘I need to protect my kid, and myself, and try and have some relationship with my parents – help’ and get some assistance in figuring out ways to do that would be really beneficial here.”

“You’re a good dad, and a good son – don’t let some sick people twist you into thinking you’re not.”~Sashi-Dice

And even further–some folks are suggesting legal action.

“NTA. I hope you have a custody agreement in place and child support set up. If not you should do it before she has this child.”

“You want yours on the books when/in case this relationship goes south too (and since it sounds like it is rooted in spite on both their parts, the relationship ending sounds pretty likely)”~bright_copperkettles

“NTA, but you’re writing about college and decorating when your family is this dysfunctional?”

“‘My brother and I don’t get on’ is the understatement of the year. And you’re worried about whether leaving the call was rude? WTF.”

“Stand up for yourself or you’re going to be arguing about whether your kid and theirs (they are half-siblings after all) will be growing up together with the whole family cheering that on.”~RB1327

“NTA. You handled that quite well. I’m sure a lot of people (myself included) would not have handled that situation so well.”

“I understand from your replies to others that you wish to keep the peace for your parents and while that is commendable I do wonder how healthy that is for both you and your son in the long run.”

“I’d honestly consider going no contact with your brother and ex, especially if you have full custody and there are no court ordered visitations for your ex.”

“I’d cut the rest of the family out as well if they can’t understand how messed up it is for this to be happening.”

“If you stick it out with them to keep the peace your son will not be happy when he’s older.”

“He will know his aunt is his mom and she wanted nothing to do with him while raising his half sibling right in front of him, if she sticks around that is.”

“The amount of trauma that can cause your son is not worth keeping the peace for your parents.”

“My heart goes out to you both and hope you can manage to find a way that will be good for you and your son.”~RavenxAlmasy

“NTA – your brother and ex are obviously but also the family members who think you need to be supportive/involved and especially your uncle.”

“The idea that a woman who abandoned her child with one brother and currently offers no support (emotional or financial) should be celebrated for getting pregnant with the other brother is baffling.”

“Within 2 years he’s going to be a single dad, blame you for it and expect your support. Cut them both out of your life completely or as much as you can legally.”~DrFishTaco

Faced with an extreme situation, it is now time for OP to make a terribly tough decision.

Hopefully the strength and conviction to do what is right for him and his son shines through the muck of this mess.



Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.