Am I Wrong for Embarrassing My Ex-husband in Front of His Family?

Their marriage crumbled when Jake had an affair with his much younger assistant, Abigail, then an 18-year-old college freshman. The affair led to a pregnancy and, ultimately, OP’s decision not to reconcile. Abigail later gave birth to a daughter named Lizzie. As a result, OP’s decision to divorce the father of her kids paved the way for Abigail and Jake’s marriage and the birth of two more children, further complicating the family structure.OP details the limited involvement Jake had in their children’s lives post-divorce, offering child support and infrequent visits, but rarely engaging in meaningful ways. “He paid child support but that was it and only [saw] them once a month,” she explained. If one of the children asked him for something, he would agree but wouldn’t take their calls until only after he realized that their mother had stepped in.This disengagement extended to missing significant events in the children’s lives, and would only show up for occasions when his own family’s presence necessitated his. Jake’s motivations seemed tied to the approval of his aunts and mother, all of whom wield influence as prominent lawyers. OP revealed: “His family is somewhat shallow. If someone isn’t in a prestigious position then they’ll look down upon them. And any form of gossip is seen as negative and they’ll yell at you for making the family look bad.”

The duplicity of Jake’s actions became apparent when OP revealed how he boasted to his family about his involvement in their children’s lives, despite the reality being starkly different. This facade was maintained until an unintended invitation to a family vacation exposed the truth. OP shared that her sons and daughter witnessed their dad going on family vacations without them, which initially hurt them.But they learned to ignore it as time progressed after Jake told them it was because their mother took them out on two family vacations a year, while their half-sister Lizzie only goes on one. He told his family it was because the older kids did not want to go, OP divulged. However, during a family Christmas dinner, Lizzie was talking to her great-aunts about an upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic, and Kyle asked what they were discussing.Lizzie explained that they were going away, adding their father said Kyle and her brothers already had plans. But Kyle mentioned that was not true and that she and her two older siblings would love to tag along. OP explained she has never felt comfortable having Jake go away with the kids far away without her. That is why she joined them on vacation, which made his wife Abigail unhappy. OP and her in-laws are still getting along well so things did not feel awkward.So, at dinner, discussions about the children’s achievements and future plans arose. OP’s daughter told her paternal grandmother that she had bagged an internship at a tech company and everyone expressed their well wishes. Kyle and her brother Karter are students at a very prestigious college, while their older brother Knox is in medical school. The discussion inadvertently led to the unveiling of Lizzie’s pregnancy, shocking everyone present.”Everyone’s face fell to the floor including Jakes,” OP revealed, adding their loved ones started questioning Jake and Abigail’s parenting. Faced with his family’s disappointment, Jake attempted to deflect blame onto Lizzie. He further stated that his parenting was evident with his children from his first marriage, as they are successful so far. However, OP, tired of the ongoing deception, clarified the situation.”I was tired of the lies and explained how he was never there unless his family was there in order to look good in front of them,” she recounted. The admission prompted Kyle, OP’s daughter, to confront her father’s neglect openly, leading to an emotional exit from the dinner.Jake’s response to the evening’s events was to blame OP for the family’s discord, accusing her of ruining his familial relationships. Despite the accusation, OP refrained from engaging further, leaving the situation unresolved but publicly acknowledged. She turned to the Reddit community, admitting she felt otherwise about how she handled the situation at the family gathering, writing, “I do feel bad because it probably wasn’t the time or place.”Was OP wrong for embarrassing her ex-husband in front of his family? What would you have done if you were in OP’s position?