After facing a deeply upsetting family situation, Redditor u/dontwatchgrassgrow took to the site’s “Am I the A**hole” forum on Tuesday to get the community’s input.
In a post that has amassed nearly 10,000 upvotes and over 1,200 comments, the Redditor begins by explaining that they’re “the product of an affair.” Their father cheated on his wife with the Redditor’s mom, which led to her pregnancy.
As u/dontwatchgrassgrow wrote in the post, their father’s wife forgave him for his affair and the two remained married. However, their reconciliation was on the condition that “she and their kids never have to see … or hear about [the Redditor], and he couldn’t see [their] mom.”
“Even so, my dad was involved in my life right up until he died, and we were very close,” u/dontwatchgrassgrow wrote. “After he died I contacted some of his family members (not his wife or kids, I didn’t want to upset them) to ask if it would be ok for me to go to the funeral, and I just didn’t get any replies.”
Because they never received a response, and because they had never met their father’s wife or any of his family, u/dontwatchgrassgrow decided to attend the funeral. They said they planned to “quietly be at the back and not bother anyone.”
Things, however, soon went awry.
“Turns out his wife did recognize me (I don’t know how) and she interrupted the service to drag me out of the building and yell at me for being there,” wrote the Redditor.
As u/dontwatchgrassgrow to leave, the widow followed them to their mom’s car and reportedly yelled at her as well.
“Now I’m embarrassed and guilty that I upset her and caused drama at the funeral and dragged my mom into it,” wrote u/dontwatchgrassgrow. “My mom says I didn’t do anything wrong [because] I couldn’t [have] known my dad’s wife would know what I look like, but I’m not sure if she’s just trying to make me feel better.”
They concluded: “I just wanted to say bye to my dad, I wasn’t trying to cause any trouble. AITA?”
Overwhelmingly, commenters offered u/dontwatchgrassgrow their support.
“You have as much right to say goodbye to your father as his other family members did,” wrote u/ItchyDoggg.
“It’s not your fault he cheated on his wife resulting in you being born,” pointed out u/ExtremePotatoFanatic. “It doesn’t matter that she is grieving, what she did was malicious and attention seeking. She could’ve just let you sit in the back silently and ignored you but she chose to cause a scene.”
Others, while still voicing support for u/dontwatchgrassgrow, also acknowledged that the situation must have been incredibly difficult for the widow.
“I get that you want to say good bye, but his wife is going through a difficult time, and you showing up may bring up very uncomfortable discussions or memories,” noted u/Ionopsis, for example.
While these sorts of situations are sometimes stigmatized, the original poster’s experience is far from isolated. According to online infidelity resource The Truth About Deception, “roughly 30% to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.” Moreover, “research consistently shows that 2% to 3% of all children are the product of infidelity.”
Newsweek has reached out to u/dontwatchgrassgrow for additional information.