The man is being called 'selfish' by his ex and her husband for choosing not to pay child support to the kid he didn't know he had until his engagement.
We have all had our fair share of complex relationships growing up. While some of these relationships get better over time or, to say the least, become insignificant, that doesn't apply to all relationships. In a story posted by u/Lazy_Professional252 on Reddit, he talks about how a blast from his past turned his present into chaotic confusion.
The 29-year-old man writing the post used to date a girl called Jane, who was 30 years old. One fine day, he caught Jane cheating on him with his friend and roommate Ted. So naturally, he broke up with her and moved back to his home state. Like someone who's aiming to deal with such a situation with maturity, he decided to never speak to them again. Most of their mutual friends also overlooked Jane and Ted's cheating since they claimed to be in love and did end up getting married eventually. He cut them all out of his life.
Years later, he's in a much happier and better place with a high-paying salary. Hence, he decided to propose to his girlfriend, Ashley. His life was finally going wonderfully. Despite not being a very social person, he put up a post about their engagement on social media. Maybe one of his older friends happened to see it and told Jane about the same, because she then tried to reach out to the man. He said, "Jane attempted to reach out to me, but I blocked her without reading the message because I wanted nothing to do with her. I also told Ashley and she preemptively blocked her too."
Instead of getting a clear message, Jane kept trying to reach out to her ex-boyfriend using fake profiles, until the man finally ended up deleting his account after telling her to leave him alone. He said, "In my mind, there was no reason for us to communicate for any reason and I just wanted to live my life." However, Jane didn't seem to think that way because she went on to reach out to the man's sister, Mandy, telling her that she had a son with him. He said, "I thought Jane was full of it because it had been six months between me catching her cheating and me moving away before changing my number and years between then and now. Plenty of time for Jane to realize that she was pregnant and contact me about it or even come after me for child support." Since he believed that Jane was messing around, he asked his lawyer to send her an official letter asking her to leave the man alone. However, the lawyer came back with photos of a 5-year-old boy who looked a lot like the man. Back then, Jane was pregnant but assumed the kid was Ted's because they sometimes didn't use protection but the man always did.
However, when they tried having more kids, they realized that Ted was sterile, implying that the kid wasn't his. However, since Ted and Jane were married, Ted was the legal father of that kid and the couple decided to raise the child as their own because not being able to provide a child made Ted "feel like less of a man." When Jane saw that her ex-boyfriend and father of the child was living a good life, she believed that their son deserved the financial benefits as well. The man added, "Did a DNA test and I am the father. I agreed that child support was required and told Jane and Ted that I would have my lawyers send over details about payment and visitation." He further added, "Ted was upset and refused to sign away his rights and doesn't want me around 'his son.'" So, the man told Ted that if he was going to pay child support, he was entitled to all the legal rights that came with it and until that happened, not a dime would be given. He then went on to say, "If they refuse, then I'll just start a savings account for the kid until he's an adult." That does sound like a great idea too.
The man later added: "Jane and Ted want me to have no contact with the kid whatsoever but still (discreetly) send them money because Ted doesn't want anyone to know that he can't reproduce." People sided with the man after learning about the whole incident. u/Teal_Zeal commented, "NTA. If that is your son, you have every right to seek all your legal rights to visitation (even custody), especially if they expect you to contribute financially. It is through no fault of yours that you are just now finding out you have a son."
u/JurassicParkFood said, "This woman stole your son from you after cheating on you. I think your response is right in line with doing right by yourself and the kid. NTA." u/ETfromTheOtherSide said, "NTA. Doesn’t seem unreasonable to want to be in your child’s life if you’re being expected to pay child support. It’s not like you made an active choice to not be a father. You were never made aware. Why do they want your money if they’re not going to allow you to see yours soon? Sounds like a money grab to me. Don’t give in."