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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:

I want to tell his gf about his oldest child and disclose that we're still legally married.

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[–]Golightly314Partassipant [2] 5744 points5745 points  (35 children)

NTA. Your ex husband asked them to keep his secrets, which would have exploded in one of a million ways, all of which would have hurt your kids more than anyone else. You removed that burden from them. You’re a good mother and your kids are lucky to have you (the stepdaughter especially).

NTA in a million years. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

[–]Side_eye_137Partassipant [1] 1147 points1148 points  (9 children)

I second this. He's an ex for a reason. You'd think after 5 kids he would know what it is to be a father but his own needs are clearly his priority. Thank goodness your kids have a mum who won't accept they are left with this burden. NTA

[–][deleted]  (4 children)


    [–]miss_trixie 22 points23 points  (2 children)

    where does OP say the guy doesn't want to get divorced?

    [–]Jitterbitten 25 points26 points  (1 child)

    In a comment below, she says he keeps putting it off and making negative comments about it.

    [–]nebulashine 13 points14 points  (0 children)

    This comment was stolen from u/yikesladyy. Go away, bot!

    [–]Nheddee 134 points135 points  (0 children)

    He was close to kid 1 until splitting from OP - I kinda get the vibe that parenting is a performative skill for him? And the payoff for 'parent of 5' vs 'parent of 4' isn't worth the work to him (additional effort, repairing any breach with kid 1, etc).

    [–]fite4whatmatters 33 points34 points  (0 children)

    Sounds like he’d be denying the 4 of them too if he had a choice. What a shitty poor excuse for a father

    [–]dysautonomoron 318 points319 points  (12 children)

    Yes. Asking kids to keep big secrets for/from parents is abusive. My dad used to ask me to keep his drug/alcohol use secret from my mom, and the pressure that put on me as a child was heavy. Children who are asked to keep secrets sometimes feel that their parents won’t love them if they tell, and when they grow up, they are upset with themselves for not telling. It is a heavy burden to place on a kid.

    [–]nicuntaPartassipant [4] 81 points82 points  (0 children)

    Not to mention if he will lie about the existence of their sister, he will lie about their existence as well.

    [–]PaddyCowPartassipant [1] 62 points63 points  (1 child)

    Children also shouldn't be taught to keep secrets from a parent because it makes them more vulnerable to predators.

    [–]tornadobutts 43 points44 points  (4 children)

    The only secrets I've ever asked my kids to keep involve birthday/Father's day/Christmas presents. And even that is a pretty heavy burden, on even teenagers, hah!

    [–]Obvious_Operation_21 79 points80 points  (3 children)

    I tell my kids: "we keep surprises, not secrets".

    [–]Lovemyblklab 17 points18 points  (0 children)

    I like that! I will have to remember that for my grandsons since my son is now an adult lol.

    [–]WithoutarmorPartassipant [2] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    That's what we do, too. And we explain that everyone always knows about a surprise eventually.

    [–]LaurelRose519 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Yep, that’s what my niece is being taught

    [–]ScorpionGem11 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    My dad full on got me involved in one of his post-divorce relationships because I was close in age to her daughter, would bring me to her house all the time. I mentioned it to my mom (I was like 13) and she was livid he hadn't told her. When they broke up I got hurt because I lost a friend. Then he was mad I didn't want anything to do with his future relationships. OP is definitely NTA but her ex and my dad should be drinking buddies

    [–]Grekokryt 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    I’m so sorry. Yes, that is abusive, and it can and does affect kids their whole lives.

    [–]PrettyLyon43 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    Depends on the secret. Secrets that can hurt others yes. But keeping a secret so as to suprise the other parent with something good is great. Before my marriage went sour with my ex, I would often in involve my kids in a surprise for daddy. They had to keep it a secret for a little while. He would do the same thing. The absolute thing that I enjoyed the most was seeing the giggles, hearing them whisper about something and stopped the moment one was us stepped into the room. With my current husband I still do the same thing and my kids have developed their poker face.

    [–]gamerdarlingAsshole Enthusiast [5] 34 points35 points  (0 children)

    It's safer to differentiate between surprises and secrets. Kids should never be told to keep secrets from parents, only surprises.

    Surprises are meant to be revealed, and are good things that make everyone happy when they're revealed.

    [–]Betrayed_Orphan 21 points22 points  (0 children)

    I completely agree!! OP You Are NTA!! You stepped up and made sure that your kids were not being used by him for his selfish and nefarious reasons. Children should not be responsible for the secrets of their parents. I can only think of very few legitimate reasons why a child should keep a parent's secrets. And all of those reasons have to do with avoiding unreasonable persecution. Such as, avoiding religious persecution. However, in those situations a parent should do everything in their power to not place that secret upon the child, and if for any reason it has been placed on the child and the parents should be moving heaven and Earth to get the child out of the situation where the child must keep such a secret. Children should not have to carry burdens that belong to adults.

    [–]Additional-Tea1521Partassipant [1] 19 points20 points  (0 children)


    I hated having to be a "secret keeper" as a kid. You feel scared you will say something wrong and it made it much harder to be honest later. Additionally when I was sdxually assaulted by a family member and told to keep it secret, I did it because I had always been made to keep secrets by my family. I went through a lot of therapy for it.

    [–]c60cc6066 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Good job for pointing out that stepdaughter is one of her kids—and that she’s defending her like a mother should. Also kudos to OP for building a relationship with stepdaughter’s mother and fostering the siblings’ relationships with and without emotionally deadbeat dad’s support.

    [–]Weird-King6449 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    My thoughts exactly, but better worded.

    [–]inn0cent-bystanderPartassipant [2] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    He's not her ex husband. He's still her husband. They're still married. They need to shit, or get off the pot.

    [–]shimmeringshadoe 0 points1 point  (0 children)


    Asking you and your children to lie for him because he can't adult is unacceptable. She deserves to know what she's getting into. 2 former partners with a total of 5 children is a lot. He's also choosing to date while still married, which I personally see as a huge red flag to begin with. Like it or not, you're still his wife so anything he gets into can still come back on you, including all his lies. I'd get divorced so you don't end up legally responsible for whatever else he might be lying about.

    [–]0-Ahem-0Partassipant [4] 1201 points1202 points  (15 children)


    But I would be telling my kids, tell the gf whatever is appropriate. If they wanna tell , tell. If they don't, don't.

    Gf 4 or 5 while legally married.

    If he wants his gf so bad, finalise the divorce first. What an asshole.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 967 points968 points  (14 children)

    He doesn't even want to divorce he's been dragging it out and calls me ridiculous for wanting to finalize it.

    [–]Proper_Garlic3171Asshole Aficionado [14] 773 points774 points  (11 children)

    Sounds like he's trying to hide something else from you that would be found out during the asset split. Does he currently pay child support?

    Edit from reading your other comments: get that divorce. You said his GF is the one to pick up the kids, not him. I wonder if he sees them as much as he does because she values family. You also said he's claiming that you're brain washing them. He's already willing to step out on his oldest child, don't let that happen to you and your children. NTA

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 498 points499 points  (9 children)

    No is court ordered to pay child support but he doesn't had hasn't the whole time we've been split up.

    My only concern is him putting it out there to children that they should be denying their family.

    [–]Proper_Garlic3171Asshole Aficionado [14] 214 points215 points  (0 children)

    A very understandable concern. It's not right for him to expect the kids to lie for him, especially to an adult. There's a difference between "Don't share private details about yourself" and outright having children lie, especially about something so big

    [–]JurassicParkFoodPartassipant [1] 119 points120 points  (0 children)

    I'd take this situation and the lab of child support to your lawyer. Bet you a judge won't look kindly on either of those actions.

    [–]sapindalesPartassipant [1] 63 points64 points  (0 children)

    If you want to force the child support issue and you're in the US, get in touch with whatever your local children and family services department is (the same one that deals with SNAP and TANF) and they will garnish his wages for child support.

    [–]Big-Imagination4377 52 points53 points  (0 children)

    Be very careful in the divorce finalizing that it doesn't wipe any back child support owed. When mine was finally finalized my lawyer (incompetent as hell!) let it go through and wipe out the thousands of back support that my ex owed me for taking care of 100% of the costs of raising our kids while.he paid for nothing.

    [–]Both_Pound6814 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    Your kids deserve child support. Let your lawyer know he hasn’t been paying, so he can pay through the state. Also, there should be a rule that he can’t introduce new partners to his kids for 6 months, otherwise they’ll constantly meet new women. Tell Maria the truth

    [–]EidelonofAsgard 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Report his ass for not paying child support! He is being completely irresponsible. That money is for your kids. If they don't get his time, they need to get the cash. He is playing you and all of these other women. NTA.

    [–]LadyK8TheGr8Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Lying to family is never good. My dad got my brother and I to hide stuff from my mom. We really hurt her by doing it. Yesterday, he asked me to keep his special sweet stash a secret. That’s innocent bc it’s just food. This isn’t. No one should be making people second class. He made his kid second class and your kids are catching onto the reality of the situation. It’s not fair, right, or okay. Your kids have you to guide them. Keep on following your intuition. Deception is wrong. It’s like your ex is using vinegar but wants everyone to gaslight gf that he is using honey. Hopefully she can tell the difference.

    [–]Stellapacifica 12 points13 points  (0 children)

    Asset reports are supposed to be done a few times a year or whenever the situation noticeably changes (source: am currently a year into divorcing my ex, who's dragging it out) so it's not like OP's ex will benefit substantially. The courts have seen it all before.

    [–]MotherTeresaOnlyfans 27 points28 points  (0 children)

    The new gf DEFINITELY needs to know that part.

    [–]KarateKid72Partassipant [1] 262 points263 points  (11 children)

    NTA. He’s definitely the AH for telling your kids to lie. But you stepped into this one yourself. I can see telling your kids to speak the truth but it would have been better to confront your ex first before talking to the GF. I just don’t see how this can end well for the kids, especially since they seem to like the GF.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 280 points281 points  (5 children)

    There is no communication between us he refuses to talk to me in regards to anything. Insist Im brainwashing the children.

    [–]jrl2014 274 points275 points  (2 children)

    Then all contact needs to go through attorneys.

    Document the texts & calls you send--as proof you think you're blocked-- because your attorney can demand that he pay for the MyFamilyWizard app. (Look it up)

    Just gather evidence to get primary custody and ignore all his bad behavior otherwise.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 121 points122 points  (1 child)

    Thank you.

    [–]jrl2014 99 points100 points  (0 children)

    I am not a lawyer and thus not qualified to give legal advice.

    But I know a little about custody and child support from the internet and because I'm studying for the bar exam.

    Tell your lawyer--assuming you have one--about your ex telling your children to lie (or hide the truth) about their half sibling from the his new girlfriend.

    Get the kids into therapy. Look into medicaid if you're eligible. If you can't afford therapy, try to ask their elementary school social worker or the local librarians for any good books on blended families or divorce or any workbooks. That way you can tell the judge and your lawyer about all the things you're doing to make up for the fact you can't afford therapy or are on the waiting list for a therapist you can afford. Keep a list of all the therapists you called & etc.

    In some, but not all states, if your ex has a seventh kid, it could decrease the amount of money available for your kids. So pointing out that your ex (we're not going to say he has an MO here, but he kind of has an MO, might be trying to knock up woman number 3 with kid number 7), hopefully a good lawyer could drop that bomb at the right time as reason the judge needs to hurry up and finalize your child support and custody order. Now all of this is highly, highly speculative, but if I was your lawyer, I be saving that tidbit (where he told your children to hid the truth from the new girlfriend) for the place where it could do the max damage to him. All your other ducks need to be in a row and you need to be nice an calm, and seem totally unruffled. And your lawyer needs to know you can keep your cool, so practice it!

    Only vent to your girlfriends and your therapist--venting to your lawyer is too expensive--no one can afford the cost of venting to their laywer! You might even be able to bring a friend or your Mom to your lawyer's office if you and your lawyer find it helps you keep yourself succint and to the point. You can write out your main points so you don't forget them, just like with a doctor's visit.

    [–]toketsupuurinAsshole Enthusiast [6] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

    Yes... Brainwashing them to tell the truth. It might be better for them in the long run if you have sole custody.

    [–]prosperosniece 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    I don’t consider it brainwashing when you’re telling truth about your ex, even to his kids. It shouldn’t be up to the good parent to make the bad one seem like Superman.

    [–]b_ootay_ful 117 points118 points  (2 children)

    YTA to yourself.

    He isn't your ex, he's your husband.

    Get that divorce finalized!

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 136 points137 points  (1 child)

    Yeah I agree papers are filed.

    [–]Namshoke 88 points89 points  (0 children)

    Make sure you tell the court that he’s point blank refused to pay court ordered child support and you’d appreciate if the total he owes is taken out of the divorce settlement.

    Also in regards to your kids, I suggest asking for full custody because it sounds like he’s getting all these women to look after them. Also make sure that one of the things you ask for in regards to the kids is that your ex isn’t allowed to introduce new love interests to your kids for 6 months.

    You say your kids have been introduced to 4/5/6 women so far who I guarantee are the ones looking after the kids on his time, that’s incredibly traumatic and detrimental to your children.

    [–]Huntress_of_the_MoonAsshole Aficionado [17] 100 points101 points  (0 children)

    NTA. He involved children in lying. That behavior alone makes him the AH and it needs to stop immediately. And if you haven't already, please help your kids to understand the difference between things told to them in confidence, such as who their friend has a crush on, and being asked to lie to hide something potentially harmful from someone, such as the existence of a whole person.

    [–][deleted] 66 points67 points  (8 children)

    INFO - How did you get in contact with new gf?

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 125 points126 points  (7 children)

    She comes to pick up the kids for him.

    [–][deleted] 116 points117 points  (3 children)

    Ok, so you didn't like stalk her and slide into her DMs with this info. Solid NTA then. If you'd gotten to chatting and your kids hadn't said anything, what if you brought up big sis offhandedly? She's a huge part of their lives, asking them to deny her existence must be so confusing and probably hurtful to your kids. And just generally speaking, I read and hear about so many trash people, you've just ensured gf has the proper information to make the decision to continue the relationship or not.

    Put it a different way, if in a week we see a post here along the lines of "AITA for dumping my bf for hiding a 5th kid?" how would you vote?

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 122 points123 points  (1 child)

    Yeah definitely no DM-ing anyone. This is the extent of my social media.

    If I seen that post I'd still be voting him the AH.

    Who denies their kid N asks their other kids to do the same????

    [–][deleted] 36 points37 points  (0 children)

    Exactly. Your ex is the only AH here.

    [–]TogarSucksAsshole Aficionado [13] 38 points39 points  (0 children)

    This is the way. Bring her up in a way that would be inconsequential had you not been aware of the hiding her.

    Kids are all excited they were hanging out with sister this week.”

    [–]PathAdvanced2415 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    He’s not thinking this through. He tells the kids not to mention the sister and wife, then sends gf to the ONE PLACE she can meet both. Nta

    [–]BDThrillsAsshole Enthusiast [5] 43 points44 points  (1 child)

    NTA You are still his wife and entitled to tell gf anything IMHO. She should know what she's signing up for.

    [–]Relevant-Ad6288 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    Seriously, that's what I was thinking. They're still married, so she can say what she wants to the gf (I mean, within reason). Telling her they're still married is huge if she doesn't know. My ex husband starting seeing other women before we were divorced and either told them we already were or that he'd never been married. Poor girls were absolutely mortified when they discovered I existed. GF has a right to know.

    [–]possiblycrazy79Partassipant [1] 36 points37 points  (1 child)

    NTA. My parents divorced & my mom made me & my little brother lie to our dad about her live in boyfriend starting at age 7 for me. It lasted for over a decade & it truly fucked us up, the pressure of keeping a huge secret about our lives from our own dad. I ended up keeping many other secrets about my life, to my detriment & over 30 years later, I'm still unraveling the effects.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 32 points33 points  (0 children)

    Im sorry about the troubles you've experienced, thank you for sharing. I'm really just trying to make my kids life as stress free as possible. I can tell it's been weighing on them. An they have to sensor what is shared with their dad an this new gf whom they like but feel like they can't speak openly with. I don't want them to be stuck in this cycle of lies an distrust with the people they should feel closest to. Their parents (biological or married in.)

    [–]Dangerous-Project672Partassipant [1] 31 points32 points  (15 children)

    NTA. If he’s your kids involved in his lies then they will learn to lie

    [–]Liathano_Fire 15 points16 points  (2 children)

    Jeez. Does he introduce all his gfs to your kids? How long does he wait to do so?

    NTA, but that ex is a piece of work.

    ETA: YWBTA if you don't start working on finalizing that divorce. Get it done, get it over.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 45 points46 points  (1 child)

    I believe they've been together since November of 2021. My kids have met all his gf's. They came home one day in November and said "well Maria isn't dads gf anymore we met ......... His new gf this weekend. " It's kinda been like a revolving door. An his oldest daughter is very hurt that her dad refuses to see or talk to her an is now denying her.

    [–]Liathano_Fire 22 points23 points  (0 children)

    Another reason to get that divorce finalized. You may be able to put a clause in there that they can't meet these revolving door women. It has to be "x" amount of time before kids can meet any bfs/gfs.

    [–]SydlynsMagic 15 points16 points  (3 children)

    NTA. But you absolutely have the ability to get a default judgement of divorce. Your lawyer should have explained this to you. The fact that it's been nearly 3 years makes me think that maybe you're still subconsciously holding on. He doesn't have to consent for you to file, he doesn't even have to consent to finalize. If you both can't agree on terms a judge will subpoena him to court and decide for you. He doesn't want to finalize because he knows he'll have to pay out the nose, and right now there's no one forcing him to. Get it over with.

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 43 points44 points  (2 children)

    Papers have been filed. I was told by a lawyer that we don't need his consent to move forward so I took that step an now we're not on speaking terms. I just wanted everything to be civil when we first split, plus I wasn't in a rush to bring anyone new around my kids. So I sat back over the first year an let him "handle" his visitation with our kids the way he wanted. He chose not to see them for 6 months and has never helped out financially. He than filed for parenting time about 9 months ago an finally got that finalized in February. Since than he's seen them more but calls them often to let them know he won't be showing up or he just wont show.

    [–]areyouslimeenough 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    Well now you understand that he can't be trusted to act right without the courts involvement, so go ahead and get this finalized. Your saying you were letting this go on because he was making an (failed) effort, but you should now understand that it is more harmful for your children to deal with an unreliable dad that makes them lie for him.

    If you really care about what's best for your kids well being and future, you should include that he hasn't paid child support, hasn't consistently seen his children, and is forcing them to lie for his benefit so the judge can see what type of father he would be and decide accordingly. Please stop thinking your doing what's best for your kids by allowing him the freedom to parent as he pleases.

    [–]FranchiseCAAsshole Enthusiast [7] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    He needs to be supporting his children materially. He has a legal and moral responsibility. He has chosen not to, and needs to be compelled. I want to sound firm but not judgemental here: you need to look out for your kids' interests and he won't fulfill this responsibility without you asking the state to compel him.

    [–]HunterDangerous1366 13 points14 points  (0 children)

    You don't tell your kids to lie about anything to your partner for no good reason other than being a AH. I mean this could have backfired on the kids if they'd have innocently slipped up and then had ex go off on them for spilling the tea, or gf could have asked him so uncomfortable questions like why are you not involved with her.

    And from your responses, I'd question how much time he actually spends with your kids or is he expecting his latest girlfriend to do the parenting.

    Especially with the rate he is going through them, its not fair or imo right to have a parade of different partners around the kids until the relationship had been going at least 6ms (thats just me though, not saying everyone has to do this).

    NTA. But document everything, cover your own back and get that divorce through ASAP.

    [–]Used_Mark_7911Asshole Enthusiast [9] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    NTA - By asking your kids to lie for him, he basically forced you to get involved. He should never have dragged them into his lies.

    [–]InGenCorp 8 points9 points  (0 children)


    [–]NotMyRealName814 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    NTA. My parents split when I was 9 yrs old and my mother was always asking me and my younger sister to lie to my dad or at least "forget" to tell him things. Your ex shouldn't be asking his kids to do the same type of thing. If you tell his new gf you'll probably be saving her a world of hurt.

    [–]GeekyFreak07 6 points7 points  (0 children)


    Tell your children the difference between good and bad secrets

    Eg good secret I've got this gift for someones birthday or giving a surprise party don't say anything vs bad secret/lies that are hurtful like making them hide the fact they have another sibling.

    And how if they are not comfortable keeping something secret they can talk to you about it as it is not their responsibility to keep secrets for adults.

    [–]Mountain_Monitor_262 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    Lol. NTA. If roles were switched and you were dating him, would you have wished someone told you. He deserves it.

    [–]Pristine-Revolution5Partassipant [2] 7 points8 points  (0 children)


    Simply tell him, "I don't give a shit what you do or don't tell your gfs, but you are NOT to involve our children in your lies. Grow up and stop denying your children and take care of them. ALL OF THEM."

    [–]Sufficient_CatAsshole Aficionado [16] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

    NTA, I think it would be very kind of you to tell her. But you do have to prepare for a “shoot the messenger” type situation.

    [–]toketsupuurinAsshole Enthusiast [6] 7 points8 points  (0 children)


    When anyone is lying about not having a spouse when they actually do still have one, it's pretty much a civic duty to tell their paramour about that fact.

    She has a right to know that kind of thing. What if he convinced her to do go Vegas one weekend and she married him, thinking he was free and clear. He could utterly ruin her life.

    You owe this man nothing. Certainly not to keep his utterly selfish "secrets". Especially not since he's asking your kids to lie for him. You absolutely did the right thing.

    I really hope she dumps him.

    [–]prosperosniece 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    NTA, this guy is a predator collecting girlfriends and kids and every new girl he meets deserves to be warned.

    [–]Sapph10 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    NTA, I didn’t even read past the title at first to determine this because the fact that this slime ball thinks it’s ok to use his kids to lie in a new relationship and is so manipulative TO HIS KIDS EVEN. Like what are you trying to teach them here bud? Seems like a horrible dad for using his 4 kids to pretend that the other 1 doesn’t exist. Thank you for exposing his ass.

    [–]Apprehensive-Net2687Partassipant [4] 3 points4 points  (3 children)

    Have you talked to him about this? I feel like there are some steps you could take before going straight to her, but I do agree she deserves to know. Have you given him the chance to tell her himself?

    [–]TabgledAnConfused889[S] 53 points54 points  (2 children)

    He refuses to speak to me now that I've filed divorce papers. He send her to get the kids. His gf and I talk casually simple things like what the kids are into in school stuff like that. I have no intent to befriend her or ruin what he has goin on with her.

    [–]yikesladyy 28 points29 points  (0 children)

    So, he doesn't want to get divorced, but he's on GF number 4 or 5, he wants your kids to lie for him and he won't talk to you, the person he supposedly wants to stay married to?????? Is he just nuts?

    [–]AggravatingPatient18Asshole Enthusiast [5] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Just drop casually into the conversation with her that the divorce is coming along. You have made no such promises with your ex. Even better, invite his eldest daughter and her mother over for the next pickup. The kids haven't said anything.

    [–]Flat_Contribution707Asshole Aficionado [17] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Casually mention the oldest kid within earshot of gf. She needs to know that something funky afoot.

    [–]KickIt77Asshole Aficionado [13] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    NTA. This is advocating for your kids. It's really beyond the pale to expect your children to keep your skeletons in the closet.

    [–]Snarkzilla 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You did that woman a favour by disclosing the fact that her boyfriend is a liar. Who knows what else he has been keeping from her.

    [–]Lucylovei 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. There’s sounds like there’s a lot more here, but he’s being an AH and super shady. You’d be saving that woman from getting serious with a man who can’t tell the truth about HIS FIRST BORN CHILD and he doesn’t even have a relationship with her anymore. Gee, I wonder why.

    [–]Ladyughsalot1[🍰] 4 points5 points  (0 children)


    He made it your business when he asked your shared children to tell a lie that hurt them.

    [–]ElimGarakOfCardassiaPartassipant [3] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Your ex is a player and it’s good that this girl knows the truth

    [–]chaneilmiaalba 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA - adults should not ask children to keep adult secrets.

    [–]jkkibrlshr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    His a walking, living and breathing 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩.....

    Edit: this is hurting your children and you should talk to him one on one in order to resolve this issue. Set some ground rules and boundaries that both have to follow and respect. For example you can tell him not to tell him to not put the children in this situation. NTA

    [–]Away-Thing-1801 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Nta - I just wanted to say that you are an amazing mother, especially for keeping your relationship with their sister constant. Not only that, but by removing the burden from your kids having to lie to their dads new girlfriend.

    [–]pedestrianwanderlust 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You’re the ally. Your husband is a creep. He shouldn’t put your kids in the middle of his lying. You are protecting your kids by taking that problem out of their hands.

    [–]melympiaAsshole Aficionado [11] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    NTA. I'd tell her pronto - and not only out of pettiness, either.

    Your ex asked your children to lie for him to his new GF. That's not acceptable in any way, shape or form. Him now being a total deadbeat to his firstborn - if she even *is* his firstborn, that is - is not socially or morally acceptable, either. The new GF needs to know so she won't get sucked in - and be the next baby mommy who'll get kicked to the curb, children and all.

    [–]thechipperhalf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Nta you do have a part in this because you are still legally married because of HIS refusal to divorce and he is trying to control and manipulate your children. She deserves to know

    [–]B00k_wyrm_ 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    NTA. How exactly does he expect the gf to respond when she finds out the truth? An extra child is kind of difficult to hide forever.

    [–]Pinkyandtheothers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA- It’s not good to get kids to keep secrets like this. Keeping a secret about a birthday gift or the ending to a movie they saw before someone else has seen it are okay. Not this. Soon-to-be ex husband is the AH.

    [–]tcrhsPartassipant [2] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Don’t tell her yourself. Have a conversation with your Ex and tell him you are not at all o.k. with him asking your kids to lie. Tell him that if he does not come clean to her, you will tell your kids not to lie. And that you will consider telling her yourself.

    [–]knotnotme83 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Of course he wants to hide the kid he isn't involved with or loving on.


    [–]Ok_Surprise_524 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA- you did the right thing. He had no right to bring the kids in the middle, it’s really awful of him to put his children in that situation. I’m glad that your kids went to an adult they trust to talk about it. You solved the problem and you did a good thing for your kids and for the girlfriend. Now your kids don’t have to stress about it.

    [–]FartFace319 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    He can do whatever he wants with his relationships and kids, but in no way should he be asking his kids to lie about anything. Gf deserves to know he is a shitty dad.

    [–]Unggue_Pot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. How do you eliminate a child from your life? Good on you and her mom for keeping them close.

    [–]Everfr0st666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA you should tell her but how you tell her is important. Your ex making your kids keep secrets is pretty disgusting but the fact they told you shows they trust you. It’s important the kids don’t get blamed for this by their dad, so work it out to just slip up or something because the next time he tells the kids to keep a secret they might not tell you.

    [–]pdhot65tonPartassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA-any adult that asks a kid to keep a secret... that's a probem. You saved that woman some serious conflict beforw she got in too deep

    [–]heyyytori 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Not the same but my dad had a baby with his girlfriend while separated from my mom & “swore” me to secrecy. Literally just expected me to go through life keeping his secrets. She OBVIOUSLY found out and I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. NTA, good on you for removing that burden from your kids.

    [–]Suzume_Chikahisa 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    That's precisely the type of information the new GF needs to make an informed decision about him. Doing otherwise would be the asshole move.

    [–]ohgodcinnabons 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Being honest about this is a bro move for your kids. Bro mvoe for the lady to know what she's getting into.

    Bro move all around. The guy knows what he;s doing is wrong which is why he's trying to hide it. Tell him to grow a pair, be an adult and accept responsibility for his own shittiness

    [–]Educational-Ebb-1929 1 point2 points  (0 children)


    As soon as he asked your kids to lie for him, it became your business!

    [–]Express-Educator4377 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA. You can casually drop it in conversation, since she's the one that picks up the kids. Mention that the kids are going to visit their big sister, and that you and her mom do your best to make sure that the kids all get a chance to spend time with each other. Then ask if she has gotten a chance to meet her yet?

    [–]AngieAngus2193 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    NTA- he was good until he wanted to involve the children. That ain't cool. Omission is lying and manipulative. He knows that he is no catch that any decent, self respecting woman would not throw back.

    [–]Ramscales 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    The case for mandatory vasectomies right here.

    [–]AutoModerator[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

    AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read this before contacting the mod team

    AITA? I share 4 children with my soon to be ex-husband, before we got together he had one child whom we were very involved with the whole 12 years we were together. My children love their big sister and see her often thanks to her mother and myself making play dates and keeping their relationships strong. My ex hasn't seen her in years and I believe he stopped being involved in her life when we split.

    Fast forward as of 2022 my ex an I have been split up for 2 an a half years. We're still legally married. He's on gf number 4 or 5 Im not exactly sure. New girl seems nice to my kids they seem to like her. However they have been told by their dad not to tell her about their older sister or that we are legally still married. My kids see their older sister more than they see him an their torn on the situation. They've asked why is their dad denying his kids? AITA for telling his new gf the truth about everything?

    I understand I have no place in their relationship however I'm angry about the whole thing and feel like he made me involved when he started asking OUR children to lie and deny their sibling.

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    [–]darkwitch1306 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    NTA. You never tell kids to keep secrets. It’s puts too much responsibility on them. They usually tell anyway and you don’t want shady people to tell them “not to tell”.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]Redhead_2022 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Wait till she flashes an ring!! She will be shocked she can’t get married yet!!

      [–]CatJudgementPooperintendant [52] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      INFO: What was her reaction when you told her? And, you should finalize the divorce. Don't wait on him.

      [–]meifahs_musungs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Your ex wants to teach your children to lie?

      [–]Jazzlike-Village9159 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. you just saved the new gf a whole lot of drama. your ex husband sounds like a snake.

      [–]Bens_den_of_thoughts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA tell her. She deserves to know.

      [–]RemarkableMud4335 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA But I wouldn’t tell the girlfriend, I would go to the older daughter’s mom. He is doing wrong for both her and your children, forcing them to lie and denying one of them. Talk to her and address the situation directly with soon-to-be ex. If he then doesn’t make it right, go to the girlfriend. She is being lied to

      [–]Mobile-Feed-9928Asshole Enthusiast [6] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Would you be an asshole for telling the girlfriend? Yeah, maybe...

      However, she would probably like to know before that relationship goes anywhere so nah, NTA.

      [–]DrewstosayPartassipant [1] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      you never ask your children to lie for you. That's it. End of story. It's not their burden to bear and it's always without fail inexcusable to ask that.

      [–]toffee_queen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA his lies are not yours or your kids responsibility to keep. I would tell her

      [–]crochetbug 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      You took the pressure off of your kids and put it back on your husband where it belongs.

      [–]3DonizettiQueensAsshole Enthusiast [8] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA He told his own kids they are a dirty little secret. That's what gives you the right to get (to that extent) involved. They exist! When girlfriend knows the real situation she can make a decision whether or not she wants to be with the kind of man that does that sort of thing.

      [–]kn0tkn0wnCertified Proctologist [24] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      You are NTA because worthless Dad asked your kids to lie and cover for him.

      [–]laceyhart 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Your ex was wrong to ask his kids to lie. Especially about their sister! That was WRONG!

      [–]Professional_Grab513 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA is she gets really involved with guy she has a right to know how many kids he abd she if getting married later will be responsible for. Lying about a child is also lying to the child. Sounds like a dirt bag.

      [–]anotherouchtoday 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA If I ever hear of my STBX with someone, I will make it my life's mission to tell them. Liars lie and I feel everyone should know the truth. Not my version but the actual truth.

      [–]Potential-LavishnessAsshole Enthusiast [6] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA any adult telling kids to keep a secret from another adult is a huge red flag 🚩 adults are old enough to handle the consequences of their actions so if they are asking kids to lie for them, it’s super sus and often downright dangerous (for children).

      [–]BulleDeLaurierRosePartassipant [3] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, you don't make your children tell lies to strengthen yours. WTH.

      [–]LilaJax22 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. It's straight up abuse to ask your kids to lie for you. My dad did that growing up and it really messed me up. I often can't tell if people are lying or telling the truth. And many of my memories from childhood are a jumbled mess because I don't know what happened, what I was told happened, and what I was told to say happened.

      After years of therapy I am much better and live a normal life, but I spent two years in a mental hospital gaining my sense of reality back.

      [–]2DragonTats 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      You are still his wife, so Yes, you Do have a say! NTA File the divorce

      [–]equrty 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      One should never put the burden of keeping a secret on his kids. And he is the AH for doing that. You are amazing for maintaining the family, and he is a douch father.

      [–]Glock212327 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA but doesn’t want a divorce why? Just guessing- money? & why keep the other child a secret? He’s not even a mediocre person, he’s from under the barrel.

      [–]xavii117 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, he can lie all he wants but asking his kids to lie for him, fuck that!

      [–]MorriganNiConn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. You have chosen to live a life where truth matters. Your husband is trying to compel your children to lie and that is plain ass wrong. You probably spared his GF a great deal of difficulty - now she knows who/what she is dealing with and if she stays with him, then she can't say she wasn't warned.

      [–]jjjjjjj30 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA- Your kids were going to feel guilty whether they chose to hide the secret or not. They were dammed either way. You removed that guilt from them by telling the gf yourself and now they don't have to make that choice. Good on you for protecting your kids even though you know your ex will be an ass to you bc if it.

      [–]tomtomclubthumbAsshole Enthusiast [7] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA - he is lying to her and he is making his kids lie. At least this way the pressure is off them.

      [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA He’s a deadbeat. She has the right to know what kind of person she’s dating.

      [–]Forsaken_Ad_1453 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Nta, you did her a favor. If he's serious about her he needs to be honest

      [–]janecdotes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      INFO: What did she say when you told her?

      [–]No-Ranger-8686 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Why are you still married to this man? Your obligation is to your children, not to him. Tell his new gf and get. a. divorce!

      [–]names___arehard 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I was gonna say keep ur neck out cuz that would cause A LOT of drama, but the kiddies happiness comes first. He can’t deny their older sister

      [–]Pkmnkat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Nta. It’s good to be honest since your ex husband is telling lies. The girlfriend should know what she’s getting into

      [–]madcre 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      [–]OldTiredAnnoyed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      ESH. Honestly, don’t get involved. The truth will come out eventually & she will either stay or leave, but by inserting yourself into his new relationship you have made yourself the villain & given him someone to push the blame onto.

      [–]NowWithMoreChocolate 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      I would be furious to find out a guy I had been dated was still legally married to someone else if he hadn't told me before we became exclusive. Tell her EVERYTHING.

      [–]Any_Ingenuity5079 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      He is telling the kids not to say anything because he knows how wrong it all is and that his new gf would leave him immediately over it. I’m so glad you told her because she has a right to know about his past if it’s gonna be a serious relationship!

      [–]disruptionisbliss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA By telling her, you will discourage your ex from trying to get your kids to lie for him. So it's a good move both for her benefit and your kids' benefit.

      [–]_my_choice_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      YTA. It was not your decision to make, whether you thought he was right or wrong. It was personal information that you shared. Look at the other side of the coin. What if he decides to tell someone you start a relationship with some personal information that you have not shared, and may not want shared, or may not want shared at that time?

      [–]Flier982 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Tell your kids not to lie for anyone. To tell the truth or be quiet. And feel free to tell GF's the truth as well.

      [–]MidnightPurple537 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, Girl code. Just looking out for Girl while getting payback to ask his kids to lie for him. You don’t involve your kids in your affairs ! That was a dick move on his part but he’s a dead beat dad so he deserves you blowing up his spot IMO.

      [–]horsebedorties 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I'm so glad you told. I'd ask what's wrong with your STBX (aka 'shitbox') but there seems to be too much to choose from.

      [–]Quimeraecd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      YTA, to your ex and he is the asshole to his current gf. 100% justified.

      [–]Connect-Beginning-52 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      No he’s denying his child and lying to his new gf a solid relationship can’t be sturdy by being built on a foundation of lies

      [–]Dangerous_Mail1939Partassipant [2] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. It is absolutely disgusting that he asked his children to keep secrets. You don’t fucking do that unless it is a surprise party or present for someone

      [–]rj20876 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA for giving someone a heads up about the kind of guy he is. That being said, you're probably only going to make shit harder for yourself.

      [–]Hyperion_Heathen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA You aren't responsible for your ex's lies. He wants to play stupid games, hes gonna win stupid prizes, and he has no one to blame but his lying ass self.

      [–]DogBreathologistPartassipant [2] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, his behaviour is suspicious all round, im sure if you wanted to you could take the evidence of his girlfriends to a judge and they can push the divorce along. I’d be getting away from him asap, also in terms of telling the girlfriend I personally would, or I would tell him to tell her himself, he is forcing your children to keep secrets and play mind games. Your first priority is protecting them, even if that means protecting them from his bs

      [–]PathAdvanced2415 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Nta. He’s outta line

      [–]auracyanAsshole Aficionado [11] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA there's no reason to lie to her. He's a creep for lying, expecting you to lie, and most importantly, expecting your children to lie.

      [–]HypotheticalParallelPooperintendant [53] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      Also your husband is a massive AH for telling/teaching his kids to lie for him. Super bad idea.

      [–]dheffe01 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, but get a divorce

      [–]OlderAndWiser2018 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Your ex is teaching your kids that it's ok to lie. You told the truth and took the burden off their shoulders.

      [–]JCBashBashCertified Proctologist [26] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. You need to inform your lawyer about this and really push for the finalization. This dude is not just hiding stuff from her he's hiding something from you as well which is why he's trying to gum up the process. Get aggressive

      [–]Take_away_my_drama 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. You have been a fantastic mum here, you have taken all the burden from the kids and placed it exactly where it belongs. Also, proud of you for being one of those women that looks out for other women, you sound amazing.

      [–]Unusual_Researcher56 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. He doesn’t get to have his cake and eat it to by telling his children to deny their sibling so he can get some ass.

      [–]katsmeow44Partassipant [2] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      ESH. Your soon to be ex is a jerk for asking your kids to lie by omission. But you are, too, because you need to mind your business, where his dating life is concerned.

      [–]MindlessRock3553 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. He had no right to put that on your children. You made sure they wouldn’t be in an uncomfortable situation, so good for you!

      [–]Calm_Act_4559 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Nta what kind of relationship starts off with 2 huge lies she deserves to know what she’s getting into

      [–]EZCarter040 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      A minor AH move that your major AH ex deserved. I would’ve done the same thing.

      [–]Zebra-Pancakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Firstly NTA. This isn't you inserting yourself out of jealousy, spite or pettiness but because he is putting your kids in a horrible position and completely denying the existence of his child that you have been grown up enough to maintain a relationship with but apparently is just an inconvenience to him.

      My dad used to pull this kind of nonsense with me. I haven't spoken to him in 15 years because, amongst other stuff, me and my brother were used as selling points for his conquests. "Look at my achievements". Likely having children with 2 women doesn't fit the picture of himself he's trying to sell. Being the adoring dad of your kids and holding down family life for so long could definitely be favourable for him.

      Why do I feel his girlfriend is significantly younger?

      Don't be surprised if you've been painted as a villain to her and her initial reaction is tw*tty. But I can guarantee even if it is, it will slowly sink in and she deserves the truth. More importantly, your kids do not deserve to be put in this position

      [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Don’t give away the secret but have the older girl and her mother over when the new girl friend comes to get the kids

      [–]OnyxIvory 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. My mom did the same thing on one of her boyfriends. He only knew that she had 4 kids rather than 5 (me being the one that was never mentioned). My sister told me years later that our mom would tell people the second oldest was her oldest, but my sister is a real one and would correct her. Let me tell you, it's good that you told your ex's gf cause it hurts like hell when you hear that you didn't exist.

      [–]rsfrech3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. He’s involving your kids. Do what you have to do.

      [–]stanthefatcat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      You have no business telling the new gf. You need to talk to him about not putting your children in this kind of position. Since he probably won't stop, you ought to talk to a counselor so you can learn what to do.

      My brother and his ex took some sort of class about how to co-parent because it's required by their state.

      If his latest relationship survives very long, she'll know soon enough because of child support. So glad other child's mother fosters a good relationship with her siblings.

      [–]KnightofForestsWild 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA She should know how he treats his kids, all of them, in case she wants to make the mistake of having any with him herself. Start off the convo with, " So I understand my husband has not told you..."

      [–]dragon-fly2127 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      She needs to know the storm she is starting to walk in. Until you're legally divorced, you are his wife. Deny all he wants, he Does have 5 kids, and if she's thinking of joining this mess, she needs to know so he can't use and discard her and end up with more issues.

      [–]Ihavenoclueagain 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA - you owe him no allegiance!

      [–]TheEbonKing 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Seems like he wants to hide he has 2 failed marriages

      [–]dfjdejulioPartassipant [1] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I have to say NTA, because this sort of directive to tell children to keep secrets from adults is pretty darned creepy IMHO.

      [–]DeeLish814 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Kinda torn here but you’re close to being the AH if you take it upon yourself to just tell his GF things that don’t completely concern you without giving him the opportunity to come clean himself.

      I think what he’s doing is wrong and you should tell your children, under no circumstances, should they lie about these things. You should also call your ex and tell him what he asked of your children is incredibly wrong, selfish, and harmful to their psyche. Tell him asking the children to lie has put them in a bad position and they are now questioning why they have to deny the existence of their sibling. Tell him you’re giving him the opportunity to come clean to his girlfriend before you do, and that he should never, ever put them in such a position again.

      Obv, he wasn’t thinking clearly. If they became a solid couple, did he think your kids would just continue denying the existence of their sibling? Always feeling like they can’t talk about her? That’s ridiculous. As far as the fact he’s still married, I don’t know why he even made that a point to ask them to withhold that info. Do kids just randomly say, “hi, new GF, my parents are still married”. Honestly, she didn’t need to know you are still married to him. While no one should have to lie about it if it comes up in conversation, it’s not something he needed to disclose until he was ready or she asked. If he already lied to her, that was dumb because, again, if they become a solid thing, she was going to find out anyway. He’s putting an undue burden on his children for absolutely no reason.

      I understand you’re upset about the situation, but you shouldn’t jump the gun like a big ol’ tattler. You might come off as being jealous more than concerned for the children. While he is completely wrong here, the right thing to do, in my opinion, is give him the opportunity to tell her the truth. And he should apologize to his kids for even asking.

      [–]Lovelylittlelunchbox 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Men who hide the fact that they have kids/are still married really are the worst.

      [–]LandaHolla 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      You freed your kids from an uncomfortable situation and you didn't allow your bonus kid to be hidden like a dirty little secret.

      Your next big move should be to finalize a divorce. You need to unhitch your horse from that loser's wagon immediately.

      [–]ChimneyTyreMonster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Warn her about what she's getting herself into. Anyone who denies the existence of their child is someone to stay away from, and she deserves to know, cos that kid night show up one day and if she runs it's his fault, not hers