Internet Backs Woman Refusing to Let Ex's 'Affair Baby' Call Her Mom

A woman has received widespread support online after standing her ground and refusing to let her ex's "affair baby" call her mom.

The mom-of-four took to Reddit's Am I The A**hole forum to ask for advice, under username Honest-Wish7885, as she revealed she divorced her husband after discovering he had cheated.

They split up four years ago, but still shared children Joshua, 20, Cassidy, 16, Nate, 11 and Jacob, 8. But her now-ex husband had another child as a result of his cheating.

The mom explained: "He had an affair baby (Juniper, 3yoF) with the other woman but Juniper's mom passed away when she was 1yo. Aside from my ex-husband and his family, she doesn't have anyone else because her mom grew [up] in the system."

File photo of a little girl.
File photo of a little girl. A woman has been praised for refusing to allow her ex's "affair baby" call her mom. Motortion/Getty Images

While she didn't specify where they're based, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020 there were 630,505 divorces in 45 states, and D.C,. which equates to 2.3 per 1,000 population.

While there are numerous reasons for a divorce, infidelity ranked among one of the most commonly cited reasons.

The Institute for Family Studies published a report into the reasons behind a marriage breakdown in 2017, collating several studies over the years. A consistent theme was infidelity, or cheating.

While a 2013 study, published in the Couple Family Psychol, ranked infidelity or extramarital affairs only beneath lack of commitment.

The split caused their two eldest children to cut off contact with their dad, but Honest-Wish7885 explained the youngest still saw him, and as such had developed a bond with Juniper.

She said: "I tried once to take the three of them out when she was younger but it wasn't for me, I know she's blameless but I can't separate her from my ex's betrayal, so know every time I pick Nate and Jacob up I try not to engage much. If she says hi, I say hi back, if she waves, I do too, but nothing more."

But as the little girl grew up, she began referring to Honest-Wish7885 as "mama" whenever she picked up her boys from their dad's.

"I've told her things like 'No Juniper, I'm not your mom', 'Call me [my name], I'm fine with that,' last time she actually ran at me calling me mama and began to cry when I didn't pick her up and took her with me.

"Listen, I don't think my ex is telling her to call me mom, but that's how Nate and Jacob acts (specially Jacob, he runs at me saying 'mom! mom!' and hugs me, so I guess she's copying his behavior).

"Yesterday my sons spent Easter with my ex's family, and Juniper ran at me again, I said hi and my ex asked for a second, to which I said 'yes,'" she wrote.

She went on to say her ex-husband asked if Juniper could call her mom, which she flat-out refused.

The mom wrote: "He basically told me that seeing me picking the boys up, being affectionate and loving with them is confusing and hurting Juniper, she's a baby and she doesn't understand what's happening, so he asked me if I could just take her with me for a few days like I do with the boys and maybe, over the time, let her call me mom.

"I said absolutely no, that I'm sorry for Juniper, but that I won't be playing mom with her and that I'm only keeping a relationship with both of them because of our son's.

"He called me heartless and pointed out how she cries when I leave without her but I said that it wasn't my problem and that he should deal with that. He later sent a video of Juniper crying by the door and said ''I hope you're happy'' so.. AITA?"

While she acknowledged it wasn't Juniper's fault, she said it wasn't hers either. Since being shared on Tuesday her post has amassed more than 17,000 upvotes.

Numerous people backed her stance, with Arghianna writing: "Idk, if she doesn't need therapy now, she'll eventually need it due to her father's terrible handling of the situation."

Mocinder commented: "Yes, this! It's not her fault the way her parents brought her into this world. And OP is not obligated to play mom. The onus is on the father to do his best by that child. Having this solution though, would be helpful. I hope things work out."

Music_withRocks_In thought: "Expecting your ex to babysit a toddler for you for a few days every month is insane. I feel like there are underlying desires for a free babysitter and a couple days off underneath all this."

Kbhinz wrote: "She might as well charge a babysitting fee for what he's asking. Plus a fee for the audacity."

Lacroix24601 fumed: "NTA. Your ex has his own special seat in hell for his manipulation of this situation. Yes, the child is blameless but your ex made his bed, now he gets to lay in it. And I'll bet 100 Reddit dollars that he doesn't actually GAF about "how sad Juniper is," he just wants a break from being a full-time parent and is trying to weasel that break from you."

While MissPandaBlue added: "100% every time Juniper calls OP mom he doesn't correct her on purpose. 50% chance that he's encouraging it."

Newsweek reached out to Honest-Wish7885 for comment.