A man happily shares custody of his teenage son with his ex, who realized she was gay two years after giving birth.
Redditor "TooMuchSaucebro" has since moved in with a new girlfriend and she seemed to hit it off with his son pretty well.
Unfortunately, the girlfriend told the father not to disclose that his son has a lesbian mother because her religious family would not approve.
The Original Poster (OP) said the girlfriend claimed she was not as religious as her parents; however, she suggested that if the subject came up, he should lie and say that his mother left his father and then died.
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for not wanting to lie about having a baby whose mother is a lesbian.
"I (30m) had a son with my ex when we were teenagers (we were 15 and 16) my son is about to turn 15 in May."
"We did not intend on having a child that young, but we decided to make it work. It was a wonderful decision & I love my son so much."
"Our relationship did not last, as my ex realized she was gay a couple years after our son was born. We ended on good terms, and currently split custody of my son."
"My son stays with me and my girlfriend (29f) during the week, and his mother and her wife on the weekends."
The next chapter of the OP's life seemed to be headed in a positive direction.
But then the girlfriend dropped the bomb with an unpleasant request.
"My girlfriend and I just moved in together recently, and I have just began to get close with her family recently as well. My girlfriend and son get along very well, but my girlfriend wants me to lie about the situation I have with my son."
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"For context, my girlfriend's family is very religious (jehovah's witness) and while she is not as religious as they are, she fears they will judge me or 'not like me' when they find out that I had a child with a lesbian who is very involved in my son's life."
She identified another strike her family would have against the OP.
"She also told me they would be uncomfortable with the fact that I had a child outside of wedlock."
"My girlfriend's suggestion was to lie, and tell her parents (if it ever came up) that I was previously married to my son's mother, and that she left me, or PASSED AWAY, and to absolutely not mention the lesbian part."
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The OP said he doesn't feel comfortable about lying for the following reasons:
"I love this woman, and I want any love her family has for me to be based on authenticity."
"I do not want to set the precedent for my son that lying is acceptable to make people like you."
"I do not believe it is wrong to be gay, and I won't tip-toe around it in order to spare feelings."
"My son is a valid & legitimate person whose story matters, and I won't erase that because it is a little different than most people."
"My girlfriend is really upset with me, and says that it isn't a big deal, and that my son doesn't even need to know. She is hesitant to let me spend time with her parents now & after this stay-at-home order is over."
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
NTA - Not The A**hole
YTA - You're The A**hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
NAH - No A**holes Here
"You don't need to lie. Your Ex's sexual orientation is of no business to anyone. You were together and now you aren't. It's that simple."
"I certainly wouldn't be making up lies, especially one where my Ex is dead. I mean Jesus Christ."
"NTA; there's perfectly acceptable ways of acknowledging your Ex without bringing her sexuality in to it, at all."
"If she cares so much about her family's approval, then maybe she should just live with them. This kind of fear or behavior would be a early warning sign that she's dependent on her family's approval to the point she's asking you to lie."
"That isn't what sounds like a healthy relationship to me." – Scunglesuck
"I have family who are witnesses and know where you are coming from but this thinking is a slippery slope since ANYTHING that isn't part of the 'TRUTH' or the guidelines of The Society is subject to shunning as it makes you from 'the world' If that fear is the guiding principle in your life, you are constantly lying and or hiding in just about any area." – Misha220
"What kind of religion is worth being apart of if you have to outcast people you love." – Come-on-nowww
People from different religious backgrounds – including atheists and ex-Jehovah's Witnesses – had plenty to say about the group.
"Ex-JW here! It's not a religion. It's a cult."
"The Watchtower Society keeps members in line with fear and guilt. I've been out for almost eight years and still struggle with some things. Most of my family does not speak to me." – amazingtattooedlady
"Ex jw here. Was brainwashed from a young age, became the youngest person to give talks in front of the whole congregation. F'king so hard to break free, i am so lucky I did." – DreamDreamRevolution
"MY guess, is one that is the 'truth.' I'm an atheist but if you truly believe in the teaching of 'insert religion here' then its not up for discussion, debate or negotiation, you either agree or your wrong."
"From their perspective they're saving themselves from literal hellfire, its why I personally don't trust religion because true believers will stone their loved ones to death if their religion says it is just to do so."
"If God is real and God decided homosexuality was wrong then its wrong and if we as humans disagree we're wrong, if there is a God then that God decided the rules and what Good and Evil are, we don't get a say and if we disagree with God where objectively incorrect." – JesterHell
"Well, why would God have made homosexuals, right? But they exist both in the human and the animal world."
"My brother just converted to being a 'Christian' and he believes homosexuality is a fallacy. I told him, don't you remember the hermaphroditic goats and gay bulls on our farm? He said they weren't really gay either. Ah, okay."
"Nature does what nature does, and the words in the Bible were written by men. The God many believe in has had words put down in his name but they aren't his. Nature shows us otherwise." – BlackSeranna
"Yeah, JWs are kinda creepy even to other Christians. My family is Baptist but you can bet that we don't ever answer the door for a JW." – CGSly
This Redditor believes lying would be a slippery slope in this relationship.
"I think OP needs to have a long discussion with his girlfriend about where the relationship is going and what her expectations are."
"Is she going to want him to lie about EVERYthing that's inconvenient to the JW life? Because that is going to be a huge laundry list of things. How will she respond if/when he doesn't lie? Is that a dealbreaker for her?"
"While I agree with the top comment's statement that it's nobody's business that the ex is a lesbian... I think eventually it will probably get mentioned by someone who wasn't in on the conspiracy, and if OP/girlfriend lied about it, they will BOTH be all the more in hot water with the family."
"Don't lie, OP. It not only sends the wrong message to your kid, but it runs the risk of causing problems later." – graywisteria
If the girlfriend does not like what the OP has to say in defending his son and ex-wife, then that would make her complicit in perpetuating her family's religious beliefs, even if she claims to discredit them.