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'AITA for refusing to allow my husband to apologize to our daughter for having cancer?'

'AITA for refusing to allow my husband to apologize to our daughter for having cancer?'


AITA for refusing to allow my husband to apologize to our daughter for “ruining her life”?

Here's the original post:

My daughter, 19, is going through a tough time. She has been struggling with depression. Her classes are all online so she lives with us. My husband and I are both working from home so we are very involved with her day to day. We do our best to engage her; family walks, game night, cooking together, but she is still feeling pretty down.

She sees a therapist online but I am not privy to how that is going. In the last couple days she has been displaying a lot of resentment over her childhood. I’m specifically talking about ages 12 to 14. During those years, her father, my husband, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was going through aggressive chemo.

He has recovered enough to live a normal life. I won’t lie, those were very tough years for our family. My daughter is an only child and was used to our full attention and engagement. It was a hard transition for her to have her father not be able to care for her like he used to and myself having to split my time between her and my husband.

We had a lot of support from our family and we were able to maintain her lifestyle with their help. She didn’t have to quit any teams, she never missed school. I do acknowledge that emotionally there was damage so we did family therapy for a years.

Yesterday she was in a bad mood. During dinner I asked her what was going on and she went into this explosive rant about how many issues she developed due to us. Apparently we are responsible for her grades slipping, her relationships failing, her weight gain, etc. She tied it all back to her missing crucial development during the years where her father had cancer.

At one point she says something like “Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you should apologize? You basically deprived me of a childhood” My husband says “I’m sorry honey, I could have done better, and I could have done more for you.” I shut that down and told her “No, you are not going to guilt your father into apologizing for having cancer. This is unacceptable.

You need to accept that life is not fair and there is very little we can do about it. Go to your room and calm yourself down” She told me to go fuck myself and went to her room.

My husband and I have been arguing about how this was handled. He thinks that an apology is not big deal, and he was hurt by what she said but that “he could take it”. I think that she is looking for someone to blame for her current unhappiness and that we, as her parents, are easy targets. I also know that my husband already feels a great deal of guilt for putting our family through so much turmoil.

I love my daughter and want her to be happy. At the same time, I do believe she is at an age where she needs to take on personal accountability. AITA here?

TLDR: Daughter tried to guilt husband into apologizing for having cancer.

What do you think? AITA? This is what top commenters had to say:

HomeremodelerDC said:

NTA. Your daughter is an adult, and as you said, needs to learn that life is not fair. Your husband did not choose to get cancer, or the timing of it. Depression is awful, and I am glad your daughter is seeing a counselor, but it may be worth her visiting her doctor, and seeing if there is more that can be done. Hang in there, Mama, but do not feel guilty or let your husband feel guilty, either.

the_last_basselope said:

NTA. Your daughter needs to learn to take responsibility for her own shit instead of blaming others, esp when it's something out of everyone's control and the fact that she is so entitled at 19 that she thinks she is owed an apology for her dad fighting for his life against cancer is a really bad sign for how she will handle adult problems.

Point out to your husband that letting your daughter think that the world owes her shit will mess her up in the real world, so learning to accept that shit happens and no one owes her fuck-all when it does is an important lesson that she needs to learn. She should look into more therapy.

Moggetti said:

NTA. Your daughter is trying to avoid improvement by telling herself two selfdestructive things: (1) that she is somehow irreparably harmed (so it’s not worth trying to do better); and (2) it’s her parents’ fault (thus she is not responsible for her own mistakes). This is not the path to health.

You can apologize for the ways that you or your husband did not handle yourselves well during his illness. But you are completely right that you cannot allow her to follow a line of thinking where she gets to tell herself that her life is ruined because her dad got cancer.

disregardable said:

NTA. It's normal for teenagers to blame all of their problems on their parents unfairly. It's not normal to expect an apology for not being the center of attention during a cancer diagnosis.

I do want to say that, while the concern for my daughters mental health is encouraging, there is a rather harsh dismissal of my husbands mental health here. As a society I think men are expected too much to just suck it up and take it on the chin.

My husband struggles still with his heath, the possibility of cancer returning, and his own depression. I value my daughters mental health, dont get me wrong, but I dont value it above my husbands. I thought what she said was extremely damaging to him and I reacted to that. I do regret the harshness but not the message.

bearbear407 said:

NTA. I’m glad you shut that shit down before your daughter made your husband feel anymore unnecessary guilt for - well - getting sick and had to fight for his life so he could still be alive. She’s an adult. She’s old enough to realize how serious cancer is. She should be thankful her dad has recovered and he’s still in her life. Instead she’s grasping straws at the one shitty moment and somehow making it about her.

Verdict: NTA.

Do you agree??

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