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'AITA for keeping my son away from my late wife's parents who didn't accept our marriage?' UPDATED

'AITA for keeping my son away from my late wife's parents who didn't accept our marriage?' UPDATED

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"AITA for wanting to stay true to my wife’s wishes?"

I (28f) lost my wife Em two years ago in an accident when our son was less than a year old. Throughout our entire relationship (from ages 20-26) she was very open about how her parents did not accept her, and that she’d given up on offering an olive branch.

She seemed to have made peace with the fact that they weren’t around anymore, and my family always embraced her with open arms so she still had some support regardless.

When we had our son, Em told me she didn’t want her parents to know anything about our child, even through the grapevine. She had let her mom and dad know that we were getting married a few years prior, but they didn’t respond very well to the news so she didn’t think they would change their tune. If they did ever manage to hear about our son’s birth, they never contacted us to say anything about it.

They didn’t come to the funeral. I invited them because I thought that maybe they’d want to be there. She was their only child and I assumed that any animosity they had about how she lived would have been overshadowed by the loss of her in general. I heard nothing from them for two years until a few weeks ago when I got a message request on FB from Em’s mother.

She said she and her husband wanted to know more about me and our son, so she invited me to get a cup of coffee since they were in town. I agreed to meet them to talk, but I left my son at home with my sister. They looked a little disappointed when I got there and he wasn’t with me, but they didn’t say anything about that at first.

They started off with a few normal questions, how we met, what Em's life was like, what our wedding was like. Then they started asking about when they could spend time with our son because they had a right to as his grandparents. I told them that my wife had made it very clear that she didn’t want them to know anything about our baby.

I felt like I was already betraying Em’s wishes by agreeing to meet with them and even showing them pictures of him, so the idea of them meeting him on top of all that was a little too much for me at the time. I said I needed to take a bit to think about whether or not I'd allow that.

They both seemed upset about it, and they started to argue with me so I shut the conversation down and said I’d contact them again when I made my decision. I went home and told my sister what happened, and she said that she understood I wanted to listen to Em’s wishes, but she’s gone now, and it’s totally possible that her parents have changed.

She felt it would be wrong of me to stop them from having a relationship with their daughter’s only child. She also said I was just making it harder on myself by avoiding people who could help me raise my son since now I’m doing it on my own.

I just don’t want to betray Em.

INFO: - I was the one who gave birth to our son. He’s biologically mine.

- Em was emancipated at 17, but she did continue to try and speak with them on and off for a few years up until our wedding.

- I know that if they had changed, Em would’ve forgiven them because that’s just the kind of person she was. I agreed to meet them because I wanted to know if they regretted how they treated her

Edit no.2: I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear enough in the OP, but Em was gay. She and I are both women. Her parents rejected her because of her sexuality.

What do you think? AITA?

This is what top commenters had to say:

lmchatterbox said:

NTA. They didn’t come to their own daughter’s funeral. Screw this request.

imothro said:

NTA. Parents that are capable of not showing up at their own daughter's funeral should NOT be given access to additional children. You would be putting your child in danger by introducing these people into his life. This isn't just about your wife's wishes but about the fact that they are not safe people and have already proven themselves bad with children.

The fact that these people already feel they are entitled to some kind of relationship when they had none with their daughter and didn't come to the funeral -- is all the information you need to make sure they stay out of your life forever.

BluBox8319 said:

NTA. Please do not let your child near these people. "We have a right" That right there tells you that they have not changed.

sbinjax said:

Maya Angelou said "when somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time." These people didn't show up for their daughter's wedding or funeral. This is not about betraying your wife. This is about protecting your son. NTA.

Maleficent_Contest_3 said:

Do not listen to your sister. Respect your dead wife's wishes and you're NTA

Verdict: NTA.

Two days after her original post, she shared this update:

I figured I might give you all an update as it’s pretty much been handled now, but first I do want to say thanks to all of you who offered your responses. The majority of you were very kind about it, which I appreciated more than you know. My son and I went and brought Em flowers and just sat with her for a while.

Little man ended up falling asleep while we were there, so I had a minute to clear my head and think things through. I listened to your suggestions and took a minute to consider what further action I could take, and if those actions would honor what Em would want and also be beneficial to our son.

I contacted Em’s mother to inform her that because our son is biologically mine, they don’t maintain any legal “right” to see him, and I’m not interested in starting some unnecessary battle either. I also said that Em made it very clear when she was still here that she didn’t want our son to know them.

She had made that choice because of how they had treated her in the past, and had only been willing to change her mind about it if they had tried to grow as people. So it makes very little sense for me to allow them into his life if they have not done that. I told her goodbye and I wished her well.

She responded and said that she understood why Em made such a firm decision, because she and her husband did things that they could never take back or make up for. She told me she regretted every choice she’d ever made to make her daughter feel as though she wasn’t loved.

She also said that Em’s dad was the one who made the decision for them to not attend the funeral. He didn’t want to go (for reasons she didn’t specify, but it’s not hard to figure out) and because she’s been a housewife for pretty much her entire marriage, I’m assuming she just didn’t have the resources to get a plane ticket to fly here.

She left it off by telling me that the only person who could forgive her isn’t here anymore to hear her say sorry, but she still wanted me to know how much she wished she had said it before, and that for the sake of honoring what Em wanted, neither she nor her husband would be trying to contact me again. I’m very thankful that there was no serious conflict or anything like that,

and that Em’s mom was civil about it, but I just wish that Em had been here to receive the apologies that she was owed. She had accepted that she couldn’t change them, but she still wished that they would eventually see the light and repair their relationship. She deserved to know they came to regret what they’d done, or that her mom regrets it at the very least.

Sources: Reddit
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