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'AITA for leaving my husband after he gave away some of my baby's ashes?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for leaving my husband after he gave away some of my baby's ashes?' UPDATED 2X


"AITAH for leaving my husband after he gave away some of my babies ashes?"

My daughter passed away in a tragic accident when she was 2 years old. At the time my step daughter was still coming around regularly and we had a decent relationship, we weren't close or anything but I tried my best to get along for my husband's sake.

She was 13 at the time my daughter passed away and SDs mother came to my husband and I asking if she could have some of my daughters ashes to put in a keepsake for SD. I refused off the bat.

Not only is SD not responsible enough for something that important, I didn't like the idea of separating my baby's ashes at all. SD has since stopped visiting as much and it's been 3 years since my daughter passed away and SD's mom came to me again asking for "more ashes" because SD lost the keepsake sometime ago and was torn up about it.

I was shaking because I was clear about not wanting to separate her ashes and asked her what she meant. She told me that after the initial conversation we had 3 years ago, my husband gave her the ashes anyways to put in the keepsake. I confronted my husband on this and he shrugged it off saying that it wasn't that big of a deal.

I packed my bags and took my daughters urn and went to stay at my sister's house. It's been two weeks since I left and he's been blowing up my phone with phone calls and texts, some begging and crying and some telling me I'm an ah for blowing this out of proportion.

Then today a mutual friend sent me a screenshot of a post made on Facebook from SD's mother saying that I am punishing my husband for doing something nice for his only living child and that I am just bitter. I am so torn up over this...AITAH?

Not long after posting, OP shared a small update.

ETA: I should clarify during the initial conversation I never said I wasn't open to having this conversation again at a later time once she was older and more mature. When discussing arrangements for our daughter we agreed mutually that she would be cremated ONLY because neither of us knew where our final resting places would be and we wanted her with us wherever we ended up, not buried just to be buried.

We are both from different states than we are currently residing in so neither were sure we wanted to be buried here.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

Away-Understanding34 wrote:

NTA going behind your back is a huge breach of trust. He could have backed you up saying she was too young for such an important keepsake and that he would ask you to reconsider when she was older. Also, the "only living child" thing was such a cruel comment. As a mother, she knew what she was doing by saying that.

[deleted] wrote:

NTA. You didn't want to separate your daughter's ashes in the first place, you also didn't feel SD was responsible enough for something like that and you were absolutely right. Your husband went behind your back and the SDs mother is facilitating this behavior.

This is not ok. This is your baby. You're the mother, and I can't believe your husband can't understand that your feelings are a little more important in this situation. Not to minimize his grief, but he should know better.

ohhreallly wrote:

NTA- so sorry this happened to you! This should never have happened without your approval. :( They are both wrong. And the audacity of the SM posting about it is beyond disrespectful :(

Cute_Soni wrote:

NTA. Your husband and SD's mother are minimizing the importance of your daughter's ashes and your grief. It's not a matter of being "bitter" or "blowing things out of proportion," but rather a matter of respecting the memory of your child and honoring your wishes as her mother.

Flimsy_Task8579 wrote:

I have an urn of ashes from my baby in my living room. It's been 21 years. If anyone tampered with them, I'd burn the world down. Unless you've lost a baby, you have no idea. That is not something you help yourself to.

Especially doing it behind your back. It was a discussion that could've been revisited when she was older and the grief was lessened. You're NTA and I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive him.

Hours later, OP shared another update.

SD - Step Daughter, SM - Step daughter’s mother

To clear some questions that I have been getting. Yes, the baby is my husband's too, I used the term "my baby" because I am talking to you. We are not.

During the initial conversation about giving SD some of the ashes my husband never spoke up to disagree with me about it. He went with it and then went behind my back. If he disagreed why didn't he speak up at the time? And I never said I wasn't willing to revisit the conversation in the future.

This conversation came up literally the day her ashes came home to us. SM and I have never seen eye to eye, she thinks she has some kind of weird claim on him due to their prior relationship and that's never sat well with me because of her consistent boundary crossing.

SD was 11 when I had her sister and was more interested in other things like her phone, friends and school than being involved with her sister. I tried to get her involved in feeding, dressing or playing with her sister and it never clicked with them.

I am in no way saying that an 11-13 year old should be responsible for a baby, just saying that I tried to help foster that relationship. I do NOT dislike SD. I am not even upset that she lost the ashes, I was simply pointing out that she was not responsible or mature enough to handle something so important.

She loses money, jewelry, toys, ect. All the time. Her mothers wedding band from her parents marriage being the most prominent example.

We have the cohabiting kind of relationship, not the mother daughter kind as she stated that she wasn't interested in having that with me and that is OKAY!

She is allowed to feel that way. I am not hoarding her ashes like a dragon with a pile of gold, at the time that we made our daughters arrangements my husband and I agreed that we would want her buried with us wherever we end up. We, BOTH of us wanted her buried with us.

We agreed to this. We have always had an amazing relationship, listening to each other's concerns and opinions. We hardly ever disagree and when we do we can usually compromise about important decisions. I cannot have any more children because of a complex medical procedure that left me sterile.

SM however has 2 children other than SD, so my daughter was not her only sibling. Just the only one she shared with my husband. After reading through the comments, I have asked my husband to come to marriage counseling with me. I am not ready to forgive and forget, but I genuinely want to know why he was so willing to go behind my back. I'm not sure how this chapter will end for us.

The comments kept coming.

PlainCroissantFTW wrote:

No parent should have to say goodbye to their baby and your wishes should have been respected. Out of curiosity, did 13 year old ever make the request herself? Or now that she is older? Or apologise for losing the keepsake in the first place?

OP responded:

No, she never asked for it in the first place. Just expressed that she was disappointed she lost it.

Elegant_Cockraoch430 wrote:

Op, you had no fights because he agrees with you to your face then goes behind your back to do what he feels is correct/best/his way/delulu, etc.

He has done this before; I promise you this is not the only time.

doxiesrule89 wrote:

100% this, OP please do not go immediately to counseling with someone who so easily betrayed you and was capable of hiding it for years, and is attempting to manipulate you at this moment.

Go to your own counseling alone first; specifically someone well read in betrayal trauma. If your husband is willing to lie to you about the most important thing in your life - he has absolutely lied to you about a lot of other things on the way here.

The extreme red flag from your first post (besides the actual betrayal of taking the ashes) that nobody else seemed to mention, is that he’s leaving hot/cold messages on your phone, going from attempting to gaslight you into thinking that you’re the problem in this situation, to begging your forgiveness and to come home.

This is a manipulator and he does not actually mean either one. He’s saying whatever he thinks will work to get you to do what he wants.

It took me years to really grasp the fact that I was living with an extremely manipulative psychopath; the rage was obvious, but the control was not. Had my ex had a better grasp on his temper (which I’m sure he has now with his 2nd wife), I may never have realized what was really happening and might still be stuck with him.

Having been in therapy for a long time now, I can see that every decision I made that seemed mutual, was completely guided by him. He would do everything in his power to control everything. And every time I got fed up and tried to stand my ground? Messages just like the ones you’re receiving.

Alarmed_Lynx_7148 wrote:

Good on you to be able to consider marriage counselling. I guess a betrayal like that would require separation at least for me, time with my own thoughts and myself, without seeing the one who betrayed me.

It’s the time that the lie was kept from me is what would have pushed me over the edge. If it was closer to when it was done, then maybe I’d be able to get over it sooner but the fact it’s been 3 years and you weren’t the wiser. That’s just unforgivable, for me. Good luck moving forward.

Nanandia wrote:

Well, you're better than me, I wouldn't be able to forgive something like this. The initial betrayal was already to much, but him doubling down and saying it was not a big deal? I"m disgusted on your behalf. There's no amount of therapy in the world that could ever make me see this person as my partner again.

He lied to you and deliberately handed over the most precious thing you have, and to make things worse, to a teenager that didn't even had a real bond with your daughter, and that couldn't care less (I bet she never lost her phone).

You said how you guys have a good comunication, and I'm wondering if it was indeed good, or if that's just his MO, if you always talking things through is just him falsely agreeing with you and then doing whatever the hell he wants behind your back.

I can't understand how a good partner could be able to go this low. How can someone love his partner and at the same time lie, betray and gaslight like this? Be careful. This was not some random mistake, and a man can't have 2 different characters. I don't think you know who he really is. I'm so sorry.

Btw, ex knew exactly what she was doing when she came to ask for more ashes. She has an agenda of her own. And again, I'm sorry, but all I can think about is that your husband and her deserve each other, and you deserve to be around better people.

I'm sorry for your loss, I hope things get better and you can find peace. Please, be careful, protect yourself, get some distance to think more clearly. Go to your family and old friends, surround yourself with people that trully loves you, that will give you a better perspective. Wishing you the best ❤

Sources: Reddit
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