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'AITA for yelling at my dad for secretly dating my SAT tutor and lying about it?' UPDATED

'AITA for yelling at my dad for secretly dating my SAT tutor and lying about it?' UPDATED


"AITA For Yelling at My Dad For Not Telling Me About His Boyfriend?"

I (16M) made a mess of everything, but I feel like I'm justified. My sister "Wendy" (16F) feels different. Quick Background: I got kicked from the track team because my grades dropped too low. After getting lectured by my dad (36M), he started trying to find me a tutor. So far 3 tutors have given up on me.

My dads favorite is my sister. I mean, I get it. Straight A student, nice, pretty, never gotten detention, yadda yadda. She looks and acts like a younger version of my dad. I’m the complete opposite. They always tell each other everything, so I'm usually outta the loop until the very last minute. Don't get me wrong, he's a great dad. A lotta people have it worse. I just know I'm not top priority and that sucks sometimes.

Story: I started seeing "Michael" (34—36 ish probably, M) last month as a tutor. My dad said he was an old friend of his. I expected to hate him and for him to realize I was hopeless. But he was actually kinda cool.

Instead of studying immediately, he wanted to talk. Get to know me. I told him about track and field and my music collection — I'm a HUGE fan of old music. I got this awesome, giant poster of Diana Ross, and a big CD collection (a lot of Olivia Newton-John and Billy Joel, to name a few, and of course Diana Ross, the coolest. I also got this wicked George Michael jacket that I wear everywhere).

We also talked about my family for a bit, he seemed to really like my dad. Eventually after about a month or so of this, Mike came over for dinner. He brought me a Cyndi Lauper CD, and brought Wendy a poster of this anime character with demon eyes and pink hair and horns. She got super excited.

So. After dinner, Michael and Wendy went upstairs so he could help her hang up her poster. Then my dad wanted to talk. He asked what I thought about Michael. I said he was cool and was in the middle of explaining what I was studying with him (Hamlet) when dad dropped the “we’re dating” bombshell.

My brain short circuited for a second as all the pieces flew together. Its like Mike was only nice to me so my dad would be happy. I asked for how long and he said a couple months. I asked why he was telling only me, and he said Wendy already knew. That was a kick to the stomach. A huge yelling match occurred. Mike came down looking embarrassed and left.

I do feel bad about that. I like Mike, and upon reflection I think he and my dad are good together. I havent seen my dad this happy in a while. I'm not mad that they're together, I'm mad everyone lied to me. Later Wendy came in my room and called me an a$$hole. We had an argument; Mean words were exchanged. My dad arrived and surprise surprise, took her side.

After more screaming, I locked myself in my room. Wendy and Dad ganging up on me I'm used too, but I don't want Mike to hate me.

TL;DR: My dad and my sister both were lying to me and I got mad when I found out. AITA?

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


NTA in my opinion as an outsider, but please communicate to your family just why you are upset. Tell them that It’s not just about not knowing your dad was dating someone, you are upset that your sister knew before you for /months/ and is way closer to your dad, leaving you out of the family dynamic a lot.

You are upset over all the other little things you’ve been left out of and this was just the straw that broke the camels back, and you feel they waited too long to finally let you in on everything and ostracizing you.


NTA. You were clearly lied to. Your dad had been seeing his boyfriend for two months. No one told you - that was a lie by omission, if they were telling other people but not you. Then, a month ago you are introduced, but not to your dad's boyfriend, but to your new "tutor." That's an outright lie, he wasn't there as a tutor, he was there to get to know you as your dad's boyfriend.

And that's a pretty serious lie. I remember that, as a teenager, there were some teachers whom I felt comfortable confiding in or going to for advice. But I wouldn't go to a friend of my parents for the same thing, because the teacher's job was to help me, but my parents' friends had their primary relationship with my parents, not me, and their loyalty would be to my parents.

That's just the way it is with friendship, you don't go to someone else's friend and peer to be your confidant, you go to someone whose relationship is with you. In particular, you might go to a teacher for advise in dealing with an issue with a parent, to get an outside adult perspective. You'd never go to your parent's boyfriend, or even friend.

In introducing you in this way, your father and his boyfriend seriously misrepresented the power dynamic between you and Michael. You thought he was a teacher, there for you. Instead, he was your father's boyfriend, whom they were trying to trick you into getting to know.

Who is left to trust in your family? Your father lied to you. Your sister knew your father was lying, and said nothing to you. Your dad's boyfriend, whom you thought was a tutor you could connect with, was lying all along.

I can't really believe how many people are justifying you being lied to. Bad grades don't excuse people being dishonest to you - the two are completely unrelated. And the added stress of having betrayal and lies in your family isn't going to help you concentrate on studies.

Likewise your "bad reaction" - you didn't have a homophobic reaction (which is apparently what they feared?) you reacted badly to finding out that you are living surrounded by liars.

If your father wanted you to be pleased that he was dating Michael, he shouldn't have lied about it, so that your finding out about the dating was simultaneous with finding out that he'd been lying to you for an extended period of time, and that the friendship you built with Michael the Tutor was based on a lie.

The title of this thread really downplays what was done to you. It isn't that your dad "didn't tell" you about his boyfriend, it's that he deliberately and actively lied to you about the entire matter.


I don’t think you are. It makes sense why you’re hurt. Mike might not have “only” been nice to you for your dad; maybe he just is nice, and obviously that would be good. But it was shitty of your dad to pretend like Mike was a guy who was there to be your tutor. That kind of deception in parenting pisses me off (I experienced some of it myself). Definitely NTA.

Verdict: NTA!

OP later shared this emotional update:

Wow. I was blown away by all the kind comments. A few brought me to tears. Thank you. I've read all your thoughts and responded when I could. I realize I wasn't completely in the wrong, but I still could have handled better. The first thing I did was send Mike an email. Here's an excerpt from that email:

"I'm sorry for how I acted at dinner the other night. I was angry at my father for keeping something from me and only me (which tends to happen a lot). My dad and sister have a special bond and I often feel pushed to the side, and this was "the straw that broke the camels back."

This explains my outburst, but doesn't excuse it. I apologize for putting you in that position. I appreciate you helping me study. I like you a lot, and I'm cool with you guys dating, but I feel hurt I was the only one who didn't know. I felt betrayed and like you only wanted to get to know me to make my dad happy."

I wrote a similar letter to my dad, stressing that the favoritism hurt me really bad and I didn't like being left out of everything. I understand they have a bond because they're so similar, but I wanted a relationship with him, too. I pointed out how he often times sided with Wendy (like the other night) and that made me feel like an afterthought and further reinforced in my mind that she was the favorite.

I put the note in his office where he would see it when he got home from work that night. After I got home from babysitting yesterday, I saw Mike had responded to my email. We talked for a little bit. Mike essentially apologized and explained the situation from his pov (though he made it clear he wasn't trying to excuse his behavior).

He said he wasn't trying to get to know me just for my dad and that he likes me, too. Mike also said that he and his little sister were raised by a single parent, and felt like when she remarried, she and his step-dad always favored their step-brother, so he understands how I feel. He said that emotions and communication can be difficult (especially with my dad) and offered to help me talk to him. I politely declined.

Later, my dad got home from work and found my letter. He immediately came downstairs to my room (like, didn't even change out of his uniform first, which is unheard of) and asked if really felt this way.

I said yes. He sat down next to me and started crying. I mean full on sobbing. I've never seen his man let out a single macho man tear before. So I was just kinda like ??? Huh ??? What do I do ?? Did I break him ???

He apologized for making me feel left out and like an afterthought, and that he hadn't realized how he was making me feel. We talked for a while. I kind of just talked in circles and repeated what I said in my note, but he listened. He's open to me starting therapy, hesitated when I brought up family therapy, but said that he'd try it.

Then Wendy came home from work. My dad and I talked so long I lost track of time. She came downstairs when she heard us talking, and I said that we were speaking privately, and then she got super defensive saying that she deserves to be included too (ironic) and started complaining about me again.But then!! My dad shut! her! down!

He said that we were having a private conversation, and if she wanted to talk later they could, but I needed to say some things right now. Her face went all surprise Pikachu, looked at my dad to make sure he was serious, and then just went upstairs.

Here's some stuff that I found out:

1.) When I started seeing Mike as a tutor, he and my dad hadn't started dating yet. They dated each other briefly in college, but stopped when Mike moved back to Europe, where he's from (we live in North America).

He moved back up here earlier this year to help his sister with some stuff. He and my dad started talking, and Mike agreed to help tutor me (he was already tutoring some kids in the area). Dad and Mike started dating a few weeks later.

2.) Mike's sister has a kid "Jack" (15M) who goes to my school. I know of Jack but I don't know him. However, he takes an AP class with my sister, and they started talking. Apparently Jack recognized her last name, they spoke, and he told Wendy that Mike and dad used to date. She figured the rest out from there.

3.) When Wendy confronted my dad about it, he asked her not to tell me. (my dad admitted this wasn't okay and he should have told me once she knew).

My dad and I are gonna start doing stuff together. He offered to come with me on my morning jogs to "hang out" so we'll see?

I'm no longer seeing Mike as a tutor. Both my dad and Mike agreed that I improved enough that I can study independently (thank you whoever suggested Khan Academy) at least until school starts back up. Then we'll reevaluate and if I'm okay with it, I'll start studying with Mike again.

Mike's gonna come over to dinner tonight, and he's gonna bring his sister and nephew so we can all officially meet. Wendy still isnt talking to me.

Update #2:

I'm getting tested for ADHD. Apparently my mom got diagnosed with it about a year before she died. Also, as it turns out, while Wendy looks and acts just like my dad, apparently I'm the spitting image of my mom?? How crazy it that?? She apparently collected records and went to concerts all the time!!

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