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Dad straightens daughter's hair without wife's permission. AITA? UPDATED 2X

Dad straightens daughter's hair without wife's permission. AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this dad is conflicted about his own parenting, he asks the internet:

"Am I the asshole for straightening my daughters hair without my wife’s permission?"

I (male 32) have a four year old daughter. Let’s call her Gracie. Gracie is half black, her mother (female 31) being African American. Her mother over all handled all of Gracie’s hair care and taught me how to do simple styles but even those “simple” styles were difficult.

My wife ended up going on a vacation with her friends to celebrate her friends birthday and my mother came over to visit. I hadn’t done Gracie’s in a few days so it became nappy and unmanageable.

When I tried to comb her hair the comb broke. My mother said that I should get my daughter a perm so her hair would be more manageable so I took her to a salon and got it permed.

My wife got home and when she saw our daughter she was livid. She screamed at me and then at my mother for even suggesting that but I think she’s overreacting because it’s just hair. Then she brought up our wedding.

My mother had tried to get my wife to straighten her hair for the wedding but my wife refused because she wanted her natural hair on her wedding day so she could be as natural as possible.

My mother often comments on my wife’s and daughters hair and I agree with my mother. But now my wife’s telling me that perms chemically burn and damage hair to change the texture and that I “damaged” our daughters hair.

Now she’s thinking of getting our daughters hair cut so her hair can “heal from the damages” but I still think she’s overreacting. Besides, I don’t want my daughters hair to be cut. She looks so cute now.

Am I the asshole for straightening my daughters hair without my wife’s permission even though Gracie is my daughter too?

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

malefff writes:

Yes, yes, you are the asshole. It's not just hair. You did this the second your wife couldn't stop you. She now knows she can not leave her child in your hands because you will do whatever you want the second her back is turned. You have destroyed her trust in you.

Seriously, when you get married, you're supposed to care more for your wife than your mother. I think that you will end up divorced because your wife is realizing that you care more about pleasing your mother than your marriage and child.

You're basically calling your wife and daughter ugly. You should realize that. You said "cute now" which means you thought she was ugly before. YTA.

norstalgia writes:

You made this big edit saying you realize now how bad you’ve been because strangers online said so- but honestly look at what you said in the post before. You called your daughters hair “nappy” and said that it looks so cute “now”.

You said that your mother makes nasty comments about their hair AND YOU AGREE.

You not only didn’t consult your wife, but you knew how she felt about chemically altering her natural hair. Was she on vacation somewhere where phones and Internet don’t exist?

This wasn’t an “oops I didn’t know what to do”. You WANTED to do this because your racist mommy wanted you to do this and you pretended to be so dumb you didn’t realize she was planting those seeds because impressing your nasty racist mother was worth more to you than your wife and daughters’ cultural identities and senses of self worth.

The fact that in four years you haven’t taken the time to learn a basic hygiene routine for your daughter and can’t take care of her when your wife isn’t there for more than a few days speaks volumes about you as a father.

You literally taught your daughter and wife that you don’t think they are good enough as they are. Why did you even marry and make a child with a black woman when you clearly have a problem with black women as they are, and it’s clear your mother taught you this and you’ve CHOSEN to not educate yourself otherwise.

You don’t deserve your wife or your daughter. And if she is gracious enough to stay with you and try to work things out, you need to get yourself into therapy and put forth 110% into being a person they deserve that you’ve failed to be so far.

melodyraine writes:

YTA. You permed a four year old child's hair because you couldn't be bothered to do the basic hair care. You and your mother screwed up, badly, and that's before you take in how bad it looks to straighten your child's hair without her mother's consent.

Perms are harsh chemicals that break down the natural texture of the hair in order to force it into an unnatural shape or texture.

White women perm their hair to curl it, black women perm their hair to straighten it, and in both cases you risk severe damage. My own mother burned my hair off when I was nine in a perm attempt. Burned. My. Hair. Off! So no your wife is not overreacting.

pleasantaction7 writes:

YTA. And I’m glad to see your edit. But you’re still a shit dad for assuming your four year old could go days without having their hair combed. Who the f doesn’t help their preschoolers get ready daily?

You owe them both a huge apology and then you need to learn to stand up for your wife and your daughter to your racist ass mom. And you need to learn a whole fucking lot about racism and your part in it.

And now, OP's update:

I’ve read the comments and came to a realization about my marriage and my wife and now I just feel horrible. My wife’s mentioned in passing about her childhood and was always vague about it but after overhearing a conversation between her and my mother in law I just realized how much I truly messed up.

My wife is dark skinned and tall and she got bullied for that along with her hair. She went to a predominately white school in bogalusa and that made her hate herself and her looks for a while.

My god my wording was horrible too. My wife is beautiful and so is my daughter and their hair isn’t a problem. I’m the problem and so is my mother.

After hearing my wife’s conversations about me and my mother I realized that my mothers a bully and I’m just a drone/follower. My mother constantly picked on my wife and I just stood by and blindly agreed because she’s my mom. But that woman who I married is my wife and I should have protected her from… my own ignorance and my mothers ignorance.

I took something she took pride in and belittled it. I was too lazy to learn and took my mothers advice. Hell my mothers said so many cruel things that I didn’t think twice of until reading these comments.

She’d always make sure my daughter didn’t play outside when she’d go over her house because she didn’t want her to be darker like her mother and that comment made me uncomfortable but I took it as a weird joke.

I’m cutting my mother off and I’m going to apologize to my wife and daughter and start watching hair tutorials again. I’m also going to sign up for a hair braiding class when the pandemic has slowed down once more.

God I’m a horrible husband and father. When my wife is willing to talk to (I won’t force her) I’ll apologize and if she wants to leave me over this it’ll hurt like hell but I’ll understand. I’ve just pushed her to the sidelines for so long and couldn’t even see it.

Update 2:

I just got off the phone with my mother. My wife listened in on the phone call, I didn’t realize she was in the living room with me until she put her hand on my shoulder during the call. My mother is well, livid.

She freaked out on me and threatened to call CPS When I told her I didn’t want her coming around my wife and daughter and refused to even try to understand what we did wrong.

Then I mentioned the damage that the perm could cause to my daughter, (I read a small article by a black owned hair care company about childhood perm horror stories along with the history behind perms and I’m just… disgusted with myself and my mother) and my mother said my wife was being a drama queen.

When I told her my daughter might need a hair cut behind this she flipped out and said “I won’t let my grand daughter look like a bull d*ke!” And I was mortified.

She said she’s take my daughter from me and my wife and raise her the way god intended. That caused a screaming match. My wife put her hand on my shoulder in the midst of it and took the phone from home and told my mother if she comes to our home again the police will be called and then she hung up.

I put our baby to bed and then we talked. My daughter and wife are beautiful and I don’t understand how for the life of me I thought those horrible things.

Maybe it was like that snl sketch “diet racism.” Hearing those things from your parent and just blindly listening no matter how horrible it sounds. My wife is still mad at me (rightfully so) but she told me she isn’t leaving me over this.

She said I have a lot to learn and that if I want this relationship to last I need to open my eyes and realize that the world I live in is different from the one she lives in and different from the world our daughter will live in.

I’m horrified at myself and horrified at my mother. My father called a few moments ago but I ignored the call. I’ll talk to him in the morning about this.

Thank you all for talking some sense into me and I thanked my wife for staying with me even though she doesn’t have to. Tomorrow we are asking our baby girl if she wants a hair cut. Knowing her she’ll want to get one like her uncle.

He has these cool designs shaved into hide head. If she wants that she can have that. She’s my world and I refuse to ever be this ignorant and harmful to her again.

my wife and I arranged for our daughter to spend the night at my mother in laws house and couples therapy will be in the near future. The comments sections have certainly given me many perspectives of how horrible my words and actions are.

I won’t be doing any more replies or edits because this is a throw away account. I think that’s the right term for this. My mother has called the house multiple times from my sisters phone. My sister is 25 and lives for drama so now the whole family on my mothers side is blowing up my phone with many mixed opinions… most of which are horrible.

It’s funny, the only family member who’s opinion reflects this comment sections common consensus is the one who was disowned a few months ago. Well actually that’s not funny. It shows how messed up my family is. Thank you all for these replies no matter how “harsh” or “mean” they might seem, I needed this.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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