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'AITA for divorcing my husband because our kids don’t get along?' + Unexpected Update

'AITA for divorcing my husband because our kids don’t get along?' + Unexpected Update

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"AITA for divorcing my husband because our kids don’t get along?"

Slow_Associate1112

I 34 F have a daughter named May (14 F). I got married to my husband Jim 6 years ago. He has a daughter Penny (15 F) from his first marriage. My first husband passed away 7 years ago and I met Jim soon after.

The girls never got along but we thought once they get to know each other that everything would be better. But that didn’t happen. After they started highschool things got worse and Penny tried to bully May every chance she got.

I’m not saying May is completely innocent, but she never went out of her way to make Penny uncomfortable. But Penny took every opportunity to torment May. However in school May had a ton of friends who would protect her.

May’s friends eventually started bullying Penny and she cried wolf to the principal. But May had receipts on everything that Penny said about her. The school just suspended them both for two days.

This was upsetting for May because she had her first play. When they got home Penny screamed at May that she ruined everything. She then took a picture frame that May and her dad had made and broke it before ripping up the picture.

May screamed and we ran down and seen what happened. Penny then said you’d be better off with him to May before going to her room. May sat there distraught before running outside. I ran after her while Jim stayed with Penny.

I found her at the park. She said she couldn’t stay in that house anymore and would ask her paternal grandparents to take her in. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem. That night I talked to my husband and told him I’m filing for divorce because I can’t continue to watch my daughter be in pain.

He told me we’ll get through this. I asked him not to make this harder than it already it and that I’ll be visiting a lawyer in the morning. I love him and Penny very much but May is still my priority. Is there something that I can do about this? I’m just looking for advice.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:

NickelPickle2018

What is your husband doing to address Penny’s behavior?

HeadHunt0rUK

What are either of them doing about anything? Literally no info from OP about what either of them have done, to address or attempt to fix the issue. It's like they've tried nothing and are all out of ideas.

-POMP-POMP-

I really like how neither adults did anything in this story.

mimic-man77

INFO: What have both of you done in the past to try to get Penny to change her behavior?

AdIntrepid4978

So many other AITA are from May’s view or a mom who can’t figure out why her kid went NC in the same situation. If Penny has been bullying May and no therapy or addressing it has worked.. why keep May in this situation any longer? You could go for separation and move out with your daughter, while trying more therapy.

But don’t stay and keep your daughter in this situation. Penny ripped a picture of May & her dad because she wanted to achieve the ultimate hurt. Something she can’t take back because the picture will always be ripped.

Even if there’s a way to fix it, you all know Penny acted this way because she understood that it would hurt May to the core. I say move out with May and have a separation. May wants to move out to grandparents because whatever you’ve tried to do hasn’t worked.

Tell your husband you’re willing to work as a family but it requires individual counseling for both daughters, family counseling and couples counseling. Include couples because it has come to a point where you’re willing divorce to help your kid. Your marriage is impacted and it won’t go away with family counseling.

Then seriously sit down with May and ask her what she wants. Because this is a pivotal moment, you “hoped” they’d get along and likely Minimized whatever you saw prior to the marriage as teen girls going through growing pains towards being steps.

Penny likely also has some issues that haven’t been addressed. She’s lashing out at May because she sees May as being someone she can reach. There’s something there and you and your husband will do a disservice to her to only focus on her actions towards May and “fixing that”.

I think you rushed into marriage too fast, for either of your daughters. You met Jim soon after, what time did you give for May? How fast was your relationship? Your desire to blend/ love likely has played into all this.

Three days later, the OP returned with an update.

"(Update)AITA for divorcing my husband because our kids don’t get along?"

Slow_Associate1112

So to keep things simple we sent Penny to her mothers house. Jim begged not to end this marriage. He rarely cries and his solution was to send Penny to live at her mothers.

I thought it was an unfair solution and told him that I couldn’t do that to Penny. He suggested family counseling and we were able to find an appointment for the four of us today.

A lot came out. Penny believed that it was always the dad’s fault for divorce. And because Jim and his ex told her that the reason for the divorce was because they didn’t love each other anymore, she assumed Jim cheated.

Jim admitted today that it was his ex who cheated and she married the man. Penny didn’t believe it, the therapist allowed her to call her mom right then and there. She didn’t even try to deny it and explained how her current husband got deployed overseas and a long distance relationship was hard on them so they broke up.

During that time she met Jim however everytime her current husband visited home she would cheat on Jim. This was going on for five years and Jim eventually caught them.

Penny then cursed her mom out on the phone for deceiving her for all these years and then just walked out the session. We spent hours looking for her, but she was at home in her room. She’s not talking to anybody right now. But hopefully this will change everything.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's update:

feedtorank1

Presuming this is real, this is why you don't hide infidelity from the kids. It just allows cheaters to manipulate the kids.

BelieveBelieves

Why do people bury their heads in sand about something so monumental as their children not getting along?

prj126

Why do so many parents expect fairytale big happy families the second they get married to someone with kids?! Just because you're in love doesn't mean your kids share that love by osmosis.

matchamagpie

OP really shouldn't have gone through with the marriage in the first place knowing that the kids were at each others' throats. All adults failed here but at least OP is trying to resolve it now. Jim is an asshole trying to send away Penny. Full stop.

Fire_or_water_kai

I think everyone can agree that Penny's mom is the real AH here. I just want to point out how awesome OP is for recognizing the unfair solution and helping to get to the bottom of Penny's issues, while protecting your child. You're the MVP here.

Not sure where this leaves things for you relationship wise, and obviously, take your time configure it out. I hope Penny apologizes to your daughter one day, but for now, keep a close eye on them. I hope it all works for the best, whatever way it goes.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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