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'My daughter came out to me and doesn't want my wife to know.' UPDATED 2X

'My daughter came out to me and doesn't want my wife to know.' UPDATED 2X


As a parent, providing a safe space for your kid is the most important priority.

"My daughter (14F) came out to me(40M) and doesn't want my wife(42F) to know."

I(40M) and my wife(42F) have been married for 5 years. I have a 14 year old daughter from a previous relationship. Her mother wanted nothing to do with her when she was born. When I met my wife, she was worried about being a bad step-mother to my daughter. They became close and they do a spa day every mother's day.

My daughter has very long hair down to her shoulders. She hates putting it up in ponytails and she complains about the length of time it takes to blow-dry. She's a big tom-boy and one of her friends recommended she gets a pixie cut. I booked her an appointment to get the cut she wanted and she was very happy. She's been in such a great mood and loves having the short hair.

When I brought her home to see wife, my wife dropped what she was doing and looked like she was about to faint. She asked why I allowed daughter to cut all her hair off. I told her that this is the cut my daughter wanted. My wife got furious and started telling me about how I ruined daughter's image. I shot back at her to get over the hair-cut as it made daughter happy.

That was all I wanted was my daughter to be happy. My wife continued to complain about the haircut even around my daughter and I had to tell her multiple times to drop it. My daughter has been very depressed and it's worrying me. I have been giving my wife the cold shoulder and she's being very cold to both me and daughter. AITA for telling my wife to get over my daughters short hair?

The comments kept coming in.

tabby51260 wrote:

NTA. My mom wouldn't let me have short hair. I got it cut short in college a little under 10 years ago and have never let it grow back out. I truly dislike long hair and can't even stand my hair touching the bottom of my neck now. If your daughter wants it short she should have it short. It's not like she asked to start drinking or something.

OP responded:

That's another thing I brought up to my wife that it's just hair. It's not a big deal. I think that was the biggest issue for my daughter was it touching her shoulders. She also hated how long it took to blow-dry. I think my wife has that view that women need to have long hair because her hair is long.

mwmandorla wrote:

NTA. The way she's continuing to complain about the cut itself and the girl's "image" sounds like she straight up thinks girls shouldn't have short hair. Maybe she was ok with your daughter's tomboy-ness as long as she still had what your wife considers a major signal of femininity and now she feels the girl is "too masculine."

She may or may not have ideas about this having something to do with your having been a single father. Maybe she feels an inappropriate level of authority or control over your child's choices about how she presents herself in general, regardless of gender norms, and feels her authority was usurped.

Regardless of the nature of her issue, she is making a child feel bad about her appearance and her preferences for her own body, and she needs to stop.

Yungeel wrote:

Absolutely NTA. Your daughter is old enough to make her own style choices and she’s obviously happy. That IS all that matters. It’s just hair. She can grow it long again if she chooses to do so. It’s not like she amputated a limb. Your wife is def the AH for bringing up her issues with her hair in front of your daughter.

midnightsrose77 wrote:

NTA. Your daughter is the one who gets to choose the length of her hair. My mother kept my hair short while I was young. Once I hit high school, I put my foot down and started growing it out. I'd been in pixie cuts and short bobs until then.


Two weeks later, OP shared an update.

My daughter and I are extremely close. She got a short hair cut a week or so ago and my wife's reaction was shocking. She wasn't supportive and it's damaged her relationship with daughter. I took daughter out for a dinner and movie and during dinner she told me that she liked girls. I am super supportive of her and gave her a big hug.

She asked me if I would not tell her step-mother as she was worried about her reaction. I told her that I would not tell her as my daughters happiness is everything. My wife and I were talking and she was upset that daughter was not talking with her. I simply explained to her that her reaction with the hair has damaged their relationship.

I went on a sort of long rant that daughter does not feel comfortable telling her anything. I'm having trouble sleeping at night and I can tell that daughter is struggling living with her step-mother.

Daughter is in therapy and she seems to be doing better. She even told me that there is girl in her class that she has a crush on. I've been having thoughts about divorce as I want the absolute best for my daughter. My wife still doesn't think she did anything wrong and it's put a huge strain on our relationship.

The comments kept coming in.

Garbage-Striking wrote:

Ultimately you need to put your daughter first, and I commend you for doing so. You don’t say, but is there any chance that your wife might come to accept your daughter’s sexuality?

OP responded:

I'm not sure. My wife's parents are not supportive of the LGBT community. My wife never mentioned if she was supportive or not.

Adorable_Strength319 wrote:

If your gut is telling you that your wife's response to the haircut is indicative of how she'd respond to your daughter coming out, then yes, it's for the best if you spare your daughter having to go through that on a much deeper more emotionally hurtful scale. Props to you and your kid for having a trusting relationship. Keep it that way.

michaelmoby responded:

Her overblown reaction to this small thing is already telling you what her reaction is going to be to something bigger, and I'm not even talking about your daughter's coming out. She doesn't seem concerned about damaging her relationship with your daughter, and by not being the adult and apologizing to either of you, is showing you that she will forever be competing with your daughter.

If she can't be the adult in a situation about a haircut, how can she be the adult in any other situation that involves your daughter? I think you already know that she is not the person you should be with.

Props to you for having such a close and trusting relationship with your daughter - separating yourself from the selfishness of your wife will only build that trust and help your daughter navigate the next phase of her life with the best ally possible. Don't let this woman spoil or hurt that.

baconpancakes04 wrote:

Ultimately you have to do what's best for you and your daughter. I think how you have handed this situation is amazing and very supportive of your daughter. It's awesome how comfortable she feels being open to you and talking to you about her crush. You seem like a great dad. If divorcing your wife is best for you and your daughter then you should do that.

If you want the relationship to work, suggest going to couples therapy to see why your wife is feeling this way. It doesn't seem like she is a very accepting and supportive person and that probably won't change, but having a neutral third party might help get all of the feelings out.

At the end of the day if she doesn't support your daughter its never going to work and your daughter shouldn't have to feel uncomfortable in her home.

Six weeks later, OP shared another update.

I apologize for not updating sooner. There was so much that happened between my original post to now. My wife and I had a long talk about daughter. She admitted that she could not stand seeing my daughter with her haircut and blamed me for encouraging her choices. I did not say anything and let my wife get everything that she wanted off her chest.

She asked me repeatedly if my daughter was gay and I told her that daughter is old enough to tell her. The look on my wife's face showed disgust and discomfort. My daughter and I had a long conversation and she told me that she didn't feel comfortable being around wife anymore.

My wife and I were arguing more and overall things were not getting better. I suggested counseling, she turned that down.

I finally decided that I needed to do what is best for my daughter. I spoke with a close friend who is an attorney and have started the divorce paperwork. My soon to be ex did not take the divorce news well and packed a bag and is currently living with her sister in another state.

My daughter seems a lot happier and it's given us time to do more things together. She and I will be doing lots of camping and trips this summer. My ex hasn't been in any contact with daughter at all. I appreciate all the comments and advice. I'm definitely feeling better and seeing my daughter happy is all I care about.

The internet continued to have his back.

Hyche862 wrote:

Your daughter was very smart about all of this and it’s very obvious she got her intelligence from you!

You sir are an amazing Father!

OP responded:

Thank you!

Hershey78 wrote:

Your ex showed her true colors, and I am beyond happy you chose your daughter. It seems obvious to do so but unfortunately many parents don't.

WorkoutDontWork wrote:

OP, You're a wonderful father, and you made the right decision. This is something that your daughter will always cherish and means a great deal, coming from a daughter who never felt heard by her parents. Reading this brought me to tears. She's fortunate to have you, and you're doing fantastically. I apologize for what you are going through.

ISD-444 wrote:

You did a great job in choosing your daughter.

Therefore your story is a double edge lesson for whoever wants to date single parent, their child will always be first.

Sources: Reddit
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