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'AITA for walking out on my adoptive daughter and telling her everything is her fault?' + Update

'AITA for walking out on my adoptive daughter and telling her everything is her fault?' + Update


"AITA for walking out on my adoptive daughter and telling her everything is her fault?"


So I (36f) have two kids. A boy Tom (5) and a Sarah daughter (18), plus my husband's late brother's kid (16f) Kelly who lives with us. 14 months ago, my husband came home with Kelly and said she would be staying with us for a while. I barely knew Kelly because, since her father passed away 10 years ago, her mom has been struggling with mental health issues.

Apparently Kelly was in a bad situation at home due to her mother’s new boyfriend being a, let’s say, not so nice person. He told me it was only for 3 months while his parents, who recently moved aboard, got settled. Then it went to 5 til his sister had her baby. Just excuse after excuse till I stopped asking.

As time went on, my husband just acted like she was our daughter even bringing up adoption a few times which I refused even when he threatened divorce. I know I sound like a monster but you have to realize Kelly isn’t easy to deal with and my husband doesn’t allow her to face any kind of consequences.

Kelly acts like she is the golden child and my daughter is the black sheep. She has violent meltdowns. She’s threatened our son that my husband will leave us if she tells him because he loves her more ,which traumatized Tom.

She has tried and failed her mind games with me, pretending to be a saint. Her main target is my daughter. She is extremely cruel towards her verbally. She’ll shame her for everything little thing, like wearing make up or tell her she’s lazy/good for nothing for stupid reasons like sleeping late at the weekends.

She’ll take her things and will either lose them or destroy them, then cry to my husband, who will excuse her behaviour even tho he spends 70% of his time at work. We are all in therapy which isn’t working. In group sessions, when someone points out Kelly’s behaviour or adoption, it usually end up with everyone fighting.

It all came to a head last month when Kelly was in a mood all week because Sarah had a big 18th birthday party with all the attention on Sarah, especially from my family, which Kellyhas mentioned in therapy. Sarah and I were having a stupid “fight” over a non issue because Sarah used all my shampoo, which she didn’t replace or let me know I was out of.

Kelly came out of nowhere screaming at Sarah, calling her a moocher, lazy, trash and spoiled. She then said Sarah was an adult now and, if she didn’t pull her weight, she’d get kicked out.

I lost it. I told her Sarah was my daughter and, If she didn’t change her attitude, she’d be the one kicked out. Kelly didn’t say anything. She just went into her room. About an hour later, my husband came back and started screaming literally in my face.

He was calling me names, telling me he wants a divorce so he can protect Kelly. So, I said ok, I want a divorce and 50/50 custody. I get my son, he gets his niece, now get the frick out of my house with his niece.

They left and have been staying with his brother since. My husband now has to deal with Kelly all the time he wants more therapy to fix our issues so we can get back together and be a family again. They both came over yesterday to collect the last of their stuff and Kelly asked me if it was her fault. I said yes, it was just as much her fault as her uncles (husband).

My husband told me I’m being a monster and Kelly is my daughter, whether I admit it or not and I’ve abandoned her when she finally had a stable home. He said that she doesn’t mean to lash out, it’s just due to her trauma and if we work together we can help her work through it. Honestly, now I don’t know what to do and I feel like an ahole.

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


NTA. Your husband only wants back with you to dump Kelly on you again. She's a troubled teen and needs some serious help. Your husband is more interested in feeling like he's helping Kelly (not actually doing the real work involved) than in protecting his own kids.

Hire a good Divorce Attorney. Ask about getting child support for your son and possibly to help your daughter with higher education costs, if that's possible. Also, ask about getting a court order that your husband can't have Kelly around your son, given her past threats against him.

The OP responded here:


I will be pushing for supervised visits with Tom as of now he had only had him with me or his sister in law present.


But specify that these are to be supervised visits without Kelly present. Your husband seems to have blinders on and can't be trusted to make good decisions without a specific court order.

The OP again responded:


In my country supervised visits happen in a centre with a social worker and security present I can call multiple witnesses to make sure she won’t be allowed in.


"telling me he wants a divorce"

Agree with him and get it over with.


I agree. Your husband refuses to see your point of view and realize your children are being traumatized by his niece. He is more concerned about someone else's trauma? You are not the AH. He is.


NTA You need to protect your 5 y/o and your daughter. Yes, If my partner communicates and asks if they can bring their late siblings child, I will take them in as my own. But not everyone has to. Especially, because your husband just announced it instead of asking. Also a temporary thing that he made permanent.

Now, if the 'adopted' child is my child they will face repercussions just like my bio kids would. The trauma of losing a parent and an addict mom has to be hard. But loving the family environment means work from both parents.

He cannot just expect you to take care of a severely traumatized child, while undermining your parenting. I am making the assumption that you treated all 3 equally before she started playing favorite?

Your husband wanted to take care of a traumatized child but instead made you deal with it. Instead of working with all the kids needs, he prioritized her needs. I mean imagine your children thinking "daddy will leave us for her, she said so and so did daddy."

There is clearly animosity between you and the 16y/o. Your husband did not have enough respect to listen to all sides and just threatened with divorce. So give him his divorce and let him parent the kid. Playing the good cop is easy when he doesn't have to do any parenting.

Four days later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update AITAH for waking out on my “adoptive daughter” and telling her everything is her fault"


So yes the divorce is going forward even tho my husband has begged me to stay because he can’t handle the consequences of his actions and yes, he is aitata8482828.

He did change a few details and yes this isn’t our first follow out with me blowing up kelly isn’t my daughter and I wanted her out due to THEIR mistreated of Sarah we nearly got divorced last year but he used therapy and my emotional problems as a tool to manipulate me to stay.

Sarah hasn’t spoken much to her father since the first fall out because as people mentioned even on his post leaving a lot out about Kelly and just putting down Sarah it was clear who he only cares about.

Sarah said she wants nothing to do with him and has warned family to but out. I’m sick of his emotional and mental nightmare towards us for his niece and his threats of divorce to get his way. So, I hope he makes this easy on everyone.

Yes Kelly has had a bad childhood and has suffered but she isn’t my problem anymore I want zero contact with her and will make sure she won’t have contact with my son.

I’ve plenty of evidence and witnesses to make it happen I can sound cruel but she can get lost. She isn’t my kid, so I don’t owe her a relationship and regardless of how bad her trauma is, she has no right to traumatise others. She could have had a life in america with her grandparents but she refused to learn English.

As for my husband being her real dad that’s irrelevant to me because I won’t get the truth and would only cause more issues for my kids who’ve been through enough. Thanks to everyone for the adivce I won’t be logging in after tonight and as I’ve said in the comments English isn’t my first language.

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


Regardless of what anyone tells you, always do what's best for you and your children, especially if they're being mistreated. Trauma doesn't give you the right to traumatize others.


Your ex husband can now deal with Kelly and all her trauma. Good for Sarah for cutting off her father, he clearly sucks at being one for his kids.


Hey, OP.. i am soo glad you stand for your kids. Forget him. He is a big time AH. I pray you have a happy life and peace without him. Update me next time when everything settle. You are a warrior for protecting your children.


You've decided to go through with the divorce because of your husband's manipulation and emotional abuse. Sarah doesn't want anything to do with him due to his treatment of Kelly.

You've also cut ties with Kelly and won't let her near your son because of the harm she's caused. You're prioritizing your kids and your own well-being. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm logging off now.


It sounds like you're going through a highly stressful and complex situation. It's important to prioritize your and your children's emotional well-being in times of family strife.

While cutting ties may sometimes feel like the only solution, it could be beneficial to seek out a neutral third party, like a therapist or mediator, who can provide guidance and help navigate these intense emotions and relationships more constructively. Remember, it's okay to set boundaries to protect your peace, but try to maintain compassion for all involved, as everyone is dealing with their own struggles.

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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