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'AITA for telling my wife it’s her fault that our sons now hate and ignore their sister?'

'AITA for telling my wife it’s her fault that our sons now hate and ignore their sister?'

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"AITA for telling my wife it’s her fault that our sons now hate and ignore their sister?"

Only-Lunch-9291

My wife (39f) and I (44m) have three children. Two boys (15,14) and a girl (12). While my wife is a great mom to all of our kids, she always had a special bond with our daughter.

I wouldn’t frame it as classic favoritism but as a little bit more attention and love. The boys were always aware of this and teased their mom with it jokingly but it was never a problem because she really is a great mom to them too.

A few weeks ago my 14 year old (let’s call him Jim) and our daughter (let’s call her Anna) had a big fight and a screaming match. It turned out that Anna took Jim’s AirPods to her dance class, forgot them there and tried to lie about it.

My wife intervened and apparently took Anna’s side. I wasn’t there so I don’t know. My older son Alex intervened on behalf of his brother and told his mom that she is unfair.

My wife doubled down and told them to f_*kc off (again no idea) and that Anna is more important (my boys swear that she said that Anna is more important than them while she swears that she said that Anna is more important than a pair of AirPods).

Alex exploded and called his mom a c*** , took his brother and left. My wife called them for hours but they didn’t answer. In the end, she called me and I picked the boys up.

The relationship between our boys and their sister has been dead after this. They don’t talk to her, ignore her when she approaches them and won’t tolerate her presence.

When she enters a room, they leave (kitchen for example). It is heartbreaking to watch. My wife tried to mend things and talk to them but she gets aggressively ignored too.

Yesterday my wife had a breakdown and started to cry after we went to bed and said that home life has been hell for the last weeks. I had little sympathy and told her to suck it up because it’s her fault. She called me an AH and cried even more.

AITA? I know I am technically in the right here but my wife is already devastated and remorseful. It is my job now to help her the relationship between girls and boys in our home.

Edit: Anna had to buy her brother a new pair of AirPods. We gave her the money that was supposed to be for her birthday. she will get nothing for her birthday in April.

Edit 2: my wife will go to therapy with the boys ASAP. The boys agreed to this. My daughter and I will join if the therapist wants it.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:

mfruitfly

NTA but you need to follow up that hard truth with action.

At the end of the day, what your sons heard was that your wife cares more about Anna than them, affirming what they already felt.

And she did absolutely defend Anna when she was lying, Anna wasn't punished for losing an expensive item she STOLE from her brother, and your wife hasn't apologized for being wrong about that, or for what she said.

So, if your wife wants to make this right, she can't just cry, she needs to do something, and so do you. First, if the airpods story is true (aka Anna took them and lost them), then she needs to apologize, the airpods need to be replaced, and Anna needs to be punished.

If your wife won't do that, then you need to. Your sons also want to see you stick up for them, not sit by and watch this unfold, and you are a parent to Anna to, so you can make this happen.

Then your wife needs to fully apologize for taking Anna's side, and if she truly believes she didn't say the things BOTH your sons heard, she needs to explain herself without yelling, and still apologize for how it came across.

And then- still not done- your wife needs to address why she would jump to Anna's side and not give what her son's said equal weight. In a standoff of children where the truth can't be determined (if that's even the case here), then a parent shouldn't take a side.

We all know why she took Anna's side, and what was once mild favoritism has now created an environment where your sons feel UNSAFE. They know their mother will not defend them, will not listen to them, will not care for them, if Anna stands in the way of those things.

Your wife can only fix that- and you need to be active in it too- by changing the way she acts, being patient, and demonstrating changed behavior over time.

Fun-Yellow-6576

A thoughtful, lovely response. What alternate universe is this?

Seriously, 🏅

Historical-Goal-3786

This response is awesome.

Unfortunately, I don't think Anna is going to NOT get birthday presents because Mom will buy her some. The boys have felt the favoritism for 12 YEARS already and OP has done nothing.

OP saying Mom is a great mother to the boys is BS too. Who tells there kids to F Off?

Edit: Both parents are AH.

doggysmomma420

I was thinking the same about the birthday. Mom will say it's unfair, and she (Anna) deserves to have gifts on her birthday, etc. Dad needs to put his foot down, or else he'll be having little to no relationship with their sons once the sons turn 18.

Connect_Guide_7546

Classic favoritism is classic favoritism. She should be called out on it. At some point the damage becomes irreparable. The boys now have each other. Your mother has not been a mother to them or the mother they needed. Your wife wanted a best friend, playmate, and someone to fulfill her emotional needs. She got your daughter.

NTA for calling her out but also YTA for letting it go this long. You knew this was happening. It's great you're on the boys side NOW but where was this years ago when they started noticing it and you knew they knew noticed it?

LeamhAish

"I wouldn’t frame it as classic favoritism but as a little bit more attention and love."

That made me so sad to read. You're on your sons' side, but you're not on it enough if you don't see that as "classic favoritism."

NTA, I guess.

Lazuli_Rose

"I wasn’t there so I don’t know.

(again no idea)

They don’t talk to her, ignore her when she approaches them and won’t tolerate her presence. When she enters a room, they leave (kitchen for example). It is heartbreaking to watch."

So this is how you deal with a big family problem? You weren't there so you don't do anything. Your wife needs to apologize, Anna needs to be punished and your boys need to work on forgiving. YOU need to work becoming an involved parent instead of just sitting idly by and taking the stance that since you weren't there you can't do anything. ESH.

So, what do you think? If you could give the OP and their family any advice here, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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