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'AITA for refusing to make my son apologize to my wife for "ruining" her New Years toast?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to make my son apologize to my wife for "ruining" her New Years toast?' UPDATED


"AITA for refusing to force my son to apologize to my wife for "ruining" her New Years toast speech?"

Here's the original post:

My son ‘Finn’ (18) is from a previous relationship. Since early childhood I had full custody; his mother is not in the picture. We were both young when he was born, so his childhood was a little unstable for a bit. However, I have my life together now. I got married when he was 7, and together me (m37) and my wife ‘Mary’ (f40) live as a blended family, with my two stepsons ‘Cody’ (16) and ‘Lucas’ (18).

Yet, I have noticed some issues. Finn is a very sensitive kid, and Cody and Lucas are nothing like this. So, altogether, they tend to get along for a bit, like most kids do, and then have fights. It’s always Cody and Lucas vs Finn, which is a bit upsetting, but again – kids fight.

Everyone gets disciplined and these fights were pretty normal stuff, arguing about games, tv, etc. However, recently, I have noticed them get a little political. The boys tend to disagree about topics like these, so I’ve banned it at the dinner table.

Finn then came out to us as bisexual this year. My wife is Christian; so are the boys. I’ve always been unlabelled, open to it, but not entirely into organised religion. Due to this my wife used unfortunate phrasing, like calling him confused and saying that he was too young to know for sure. I told her at the time to respect how he identifies.

My logic is - so what if it changes? You need to support your kids regardless. So, that was that dropped. The boys seemed confused by it, but they didn’t say anything in front of me after that.

Overall, I thought it went well. All the worrying behaviour Finn displayed – staying out late, being withdrawn, etc. seemed to fade away for a good week, like a weight had been lifted.

Then it started up again and came to a head on New Year’s. My wife traditionally cooks a big dinner for New Years, we have a few family members over, and we all say things that we are thankful to God for, and how we’re going to improve ourselves. She was giving her speech, which was all about how family was the most important thing in life and how we should be grateful to each other, to which Finn gets visibly upset to the point of tears.

He stands up and says that that was ironic, considering the things they say to him. I asked what he meant, and it all came out that the boys had started making gay jokes frequently and that my wife, separate to that, had started scaring him by showing him worrying statistics about LGBT youth/bisexual men.

I was stunned and disturbed when this came to light. Finn was crying and left the room after exposing all the things they’d been saying without my knowledge. I left the party to comfort him while my wife continued hosting.

So, my wife thinks he’s humiliated her in front of the family, ruined the night, and overreacted to things and thinks he should apologise to her, the boys and the family. I, however, have refused and this has caused a big argument between us. Am I the a-hole for refusing to make him say sorry? I think my wife owes him one.

What do you think?! This is what top commenters had to say:

Cevanne46 said:

NTA... Yet. You've just found out your wife and her son's have been bullying your son for his sexuality. What you do next determines if you are an AH or not.

BaconEggAndCheeseSPK said:

NTA. Your wife humiliated herself. How have you been married to this woman for so long and not realized she was homophobic / biphobic?

raya__85 said:

Over my dead body would my child ever have to apologise to my hypocritical wife and step children. Absolutely not. Not only do your wife’s family values mean absolutely fuck all when her bigoted mouth started running, the boy she helped raise she couldn’t bring herself to understand and love, her awful children bullied ops son.

The reason the suicide statistics for queer children are so high is because of people like them, bigots who bully, demean and dehumanise them. Your son isn’t even safe in his own house with them bullying him. You’ve believed him and stood up for him but I would he willing to end the marriage to keep my child safe and alive.

If your wife is humiliated it’s because either her behaviour came to light, and it made her look bad or worse, she is a bigot who thinks having a bi child is a shameful thing to her family and you have to question that. Does she have any decent values at all who wants their child in the closet to save face.

CrystalQueen3000 said:

NTA. You married a homophobe and you need to protect your son. You have some decisions to make because of you stay with her knowing that she’s been bullying your child, then he may never be able to let that go.

It looks like OP read the comments and engaged in some self-reflection. Because he later shared this update on the situation:

Unfortunately, I can’t add to the original post / don’t know how updates work here. However, a lot of people, more than I expected, have reached out to me. Today has been a busy, messy day and I just want to say: I don’t know what the future for my marriage is yet, but if she does not somehow miraculously change… it’s over between us.

My son comes first. My wife and I had a fight about this, and I didn’t get anywhere with her - it was a lot of blaming us, begging me not to break up our family, stating all that she does for us, etc. and I couldn’t take much more. I know it seems impossible, but I didn’t really know the woman I’m married to, but now I do.

I have had a long talk with all of my sons (Finn separately to Cody and Lucas) and they actually seemed genuinely ashamed of the part they have played in Finn’s outburst, which relieved me. Doesn’t excuse what they have done, but I do have hope for them.

Finn, most importantly, knows that he has 100% of my support. We had a long talk, and yes, I have failed him. I told him that I recognize it, but that I’m not going to make the same mistakes again.

Today, after the many discussions, I told them I can’t have Finn in this house for the foreseeable and I’ve taken us to my parents house - where we’re going to stay while I work things out.

I’m also going to look into external support groups/therapy as soon as, like many here helpfully recommended, because it’s very clear now that I haven’t been doing enough and that is heart breaking.

I want to say thank you all for the shock to my senses - I have to admit I feel ridiculous for this post now, but it’s difficult. Mary has a way of getting into my head and making me feel like I’m the crazy one, but that stops now, for Finn.

Finn wins! And love. Love also wins.

Sources: Reddit
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