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Man excludes wife's disabled son from family photo; she says, 'it's his choice.' AITA?

Man excludes wife's disabled son from family photo; she says, 'it's his choice.' AITA?


"AITA for refusing to boycott my husband's party and photo shoot in light of him wanting to exclude my disabled son from it?"

My (42F) husband (48M) of 3 years and I have a blended family. He has two daughters (17F, 10F) and I have a daughter (11F) and a son (14M) "Ethan." My son has cerebral palsy, but despite being in a wheelchair he is mostly independent and all but one of his grades in school has been an A or B.

My husband is a dentist who started his own practice 2 years ago, and has been growing his social media presence. He wanted to showcase his kids/family as part of it. So we have done cute pictures of the girls with cute pink scrubs on sitting in dad's chair, stocking up the waiting room with toys, etc.

Since the social media accounts have been gaining traction, there's been a lot of drama. His ex (47F) was angry that her younger daughter was being tagged in posts that listed Botox as part of the services offered. She also said her 10 year old could not consent to be featured on a public Instagram the way her older sister could. So my younger stepdaughter was erased from my husband's public accounts.

Labor Day is coming up and my husband is throwing a party and doing a photo shoot. My husband wanted to showcase us as a blended family, so I assumed it would all our kids minus his 10 year old.

However, he told me he wasn't crazy about having Ethan at the party. He does suffer from dysarthria, so his speech can be a bit distorted. However, my husband's major concern is that Ethan can be a bit slow with social cues and can talk on and on.

It's been a bit of an adjustment with regards to my husband and Ethan. Ethan is known as a class clown. Most people think he's funny, but my husband complains he doesn't get the jokes.

In addition, my husband has introduced my daughter to a lot of his business associates, and posted her photo on social media, but a lot of people don't really know that much about Ethan. My husband said he didn't want a picture with Ethan because people online are going to be like, "wait who is he?!"

My husband asked that we send Ethan to his dad's for the party and photo shoot. I asked my ex to take him for the long weekend and he was upset. He said my husband looks down on disabled people and he's been excluding Ethan. He demanded I say that either both kids are included or none are.

I told him I was not going to threaten to not support my husband at his event or photo shoot. It's his party and therefore his choice, and I wasn't going to ruin his wish to have a blended family presence/picture.

My ex said he thinks I'm in some honeymoon period fog and that he liked my husband at first, but he sees scorn in the way he looks at Ethan. He said, mark his words, and that if I didn't stick up for Ethan, he'd be exerting his own parental rights to the fullest extent going forward with regards to both kids.

AITA? I wish my husband would invite Ethan but sometimes two people have trouble getting along and I think that's what's happening here. My husband has countless patients who are sick or disabled- the word "scorn" is an insult to his character.

Here's how people ripped on responded to OP:

Dismallest_Pooh says:

"I told him I was not going to threaten to not support my husband at his event or photo shoot."

Um. So it's better to not support your son and his right to the loving respect of a decent stepfather?

"It's been a bit of an adjustment with regards to my husband and Ethan."

Yet you've gone ahead and married him into your son's life anyway. To be fair, the husband has made no adjustment at all. You have though.... adjusting all the way to betraying your son.

AnyDecision470 added:

Brutal truth. It had to be said. Thank you for that.

Strict-Issue-2030 writes:

YTA for tolerating that behavior from your husband and your husband is the AH for pretending your son doesn’t exist. Your both AHs for exploiting your children for social media followings.

atbftivnbfi writes:

Your ex is correct. Why would you agree to do this to your son? You know perfectly well that he will know exactly why he is being excluded, and you are prioritizing a photo over Ethan’s right to be part of your family. The word scorn seems to apply to both you and your husband.

dhbroo12 writes:

Your son deserves better.

Additional_Top_9242 writes:

I hope that it blows up in their face tbh. They’re both AHs for this. She is acting oblivious and it is just as bad as him not wanting the son there

Lease_woodcox writes:

My God, you are an asshole! I hope Ethan gets to go live with his father, and you and your s^%$ty dentist husband get a mouthful of cavities.

ExMoIsMyPersonality writes:

Your son knows his stepdad doesn’t like him; he’s got cerebral palsy, he’s not stupid. Kids see things. YTA if you let this continue.

CommercialAwareness8 writes:

YTA. Your husband can “like” disabled (paying) patients and still dislike your (non -paying) disabled son. Put yourself in your son’s shoes. How would you feel if your step father excluded you from everything due to something you cannot help- your disability?

Your son can’t help that he is disabled and as your husband and son’s stepfather, he should accept your son for who he is - disability or not/honor roll student or not. That’s the whole point of marrying into a blended family - you accept the children from the previous relationship and should treat them like your own.

It’s simply not fair for your son. You overseeing his bias against your disabled son is simply an insult to your son.

OP defended herself after reading the comments:


He regularly works on patients who are sick or disabled. He has no hate for disabled people and I hate that the comments are portraying him as such.

Similar_Corner8081 responded to OP:

He has no hate for patients who are disabled because he is being paid. I can’t believe you as a mother are ok with your husband excluding your son. Your ex is right.

Sources: Reddit
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