When you grow up with a manipulative family, then you eventually grow immune to their tactics. After years of navigating emotionally calculating dynamics, you develop a sixth sense for BS.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his estranged grandparents he doesn't care if their younger grandparents are in foster care. He wrote:
I'm (26m) married to my wife (26f) and we're expecting our first baby. I'm estranged from my paternal side of the family after my father's affair on my dying mom and their willingness to try and defend his actions. While mom was sick he left me to do more caring for her while he was screwing someone else.
He even brought said other woman to my mom's funeral. His family also tried to get my mom to "forgive before it's too late" while she was still alive. It was a nightmare. I was 15 and it was a lot. Mom needed to be cared for and I was the only one who could when my aunt had to work. After mom died I moved in with my aunt.
My father married the other woman and invited me to the wedding but I didn't go or even acknowledge the invite. I had nothing to do with any of them. I heard he died last year and it was no concern to me. Also found out he had two kids. His other woman/second wife died four months ago.
My paternal grandparents took the kids in but they do not feel like they can raise two kids under five or six or whatever age they are. They mentioned me to a social worker who approached me and asked if my wife and I would be willing to raise these kids. We said no. The social worker made a note of it and said they would not approach me again.
My grandparents have not given up and contacted me and my wife both over this. They tried to use guilt trips and sob stories about foster care being horrific for kids and one is a little girl so it's even worse. None of this changed anything for me and then they tried getting my aunt to talk to me. They showed up at her house with the kids and appealed to her as a former foster kid (she and my mom both were).
She told them to get the f#$k out. I ended up talking to them over the phone instead of ignoring their messages to me. We talked. They told me after they went to my aunt's house they had spoken to the social worker again and now the kids are in care. They asked me how I could be okay with "my siblings" being in care. I said I don't care that their grandkids are in foster care.
They are nothing to me and the fact is I am not going to pretend I care about saving them. I said they need to accept the kids are now in care and a social worker will work on finding them a good family but they need to accept I will not be that. They called me a monster and said I should be ashamed of myself and they hope the birth of my child brings me nothing but guilt. AITA?
NTA. This is actually the kind of situation that appeals to foster-to-adopt parents: 2 kids, under 6-ish, who haven't been abused or neglected. Parents are dead and extended family isn't able to take the kids, so reunification isn't on the table. Frankly, they really could be adopted in 6 months or so, depending on your state's timeline.
And OP responded:
That makes a lot of sense. They could already be with a family who will keep them forever. Doesn't sound like my grandparents like the sound of that.
Actions have consequences and your father's actions sadly impacted the lives of all three of his children profoundly. Your Grandparents need to be contacting all of the extended family on both their side as well as your step mother's side of the family to try to find a family member willing to take on the children. What happened to those children is truly tragic.
And OP responded:
From what my aunt was told nobody else wanted them. My father's siblings all made excuses. His wife's family all had nothing to do with her for many years before she died and don't want anything to do with the kids she left behind either. My grandparents were the only ones willing which is why they took them temporarily.
Who knows if that's true or not but that's what they were ranting at her. She said they didn't seem to be talking to their kids now, which shocked me since they all came together to defend him after what he did.
NTA. Your grandparents chose to support your cheating father who abandoned your dying mom along with his 15-yr old child to care for her. They are now choosing to put their grand kids into foster care. These are choices they made out of their own free will. You are not obligated to support their choices. NTA.
OK so I was a foster kid and I have a literal fuckton of unresolved trauma that I'm working on unpacking because of it...foster care is a broken system that's way outdated and abuse and neglect are way too common. That being said, those are also common in "families" like this where responsibility is forced rather than accepted (which I also have trauma from).
So honestly, I do think you made a wise choice not only for yourself, but also for the kids. There are good families out there and resources for them if your "grandparents" really want to help those kids. I'm gonna say NTA.
So you’re a monster with an obligation to the family here, yet the son they raised cheating on his wife, abandoning his child, and guilting his dying wife into offering forgiveness falls under what??
NTA - you know that and so do they. But they need someone to blame for the mess and harm their son inflicted on all of his children. This is unfortunately a long-term side effects of the you’re older, so you should be more mature’ trope.
I would ask them the difference between when they too left you out in the world when they are your family just as they are these children. In that way, these people are unfortunately treating you all with the same across the board there. Apparently, that’s what family means to them.
OP is most definitely NTA here, the grandparents sound like horrible manipulators.