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Mom asks if she's wrong for refusing to take in daughter's half sister for Christmas.

Mom asks if she's wrong for refusing to take in daughter's half sister for Christmas.


The holidays–a time for joy, sharing, caring, eating, shopping, arguing with your family, storming out in a huff, getting super drunk–making memories that last forever. In this Hallmark Holiday Special, we have a husband whose wife is dying, asking his ex-wife to include his daughter in her Christmas.

The ex-wife doesn't want to include his daughter, but clearly she isn't sure she's right, so she's taken to Reddit's 'Am I The A**hole' subreddit to seek advice. Here's her story...

My ex husband and I got divorced 7 years ago. We share custody of our 13 year old daughter. He got married and has a 5 year old daughter with his now wife.

His daughter would spend time with my daughter regularly. They adore each other but she doesn't come to my house and they rarely meet up there.

This comes up a lot: Half-siblings can be really close, but does that obligate in any way a parent who's not related to that child? Or, does the fact that they're related mean you do bare some responsibility?

His wife has been diagnosed with cancer and has started treatment recently. The other day he came to drop our daughter off and asked to speak to me. He talked about his wife's circumstances then how his family won't be able to have a Christmas celebration this year.

He said it wasn't fair for his daughter and asked if I could 'include' her in my family's celebration. He pointed out how the girls will have a great time together bonding and making memories, but I said I was sorry but my family's traditional celebration is a sacred thing and I do not feel comfortable including anyone else. Plus it'd be awkward having her in my home.

Some people might argue that even if this were your child's friend, you'd want to step up and welcome them in. However, when divorce is involved it gets tricker. Reading between the lines, this may have more to do with the husband than the daughter.

He said that his daughter may not be family to me, but she sure is to her half-sister. He asked me to stop and 'think' about what's best for the kids here. I suggested he take his daughter to spend Christmas with her grandparents.

He said his parents and him are NC. I tried to cut the conversation short, but he stopped me and started going on about how cruel it was for me to decline to include his daughter who's already having a hard time adjusting.

I saw that he was beginning to cry so I stepped back and said I was no longer feeling comfortable having this conversation. I asked him to leave, and he did, but still texted me asking me to agree to let his daughter come spend Christmas even offered that he stays away if that'll make me less uncomfortable. I said no and now he's calling me selfish and unfeeling.

A point worth mentioning here is th my family is going to attend Christmas and they said that they too will not feel comfortable in this situation, thus I said it'd be awkward. AITA for not allowing my daughter's half sister to spend Christmas with us?

Here's what people had to say in the comments:

Alternative_Ease_154 writes:

NTA. That child doesn’t know you or your extended family, only your daughter. This could be her last Christmas with her mom and he’s wanting to take that away from her. Even if it’s just the 3 of them in pajamas eating cookies all day. He’s TA.

Business_Skir writes:

NTA > He's overwhelmed in his current circumstance > and wants to fall back into an old habit of using you as support!!

Exciting-Mousse-1328 writes:

This sub is so crazy. Last week, a lady was NTA and a saint for refusing to babysit her ex husband's kid. This week, the lady's an AH and 'the Grinch' because it's Christmas. YOU'RE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO BABYSIT YOUR EX'S KID! NTA.

ReindeerNatural1491 writes:

YTA- you should hope that if you don’t take her in, your daughter never finds out as an adult you denied her sister a holiday with her.

For heavens sake, she’s a child with a sick mother. My mom has cancer currently and I’m a grown woman and I can barely take it. I’m falling apart daily. Christmas is the one time of the year where we aren’t supposed to make it harder on people.

alimaful wrirtes:

YTA. How awkward can a 5 year old make anything really? I would understand more if your ex was insisting on coming and bringing his new wife but it sounds to me like he's just desperate for his baby girl to have a good Christmas, in spite of shitty circumstances.

It's also your daughter's SISTER, not some random step-sibling (which I still think you should include, but would be very very slightly more understandable).

What a kind, special thing it would be to welcome this child into your family's sacred tradition. And indeed harken back to what Christmas was originally supposed to be about!

sparkledoom writes:

YTA. This one is really split and I see both sides. Yes, you are well within your rights to say no and you have no obligation to this child. But are you an asshole? I think yes, this is a 5 year old, whose mom is sick, that your own daughter sees as a sister and you could easily make her life a little better and give the two of them a happy holiday together, but you don’t want to - why?

Because she’s your ex’s daughter? The holidays are about giving. I’ve been at many family celebrations where someone with no where else to go was present and welcome. It’s the right thing to do. And this is a little girl we are talking about.

You know how sometimes on this sub people say “not the asshole” for “justified asshole”. You are like whatever the opposite of that is. YTA for something that is well within your rights, but is pretty heartless and cruel anyway.

People seem completely split on this, and I'll bet we're missing some history from OP. The divorce was probably much more contentious then she's letting on in the post, but as always, the children are the ones who take the hit. Assuming the husband did do her dirty, what would you do in her place?

Sources: Reddit
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