When a dad was blindsided with a confrontation, he made his decision perfectly clear. But he's still being met with resistance, so he (u/throwawayAdam4113) turned to Reddit to ask the internet:
AITA (Am I the as*hole) for refusing to let my son have my daughter's necklace?
My late wife passed away 6 years ago. I have 2 kids (Adam) 17, & (Leah) 15. Their mom inherited a necklace from her mother, her mother inherited it from her mother...It's a tradition in the family to pass this necklace down to the daughters. My late wife gave me the necklace to keep and then give to Leah when she's legally an adult.
No one knew about this except my current wife. Well, she told Adam about it and he barged into my office the other day asking what his mom left for him. I was confused I asked what's wrong and he brought up the necklace. I explained the sentiment behind it and told him I'm planning on giving it to his sister before she moves out for college.
He demanded to have the necklace since he too is our child but I said it was gifted to his sister specifically not him. He went on about favoritism and whatnot but I told him it's a tradition that involves only the daughters in the family.
I told him it's his mom's wish and he should be respectful of it especially, when he has a ton of her stuff. He got enraged and called me and his mom sexist as*hole for agreeing on, let alone carrying on with this 'sexist bullshit'.
I said I was done arguing and he went upstairs and stayed in his room after yelling at his sister. He refused to eat or speak to neither me or Leah. My wife says I should give it to him to keep the peace but I declined.
Reddit was not about to name this father an as*hole. They all pretty much ruled NTA (not the as*hole) but had a lot of different reasons:
There are a few red flags for me here. The sort of language your son is using hints at some association with MRA's, it's not sexism it's a family tradition. Why does he want a necklace? What would he do with it? Give it to a girlfriend? Sell it?
Is your wife hoping to cause enough division that it's easier just to give it to her to avoid any favoritism. Without some background info on the family dynamic I'd say you got some manipulators in the family who need to be told in no uncertain terms that their efforts will not work.
A family tradition can't be sexist? That's news to me. I agree it's not sexism here but not because it's a family tradition. Also find it pre-mature to pull the MRA card, using the word 'sexist' or 'favoritism' doesn't immediately yell MRA to me. If he started yelling about pussy passes and such I might change my mind lmao.
I can actually see his issue up to the point of not finding it fair that she gets something (potentially expensive?) and not him. It's a heirloom though and life just isn't fair sometimes. He should be happy to have something sentimental like that to remember his mom by, though perhaps that's part of the reason for his anger? In any case NTA on OP's part and should definitely give the heirloom to the daughter.
Brrrr-GME-A-Coat brings up a great point:
Something people also forget is that these types of traditions are often so that women have a valuable assets to sell or pawn to get themselves out of bad situations. If you daughter ever needs to remove herself from an abusive relationship, that necklace may be the thing to provide her the money she needs to do so.
This isn't something that your son would understand without it being conveyed to him, though. Men often don't have the same innate concerns for their safety.
NTA but have a chat with both kids about the more nuanced reasons for these types of family traditions, such as this being a way for your late wife to look out for your daughter from beyond. Your current wife needs to check herself.
NTA, it's passed from daughter to daughter. Your wife is a sh*t stirrer though, you maybe want to have a word with her on what exactly her thought process was for telling your son about it. The first thought that's jumped to my mind is she's jealous of your daughter and doesn't want her to have something from her mum or your dead wife.
If your son has other stuff from his mum, why does he need this specific necklace. Maybe you could start a family tradition and pass on something of yours to him, nice watch etc.
'keep the peace'. Oh how I loathe that saying. NTA. A tradition like that is important.
But some people suspect more sinister motives, like Harriethair:
I think stepmom wanted the necklace, was told no and telling the son is payback.
I think new wife likes making deceased wife look like the AH. New wife is shit stirring out of jealousy.
But Zupergreen says:
My guess is that the new wife got him riled up telling him how much he deserved it because he's the oldest especially since his mum left 'nothing' for him. And she very well might have wanted it for herself, but I just can't fantom wanting something that used to belong to my husband's late wife.
We may not have all the answers here, but we know that OP is a great dad who shouldn't back down on this one. As for TA? Maybe a tie between the wife and son!