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Woman refuses to care for daughter of boyfriend's terminally ill ex. AITA? UPDATED

Woman refuses to care for daughter of boyfriend's terminally ill ex. AITA? UPDATED


"WIBTA for refusing to babysit my Bf's daughter while her mother gets chemotherapy?"


Sorry for my English, I hope the whole thing is going to be somewhat understandable. I'm also very angry atm, so forgive any mistakes. My BF (male, mid-thirties) has a daughter G (10) with his ex-wife, T. The ex-wife is fighting a very aggressive form of brain cancer.

Now, a bit of back-story. T and I never did get on well. I met my BF while he was in the proceedings of their divorce, and I think she's always thought we had an affair long before then.

She hates me a lot, and so does G. I've been called a home-wrecker, a slut and other nice things ever since I first met them. Now, my BF is usually very quick to shut down their bulls^*t, but he adores his daughter and still cares about ex-wife (they've been together 15 years, and been friends since their childhood).

Ever since the diagnosis, he's been the one driving ex-wife to medical appointments and such, and he's asked me the favor to look after his daughter while he's with T. He knows what a huge favor it is (he's thanked me profusely every time) and I know how much he needs my help.

Everything went to sh*t a few hours ago, when I was asked to bring G back to her mother's house. T started saying I must be glad she's dying, because I can keep BF to myself now. She said I must be happy, because now I get to keep her daughter and pretend she's mine.

She said a lot of ugly things, and BF didn't do anything to correct her. I stayed really quiet, because to be frank I was incredibly shocked. Still am, tbh. When we got home I lost it with him and told him I wouldn't keep his daughter any longer, not if he allowed T to talk to me in such a manner.

He said I'd be a huge a**hole if I went through with this because T has just found she's only got few weeks left and not the months she'd previously thought. Is he right? WIBTA if I stopped babysitting his daughter?

Here is what people initially had to say:


YWBTA, this woman is literally dying in the next few weeks. Her whole life literally fell apart and is about to end. Even if she's wrongly lashing out at you, have at least a shred of empathy for the daughter if not her mother. Making your BF's 10 year old go to the appointments and watch her mother die would be cruel.


YWBTA. Forget T for a moment. Do you love your BF? Do you want to be with him forever? And what about G? If it were me, I would still help with G to help out BF and G, but would avoid all contact with T. They both need your support and this is your time to step up for them.

That said, stay away from T. She’s angry and grieving her own life. For your mental health, don’t put yourself in the line of fire. It sounds like it’s a situation that won’t last much longer, and then you’re going to have a grieving G and BF (lots of complicated emotions there). One day at a time, OP. Just don’t waste the time left being petty while BF and G need you.


I kinda agree with you in certain things (except the judgment), but I feel like I would agree more if BF had done something or had talked to OP about what happened. He saw someone insult OP viciously and did nothing.

Brain tumor makes people say things sometimes, I know, but he still could have said something. If not right then at least after being with her something like 'I am so sorry you had to hear that, she is having these types of episodes because of the tumor.

She was extremely rude and I apologize for not saying anything. I didn't because xyz.' Also, she had contact with T because she was asked to drop G there, it wasn't a choice.

A few hours later, the OP responded to provide more context.


So, thanks. I've read all your comments and thought about all the points you made. I will continue to look after the kid (TBH, I think I never had any actual intentions of stopping. In my anger, I just wanted my BF to listen to me for a moment) and I think I need to have a chat with my BF.

I haven't seen him yet since the fight, because he's had to go back at his ex's shortly after. We'll see. Maybe I'll do an update once things settle down. Thank you, again. I appreciate your help.

A quick third update then came:


Thanks for taking the time to share your opinions, folks. I am very surprised and grateful and appreciate everyone's insight. I'm a bit more level headed at the moment, so I'll take the time to expand on some points I've seen brought up in the comments.

- No, my BF and I did NOT have an affair. I can't believe I have to say this. Their divorce was almost finalized when we met, and the reason they divorced was that they'd been growing more and more distant, to the point where Ex-Wife had an extramarital affair and BF didn't even care.

I trust him, because he's shown me again and again the truthfulness of his words.

-His daughter was always going to be a part of my life, I knew that since the very beginning. My BF and his daughter have always been very, very close. We sat down a while ago, after Ex's diagnosis, and talked it out.

There are no doubt his daughter was always coming to live with us, after her mother's death. And one thing- I love my boyfriend, and so I care deeply about the people he loves, too, which include his daughter.

I care for the kid a lot, and have tried and was always going to keep trying to build a relationship with her. It's the daughter who wants nothing -and i repeat, NOTHING- to do with me.

-I am under no delusions about what our future will be like. The kid has always been my BF's priority (rightfully so) and I know she's going to need her dad a lot after her mother passes. I also know my BF is going to be grieving heavily, and was ready to support him fully.

-My BF was able to just stand there and watch as his ex-wife spouted so much anger and sheer hatred at me that I was struck dumb. I have never seen anything like it. And he just stood there, watching me in tears as this woman kept yelling and yelling.

He didn't do a thing, not even guide me out of the room. It felt much like a betrayal, to be honest, and the fact that he was not even a bit understanding afterwards has made me reconsider pretty much everything.

-I am sorry, but I cannot excuse completely ex-wife for her past behavior. BF says she's always been very headstrong and jealous, and he never found anything weird with her. Her behavior started changing around six months ago, and we all started noticing then.

People then had this to say:

Everyone fairly assumed this was the end of the story, but the OP returned with their final update one month later.


Idk whether someone even remembers my original post, but I received lots of great advice in the comments and I figured I owed you guys an update. Lots has happened in the meanwhile, so I'll try to keep it short.

First. I sat my BF down for a chat as soon as I saw him again (which was the day following our discussion). He agreed that we needed to talk, and told me he was sorry for calling me an a**hole, that he had been so much in shock that he hardly even remembered the whole fight in the first place.

I told him I could understand that, and told him I love him and wanted to be there for him and support him throughout this ordeal. I also added, though, that I would need him to be able to stick up for me in the future, even against his daughter, who would be grieving and in a lot of pain.

I told him to think about it, and let me know, and also said that I would keep his daughter for as long as he needed me to independently from his answer. He asked me to marry him on the spot (no ring or anything, but he was crying and it was very sweet), so now we're engaged and relatively happy.

Second. T passed away a week later. I followed your suggestion, and didn't see her again. G is living full time with us now, and I have what I think is, if not good, hopeful news.

Ten days after her mother's death, she broke down in hysterics because she wanted her mom. It was an incredibly sad moment. She kept yelling insults at me and crying and again yelling at me.

I was in tears, because seeing a child in that much pain is heart wrenching. So I intervened before my Fiancee could say anything, told G that I couldn't bear to see her so distressed and that I would go stay with a friend until she felt a bit better. That I loved her, and just wanted her to be less sad.

She ran to me, hugged me and begged me not to leave her. We cried together, and I think we might be on the road to healing. That is to say, thank you Reddit folks for your feedback. You're awesome. Thanks for the support and the suggestions. (also yeah, we're not getting married any time soon. I took his proposal as a heartfelt gesture, and I am sure he meant it that way, too.)

This conclusion brought people back and here are some of the top comments:


I do love that she said “I love you G and I will give you the room to process”. And that was the turning point. Letting kids know they have choices and you respect them.


OP, please check if there a kid's grief groups in your area. It helps many kids to realize they are not alone in this. And if she wants, make sure she has a good picture of her mom in her room. Make sure she knows she can talk of her.

And look that she gets enough mementos of her mother. Sometimes women have different thoughts about what they would like to have from their moms than men. Better keep a few things more than not enough (if possible). Good luck to all of you.


So happy to read the last paragraph of your update. It's incredibly sad for all of you, and after what T put you through (even though she must have been very distressed to be dying, leaving such a young kid without a mother), you're incredibly strong and good to the core to still handle it the way you are. I hope you manage to build a strong relationship with G and have a happy marriage.


Heart breaking story. I understand the Ex irrational anger. Imagine knowing you're dying, you're leaving your daughter to live with your ex husband and his new GF. You're constantly confronted with your own mortality in contrast to this woman and everything that she will experience that you will miss. It is easy to see the anger and jealousy come from this.

You can appreciate the child's responses, in the face of losing her mother at 10 year old. The anger, confusion hurt, when faced far to soon in life with the reality that the people your rely on, depend on and seem unconditionally present in your life, are mortal.

The BF who clearly, although not romantically, has a deep connection with the mother of his child. Who knows that she is dying, there is nothing anyone can do about it. He can see his child losing their mother, him losing a co parent and the ex wife's despair and anger at being taken so soon from this world.

How do you tell someone off, even if they are being deeply nasty, when you have insight into the horror that their last days are becoming.

Finally OP, who bless her absolute heart, slightly over reacted in the first instance out of understandable and justifiable pure hurt. Who found it within herself to put her BF, Step daughter, and BFs Exs needs above her own.

Who finally decided, for better or for worse, that she was going to provide consistency and care for the child unconditionally. Who's only demand was that her BF stick up for her in the future and who is now, selflessly, continuing to raise a lost little girl who only wants her mother but cannot have her.

There are no real AH here in this tale only people trying their best to navigate an impossibly unfair situation.

Obviously there is a lot of pain in this story, but do you think this could be called a happy ending? What would you say to advise this grieving new family?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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