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'AITA for going to dinner at my ex's parent's 'uninvited'? His new GF was upset.' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for going to dinner at my ex's parent's 'uninvited'? His new GF was upset.' UPDATED 2X

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"AITA for coming to dinner with my ex and his new GF uninvited?"

aitadinnerwex

This situation is long and messy, so I'll try to include the relevant info only. I (F32) broke up with my long time partner (M33) in 2019. We stayed in the same house during lockdown and continued to live together after lockdown was lifted, because we generally get along and we had a child (F11) to raise together. Over the last 3 years we've been roommates and co-parents and that's it.

One day, he was supposed to take our daughter to buy new school clothes, and she came back 10 minutes later in tears. She said they were on their way to the store when his new GF called, and he drove her back home and dropped her off so he could go spend time with her. He even asked our daughter to lie to me for him, but she was tired of covering for him (implying she'd been lying for him for a while now).

When he got home we had a massive argument. I didn't care if he dated other girls, I cared that for some reason he thought he had to sneak around, and it made him act like a jerk to me and our daughter.

I told him if he had been a man about this new girl and just introduced me to her then maybe we could have all been friends, but instead he had to act like a sneaky teenager. It ended with him moving out to live with his parents.

A couple days later, he called and apologized. He said he hoped it wasn't too late for him to do things right, and he hopes we can all be friends. I was hopeful that we could finally co-parent in peace for the sake of our child.

This is where I may be TA: I have always been close with my ex's parents, to the point where, even after we broke up, I would be invited over regularly for dinner. They said even if I wasn't their son's partner, I'm still their grandchild's mother, and that makes me family.

So one day when my daughter texts me while at my ex's parent's house and invites me to dinner because they're having my favorite meal. I don't think twice about coming over even though my ex and his GF I've never met now live there. I figured everyone had to be okay with it, since my daughter was inviting me.

I end up having dinner with my ex's parents and daughter, but my ex only comes upstairs to grab two plates of food and goes back downstairs. I ask my ex's mom why and she says his GF doesn't feel well today. Whatever, I think. She's just sick and I'll meet her another day.

I have a perfectly pleasant dinner with my ex in-laws, help clean up, and make a promise to bring them a coconut cake (ex father-in-law's favorite) and take my daughter home.

Later my ex blows up my phone with texts and calls, saying it was so weird and rude that I came over for dinner uninvited. That I made his new GF uncomfortable, and like she wasn't welcome there. And that I caused trouble in their relationship because she assumes we must still be in love for me to come over and see his parents out of the blue like that, because "exes don't do that. it's creepy."

I had a talk with my daughter and asked her calmly if she had asked everyone else if it was ok if I come over before she texted me, and she sheepishly said she didn't know she had to ask since it had never been a problem before. (I didn't tell her about her dad's meltdown at me, or tell her dad that she's the one who invited me. She's a child and shouldn't be involved.)

Instead I just told him I'm sorry me dropping by made things awkward, but I thought he wanted us all to be friends from now on and I figured this was a good place to start being friends. He said there was no way she'd want to be my friend now that I made her feel uncomfortable in her own home.

It wasn't my intention to make anyone uncomfortable, but I admit I'd be perturbed if he brought this woman into MY home and I had not even been warned first. So AITA?

Here were the top rated comments after the OP's initial post:

amultitudeofsins

Your ex and his gf need to grow up, and ngl you have a right to meet her before she becomes involved in your child's life.

boyapologist

You're not the AH, what the F! They're your child's grandparents. It's not like you were there to snoop around on your ex. His parents are a literal part of your child's family 😭

altschmerzes

NTA op, your ex is behaving terribly here. i hope he grows up and gets over himself and you're able to coparent in peace for your kid's sake, and for yours. also, your former in-laws sound cool and i hope this doesn't damage your relationship with them :/ that sounds like a really healthy and supportive relationship that sets a great example for your daughter.

macaroniandcheese

if your ex in laws are fine with it thats all that matters its their house.

Three weeks later, the OP returned with an update.

"UPDATE: My daughter has gone no contact with her father and grandparents for the foreseeable future."

aitadinnerwex

Hey, all. I saw a post here recently about not getting a lot of updates to stories and figured I could give mine, even though it's a sad one. I also maybe need to vent a little about this situation. From now on, ex's new gf will be K, ex father-in-law will be FIL and ex mother-in-law will be MIL. I'll start from the day after the dinner and try to give a concise recap of events.

The day after the dinner, I bring FIL the coconut cake I promised, but not wanting to stir up trouble I text that I'm bringing it over instead of dropping by unannounced like I normally would.

FIL meets me on the porch instead of inviting me in like he normally would, and I gathered from his distant but polite tone and body language that he was basically shooing me away. I was hurt that a man who had always treated me like a daughter was being cold, but I didn't say anything about it and I left.

Over the next couple week,s my ex in-laws continue to hold me at arms length where once I would consider them not only family, but close friends. I used to take MIL to doctor's appointments and shopping trips, but texts asking her about her next appointment or inviting her to come shopping with me went unanswered.

I used to go fishing and go-karting with FIL, but these invites also stopped. I had a sneaking suspicion my ex was behind the sudden change in my ex in-laws, and I also started to notice a change in my daughter.

Because my ex and I were never actually married, there was no actual custody agreement between us. She would just text her dad if she wanted him to come pick her up, or text me if she wanted to come home. She's always been a daddy's girl and spent more time with him than she did home with me, and I was fine with that.

But after the dinner she spent a lot more time home with me, and one day she went with her dad only to call me within the hour, crying and asking me to pick her up. On the way home I gently reminded her that she could talk to me about anything, even if it was hard.

That adjusting to her dad having K in his life would be a challenge, but if she had any problems she could tell me and I would help her fix them, and she told me what had transpired over my ex and K's relationship from her point of view:

My ex and K had been dating for about 6 months before my daughter told me, and she pretty much knew about it from the beginning. My ex told her she couldn't tell me about it, and she agreed because she didn't want us to fight.

My ex also had K around my daughter from the beginning, and my daughter was wary of her at first but started to like her. (so the people saying I should meet K before she was around my daughter, that ship unfortunately sailed long ago)

The day after the dinner MIL texted my daughter and basically said "You're not in any trouble, but don't mention your mom around K again". My daughter texted back asking why and she said "It's just easier not to upset her".

K started doing all the things with my ex in-laws I used to do. She took MIL to doctor's appointments, she took MIL shopping, she went fishing with FIL and tried to replicate my coconut cake.

My daughter tried talking to her dad and said it felt like K was trying to replace me, and my dad just said "she's just being their daughter-in-law, your mother isn't their daughter-in-law anymore".

Still, my daughter is stubborn and insisted it wasn't fair that her mother was being excluded from the family. Her dad just kept repeating "she's not family", to which my daughter yelled "She's my mom! That makes her more family than K".

At this, K apparently got up and left the room while my ex ran after her. K didn't just leave the room though, she took her keys and got in her car and drove away. My ex drove after her, and MIL and FIL started scolding my daughter and saying she needed to apologize to K when she got back.

That's when my daughter called me in tears and asked me to come pick her up. She's insistent that she doesn't want to go back over there until they all apologize to her, and I don't blame her.

I'm honestly at a loss at all this. My ex never had a problem with me being close with his parents even though we were broken up. Heck, I was the one who stayed with MIL in the hospital for 4 months after she had a heart attack and subsequent heart surgery in 2021. I was the one who went to doctor's appointments, and organized her medications, and helped her with physical therapy.

I was the one cooking meals every night and bringing them to FIL because both he and my ex have been spoiled rotten by MIL and don't know how to cook for themselves. I was the one cleaning the house for them for over a year while MIL recovered. I did it all because I loved them, not just as family to my child but as dear friends.

I don't know if this sudden change in behavior is how my ex felt all along, or if K had something to do with it. Though I suspect it's a combination of both. My ex has weaponized incompetence down to an art form, and I suspect now that, now he has a replacement woman to take care of him and his aging parents, he no longer needs me to do it.

But that's basically all that's happened over the last month. Radio silence for me from people I used to love dearly, and them pushing my daughter away till she ran home in tears. As sad as I am for me, my heart breaks tenfold for her.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's first update:

saltygempearl

Went with NTA, but for the dinner part specifically, I think it was more an unfortunate miscommunication than anything else. Both you and your grandchild's actions were completely understandable given what you knew, so it really just comes down the fact that your ex and his GF handled the misunderstanding...poorly.

cronagorgonzola

If im understanding right, before this fight, it was pretty normal for you to pop in to your ex-in-laws' place uninvited, right? If thats the case, then the ex is overreacting; he said he wanted your relationship to go back to normal, and then when you tried to do what is normal for you, he blew up.

If he didnt want you visiting his parents, he should have said so. Overall, hes being incredibly immature and youre handling this better than i think most people would.

The OP responded here:

aitadinnerwex

Thank you for your perspective. It's only been a couple days since my daughter called me crying, and she's been distracting herself with school and friends so I haven't really had time to sit her down and talk about how she's feeling about it all. All I've asked her is if she wants me to tell her if her dad tries calling, and she said yes, she wants to know if he tries to call.

She's had monthly online therapy sessions since her dad and I first broke up, but the first thing I did in light of this was contact her therapist and schedule her for an emergency in person session soon.

I've seen several people mention contacting a lawyer and getting a custody agreement set up, and I'm a little ashamed to admit it hadn't occurred to me to do that. My ex hates anything to do with court proceedings, it's an almost irrational fear of his.

He once had a panic attack over getting a jury duty letter. So part of me thinks he won't take this to court, but the other half of me knows that I don't even know this man anymore and I am absolutely not leaving anything to chance.

I'll be looking into getting a lawyer as soon as possible, and see if we can get some sort of emergency custody order that says she doesn't have to go back there until the matter of split custody is decided.

Five weeks later, the OP returned with another full update.

"UPDATE: K stole from ex in-laws and left."

aitadinnerwex

I honestly did not think I would be updating this post any longer. In the last couple months, I've gotten a lawyer and have been working out custody with my ex which was rough at first but then calmed down. I don't want to go into too many details because this situation doesn't really involve me anymore, just my ex. And he IS still my daughter's father. So I'll give the short version:

When my ex was contacted by my lawyer he started blowing up my phone saying I was trying to take his daughter and all his money away from him, and how could I do this to him because he would never do this to me, etc etc.

I shut that down quick and told him I didn't want a dime from him, I just wanted some assurance that the agreement we already had in place (daughter stays with me but is free to visit him) stays in place. He kept trying to say lawyers were unnecessary because he wasn't going to try to take her, I stuck to my guns, and he eventually caved.

Meanwhile I had my own things to sort through, and so did my daughter. It took a while to fully own the fact that I definitely contributed to the pain she is now feeling. When I broke up with my ex I comforted her by telling her nothing would change. We were still living together. Then her dad moved out and still I told her, nothing will change.

I'll still be active in FIL and MIL's lives. I'll still go over there with you all the time. And while that was a nice thought it didn't really prepare my daughter for the reality that families change all the time and change doesn't have to be bad or scary.

This whole time, she was basing her mental health on the idea that nothing about her family will change, so K's introduction slowly started to crumble away that feeling. But change is good. Change is normal.

I may not like being cut off from FIL and MIL, but they're not wrong when they say I'm not family anymore. They're not wrong for trying to be welcoming to the new woman in their son's life. It sucks, but life goes on.

Anyway, my daughter has been going over there for a few hours about once or twice a week with lots of caveats that she, her dad and I all agreed to: She gets to decide when she comes over. Her dad can invite her, but she's allowed to say no and he can't argue.

No one will force her to interact with FIL, MIL, or K if she doesn't want to. No one will take her anywhere if she doesn't want to go. If anyone makes her uncomfortable she'll leave and walk to Diane's house and call me to come pick her up. (Diane is a coworker of mine who lives 3 blocks away and has known my daughter since she was a baby)

This arrangement has been working out and my daughter has said everyone has been extra nice to her, but they haven't actually said sorry for anything they did. She slowly started to seem happier and happier over there, and asked if she could go to FIL's birthday party because her aunt and uncle from out of state would be visiting with her cousins, and I said yes.

Well, tonight she came home and told me a doozy of a story: The party was great, everyone was having a good time, and my daughter's older cousin was showing her how to play the nintendo 64.

K was nowhere to be found. Apparently she "didn't feel good" again, and my ex went downstairs to check on her. Suddenly they hear him screaming "Where is it?! What did you do with it?!"

Everyone got quiet and looked to the stairs where my ex stomped up and said everyone had to turn out their pockets, because some money was missing from FIL and MIL's safe.

For some context: this safe is locked under the stairs and needs a key and combination to get into it. It has important documents for the whole family and emergency cash in it. FIL, MIL, my ex, and now K are the only ones who know the combination, and the only key is hidden in FIL and MIL's room.

My ex went downstairs to check on K and she was asleep in bed, but the door to the cupboard under the stairs was open. He got a bad feeling and checked the safe and about $2,000 was missing. He woke K up and she cried and said she had been asleep the whole time and someone must have come down and stole the money while she was sleeping.

I was pretty gratified to hear that my ex's family are nowhere near as naive as he is, and immediately tore into him for believing that lie. None of them had a key or knew the combination, and all of them had been hanging out in the living room.

K cleans FIL and MIL's room all the time and knew where the key was. He told K the combination. K was downstairs the whole time. K is the only person who could have done it.

He tried to defend K and told everyone to leave her alone, but FIL put his foot down and told his son to find the money or he would call the cops to do it. My ex went back downstairs to talk to K, and everyone upstairs could hear her sobbing and calling him names.

She went to get in her car and my ex followed her, and what did he see sitting in her backseat? A bag stuffed to the brim with money. A bag that wasn't there a few hours ago.

My ex tried to stop K from leaving, but she tore out of the driveway like a demon. FIL and MIL are furious and want to press charges, and my ex is begging them not to, saying he can get her to bring it back.

I don't know where this is going to go next but honestly? I'm just kind of glad K and my ex didn't take me up on my original offer to be friends, because holy heck.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's second update:

willmod4munny

You dont want them to be family anyway. Like, yeah dont blame yourself but they were absolutely in the wrong.

thefeistydragon

The idea that you stop being family because a relationship ended and that previous friendship doesn't matter is such a toxic part of cultures that do that. It's coming to bite them in the butt though and I can't say I'm surprised.

nowwithextrasalt

Why did they give her all the info about the safe? Like c'mon now.

GullibleNerd88

Wonder if they are gonna do more updates.

Apprehensive-Two3474

I hope OOP daughter points out that her mom WAS family and she never stole from them. Repeatedly. As in, a constant 'Hey K took the money, wonder what else K took. Do you think that's why she didn't want my mom AROUND? Cause mom would have noticed?'

I don't think this is finished. I think MiL and FiL are gonna try and soothe things over and if I was OP, I probably wouldn't want to go back to the way things are and pretty much say that you didn't consider me family but at least I didn't F you over. You burned that bridge, not me.

So, what do you think is going on with K here? Do you think the family will have a chance to heal and invite the OP back in? Should the OP even want to be a part of that family?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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