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Man tells off wife with cancer after she 'manipulates' teen daughter into shaving head.

Man tells off wife with cancer after she 'manipulates' teen daughter into shaving head.

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Nothing can fully prepare you to battle with cancer, or support a loved one through such a painful and loaded time. There are so many big feelings that come up during the treatment process, and they're going to manifest differently for each person.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his wife off after she pressure their daughter to cut her hair off in support. He wrote:

'AITA for telling my wife off after getting our daughter to cut her hair off, even after being told not to?'

My wife is currently battling cancer, and one of the things she’s told me she’s struggling with the most was losing her hair. She’s been given a near 100% chance of survival since we caught it early, but the chemotherapy has destroyed her hair anyway, and she had to shave what was left of it off a few weeks ago.

Not long after that, she suggested we attempt to get our 17-year-old daughter, Anna, to do so as well. Anna has very long hair that she puts a lot of care into so I felt it was appropriate to ask her in private if she wanted to/would be willing to do such a thing. She told me that she didn’t want to cut her hair and I figured that was the end of that.

However, yesterday they came home from a “girls shopping trip”, something they do every so often, and Anna had a buzzed haircut. That struck me as odd after what she’d said, so after dinner, I talked to her and she told me that my wife had said she would never forgive Anna if she didn’t show her support by buzzing her head. I asked her if she was happy about it and she said that she wasn’t.

When I went to bed, I brought it up with my wife and she said “it was Anna’s choice to or not, I just told her how I’d see the situation.”

I told her off, saying she needed to respect Anna’s personal choices and that a 17-year-old girl being against shaving her head wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary, however, my wife simply said it was to show support for her.

I’ve been sleeping on the couch since. I love my wife, and I understand that she’s going through something traumatic, however, her attitude comes off as very manipulative to me, and that’s not behavior I feel I can personally accept. I’m not sure if I can move past this to continue the relationship. AITA?

People had a lot to say about the situation.

Equivalent_Value2686 wrote:

NTA! You're wife is a flaming @$$hole! I'm sorry that she has cancer, but what she did to your daughter was very abusive! If she is unable to deal mentally with her disease and treatment, then she needs professional help, not to manipulate and coerce your daughter into making a choice that she didn't want to make. Make no mistake, she ABUSED your daughter.

Honestly, cancer or no cancer, if I were in your shoes, I would seriously be considering divorce, if only to get your daughter to safety.

WholeAd2742 wrote:

NTA. Your wife's illness is tragic, but not an excuse to emotionally blackmail and ignore your daughter's body autonomy. Frankly, her behavior is very jealous and cruel.

Serrated_Banana wrote:

NTA, your wife wanted to use your daughter as a prop to her cancer. She knows she's going to survive (presumably) but she wants the attention she will get from it. Forcing your daughter to sacrifice something that is probably very memorable about her so people can gush about it is her way of getting more attention.

It's unbelievably toxic, what she's done. The manipulation is honestly shocking. The power behind showing support through shaving your head for a cancer patient is that it's unasked and voluntary. Just asking/demanding someone shave their head because you have cancer is wild.

Independent-Length54 wrote:

NTA. Your wife I'm sure is struggling with self-image issues, but more or less manipulating her daughter into buzzing her hair was absolutely a terrible way to go about it. I think you were right to take your wife to task.

When things are calmer, I would try to discuss this again with your wife, and explain your disappointment that she twisted Anna's arm to do something she didn't want to do by employing really, REALLY bad parenting technique 'If you don't do this you don't love me,' e.g. That shit is absolutely toxic and CANNOT continue.

While your wife did something egregious, hair will grow back, and the damage is done. But it might be worth getting some family counseling. As you said, your wife is going through something really traumatic, visible, and scary. It's also possible that you have some of your own things to sort through.

Of course, cannot tell from this post alone, but even mentioning she had a near 100% chance of survival seems to possibly imply you think she shouldn't be so upset...? Assuming your relationship is otherwise healthy, I would try to work through this. Good luck, and so sorry this is happening.

FeeFiFooFunyon wrote:

This would be a pretty bold manipulation move for her first try. I would reflect on if you have observed other instances of manipulation. Schedule some time with your daughter alone and check in to see if this is isolated. I suspect you won’t find this to be the first time your daughter was guilted into things by your wife.

OP is most definitely NTA, but there's some serious talks to be had with his wife about her parenting techniques, cancer or not.

Sources: Reddit
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