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Woman refuses to 'help' dad win mom back, he says 'you side with her because of money.'

Woman refuses to 'help' dad win mom back, he says 'you side with her because of money.'


Anyone who saw The Parent Trap during their childhood has likely imagined themselves as a crafty twin, ready to reunite divorced couples if the chance is granted.

But in reality, many children (and adults) of divorce know that their parents are better off separated. Living in a house with one happy parent is more peaceful than living with two deeply unhappy parents.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not helping her dad 'win' her mom back.

She wrote:

AITA for ruining my dad's chances of winning my mom back?

My (25f) parents are getting divorced after 24 years of marriage. My mother was basically “cheating” on my father for months before he found out. I put cheating in quotation marks because my dad was a horrible husband. So I was actually happy she found someone else. Once my mom said she wanted to separate, my dad completely changed.

He said he didn’t want her to leave, begging her to stay, saying he will change. He actually got on medication for his depression, started being more affectionate, and asked for couples counseling that he said my mom agreed to do. One day I go to my parents’ house and my dad says he wants my help winning my mom back.

We are in the backyard and mom is in the house. I told him no because I want what’s best for her and he’s not it. He said that he has severe depression, and saying that he’s bad without acknowledging how depression can affect a person isn’t right. He said he was disappointed cus if the genders were reversed I would admonish him for cheating and breaking the vow of marriage.

Now this is where I might be the a**hole; my dad is doing everything he can to win my mom back, so I said that while I won’t help him, I wouldn’t interfere in his plans and would stop talking about him with her (me and my mom talk a lot about how sh**ty of a husband my dad is).

At one point in the conversation he says, in a calm tone, “I know you’re not going to like this, but imma say it anyway: when one parent gives you gifts and takes you on trips and buys you things, of course you’re going to side with them even if they’re wrong because you don’t want to lose that.” This made me soooo angry.

I have a genuine friendship with my mom, whereas even though my dad was a fantastic father (SAHD, gave us everything we ever wanted/needed), I don’t necessarily enjoy being around him. I hang out with him sometimes out of obligation, but it’s very forced and I know he can tell and he’s told me this hurts him in the past.

I basically went off saying f**k you and how dare you and that he had no right to question my character and the reason I like mom more is because he’s no fun, unmedicated, he’s rude and rigid, and it has absolutely nothing to do with money. I am screaming, but up until this point our convo was calm and we were almost whispering so my mom wouldn’t hear.

My dad keeps trying to shush me, but I don’t let up. I go to my mom and tell her what he just said, and he keeps looking at me, saying, “why are you doing this to me?” “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me,” 'we were just having a calm conversation.' I say I am leaving and my mom gets in the car with me. Later my dad says that after my blow up, my mom no longer wanted to go to couple’s therapy.

AITA for blowing up and making it harder for my dad to win my mom back?

EDIT: I'm editing to add that the reason I am so involved is because BOTH my parents talk about the other to me. My dad started first, and my mom only got involved when I asked her if she was abusing him in the way he was claiming. But they both are wrong for this.

Other important info: My dad told me my whole life that he has bipolar disorder, and that's why he was so messed up. I've sent him books and podcasts and articles and lectures for YEARS about this disorder. I made my entire family start therapy two years ago, and I said that my only request for dad is that he get medicated because he knows he has bipolar disorder.

He laughed and said 'I was waiting for you to say that. I'm not even bipolar.' The therapist then got a little curt with me and said I shouldn't armchair diagnose just because I was a psych major. My dad just nodded along. This is just ONE of his serious manipulations, but he does it to me often and that's why our relationship is fractured.

People quickly weighed in.

Palsticine_Porters wrote:

NTA. It was wildly inappropriate for your dad to request your help getting back together with your mom. Their marriage is their business, not yours.


YTA for one part in particular. The part that tipped me towards you being TA is when you wrote about you and your mother talking about what a bad husband he is. You already inserted yourself into their marriage troubles before all this and already picked a side. You're definitely TA here.

Legendofvader wrote:

ESH - your dad's mental health aside he appears to not have been the best father by your post. However, your mother cheated so there is that. Makes her equally as responsible. As for you well you picked a side and made it clear and yelled very clearly at your father your thoughts. Seems like you did not want them getting back together and made sure that did not happen.

thatvampigoddess wrote:

ESH, your mum for cheating, your dad for being a bad husband and you for not being able to have a civil conversation for 5 minutes even though you started off whispering and you knew this was something your mum wasn't supposed to hear. You have every right to be mad but the way you handled it escalated an already chaotic situation to the point of no return.

The response of all responses came from OP's brother KingKunta76:

ESH, Brother of OP here. I feel like some clarification is necessary. My parents' relationship has been strenuous since we were kids. All three of us honestly thought they would get divorced when me and OP went to college (we are twins so we left at the same time) obviously they didn’t.

About 4 years later I came back to live with them and this is around the time the relationship really started to fall apart. They would fight constantly over the stupidest s**t usually picking topics that they knew would piss off the other they BOTH were guilty of this, after the fight they would not talk to each other for months at a time and never slept in the same room.

This is why my sister put cheating in quotes because they weren’t really together in any romantic sense for years. In fact, our dad was the first to recommend divorce then backed out when he realized our mom wasn’t actually opposed to the idea. I think he thought our mom would beg him not to, but she was completely okay with the idea.

Both of our parents did a wonderful job raising us but they made a sh*t couple and I really think they would be happier apart.

For those of you still a bit confused about our dad, he definitely suffers from depression and some form of autism/bipolar while usually a fun guy his mood can flip on a dime without any warning and it makes hanging out with him stressful as you don’t know what u will say or do that will set him off.

And as for our mom, she loves drama and my dad is a constant source for her while more emotionally stable she will intentionally do shit to set our dad off. Luckily, she was finally convinced to cease all contact with him that wasn’t through a lawyer.

TL;DR: our parents don’t belong together and never have I have voiced this to both of them and haven’t talked to either about their relationship since because I don’t want to be involved and I have told OP on multiple occasions to also do this. I have observed all partiss from the beginning and I know for a fact ESH.

Lonelylittleacademic wrote:

ESH. Your mother cheated, and there is NEVER an excuse for that. If you aren't happy, leave. Your father is one because he tried to involve you and wasn't paying bills before.

And YOU, especially because you tried to play off your mother's cheating as not actually cheating and got involved before your father even asked by sh*t-talking him constantly with your mom and then tried to act like you didn't want to be involved. Honestly, yeah, he wasn't great in the slightest, but you and your mother also sound miserable.

The rulings run the range, but one thing seems to be unanimous, it's that this whole situation is deeply messy.

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