When this mother is concerned about her daughter's opinion of her father, she asks Reddit:
Throwaway account. have 2 children by my ex husband. 14yo 'Alex' and 10 yo 'Bella'. They go to their dad's every other weekends.
Bella has been acting strangely the past 2 months. Every Friday, on their dad's week, she cries hysterically. Begs me to stay home. I asked her multiple times why, she just tells me ' I hate him' , ' he is a dirty pig '.
I called my ex, he told me that she was mad because he bought her brother a new phone and not her.
I asked Bella if that's the reason she refuses to go to her father's house. She refuses to tell me anything, she just repeats ' I hate him'. Last night she was crying in her room and begging me to stay.
I said no. This morning she refused to eat and was just crying. She even tried to emotionally blackmail me: 'If you love me, let me say [...] I will do all the chores in the house if you let me stay [...] You don't love me'
I asked Alex if he knew why his sister was acting up. He told me he has no idea, but that he is perfectly content with his father.
I asked my own mother for some advice about what to do. She said to me that I was TA for forcing my daughter to go somewhere she doesn't want to go. But I have no reason to let her stay, she has to see her other parent. AITA?
YTA. Your daughter isn't 'emotionally blackmailing' you, ffs! She's expressing a profound discomfort, borderline to a panic attack, when she has to visit her father.
Doesn't it ring any alarm bells? Doesn't it make you want to delve deeper and investigate what the hell has been going on for the past two months? (Since you wrote 'in the past two months' I assume Bella previously had no problems).
Maybe it's about the new phone, but the 'dirty pig' comment is extremely disturbing to me.
As someone who was in a similar situation with divorced parents when I was a teenager this is definitely a red flag.
My father began behaving inappropriately with me, and crossing multiple boundaries. I didn’t have the words at the time, but thankfully my mother listened to me as a whole and didn’t force me to go.
One of the reasons it went on as long as it did was because I thought I was making it more severe in my head. I was worried that people weren’t going to believe so I held out as long as I could.
Even if your daughter isn’t giving you details now, she may after you show that you listened to her and trust her. That’s what happened with my mom. I told her everything after she confirmed I wouldn’t have to go back unless I wanted to.
We now have the closest relationship I could ask for, and I remain NC with my father. YTA if you force her to go.
Idk about where you live, but here, 'dirty pig' means pervert. Please believe your child. If it turns out to be jealousy, fine. But if she is being abused, you will not regret listening to her. Is this really a risk you want to take?
saltgreat6066 OP replies to this with an odd comment:
No. It isn't a risk I want to take. I tried talking to her. But what can I do when she refuses to open her mouth and tell me?