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Dad gets revenge on daughter when she doesn't spend Christmas with him. AITA?

Dad gets revenge on daughter when she doesn't spend Christmas with him. AITA?


When this man is resentful of his daughter's actions on Christmas, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for taking away my daughter’s gifts because she didn’t spend Christmas with us?"

My daughter Leah’s mother and I were never married but we did officially separate when she was five. I got with my wife Niyah when Leah was nine and married her when Leah was 12.

Leah never got on with Niyah, didn’t want to spend time with her and was just generally unpleasant to her. We are currently in family therapy and honestly I think Leah just says the meanest thing possible to avoid actually discussing her feelings with us. She’s absolutely amazing to hang around with one on one but is unpleasant around Niyah.

We were all supposed to spend Christmas together, as per our custody agreement. Leah is sixteen now and we have been more lenient but we have always adhered to our agreement for holidays and birthdays.

On Christmas Eve Leah left to see her boyfriend’s family and drop off her gifts. At around six I call her and ask when she’s heading home, she says she’s staying. I know her mom lives near her boyfriend and asked if that’s where she was going. She didn’t answer.

I told her to come home and she pretty much agreed but then never did. I did call her boyfriend’s parents and they confirmed she left to her mother’s and I called her mother who said Leah was there.

Niyah was heartbroken because she felt like Leah didn’t want to be there because of her.

This year Niyah handled all the gifts, she did the work of going in store and picking them up/picking them out. I decided my daughter wasn’t allowed to shit on Niyah’s efforts to at least be civil with her, so when Leah got home and I asked why she wasn’t at Christmas, she said she wanted to spend it with her real mom.

I said that’s fine. When she asked about her gifts I said her “fake mom” got it for her, so she didn’t need them. Needless to say, she’s pissed at me and hasn’t said anything.

Niyah appreciates me putting my foot down, but feels like Leah is a lost cause and to just give her the gifts. Leah’s mom agrees she needs to stop treating Niyah badly and expecting no consequences.

She has the gifts her mom and boyfriend and other family got her. Just not the one’s Niyah helped with. I got her a car for Christmas, gifted it to her in November because she needed the car. Leah is an only child on both sides. I have no other children and don’t plan to.

I am fine with having a relationship with Leah outside of Niyah. My issue is she treats Niyah badly, like subhuman. She acts outright nasty to her. I wouldn’t push so hard if she could at least be civil. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

hellothere7567 writes:

Where are your gifts to your daughter? You shouldn’t fob off buying Xmas presents for your child onto your wife. If your wife doesn’t want your daughter to have gifts from her that’s fine, but she should still receive something from her father for Christmas, especially as she dropped off gifts for you. YTA.

pandatantrum writes:

It’s probably an unpopular option, but NTA. My parents split when I was 10, never liked my new step-mum, but I was at least polite to her, despite making it clear that I’d never have a relationship with her. We don’t buy each other gifts for Christmas or hang out in anyway, but we can coexist around each other.

So long as Niyah hasn’t done anything specific to piss of Leah, or done anything nasty to her to cause this - which I will assume isn’t the case, because you didn’t mention - then Leah needs to learn how to be polite and civil, without having a relationship.

Unlike others have said, no you don’t need to pick between having a relationship with your daughter or just accepting this.

damemaggiesmith writes:

NTA. Your daughter behaved badly. You gave her a gift already which was incredibly generous. Your wife wanted to give her gifts and was lovely to do so and to keep trying with a kid who has been an ass to her.

You’ve tried therapy to address the difficulty in your family dynamic. When your wife said she was a “lost cause” I’m assuming she means that you trying to get her to like your wife is a lost cause. If that’s the case I agree with her. I wouldn’t have said the “fake mom” thing. But I get your anger.

In hindsight I might have reminded her about the car and said “Nyiah has gifts for you because she respects you even if you don’t respect her. Why don’t you have a chat with her.” Or not. Maybe Nyiah isn’t up for it. All that said, it’s time to let go of the birthday/holiday arrangement.

She is indeed old enough to decide what she wants to do. Maybe without the pressure to be with you and your wife when she is clearly unable to handle her emotions things will get better. I would drop the therapy too. Good luck. Reddit isn’t always nuanced in its responses.

Looks like the jury's out. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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