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Man makes 16 yo daughter cry when she says, 'I want mom's abusers to be my parents instead.' AITA? UPDATED.

Man makes 16 yo daughter cry when she says, 'I want mom's abusers to be my parents instead.' AITA? UPDATED.


When this man is devastated at his daughter's preference for his in-laws over him (especially considering their tumultuous family history), he asks Reddit:

"AITAH for making my daughter cry when she said she wanted my wife’s abusers to be her parents?"

Trigger warning past abused, slight mention of self harm. I 40m am married to a 39f who is the love of my life, we were high school best friends then started to date after college. During high school I noticed she had a bad home life.

Screaming almost every day to the point she was in tears, any holiday was always ruined with the police coming usually. Hell for her 17th birthday she was in tears because her stepdad and her mom couldn’t get along and he screamed at her for hours.

My wife is small 5’2 only about 130 pounds her stepdad on the other hand is 6’5 220 easy, he is a religious freak and a narcissist, who thinks he’s never in the wrong. Everything she did was dictated everything down to exactly how much soap and milk she used.

She had to deal with his bull shit till she had to turn 18 then fully moved in with her biological dad. I would like to blame it all on her stepdad but her mom while she seems like a saint is mentally ill. And ik, I seem like a asshole but she caused my wife so much pain.

She has boarderline personality and bipolar she’s been diagnosed and used to take meds when my wife was a baby but she stopped when my wife was a kid. The emotional abused that happened almost weekly for ,my wife is heart breaking for me to even think she had to deal with that.

It had also gotten physical once when she was 17. She still gets nighmares about. Everything affected my wife so much that she self harmed and still sees a therapist that diagnosed her with ptsd.

She still doesn’t like to celebrate her birthday or Christmas cuz of extreme bad memories but she does for her children because she wants to be the parents she never had.

Anyway it was a Tuesday my daughter wanted to spend the night at her grandparents. We said no.My daughters 16 she said we were so controlling and that it’s so much easier at grandma and grandpas. And how she hated us and she wished grandma and grandpa were her parents.

And kept screaming and acting like we were starving her. We never told our kids much about her childhood just that it wasn’t healthy and that her and her parents have a bad past.

So while she doesn’t know a lot she knows we really don’t get along. I noticed that my wife completely stopped her face was completely empty. I sent my daughter to her room while she was still throwing a fit but my wife was completely still. It’s like that sentence broke her.

She did everything to make sure her family had a good safe life, but it was like my daughter broke her. I was so upset. We went to our room and she broke down in tears. I haven’t seen her cry like that sense she still lived with her parents.

It killed me she looked so broken. I got a idea to let my daughter go stay with her grandparents, we usually never let our kids stay with them for more then a day. I told my wife and she freaked out but my daughter was never in any real danger my wife’s brother was visiting and staying with them so I asked him to look out for her.

And he said he would, so my wife said alright and my daughter made it three days before calling me in tears.

I picked her up and her grandpa yelled at her over something and she cried in my arms and while I comforted her I still let her know that, we give her rules for specific reasons there was a reason she wasn’t allowed to sleep over.

And while her grandparents seem all fun for a short period of time her mom had to deal with them her whole life. And in reality she didn’t see anything compared to her moms childhood.

And while some may think im a asshole I genuinely saw the look of regret on her face. We went home and she immediately went to my wife and they hugged so tight. And my daughter said she was sorry and loved her so much.

I later told my parents about it and they said I was a asshole for doing that. But it worked out in the end so am I the asshole?

OP offers this small update with information about his BIL:

Yes, my brother in law is 6 ft and is a marine and has been one for 8 yrs. her stepdad is a lot older and weaker now, my brother in law treats her like his own daughter at times.

He is very protective over her, he gave me his word and I trust him completely. He’s also protective of my wife because I think he blames himself for not being able to protect her as children. They are very close. And he’s proven time and time again I can trust him.

Let's see what readers thought of this shocking story. Opinions were varied, to say the least.

substantialyouth8 writes:

YTA. You never had an open honest conversation with your daughter about what her mother went through. On top of that, you sent your daughter into an environment that she unwillingly knew about, making your brother-in-law parent and watch over her.

Then you traumatized her at your own expense due to your wife and you not being open and honest about her traumatic past. Your parents are 100% right and even though the outcome came out in your favour for the time being, I would suggest your wife and daughter go through individual therapy.

You don't get to get a kick out of trauma and then introduce your minor child to that same trauma your adult wife went through without being honest.

That is disgusting parenting and for you to think that this is okay is 100% WRONG. You have also shown me how you deal with conflict and if you think that makes you any sort of a man you are completely out of line and wack.

wolfybalck writes:

NTA- You are a better person who picked her up in 3 days I would have left her there for a week or more. Some kids are so privileged and entitled they deserve to be taught a lesson the hard way. She was absolutely horrible to your wife. My heart hurts for your wife, especially how she must have felt after what your daughter said.

grouchysteam writes:

NTA - so far from it. You managed to respect your wife privacy - even if she did fully disclosed why they are traumatic and motivated you to have rules, it wouldn’t have guaranteed your daughter would have understood what it really meant. She wasn’t left alone with them.

For those questioning why they are still in your life if they are that bad. I would like to remind life and relationships aren’t always that simple. Also highly probable OP wife was their target as she was the closest vulnerable at hand.

However really often abusers as narcissists, can be decent even pleasant - if you don’t allow them close enough. Then safety is like a fly around a flytrap, the safe distance depends on the kind of trap and our own willingness to take the risk to be caught stumbling to close.

searchinggod writes:

I really don’t get how the consensus is that you’re NTA here. You let your child go into a situation you know is volatile and traumatic just to prove a point? It doesn’t matter that BIL was there to potentially intervene in a physical altercation.

I grew up in heavy trauma like your wife and it’s not the physical abuse that keeps her up at night, it’s the other stuff. Your child said something in anger—not knowing the full picture—and you thought sending her to your wife’s abusers for an indefinite period of time was a good idea?

Rather than just ignoring her teenage rant or sitting her down and explaining why what she said was hurtful? There’s no way I would ever let my kid be alone with my parents (who seem incredibly similar to you wife’s) let alone send them there as punishment to prove some kind of self vindicating lesson. YTA here.

darknessegg writes:

NTA. Your daughter was in a 'safe' environment and could get out. Your BIL was there to ensure things didn't get out of hand. Your wife's parents aren't criminals , verbally / emotionally abusive yes but doesn't sound like it was worst that running into a crazy boomer in public. The person who is an a-hole is the step dad.

I'm sure your daughter has learned a really big lesson and can now perhaps begin to understand some of your wife's trauma.

arbitrarycontrarian writes:

Speaking as someone who was once in a very similar position as your daughter, NAH (except the grandparents, of course).

The cycle of abuse on both sides of my family goes back several generations that I know of. But I was in my 30s when I learned that. My parents did something very similar to what your wife did: at 16, I knew that they had a strained relationship with both sets of grandparents, but not that there was actual abuse involved.

I knew that my dad's parents were always super sweet to me, and were so much less controlling than my parents that I felt like they let me do anything I wanted. I cannot count the number of times I wished they were my parents, and I probably said that directly to my parents at some point while angry.

Teenagers say stupid stuff sometimes, especially when they don't know the whole story. Although, my parents did not break the cycle, so it's a bit different there.

What you did was essentially show her the truth under controlled circumstances (having her uncle there to intervene if necessary), which is exactly what you should be doing with a teenager. It might have been less shocking for her to have your wife sit down and explain, but that might have been unnecessarily difficult for your wife, and it might not even have worked.

The fact that your daughter was willing to call and ask to come home the first time she got scared is also a huge testament to your (both) parenting. It sounds like you guys have broken the cycle, so congratulations!

Looks like the jury's OUT on this complicated situation. What do YOU think? Is OP in the wrong here?

Sources: Reddit
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