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Man asks if he was wrong to tell adult son, 'It's time to get over the divorce.'

Man asks if he was wrong to tell adult son, 'It's time to get over the divorce.'

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AITA for telling my son to get over the divorce?

My ex-wife, Natalie, and I had an amicable but not loving marriage. We had 2 children, Michael (28M) and Lily (30F).

When Michael was about 10 years old, she and I saw that we no longer had romantic feelings, but a beautiful friendship. But for reasons at the time (mainly our children), we decided to continue the marriage until our children left home.

Basically nothing has changed on a daily basis, we were still the same couple as always, but we didn't force something we didn't want. When Michael moved away for college and home permanently (at age 19) we decided to make the gradual move and finally make our divorce official.

Michael didn't handle it well. For months he tried to convince us to try couples therapy, 'intervention', that it was a bad phase in the marriage and not to sign the divorce paper until we were sure.

We explained together, separately that it wasn't a bad phase and that we stayed together for the good of the family only, etc. Over time, he conformed (but hasn't accepted until today). I am currently married and so is Natalia. We have a great relationship and often spend Christmas and New Year's together with our children.

What happened: Michael is engaged to Liam and we recently had dinner with him, his in-laws, fiance and Natalie to celebrate the engagement.

Michael still has a habit of making spiteful comments about the divorce and how traumatizing his parents' experience of getting divorced was. Several times, I said that this was something that hurt us to hear, because above all, my ex and I cherish that our children don't suffer from our decision.

During dinner, we were talking to his in-laws and they asked how long we'd been apart and how good we had a relationship etc. Michael at some point, said: 'It wasn't such a good thing for the family, it was a traumatizing experience to see your inspiration as a couple break up and your family fall apart'.

To say that Natalie and I were embarrassed that he said it in front of his in-laws is not necessary. I had my limit and I said 'Look, Mike, I understand your feelings, but it's been 9 years that your mother and I haven't been together and you didn't even live with us during this process. We are already in another moment of our lives. I think it's over time to get over it and turn the page'.

He was quiet and stayed that way for most of dinner, saying only what was necessary. Later, I got a text from him criticizing me saying I should respect his feelings and he was just venting which was a valid thing and I shouldn't say that in front of his in-laws. AITA?

When I said that our children didn't suffer, I mean we tried everything that wasn't the worst scenario and that they didn't suffer so much, obviously there would be 'damage', but that it was as little as possible. Although many say it was a lie (and that's ok), it was the best scenario for several reasons as well besides the children at the time.

Here's what people had to say:

He_Who_Is_Right_ writes:

If your son wants to vent, he needs to go to a therapist. What your son was doing was criticizing you in front of his future in–laws. That's not right, and you were very gracious in the manner in which you corrected him. NTA.

RoyallyOakie writes:

NTA...venting at such an event is not appropriate. He should seek the help he needs if he still can't accept the situation. You have a right to your own happiness and you've made every effort to make the situation work.

arsenicpixie writes:

NTA. It wasn't appropriate dinner conversation, but he brought it up first. 9 years is a really long time to not be able to adjust to a change made when he was an adult. Have you ever explained to Michael that you and your ex were only staying together for the kids for most of his life? He can't just attack you about a decade old divorce every time you interact with him, that's ridiculous.

bekalc writes:

YTA. You said that “i cherish that our children don’t suffer from our decision.” But he disagrees with that and has the right to feel so. While his life is less affected as a kid your still affected even as an adult

OrangeCubit writes:

YTA - but your kids DID suffer from your decision. Your son‘s view is that his entire happy childhood was a charade. He thought he was part of a happy family and learned it was a lie. How did you expect him to react? What’s the appropriate time frame for a person to get over 9 years of lying?

psichickie writes:

ESH. Michel needs to see a therapist to deal with his anger over your divorce. it was completely inappropriate for him to make a comment like that at dinner. if he has issues, he speaks privately or with a therapist, not with the in laws.

You did not need to tell him to 'get over it' and i'm not sure that you ever bothered to look at it from his point of view. parents are our role models for relationships, and he had his torn apart. that's not easy to go through. he had this image of his parents, up on a pedestal as these perfect people and that image was shattered.

He needs to deal with this obviously, but you don't need to be dismissive of it. also, totally inappropriate to say at dinner.

Sources: Reddit
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