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'AITA for supporting my daughter's relationship with a guy who used to bully my son?' UPDATED

'AITA for supporting my daughter's relationship with a guy who used to bully my son?' UPDATED


"AITA for staying neutral in a situation between my son and my daughter + wife?"

Here's the original post:

This all started a couple of years ago and it completely split our family apart. My son, Z (22M), has pretty much been estranged from us since he was 18.

Adam is the son of good family friends, he and my daughter, P (24F), begun dating around when they were 19.

The problem is Adam was a bully to my son throughout school, as you can imagine he didn't take it very well. He was furious, however my daughter refused to budge on this. I tried to stay out of the situation but my wife took my daughter's side, partially as were good friends with Adam's parents, but also because she thought Z would eventually get over it.

Unfortunately that didn't happen, instead it made a stark difference in my son's personality, he had become much more aggressive, cold and disrespectful. He no longer listened to what me or his mother had to say, often using intimidation to get what he wanted, he would also disappear for days a time without so much as a word.

This would more or less carry on until he left for university, after which he probably spent no more than 2 weeks in total back at home, opting to stay with friends or whatever girl he was seeing at the time. He has rejected any olive branch we extend.

This has completely destroyed our family and it especially hurts my wife as they were quite close before this happened. The last time we spoke was last year before lockdown, he called me a coward for sitting on the fence. I understand why he feels the way he does, but was I really wrong to stay neutral in this? I didn't feel like it was my place to control my daughter's dating life.

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

SantaPachaMama said:

YTA Why did you two not help your son while he was being bullied? why be friends with the bully's parents? You aren't neutral. You took the bully's side

Somethingisshadysir said:

Yep, YTA. So are your daughter and your wife. Especially your daughter. I would NEVER have dated someone who'd bullied my sibling. That is a betrayal of a huge magnitude, and the fact that your wife supported her horrible actions and you stayed out of it was also a betrayal to him.

Your wife made it clear to her son that he is less valuable to her than his sister, so she has no right to feel hurt. You refusing to take part was tantamount to taking her side. You as a family excluded your son and left him with no support. Your son had every right to feel the way he did about this situation. He rejects your 'olive branches' because they mean nothing.

Bunnawhat13 said:

YTA- and you did not remain neutral in this. You tried to take the easy way out and not face up to and work on an issue in the family.

-Adam is the son of good family friends. So what did you and your family friends do while Adam abused Z throughout high school. Since it continued for up to 4 years it seems like nothing was done.

  • My wife sided with the good family friends, who did nothing about their son’s bullying behavior? She also thought Z would get over it.

  • Z became aggressive, cold, and disrespectful. Maybe because his parents sided with a bully that tormented him throughout high school, his parents betrayed him. You seem to like bullying behavior so he became more aggressive.

-He has rejected any olive branch we extend. Kind of like you rejected him. Did Adam even apologize?

If Adam hits your daughter are you guys going to think she should get over it? Adam is a bully, you have stated this. You don’t have control over you daughters love life but you do have control over who enters your house. You could have tried to get Adam to own up to what he did. You could have done anything other then pretend to be neutral. Your son need you, you choose Adam by default.

erstwhile02 said:

Omg, YTA. You welcomed your son's bully into your lives with open arms. AND you're friends with his bully's parents. Why the hell would he come home? It was clearly not a safe zone for him.

bubbsnana said:

YTA. Neutral you say? Sounds more like everyone chose the bully’s side. Your son deserved love and protection. Still deserves it. He’s smart to stay away from a toxic environment. Hopefully your daughter doesn’t end up getting bullied by the guy too! What an eye opener that would be if Adam continues being a bully because no one has ever stopped him. Neutral? Hmm.

Verdict: YTA. Do you agree?

He later shared this update on the situation:

I did not plan on making an update, it was quite clear that we were in the wrong and we accept that, however my son was informed of the original post by one of his cousins, he got in contact and he found it hilarious. My wife managed to convince him to meet up with us and talk. He insisted on me making an update with the takeaways from that conversation, so here goes.

I'm sure a lot of people are interested in how he's doing now, I'm happy to say he has outgrown his abrasiveness and has become a very confident and intelligent young man. He's very secretive about what he's doing now, but one thing he is open and proud about is the charity he runs. He happily went into detail about how he works with disadvantaged children and helps get them opportunities, particularly in sports.

In regards to his sister and Adam, he seemed completely indifferent to them. He said he wasn't particularly interested in talking about '2 losers who no-one really likes'.

It was a long conversation, we talked about a lot but it seemed to end with my son letting us know- that while there might be the slightest bit of contact between us, me and my wife will always be on the outside looking in on his life. While this isn't what me and my wife hoped for, we are looking at it as a chance to eventually build our relationship back up.

Sources: Reddit
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