Kids are all too often a casualty of adult drama. When a couple divorces and has to navigate co-parenting while hating each other's guts, the children often pick up some of the stray bullets.
And when one partner has a kid out of an extramarital affair, the emotional complication between the adults can trickle down into the kid's childhood experience and overall self-esteem. But just as kids experience a lot of unfair fallout, some people explicitly use kids as pawns to manipulate others. This can be a supremely tricky situation to navigate.
In a post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not wanting to meet her husband's daughter who was conceived during their separation.
AITA for refusing to meet my husband’s daughter or take my son to meet her?
My husband got our former friend pregnant while we were separated so now he has a 7-month-old daughter. He doesn’t plan to be involved in her life but he’s currently working with a lawyer to establish paternity because I’m forcing him to do it.
The girl’s mother has asked me if I want to meet her and introduce our 3 y/o son to his little sister but I’ve said no. My husband’s family on his mother’s side has been very accepting of the baby and her mother.
They’ve been pressuring me to meet her since she’s technically my stepdaughter and they think I need to be willing to help foster a relationship between her and my son as we all know my husband isn’t going to do it.
I was upset so I told them my son would never have a relationship with her and I wouldn’t ever meet her because they kept pressuring me to. Now everybody thinks I’m some awful b**ch who hates a baby when I don’t.
It also doesn’t help that my husband has cut off financial help to that side of his family because they made me cry which has only made them hate me more.
We had a good relationship before all of this so I feel crap and I’m wondering if I’m an a**hole.
The thread quickly filled up with opinions and hot takes.
NTA...sounds like you’re getting blamed for a lot of your husband’s poor choices. I feel for the baby, but that’s not your responsibility.
NTA. You don't have to accept your husband's side kid.
I think your son would like to have a relationship with his half-sister in the future, but it should be solely your husband's responsibility to make sure that the kids spend time together, not yours.
I don't think you're an AH for feeling any certain way. I do think your husband is an AH, though, if he were not to behave like a father. The baby didn't ask for any of this. This is entirely a choice he made that he needs to deal with.
I'm honestly shocked that you gave him another chance. But with another chance comes the fact that he has another kid. I honestly think you should seek therapy. Individual and maybe couples therapy to try and navigate this.
Definitely above Reddit's pay grade. NTA though.
ESH, your husband is really awful and I don't know why you got back together from when you were separated. I'm not entirely sure if I view extramarital sex while the parties are separated as cheating.
But he's certainly wrong for not using protection and not taking care of the baby he caused. You also are punishing a child and the mother for something that happened when you two weren't together which is why you suck.
Eh, I'll probably get downvoted, but YTA. Not because you don't want to have any relationship with the product of your husband's affair but because you're doing so while maintaining a relationship with the actual adulterer.
If you're going to cut anyone off, it should be the person who actually did something wrong or at least it should *also' be that person. Your husband did wrong; the child did not. Either include both in your life or cut both off.
Also, if his family has a relationship with her, she and your son WILL know about each other and WILL meet, so you taking this stance is only going to confuse both children.
Given your attitude, it will probably lead to anger and even hatred in your son toward an innocent victim.
I feel like you are more angry at the kid than you are at the one person most responsible for this whole mess, your husband.
NTA because the way you are feeling isn't irrational or crazy, but given that your son and his new sister are siblings I feel like it's not fair for you to decide on your son's behalf that they are never going to meet.
That is selfish in my opinion. In this situation, I would try to be the bigger person for my child. Both of them are children, they are not responsible for what adults have done and f*cked up and should not be paying the price for it.
ESH - why is everyone cool with this guy being a sh*t parent? You are keeping your son away from what sounds like his only sibling out of spite.
This case has split the court of the internet, but it seems clear that the biggest AH in this situation is OP's question. Which begs the question: why did she get back together with him?