We do a lot of favors for family. How we treat them especially when compared to other family members can determine a lot about how good or bad some relationships will be.
A dad is asking Reddit if he was wrong for siding with his daughter over his sister-in-law (SIL) when it comes to how the former decorated her room.
Reddit user ForsakenManagement17 took his question to “Am I the A**hole”, the subReddit where people ask for judgement on such a query.
The original poster (OP) asks:
“AITA for refusing to change my daughters bedroom for my pregnant SIL?”
The post explains:
“My SIL (28) is visiting for Christmas and was sleeping in my daughters (16) bedroom. From the first day she’s been here all she’s done is complain about how my daughters bedroom is decorated.”
“Her walls are black and she has a bunch of rock posters on her walls. My SIL is very Christian and she says that it’s evil and that she can have no part in it.”
“She kept asking me to make my daughter change it/take the posters down. I spoke to my daughter about it and she said that if her aunt doesn’t like it then she doesn’t have to sleep in there.”
“I honestly agreed and didn’t feel like fighting with an teenage girl over a poster.”
For clarification, in a comment, OP says they have a guest room available, but the bed is smaller. Since the SIL was pregnant, they were trying to be nice and give her a bigger, comfier bed while the daughter slept in the guest room, an arrangement the daughter volunteered.
The post continues:
“Anyways, right before bed last night I could hear my daughter kind of yelling and crying. When I went to see what had happened I saw that her aunt had taken all her stuff off of the walls and had “accidentally” ripped one of them which was signed by the artist.”
“My daughter was freaking out and my SIL explained that the “evil” posters gave her anxiety and that when she got anxious the baby wouldn’t stop kicking and she couldn’t sleep.”
“I told my daughter to tape the ripped poster back together and that she could put all of it back up in the morning. I told my SIL that if she didn’t like it she could sleep on the couch or find a hotel.”
“My wife doesn’t like the way my daughters room is decorated either and of course she sided with her sister. She told my daughter that if she put them back up then she would rip them all up.”
“She told me that she “couldn’t believe that I would suggest that her sister should leave”.”
Judgement on the subReddit is passed in a few different ways.
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- ESH – Everybody Sucks here
- NAH – No A**holes here
Most of the answers agreed that OP was NTA.
“NTA – she is a guest in your house: your house, your rules. How dare she infringe on your hospitality by telling your daughter how to decorate her bedroom.”
“If she doesn’t like it then she can book a hotel room or AirBnB.”
“Your wife is also an AH for enabling her sister and using the situation to undermine your daughter’s right to her identity and interests.” – TooTall2Function
“NTA. SIL’s behavior shows a complete lack of respect for your daughter as a person. Hopefully you have a non-demonic couch for her to sleep on.” – Individual-Vanidu
“NTA. Your SIL and wife are TAs. It’s your daughter’s room. Like you said, if she is uncomfortable, she can sleep somewhere else.”
“Your SIL should also pay for the poster that she destroyed.” – brightonii
“NTA. Sister should go stay in a hotel, and she owes your daughter a signed replacement for the poster she destroyed. That was personal property of your daughter and she had absolutely no right to do that.” – Katt_ler
A few people wanted some more information, but also agreed that OP was NTA.
“NTA but also kinda INFO – is this you and your wife’s child? Or is wife the stepmom?”
“Either way I’d be concerned at your wife telling a 16 year old that she would rip up all her decorations because SIL doesn’t like them.” – galpalnykki
“She’s my wife’s biological child” – ForsakenManagement17
“NTA. Like at all.”
“Gotta ask though. Your wives family is very religious, and it doesn’t seem that you are. How do you make that work?”
“I’m not against religion, if it makes people happy then more power to ’em, but I wouldn’t be able to date a hard-core religious person.” – Fair-South-9883
“INFO: does your wife and daughter have a good relationship? It sounds like your wife cares more about her sister than her own daughter.” – Familiar_Living_5815
“No, they don’t really get along well.” – ForsakenManagement17
Careful action from these parents will have wildly different results.
OP’s attempts to protect his daughter will engender a better relationship with his daughter than his wife will experience. And the wife’s siding with her sister over her daughter will strain that dynamic with her child, though her relationship with her sister will improve.
It can be hard to determine which course of action is right without the benefit of hindsight, but hopefully things work out for this family.