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Dad Sparks Drama After He Buys A Lock To Keep His Wife From Reading Their Daughter’s Diary

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Moms who breach their daughters’ diaries on the premise of “just trying to be a good mother” are a teen movie trope for the overbearing mother the audience is supposed to dislike on behalf of the protagonist.

Unfortunately not all of those moms solely exist in movies or on TV.

Reddit user beergoggleromeo found himself in a situation with his own wife, who was not happy with his decision.

Feeling reasonably confident with his actions, the 41-year-old father went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for affirmation.

He asked:

“AITA for locking my daughters diary?”

Our original poster, or OP, explained:

“AITA for placing a lock on my daughter’s (11) diary so my wife (36) would stop reading it?”

“There was a recent post about a father who discovered his wife had been reading their child’s diary without her knowledge and the father wanted to tell his daughter the truth.”

“I, naively, shared this story with my wife to gain her insight and I thought we were on the same page. I was wrong.”

“For simplicity I’ll start calling daughter A and wife K.”

“About a week ago K revealed to me that she had been reading A’s diary because she was worried about her mental health.”

“Honestly I think she was concerned because A had started talking to a counselor and wouldn’t share what was said during those sessions.”

“She found out that A was very angry with her and is not handling this info very well.”

“I told K that I was incredibly disappointed and this was a serious invasion of privacy.”

“She was obviously upset that I didn’t agree but was completely unrepentant about her actions and said she had no intention of stopping.”

“So I bought a lock and told her it was to keep her older brother (13) and little sister (6) out of it. I did not mention her mother, I just can’t bring myself to tell her.”

“My wife now thinks I’m the a**hole because she just wants to gain insight into A’s mental health and I believe she should sit down and have an honest conversation. So Reddit what do you think?”

Redditors offered their own perspectives by declaring:

  • YTA: You’re The A**hole
  • NTA: Not The A**hole
  • NAH: No A**holes Here
  • ESH: Everyone Sucks Here

Reddit immediately agreed OP did the right thing.

“NTA. And as someone who had their parents read my personal writings, thank you. Your daughter’s privacy is important, and having someone read something personal is a huge breach of trust.”

“And like you said, if your wife is that concerned about your daughter’s mental health she can talk to her about it.”~SpitDontQuit

“You are NTA. Not for what you did (great move, seriously) and not for feeling cowardly about this.”

“Because it’s just a feeling, you have proof that in the moment you did the brave thing and protected your child’s innocence and privacy even if it put you on the opposite side of your wife.”

“Consider what the other posters said about giving wife a specific time to tell daughter what she did.”

“You can also give the therapist a heads up; you can *always* tell the therapist information even if they won’t disclose info to you and it can be extremely helpful in situations like this.”

“You could even suggest your wife plan a session with daughter’s consent along with her counselor to talk about this in a safe place.”

“Just remember that you aren’t breaking your daughter’s heart. If it happens, it was your wife who made the actions that did so – and she can help heal that wound if she is willing to put effort into taking accountability.”~Pissed_Off_Sub

“I was in a similar situation as a young teen and I think people forget that this is still a child who doesn’t have all the same tools to manage their emotions.”

“I tried writing about my feelings and the conflicts I was having with my parents.”

“It was taken away from me. I didn’t know how else to handle my emotions and it lead me down a very bad path.”

“OP, Journaling is a very constructive outlet for your daughter. If healthy avenues are taken away, it’s easy to fall into bad ones. Please protect her ability to express her emotions in a safe place.”

“NTA. If your wife is so concerned then she needs to let go of her need for control and listen to her daughter.”~femmemalin

“NTA. your wife was being sneaky… if she was truly worried about your daughters mental health, she could’ve gone to A or the counselor and asked:”

“‘Short of telling me things that violate patient confidentiality, what can I do to help A’s mental health be better?'”

“And then bam, problem solved. Communication happens and problems are addressed.”~scrappy8350

Violations of privacy are generally not the best way to help someone out with their deteriorating mental health.

“NTA. Agree that it’s an invasion of privacy. If the daughter ever found out it’ll lead to serious trust problems.”

“If mom wants insights then she should do the adult thing and communicate with daughter. It’s a valuable lesson for both to learn.”~getheran_uber

“NTA. I heavily disagree with the notion that she can remain unbiased and gain true insight into your daughters mental health by reading her diary.”

“As a child who had her diaries read countless times and had the information used against me, it did nothing but cause huge mistrust in being able to safely vent but also communicate with my parents at all.”

“I started writing in pig Latin and then the dwarven runes from Lord of the Rings before finally giving up all together.”

“It was mentally exhausting having to find ways to just be able to deal with feelings and emotions that my parents didn’t respect.”

“You’re being a good parent, and your wife needs to learn she’s being sneaky, and not teaching what trust and good communication are.”~Sassypurrloin

“You are NTA. Your wife is out of line. But as with most of the posts on this forum I’m thinking of her intentions: Does she intend to manipulate and coerce her?”

“Or is she desperately trying to get into the head of her hostile and angry daughter so she can connect with her?”

“Regardless of her intentions- This behavior is wrong. But help her find the solution. I know most of the people on this forum come from the perspective of being a child with overwhelming or even abusive parents.”

“As a mama, my heart hurts for your wife. It is so hard when your kid seems to hate you. The beginning of those teenage years are isolating and terrible for both the child and the parent.”

“You go from having this baby that loves your every action and lit up when you entered the room to eyerolls and sarcasm.”

“There are far less mommy blogs, Instagram accounts and books on parenting the hostile preteen. Your wife needs resources and tools to be a better parent in this season.”

“That said, if she has good intentions perhaps encourage her to see a counselor herself and jointly with your daughter so they have a safe place to build their relationship.”

“If she is not coming from a good place then best of luck. She will permanently damage her relationship with your daughter if this continues. Best of luck.”~alwaystasks

“NTA. And keep that kid in therapy. I have a feeling there is a very good reason she is so troubled by her relationship with her mother and she’s gonna need help getting through it.”

“No one should ever insist on a patient disclosing what they talked about in therapy. That’s classic controlling behavior.”

“If I were you I’d send your wife to therapy or parenting classes (plenty of webinars, YouTube videos, etc out there) so she can get a grip.”~drunkonmartinis

And though this is likely a tough situation for OP’s wife, Reddit thinks her method of tackling it is off.

“NTA. Your wife is wrong to invade her daughter’s privacy. Diaries are not meant to be shared and your wife needs to stop before ends creating a divide between.”

“Your daughter will no longer trust your wife or tell her anything because she keeps invading her privacy. You were right to buy that lock for her diary!”~Harra86

“NTA. Your daughter gets to have her privacy. If there’s something that puts your daughter in real, imminent danger, there are ways for you to know that don’t involve reading your daughter’s diary.”

“Something else to consider–not respecting your child’s privacy is crossing a very big boundary. That’s a good way to alienate your child from you for a long time, maybe for years after your child has reached adulthood and had their own children.”

“I’d be on guard for further invasiveness from your wife in other areas. What other disrespectful, privacy-violating things is she OK with?”~Choano

“NTA. Your wife is only doing what’s best for her controlling tendencies. TBH, she seems more concerned about what your daughter can say about her than anything else.”

“Your daughter sees a counselor, her mental health is in professional hands. Not only you protected her privacy, you also let her know she has at least one parent she can trust and can talk to if needed.”~BeebeeYotch

“NTA. Your daughter is already getting help. I’m assuming this counselor is a licensed professional. If they see or hear something that means your child is a danger to herself, they will do something about it.”

“There is no reason to look at her diary to find out if she needs help when she is already receiving that help.”

“Your wife is using that as an excuse to dig for insight on why her daughter is upset with her. Well, she clearly doesn’t understand boundaries so that’s exhibit A there.”~terra_terror

OP provided an update about his plans going forward.

“First I want to thank everyone who contributed to this post.”

“Your well wishes did not go unnoticed, you advice was taken to heart and your stories have opened my eyes to so much that needs to change in my house. The awards where humbling and greatly appreciated.”

“I hope there was some catharsis for those that shared and please know my heart hurts for you all. My wife and I have begun talking about attending therapy ourselves.”

“I think she may have noticed the lock and gotten the message, I don’t know for sure. I am going to sit them both down and we are going to go over A LOT of the advice here.”

“I also want to thank those that offered the harshest criticism. You gave me some of the greatest clarity. I love my wife for all her imperfections and she loves me with mine so I think its worth the fight.”

Hopefully the fight leads to more positivity and understanding ahead.

Mike Walsh

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.