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Dad Lashes Out After His Wife And In-Laws Call Him ‘Inappropriate’ For Cuddling Teen Daughter

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Intimacy and sexuality are not the same thing.

This is something that can take people a moment to understand and often leads to confusion.

So, what happens when family members question the physical affection shared by a parent and child?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) cuddlethrowawayy when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my wife and in-laws to f**k off after they told me to stop cuddling my daughter?”

OP began with the players involved.

“I have 3 kids, 15 Female, 12F and 7 Male.”

“My oldest has always been a cuddler, and that suits me fine because I am too.”

“Recently my in-laws were over, and we were all watching a movie together.”

“It was a kids movie, and so my 15yo was bored out of her mind and tired, so she started to snuggle up to me and go to sleep.”

“After the movie was over, we sent all the kids to bed/their rooms and got chatting for a bit longer.”

Everything was fine, until,

“There was a fair bit of wine involved (I was sober though), and eventually after a short silence my FIL let it drop that he thought it was inappropriate I still cuddled with my 15yo.”

“I don’t really know why he brought it up suddenly, but I was prepared to laugh it off and just assumed it was the alcohol.”

“To my surprise, my wife and MIL both agreed with him.”

“I have a lot of respect for my in-laws, I get along with them great and I consider them closer than my own parents.”

“Obviously I’m quite fond of my wife as well, but I outright told them to ‘f*ck off and go f*ck themselves’ and then left them and went to bed.”

“I’ve never spoken to any of them like that before, but it felt like the right thing to say in the moment.”

“They all want me to apologize for being so rude to them.”

OP was left to wonder,


Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:  NTA

Some were concerned about the effect on the child.

“Please, don’t ever tell your daughter that they said this. It will devastate her and potentially cause a wedge in your relationship.”

“Because it’s a non-issue between you and her, keep it a non-issue.” ~ sassisarah

“What I worry is the wife might try and talk to her daughter behind her husband’s back to “correct” the behavior.” ~ SaintShadowe

“Totally agree, saying something may cause further issues down the line and question her behavior with other individuals.”

“As long as she hasn’t spoken up on her own about it, it’s best not to make it a big deal” ~ cacti2020

Others thought this was a sign of deeper problems.

“I think the fact that the wife and inlaws were all on the same page is a projection of their own intimacy issues between their parent daughter dynamic.” ~ todauniverse9

“It’s not even family history, it’s more of a societal thing.”

“Men being affectionate towards kids is often seen as off. Or strange.” ~ dreg102

“For real, wife and FIL find it inappropriate? Why?”

“What kind of cuddling was going on there? What kind of weird ideation does the FIL have about his daughter?”

“It’s a bit of a stretch, I know, but if relationiship advice posts have taught me anything it’s that everyone is always projecting” ~ DJMixwell

“To be fair I don’t think it means anything insidious happened to the wife.”

“I also don’t think it means FIL is a perv.”

“My family is very cuddly and we have found that families that just do not have that sort of intimacy are just not comfortable with touch in general.”

“It’s not how they show infection, therefore it’s ‘weird’ that other people do.”

“They can’t explain WHY it’s weird, they just know they’re uncomfortable with it.”

“It’s very common for people (making a major assumption and saying they’re American) to be weirded out by the dad and daughter’s affection towards each other because Americans in general don’t show that type of affection.”

“And yes incest p*rn IS very pervasive.”

“But I don’t think that means people that are uncomfortable with it are all pervs.”

“They just aren’t accustomed to it.” ~ camdendrive

Some pointed out that the genders involved might have changed FIL’s perspective.

“It isn’t recent at all.”

“Men immediately get put under the microscope and things that would be appropriate between parents and children don’t line up between mothers and fathers.”

“If this was a 15 year old boy who liked to cuddle up with his mom they’d just think he was a mama’s boy and wouldn’t immediately jump to it being inappropriate.”

“This is also the reason why a lot of men don’t go into careers in teaching because they immediately are held to a level of suspicion that their female colleagues aren’t.”

“A lot of male teachers refuse to ever be alone with children one on one just to cover their own a*ses.”

“It is truly sad but as a society people’s minds immediately sexualize bonding for some reason when it comes to men.”

“Some people are just touchy-feely.”

“My dad was like that and he never did anything inappropriate with my sister. I am not wired that way but my sister ate physical affection up.”

“She needed more of it in her life if anything.” ~ Chachahamas

“Especially reading his first edit, she just had her head on his chest.”

“I f*cking hate people taking innocent acts between family (AND ITS ALWAYS WHEN THE FATHER DOES IT) and make it sexual.”

“You have a sick mind to think sh*t like that.”

“I gotta be careful if I hug my dad, someone might think hes into me… /s” ~ MayaMuffin

There were also personal stories.

“I absolutely hate this mentality and it completely terrifies me.”

“As a dude who enjoys interacting with kids (even that took me a minute to figure out how to say it without being misconstrued).”

“I am terrified of this. I’ve even been hit by it before at a church i used to go to.”

“A military family I was very close to had 4 kids.”

“They PCS to Hawaii and after three years they got to move back.”

“Naturally I was very excited because I was close with the whole family.”

“Hell the second youngest of the four would always seek me out and ask to ride around on my shoulders.”

“(Which I naturally always let her do because she was adorable and it was a lot of fun).”

“Being me and being a hugger I was giving them lots of hugs (all well received.) nothing bad was literally just giving them hugs because I missed them.”

“Well some time later one of the guys I actually kinda looked up to in the church came up to me and told me to stop giving so many hugs because some people might see it as inappropriate because I was 20 at the time.”

“Didn’t matter that I was extremely close to them when they moved away 3 years ago.”

“Made me feel ashamed for just giving them hugs when that is what I did to everyone.” ~ TyPo_1130

“I had an intership at a primary school a few weeks ago and we literally were’nt allowed to hug the kids even if they wanted to” ~ BlubberPlayZone

“NTA I’m 21 fucking years old and if given the chance I will cuddle my dad.”

“Why? Because I LOVE HIM.”

“I love him and my mum and I love to kiss and cuddle them whenever I can!”

“Cuddles is a love language you both speak!”

“It’s platonic intimacy!”

“It’s peak mutual bonding!”

“F*CK, and I cannot stress this enough, them.”

“You have an actual, mutual, loving bond with your teenage daughter.”

“So many parents would kill for that!”

“I mean, yeah what you said was rude, but don’t apologize to them unless they’ll apologize back for trying to invalidate your bond with your child.”

“And for perpetuating toxic masculinity. But make sure you only apologize for using the f bomb, they’re in the wrong here.” ~ G0atDrag0n

OP did return with some further information…

“Edit due to info request:”

“We were not spooning, she was sitting next to me laying on my chest.”

“Edit of my own free will:”

“Idk if it’s important info, but I didn’t yell.”

…And a final update.


“I think I’ve read most everything now, thanks for all the messages of support and hate, I liked them all.”

“Some people asked me to make an update post, I don’t think I will, sorry.”

“I’ve been speaking to them over the past few days and I know why they said what they said (although it’s not relevant to me telling them to f*ck off), but it’s pretty personal and I don’t feel like sharing.”

“I wont be apologizing to any of them, especially now that I know their reasoning.”

“I love my wife, but it hurts that she doesn’t trust me.” 

Intimacy and Sexuality are not the same thing.

While they often exist together, they can exist separately and it is vital that we remember this as we work to cultivate healthier, more robust relationships with friends, colleagues and family.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.