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Dad Livid After In-Laws Forbid Him From Bringing Daughter From Previous Relationship To Party

Cheerful young girl and her father embracing at dusk
Ippei Naoi/GettyImages

Mixing families can be difficult.

Not all kids feel comfortable with new parents.

And not all parents and family members are welcoming.

It’s a fine line to walk to make everyone feel comfortable.

And sometimes the effort can be futile.

Case in point…

Redditor Clear_Common5486 to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for bringing my daughter to my in-laws party?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (33 M[ale]) have been with my wife (33 F[emale]) for 6 years and married for 3.”

“We have a 4-year-old son together and I also have a 9-year-old daughter that I have sole custody of from a previous relationship (it was barely a relationship honestly).”

“Recently my sister-in-law invited us to a restaurant for her birthday and she told my wife to bring ‘the family’ which I took to mean my wife, me, our son, and my daughter.”

“My in-laws have known my daughter since I’ve been with my wife, they’ve watched her grow up, I just assumed she was part of the family now.”

“My wife went to my S[ister] I[n] L[aw]’s house and the plan was for me to go to meet them at the restaurant with the kids a little later on.”

“Everything was fine at the meal but once we got home and the kids were asleep my wife got really annoyed at me for bringing my daughter.”

“She said I was wrong for bringing her because she’s not family and that my SIL didn’t want her there.”

“I’ve honestly never got the impression that my daughter wasn’t welcome at family events (on my wife’s side) and no one told me not to bring her.”

“A couple in-laws have been messaging me and calling me things for bringing my daughter.”

“My mother-in-law told me I was trying to force them to accept my daughter as family.”

The OP was left to wonder:


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the a**hole.

“Say what? After 6 years together this is the first time they excluded your older child?”

“You have sole custody of her, so where was she supposed to go, if not with you?”

“It sounds like you entered the twilight zone. NTA.” ~ Beautiful-Report58

“Have an open and honest conversation with your daughter about inclusion and trust.”

“Don’t call names, in case she never noticed anything, and tell her that she can always come to you and can confide in you, even if it’s about her stepmother.”

“Then listen to her if she says something’s wrong and act upon it.”

“Possibly discuss what she thinks is best to do about it, or what she’s afraid of if you act upon it, so you can keep that in mind when you think about your strategy.”

“Never just get up and get angry at someone else without thinking, that may make things worse for her.”

“Your first concern should always be your daughter’s health and safety, not your own feelings.” ~ EatThisS**t

“Absolutely agree here.”

“This is appalling behavior on the part of your in-laws, and the fact that your wife is going along with it suggests to me that she may have instigated this sudden exclusion of your daughter from the family.”

“Get to the bottom of this, OP.”

“Your daughter’s mental health and future depends on it.” ~ ParkerBench

“This. I’ve been in the daughter’s shoes.”

“I’m even no contact with my dad and stepmom now too.”

“Cause my dad told me to put up with her abuse/unfair treatment as a kid.”

“My stepmom also was really bad when my dad wasn’t around.”

“So OP please listen to the comment I replied to for your daughter’s sake.” ~ Kayos9999

“NTA – you need to speak to a lawyer about the implications of divorce and how to best protect your assets and then have a serious conversation with your wife about how you require and demand that your daughter be accepted as family.” ~ juicyluc1e

“NTA, but your WIFE IS as well as her family.”

“The fact that your WIFE was annoyed and referred to her as ‘not family’ would be a ‘let’s talk about whether this relationship has a future’ trigger IMMEDIATELY!”

“OP I have 2 adult sons and 3 younger kids my husband and I had together and were in our 40’s. My husband was only 27 when we got together and he made clear to his family that he chose me AND my sons.”

“They respected that and we got through some hiccups with them BECAUSE he loved and accepted my sons without question so they followed suit.”

“This is what your daughter AND you deserve.”

“Ask your wife if you end this, how she would feel if you walked away due to this, got remarried and your future spouse excluded your guy’s son in this way, and how she’d feel if you allowed that to happen?!”

“I am married and feel that’s for life and we work through anything.”

“But marginalizing a child who had NO choice or say in how/when she was conceived is something that is so wrong, it warrants reconsidering that commitment.” ~ Novel_Ad1943

“Exactly! I’ve always been so grateful that the families of both my stepdad and stepmom fully accepted and loved me as a family from the beginning.”

“I was three when mom married my step-dad and nine when my dad and stepmom married, and I never ever felt like I wasn’t family.”

“And both families were deeply religious and conservative and it was the 60’s and early 70’s, when divorce and blended families were not as normal and socially accepted as it is now.”

“Your wife and her family are cruel and thoughtless and I’d strongly reconsider your marriage and future with them.” ~ poet_andknowit

“If this bizarre scenario truly occurred, the only thing weird is you questioning if you were wrong and not if you should stay in the marriage.”

“Any father that thinks it’s possibly, maybe, even a tiny bit ok for his child to be ostracized by his sh*tty wife and her shi**y family must have a hole in his head. Do you?”

“No, ok then, prioritize your daughter and tell your shi**y wife to rethink her shi**y behavior and get her shi**y family in order or you’ll remove yourself and your children from the situation.”

“Then she can be a part-time mom.”

“Then when she ultimately fails, follow through.”

“NTA for including your daughter.”

“But not so great for even questioning if you should.” ~ 5footfilly

“You have more blood with your child than your in-laws.”

“Might wanna point that out since they seem so concerned with who is blood-related.”

“NTA, OP. But this would be my hill to die on.”

“Your daughter is old enough to feel the exclusion from your wife and family.”

“You need to talk to your daughter alone and ask her if she’s ever been treated or made to feel differently than her brother.”

“I would tell the wife that it’s family therapy to work on HER problems with your child (that she is RAISING), or you will take your daughter out of an abusive environment.”

“Side note: my brother remarried this year.”

“He and my family live far from me, so when I first met his (at the time, serious G[irl]F[riend]) and her kids, I brought gifts for both my nephew and her two girls.”

“I literally bought the same things three times, one for each of them.”

“Because they’re kids!”

“It’s not right to treat them differently.”

“I introduced myself as their aunt from day one because THEY WERE ALREADY FAMILY!!”

“I say I have 3 niblings, full stop.”

“When my brother got married, nothing changed in how I treat those kids because they were already my nieces.”

“And I love them all.”

“I don’t add qualifiers when I speak of them, they’re my three amigos.”

“Moral of that story: don’t put qualifiers on kids.”

“There’s no step or half or anything, you’re raising two kids full-time in the same home.”

“You don’t put qualifiers on love unless you love differently.”

“And kids always know it and feel it.”

“Your daughter is at a vulnerable age to feel and internalize that difference.”

“Do right by her, Dad.”

“It sounds like you’re all she’s got, and she has no choice in this, but YOU DO.” ~ kaekiro

“NTA. But you need to have a serious discussion with your wife.”

“Your daughter isn’t family?!”

“The daughter you have sole custody of that your wife has known and lived with for 6 years?”

“She’s not family?!?!” ~ wanderingstorm

OP came back to update…

“I spoke to both my wife and daughter separately.”

“My daughter said that she does sometimes feel like my wife excludes her slightly or treats her differently from her brother.”

“She did also mention how sometimes my in-laws aren’t nice to her and make comments about her not fitting in and just general comments that make her feel unwelcome.”

“She told me she was scared to tell me in case I would be angry at her.

“I’ve apologized to her for not realizing how my in-laws were treating her and for making her scared to talk to me.”

“My wife pretty much confirmed what my daughter said. “

“I’m so disgusted and f**king annoyed at her.”

“I don’t understand how anyone could treat a f**king child this way.”

“She’s the sweetest little girl.”

“She has never done anything to deserve this.”

“I just don’t understand how they can be so disgusting and cruel.”

“We’re planning on getting a divorce, and my wife is planning on moving out after Christmas.”

“The divorce will hopefully be easy since we’ve agreed on split custody for my son.”

“Once she moves out, she’ll have my son every weekend, but that’ll probably change once she gets her own house.”

“I am very grateful that she’s being so nice about all of this.”

“There’s not been many arguments about the divorce which is very helpful.”

“Thank you for all of the comments on my last post!!”

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You did what you needed to do for you and your daughter.

It also may be a good idea to get both kids into a little therapy to explain all of this.

Good luck.