Alongside all the benefits of finally emptying the nest, the parents of adult children are forced to reckon with the major changes that come along with that.
One of the biggest? The possibility of watching one’s children become cool and powerful.
That dynamic was the driving theme behind a recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), who has deleted their account since posting, told it like it is in the title:
“AITA for telling my husband he is an idiot?”
OP began by sharing a strong dynamic she’s witnessed for a long while.
“My husband and daughter have been frenemies from day one.”
“My husband has some traditional ideas about what women are suppose to be like and our daughter is the exact opposite.”
OP went into specifics.
“She is extremely ambitious and our son is not at all despite our encouragement. He is happy with his stable accounting job and my husband has finally grown to accept that.”
“My husband hasn’t accepted that my daughter is a career woman and recently made over 180k in her job after a raise to director.”
Recently, a big announcement put things on full display.
“She called us to tell us of her promo and I congratulated her while my husband didn’t say anything. After the call I called him out for not being happy for her and he said he was happy ‘on the inside.’ ”
“Later he admitted he wasn’t happy she was making more than him which is ridiculous in my opinion that he isn’t happy his daughter is more successful than him.”
OP had some clear opinions about that takeaway.
“I called him an idiot for being jealous of his own kid and he got mad saying he worked for 35 years to get over 6 figures and our daughter is only 32 so it’s unfair for him.”
“I find it ridiculous since they don’t work in the same field so comparing salaries doesn’t make sense but was I too harsh?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors told OP she hadn’t been an a**hole. Instead, they heaped even more criticism on to her husband.
“NTA your husband is insecure. my greatest goal/achievement would be for my kids to be more successful than I am. You should want your kids to have everything.”
“I’m glad your daughter has you in her corner to knock some sense into him because I can guarantee you she knows how her dad feels and it’s deeply painful for her.” — windyafternoon
“So your husband is a petty, insecure, emotionally stunted father to your daughter. Wow, this must have really affected your daughter throughout her upbringing.”
“And you really stepped up by calling him an idiot. That’ll show him. Jesus, I need a drink.” — measonr
“NTA the most toxic part of this is that if his son was a successful as his daughter he would be proud. He would be proud of his son being more successful than he is.”
“But since it’s his daughter, somehow that’s unfair.” — Stace34
“NTA but why did you marry a guy like this? Parents are supposed to want their kids to be more successful than they and that your husband is sulking because his daughter makes more than him at a younger age, as well as being a woman, is disgusting.”
“If my dad were like that my mom would not hesitate to correct him.” — citrushibiscus
Many just couldn’t understand the logic.
“NTA. Most parents work so their children can have a better life than they did. It seems you and your husband have achieved that goal.”
“If your husband is unhappy that his female child is making more than he is (and would not be if his male child did), he needs to be called out on that hypocrisy.” — General_Relative2838
“NTA. Isn’t it supposed to be every parents’ hope that their child is more successful? I know it’s mine. It’s really sad he can’t be happy for her. I don’t even know her and I’m happy for her.” — dazedkatwoman
“NTA Wow is he acting like a child! Parents always want their kids to be more successful than they are and have a better life.”
“I feel like most everyone is expressing that sentiment here. This is a bit shocking to me that a parent could feel that way toward their child. He’s the AH bigtime.” — TinyTotMetalHead
“NTA – what if every generation wanted the next one to do worse? – in a few centuries we’d devolve back to preindustrial poverty” — Traveling-Techie
A few had stories of their own to share.
“My mil was like this. When we could finally afford a house, it was in a new development and you got to pick out wallpaper and carpeting and such.”
“It wasn’t expensive, $120k 30 years ago (and barely worth twice that today), and I thought it would be a way to include my (awful) mil by having her help pick out the options.”
“We all went over and showed her the model after which I asked her what she thought and her only comment was ‘I could never afford anything like this’, then started to leave.”
“I said, no, wait, I was hoping you could help pick out options, etc’ and she just said ‘you don’t need my help’ and left. We lived there for 6 months before she came over the first time.
“She never could stand when her son did anything better then her. But she was unquestionably a narcissist. NTA.” — Drive-by-poster
“NTA. My daughter is early 20s and is already making more than what I did at mid-40s. I am happy for her. Same for my son. Like I tell them – they will be better placed to take care of dear old Dad when I am old and decrepit.” — KiwiBri999
At least OP’s daughter has one major supporter in her corner–a supporter who just might whip another one into shape.