We’ve all had a friend or a loved one at some point who was going through a difficult time, and we more than likely did what we could to ease their burdens.
But it shouldn’t have reflected poorly on us if we couldn’t suddenly fix all of their problems for them, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Kitchen_Earth7954 was getting frustrated in his own home, as he was not only providing for his own family but also for his wife’s best friend and daughter, who frequently sought their support.
When he felt it was starting to impact his relationship with his daughter, the Original Poster (OP) felt there should be some new boundaries established.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my wife I’m tired of raising a kid that is not mine?”
The OP’s wife had a best friend and daughter who visited often.
“I (31 Male) am married to my wife Amber (30 Female). We have a daughter Emma (7 Female).”
“My wife’s best friend Jennifer (30 Female) has a daughter as well named Harper (7 Female), who is best friends with our daughter, Emma.”
“Harper’s dad is a lazy sack of crap and refuses to do anything with his daughter. He is the type of guy that brags about how he never changed a diaper.”
“Jennifer and Harper do things with Amber and Emma one or two times a week together during the week nights.”
This also included weekend stays.
“Jennifer and Harper are usually at our house on the weekends because Harper’s dad is drinking and watching sports all weekend.”
“The problem is, on Saturdays, I normally spend all day with my daughter because I don’t see her as much as I want to during the week.”
“However, with Harper being there every Saturday, anything I do with Emma, I have to do with Harper. If I want to take Emma to the zoo, it’s Emma, Harper, and I. I taught them both how to ride bikes, I take them both to dance class, I take them both to the kids’ salon, etc.”
“Mother’s Day was the last draw. I took them both to dance class Saturday morning.”
“Amber and I pay for both girls’ dance classes, because Emma wanted Harper in class with her. Harper’s father is the type of guy who says, ‘My money is my money, and her money is my money,’ and he doesn’t want to ‘waste’ any of that money on classes.”
“Well, on the way, home Emma asked if we could stop to get something for Mom for Mother’s Day.”
“I said sure, but then I also had to buy something for Harper to give to her mom, as well.”
“On the way home, I just kept thinking, Why am I buying someone else’s wife a Mother’s Day gift? That’s his job.”
The OP and his wife did not agree about what was happening.
“A few days later (because I did not want to ruin Mother’s Day), I told my wife that I am tired of raising Harper and that her real father needs to step up.”
“I am tired of it taking away time I get to spend with Emma.”
“She said that Jennifer is her best friend and we need to be there for Harper.”
“Now she is not speaking to me and is sleeping in the guest bedroom.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some argued the OP shouldn’t be responsible for someone else’s marriage.
“NTA, it sounds like you (and your wife) have become the bandaid in someone else’s marriage.”
“While you are generous to pay for lessons and spend time with both girls, it sounds like the expectations continue to grow and help Jennifer avoid dealing with serious issues within her own relationship.”
“Harper doesn’t deserve to be punished in this situation and you probably don’t want to cut her out of everything, but it is important to have a conversation with your wife to help her understand your perspective and establish some boundaries around your relationship with Harper or else it will lead to resentment, which is ultimately going to impact your relationship with your own wife and daughter.” – cosmickittylitter
“OP also needs to get his wife to agree to some limits. Is he going to be on the hook for the little girl’s college costs?”
“It’s nice that his wife wants to help her friend, but spending OP’s household resources on the little girl should be a joint decision.”
“It is gross that his wife is using emotional manipulation on OP to get her way in this situation.” – huggie1
“Why do you pay for her dance classes? Why can’t either of Harper’s parents do it?”
“I would tell your wife you all have to talk together. It sucks for Harper, and hopefully, she won’t see this as another man who doesn’t want to be around her, but that is not really your fault.”
“Jennifer chose her parent for her child, she isn’t holding him accountable, and she should be figuring this out.”
“I would still take the girls out together sometimes, if they’re friends they might like doing things together, but not every single time. That’s a lot.” – Jinglebrained
“Jennifer needs a divorce, child support, and probably alimony as well.”
“This is another line OP needs to draw. Some time alone with his daughter to bond, but no helping Harper at all until her mom stands up for herself and her daughter.”
“NTA.” – TogarSucks
“Jennifer won’t be getting a divorce since he has another man filling the gaps in which her husband is lacking. Op’s wife is enabling her best friend’s husband.” – xinxenxun
“Jennifer’s getting everything she wants. Presumably, she keeps the deadbeat around for ‘company.’ And she’s got OP to do the parenting. And she gets Saturdays off to hang with her best friend.”
“OP needs to be wondering why the f**k his own wife is enabling this crap. OP is the one that needs to be considering getting rid of a lot of dead weight.” – FilthyWeasle
Others reassured the OP that he was not wrong to want solo time with his daughter.
“NTA. If your wife wants to step up for Harper, then SHE needs to do that, not put it on you. She should be taking her places and doing things with her.” – Responsible_Lawyer78
“Just start taking Emma. If your wife pushes back, tell her that you and Emma need father-daughter time. She and Jennifer can take Harper to do something with them. Focus on the fact that Emma needs you and needs that one-on-one time with you.” – poweller65
“I would gradually take your Saturdays back, for both the girls and mom’s sake. Start taking one Saturday a month just the two of you. That will give your wife and her friend a good time to plan things with the other child.”
“Then move on to every other Saturday. I say this because you want to let your daughter ease into the new routine, too. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if your daughter resents this, or feels sad her friend is sad… or I hope it does not happen, but someone might tell your daughter you are the mean one here. But NTA.” – Mindless_Ad_7700
“At that age, I think it’s just normal for a kid to want to spend a decent chunk of time having their parents take them out with a friend. When I was in the seven to ten age range, a sizable chunk of my weekends were spent with me, one or both parents, and my best friend, and she had by all appearances a decent home life. It’s just fun to do things with your best friend.”
“I also agree it’s okay and normal for OP to want some one-on-one time with his kid. In my opinion, he should still spend a decent chunk of time with his daughter and her friend though, as long as it continues to seem like his daughter organically wants to hang with her friend, not pressure from the wife and friend’s mom.” – joseph_wolfstar
“NTA. It isn’t unreasonable that OP wants that quality time with his daughter. But it doesn’t mean his kid wants it that way or prefers it without Harper though, and he has to be careful navigating this.”
“Seven is young enough that, with careful presentation, he can convince her it’s a great idea and she sees her bestie plenty of other days but old enough that if he botches it, she’s going to remember and possibly not want to participate in daddy-daughter Saturdays in the future.” – DropsofLiquid
“The idea that someone has to raise another’s child because the parent won’t is crazy. It’s unfortunate for Harper and Jennifer, but OP is not obligated to do these things every week.”
“It’s not crazy that he wants to spend more time with his own child than he barely spends time due to providing for her. Saturday was originally a planned day for daddy/daughter activities, not daddy/daughter/daughter’s best friend.”
“I don’t think he should cut Harper off but he does deserve time alone with his child.” – Initial_Obligation55
The subReddit was left totally shaking their heads at this situation that they found to be way above AITA’s pay grade. They could agree that the OP was not wrong to want quality time with just his own daughter or to even question the resources they were providing for Harper.
Where they drew the line was with Harper, who needed a support system, especially given the tough situation it sounded like Harper and Jennifer might have been dealing with at home.