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Dad Refuses To Let Young Son Stay With Ex-Wife Or Even Let Her Visit Him After His Surgery

A boy sits on his mom's lap in the hospital
Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Parenting after a divorce is never easy.

One of the worst issues is figuring out the schedules.

Who gets the kids when and how?

And those situations can really become complicated when life throws some curveballs.

Case in point…

Redditor Unhappy-Front-5295 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 telling my son’s mom that he’s staying with me while he recovers?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My 9 year old son needed hip bone osteoma surgery and his mom and I scheduled it before his three week winter break.”

“My ex and I share 50/50 but I get him on winter breaks so she could take him our of state to see her family in the summer.”

“The day before the surgery she asked me if Ry could stay at her place to recover from the surgery.”

“I asked her why and all she said was that she just wanted to be there.”

“I said no.”

“Ry has never had surgery and it’s a big deal for him.”

“I don’t want him to think that the first thing you when you face something scary is run to your mom and not your dad.”

“‘I told her I was quite insulted by her request.'”

“Plus he was going to need help getting dressed, undressed and bathed for the first couple of days and I highly doubt that he’d be comfortable having his mom do that.”

“She said her husband could do that.”

“I told her no.”

“He’s having the surgery and I’m taking him to my house when he’s released.”

“I don’t care if she’s in the operating room.”

“She then asked if she could see him at my place and I said no.”

“The agreement is that we have scheduled FaceTime with him when he’s at the other parent’s house.”

“I don’t want my ex wife in my home anymore than she wants me in hers.”

“If the shoe was on the other foot then I’d understand whether I liked it or not.”

“I held firm and things have been tense between us ever since.”

“Personally I don’t care because I’m not apologizing for not giving her what she wanted.”

“So AITA?”

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 the A**hole.

“YTA, she’s concerned about her son and you turned it into a power play.”  ~ FinnFinnFinnegan

“Especially the part about not letting mom even visit.”

“How cold-hearted can a father be?”

“OP, for your son, THIS IS NOT TUESDAY.”

“It is fine for your son to stay with you, but to not let mom see him?”

“I thought I had seen everything by now, but OP has plumbed new lows. YTA.”  ~ PerturbedHamster

“When my stepsons just have colds, we always let their mom visit and drop off care packages and pamper them.”

“This is just so sad.”

“Poor baby is getting surgery and his dad can’t get over himself long enough to let him be comforted by both of his parents.”

“We also let our kids decide where they would be most comfortable.”

“If they didn’t feel good and wanted mommy, they got mommy. YTA.”  ~ Comprehensive-Sea-63

“YTA, what we are seeing right now is why, when something scary happens, you run to empathetic mummy instead of selfish dad.”

“Enjoy making these decisions for him while you can, it’s a short period of time in the scheme of things, and then you lose all that power and respect in the long run if you abuse it.”  ~ greatfullness

“This child is 9, a 3rd grader NINE years old getting surgery!”

“He should be running to his mom, he’s 9.”

“And he should be able to recover from surgery wherever he’s most comfortable–maybe his bed at his mom’s is more comfortable, or the bathroom is closer making his recovery easier, that should be OP’s first concern.”

“Not to mention not letting him see his Mom after surgery… just 🤯 awful.”

“OP’s first and only concern should be his son’s comfort and safety, not who ‘wins’ the custody battle.”

“No wonder OP’s ex is being cold, I would never forgive him for this, and most likely neither will his son.”

“OP was really expecting anyone to think he was right in the situation, how devoid of empathy does one have to be to not even see how this would negatively impact his own son?”

“Major YTA x100.”  ~ Reallynoreallyno

“Ooh, really good points here about how it’s possible mom’s house makes more sense from a recovery and accessibility standpoint.”

“And frankly regardless- instead of being all caught up in the selfishness and power play it sounds like the surgery is imminent so all focus needs to be on the boy and his needs and his needs alone.”

“Dad is whack to be worried a 9 year old wouldn’t trust and feel safe with mom helping him dress and bathe and his whole line of thinking is so messed up.”

“The kid is 9!”

“If anything he should be considering if he might need to go buy some new PJs that will be easier for wearing over a cast or while healing, a shower chair perhaps, like the REAL needs this little boy is going to have for his recovery.”

“One thing is certain- the last thing the poor kid needs is his parents having petty arguments or having his mom kept from him during what’s bound to be a very scary and overwhelming time for him.”

“Really breaks my heart thinking about how much dad is actively making things much, much worse for his son.”  ~ Tzipity

“This! OP added that his son is 9 and doesn’t have a say in custody.”

“That tells me this is more a power play than caring about what is best for his child.”

“OP needs to remember that he may be able to control his child now, but that will only last so long. Go ahead and keep placing those bricks in the wall between you. I’m sick.”

“YTA OP, I’m an adult and still want my mom occasionally when I’m sick.”

“Why are you hurting your child like this?” ~ ldydeana

“I can just picture Jerk Dad yelling at his poor son to ‘grow up and be a man’ because he’s in pain from his surgery.”

“Or making him get up and walk around.”

“Jerk Dad says his son needs help getting dressed, how long will JD help with that before he decides the son needs to man up and do it himself? YTA.” ~ Reddit

“Yeah, it’s apparent why this guy is an ex-husband.”

“Now he’s aiming for being an ex-dad too.”

“Hope it’s worth it OP!”

“When you’re old and alone don’t wonder why, because pulling s*it like this is the reason.”

“Time for therapy, bud… Get some for yourself and save your kid from needing it as badly as you’re setting him up for by acting like this.”

“Repeat after me: ‘This is not about what’s best for me it’s about what’s best for my kid, and right now I am not what’s best for my kid until I do some work on myself.'”

“Let that be your mantra.”

“If it doesn’t encourage you to do some soul searching and make some changes.”

“Well, we can always hope this power play encourages your ex to take you back to court.”

“Do better.”  ~ formidable-opponent

“My ex was like OP.”

“For an entire decade after the divorce, he insisted on following the court-ordered parenting plan regardless of the children’s needs or desires.”

“Forget about visitation, they weren’t even allowed to call me outside of the mandatory court-ordered time.”

‘He would check their phones and punish them if they had called or texted me outside of that one hour every night.”

“The only thing he got out of this is the children not wanting anything to do with him as soon as they were able to run away from his house and refuse to ever see him again.”

“OP, YTA and to be honest, and if you’re like my ex, no therapy is going to change you because you’re putting yourself and your spite towards your ex-wife before your child’s well-being.”

“Find your child a good therapist because you’re about to inflict a lot of trauma on that poor kid.”  ~ Real-Ordinary1

“My son is 13, over the summer he broke his arm BADLY, and it required multiple surgeries to reset it, and from the time I took him to the hospital until he got home I NEVER left his side.”

“His father and I are still married and have three other young children, so he stayed with them.”

“This included helping him use the bathroom and shower.”

“Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable for both of us as he is in the early stages of puberty.”

“But he said he would rather it be me there taking care of him than anyone else and once we got home from the hospital his father took over with all things bathroom.”

“At 9 years old, my son could care less if I saw him naked or using the bathroom.”

“He was still very much a little boy. I can’t imagine being kept away from my son after a major surgery.”

“It breaks my heart for OP’s ex.”

“He’s clearly putting his disdain for his ex over the well-being of his son.”

“OP, YTA. Majorly!!!”  ~Asleep_Percentage257

OP had a quick note…

“No, my son doesn’t get to decide who he gets to stay with and when and for how long.”

“That’s why there are custody agreements.”

Well OP, apparently Reddit is not on the same page as you.

While it is your time, you and the ex may want to think about figuring out ways to share time.

Good luck to your son with his surgery.