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Dad Shocked When Estranged Kids He Abandoned Years Ago Refuse To Meet His New Family

Surprised man looking at smartphone

People make choices in life that may not seem pertinent at the time but come back later to haunt them.

A man who abandoned his family regretted his former actions and tried making amends.

His brother, however, took issue with his sister-in-law and responded to a confrontation that led him to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Technical-Rush6746 asked:

“AITA for telling my SIL she should be ashamed of herself and learn to be a mature adult?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

My brother had two kids with his ex by the time he was 21. He stuck around for a couple of years but when they broke up he left the kids too.”

“He paid no child support, made no effort to keep in touch with the kids, did not check if they were okay, nothing. The rest of my family let the relationship drop too but I (38 m[ale]) was the exception.”

“I stayed part of my niece and nephew’s lives. I still have a good relationship with them today and they’re close to my kids.”

“Five years ago my brother got married and now he’s expecting baby #3 with his wife. After settling into family life he started to think more about his oldest two and he made the decision to reach out to them.”

“He was met with silence initially and then after speaking to his ex, he got a brief message from his kids that they were still mad and hurt that he left. They had contact for about a month and it was sporadic.”

The OP continued:

“He asked if they could meet in person and the kids said no. But they said they would do a video call with him one time and that was it. This call happened 2.5 months into their ‘reconciliation'”.

“At some point during this he mentioned wanting them to meet his wife and other kids. They told him that was not going to happen and they didn’t want to reconcile with him. My brother was surprised, he had thought that them opening up to him about being angry and hurt was a sign that they were willing to work through that.”

“They told him it would be one thing if he hadn’t settled down and started a family all over again but the fact he did that and then reached out to them was too much for them and they want nothing to do with the family he created now.”

“This led to a back and forth where he said they have younger siblings and they told him very clearly they will never acknowledge or accept them as siblings and they will never accept him as their dad and he needs to move on.”

“I spoke to my niece and nephew after the call, they reach out to me, and they said it was good to close that door and to have the decision be their own. They felt like they got closure.”

Things got more complicated, according to the OP.

“My brother wasn’t prepared for the outcome and his wife is furious that my niece and nephew rejected them for existing. She started badmouthing the kids at my parent’s house in front of all of us.”

“My brother told her to stop. But she told him they should be ashamed of themselves for reacting like spoiled brats who don’t get their way and punishing innocent children when they’re supposed to be grown adults now.”

“I told SIL she should be ashamed of herself for talking like that about the kids my brother abandoned and didn’t give a second thought to until he had settled down with her and their kids.”

“I told her she should learn to be a mature adult and accept that his actions had consequences and this is one of them.”

“Cue her being offended and saying I have no right to speak to her that way and some of my family telling me I should have said nothing.”

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

Many Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole (NTA) here.

“Nta. Your brother, his new wife and the rest of your family that supported him being a deadbeat dad definitely are the AH.”

“Your niece and nephew seem very level-headed and mature.”

– Alternative-Gur-6208

“I could never understand the rest of my family not making the effort to stay part of my niece and nephew’s lives. Even if he wasn’t part of their lives, they are still our family.”

“I’m so proud of my niece and nephew. They have come a long way.”

– OP

“Well some people just like to enable bad behavior rather than reprimand.”

“He didn’t support those children he never spoke to them till he got a replacement family (probably hoping for free babysitting) while there mother had to work hard to raise and support the kids on her own.”

“I’d tell your sil. Okay well good luck when he gets bored and abandons you alone with no child support or anything for his new family.”

– Alternative-Gur-6208


‘some of my family telling me I should have said nothing [actively allowed her to belittle and berate your niece and nephew in front of everyone].’

“Doing nothing not a neutral act in this scenario.”

– Different_Boss6020

“This is such a good point. It’s totally baffling to me that the grandparents would abandon the relationship with their grandkids. And then to allow them to be spoken of like…it’s blatantly malicious on SIL’s part, but to say nothing means you’re giving your tacit approval of what’s being said about your own grandkids.”

“OP is NTA for anything he did here.”

– Rooney_Tuesday


“She needs to understand that what her husband did was disgusting and he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.”

“She is owed absolutely nothing, and you were right to shut her down. Her and her children are nothing to them, and she has no right to expect they want to embrace any of them.”

“Good for you, not sitting by and letting her have a tantrum about a situation that doesn’t revolve around SIL.”

– BulbasaurRanch

“She actually thinks the kids actions are more disgusting believe it or not. She said they know the pain of rejection and yet do the same to her children and it boggles my mind. The way she can blame them so fiercely and yet acts like my brother did nothing wrong. It’ll never make sense to me.

– OP

“She doesn’t want to accept reality. The reality is that she’s married to a deadbeat bum who walked away from his kids and only gave a damn about them after he’d already started a new family without them.”

“Every day he’s been raising her kids, he’s showing that he’s capable of being a father, he just couldn’t be bothered to be a father to them.”

“They don’t want to meet and bond with their replacements. They don’t want to meet the woman he could stick around for. They don’t want to play happy families when they aren’t a family. She’s a sh**ty person too because what woman looks at a man who abandoned his kids and says, ‘That’s the deadbeat for me. Forget dating a responsible decent man, I want one who runs off and abandons his kids’?”

“She didn’t care about his other kids, so why should they care about her?”

“She has to blame the kids because otherwise she has to analyse why the hell she hooked up with a deadbeat, and really look at the fact that he was 2.5 kids in with her before he remembered or cared that he had two other kids out in the world.”

“Your family will say you shouldn’t have said something because it reminds them that they also abandoned those kids. It’s easier to let her blame two innocent kids who grew up without their father and now don’t want to play their game of happy families than it is for each and every person in this situation besides you and the kids to realise that they are sh*tbags.”


– Buttered_Crumpet09

“NTA. Brother is a deadbeat who leaves his children, doesn’t support them and has nothing to do with their lives for years. SIL decides they’re spoiled brats when they don’t want to reconcile and meet their siblings.”

“Who exactly spoiled these kids and how is expecting a parent to step up become ‘not getting their way’. SIL thinks it’s fine to say horrible things about the abandoned children but you have no right to say anything to her.”

“There is a spoiled brat here but it’s SIL not the kids. Good on you for pointing out the consequences.”

– squirrelsareevil2479

“NTA. Your brother abandoned his kids and his wife has the gall to say the KIDS should be ashamed of themselves?! Both your brother and SIL suck, big time. Thank you, OP for not abandoning those kids.”

– blueeyedwolff

Overall, Redditors thought the SIL was out of line to get involved in a situation that is intrinsically unrelated to her.

They also believed the OP’s niece and nephew’s had every right to refuse their father’s request to meet his family.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo