in , , ,

Dad Snaps At Ex-Wife After She Scolds Their Kids For Not Being Sad Enough At Stepdad’s Funeral

A mourning widow
RichLegg / Getty Images

Grief is a unique sort of torment.

The way memories of what you lost can roll over you for hours and then suddenly stop, only to start again when you’ve caught your breath.

In the midst of the mourning, it can be easy to lose sight of anything but the loss itself.

So, what happens when those around you don’t seem to be feeling that loss as keenly as you are?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) KaleidoscopeLeft7130 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for yelling at my ex and telling her to stop trying to make our kids perform for her after the death of her husband?”

OP got started with some history.

“My ex-wife and I share two children.”

“Our daughter is 13 and our son is 11.”

“She was remarried for 7 years and has two children with her late husband.”

They also mentioned a tragedy.

“He died a week ago.”

“My kids were not close to the man. He was a harda**, and the kids found him overly strict (and I agree) and they didn’t like being around him.”

“The relationship at best was strained, but they confided in me over the years that they hoped their mom would leave them.”

“She loved the guy, though, and when he died last week, she was a mess. Our kids were with me when it happened, and she wanted to see them so I brought them over.”

“They comforted their mom, and she told them, repeatedly, it was okay to cry, it was okay to miss him, that they were all going to miss him.”

“The kids said nothing. She kept repeating it.”

“I told her I thought the kids got it.”

“When the kids saw their mom again, she was halfway through planning the funeral and asked if they would be able to do a reading or something for the funeral.”

“The kids said they wouldn’t be able to.”

“She was with them a while and then said, since they weren’t crying much, maybe they could take a reading and see how they did on the day.”

“Kids told me about it when I spoke to them, and they asked if I could talk to their mom. I told my ex not to force the reading.”

“The funeral day came.”

“I showed up for my kids.”

“They were hanging back with me a lot, and they told me their mom kept watching them, which I witnessed myself.”

“For the funeral, I sat behind them since she wouldn’t let them sit with me.”

“She told us that all her husband’s kids should be seated up front, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her they weren’t his kids on the day of her husband’s funeral when she was such a mess.”

“So I bit my tongue and supported my kids.”

Everything was tolerable until…

“It was after the service when everything went down.”

“The kids came to sit in my car for a while, and we were laughing about something.”

“Ex came over and asked how they could be laughing when they had just buried their stepdad and why did they show no grief at all over the loss of the man who was part of their lives for seven years.”

“She said it was almost like they were glad he was gone.”

“She told them they should have been looking way more somber after he passed.”

“She told them if they really didn’t care, they clearly needed help because her husband loved them.”

“I stepped in and told her to lay off the kids. They were kids. She told me to stop interfering in how SHE parents our kids.”

“My daughter ended up getting mad at her mom and told her she wasn’t sad he was gone, he was an a**, and she had always hoped she would leave him.”

“She stormed off, and my son followed.”

“Ex was going crazy, and I yelled and told her to cut it out and to stop trying to make our kids perform a grieving routine over her husband.”

“I told her they were trying to support her, and she should be proud of them for that. She started yelling back at me about what an a**hole I am, so I walked away.”

OP was left to wonder,


Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for a verdict.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided: NTA

Some commended OP for restraint.


“It doesn’t matter how much she wants to believe something; if your children don’t miss him, then they don’t miss him.”

“I don’t see that you’ve done anything wrong here. You’ve tried to support your children and even went as far as”

‘”I didn’t have the heart to tell her they weren’t his kids on the day of her husband’s funeral when she was such a mess. So I bit my tongue and supported my kids'”

“Many people wouldn’t have been so restrained. Your priority is, and should be, your children.”

“‘Told her to cut it out and to stop trying to make our kids perform a grieving routine over her husband. I told her they were trying to support her, and she should be proud of them for that.'”

“You needed to speak up for them because no one else was going to.” ~ diminishingpatience

OP’s ex definitely took the brunt of the judgment.

“She’s also extra upset because she knows her kids did not like that man, she knows they were unhappy around him, but she always was able to just play the denial game and tell herself, ‘it’s ok. They will get used to him and love him with time”‘.

“Now that he’s gone and her kids aren’t mourning him, she has to come face to face with the fact that not only was he not good for their children, but she also made their lives so miserable by staying with him that they’re actually relieved by his death and that’s her fault.”

“She failed her kids so hard by banking on this man who is now gone, and she doesn’t want to come face to face with all that” ~ OwlAggravating7385

“Failed all of her kids cause by staying with a dude her oldest despised and having kids with him… she pretty much screwed any chances of natural and healthy sibling bonds being made.” ~

“This right here!”

“I wish i could highlight, upvote, award, and give you a parade for this!!”

“I’m broke so all i have is this….🏆🎖🏅🥇….but I hope op sees this because I really think you nailed it with this.”

“Thank you u/OwlAggravating7385 for this, because this is, I think, exactly what her real issue is here behind her ott reaction.”

“She has to face the fact that her husband wasn’t great and her second shot at ‘perfect’ failed.”

“She doesn’t want visual proof, seen by her friends and family, that everyone didn’t love each other the way she most likely said they did.” ~ HeyPrettyLadyMaam

Perfect is often the enemy of Good.

“The poor woman is delusional.”

“She has this picture of a perfect husband/father in her head that simply doesn’t match reality. I feel bad for the kids having to deal with that.” ~ SnapesGrayUnderpants

“‘The poor woman is delusional.'”

“Or she knows the score but doesn’t want to admit it.”

“If the kids were grieving too, then she did okay.”

“Since they’re not, she has to think about why – and probably doesn’t like what she sees.”

“Now she has to look in the mirror that she subjected them to a not-so-great guy, who was crummy (at least to them) but not quite bad enough for OP to get the custody agreement changed yet.”

“I have a feeling she would have been in for a shock in a few more years, when the kids would have more say in custody, when the kids likely would have told OP they wanted him to be the primary custodial parent, with minimal contact with her late husband.” ~ Pale_Cranberry1502

OP did return to give some clarity to the situation.

“ETA more details on why my kids had issues with him.”

“He spoke to them like they were soldiers, and he was their commanding officer.”

“That was how he spoke to his own kids too.”

“Barking orders at them.”

“Also very strict on how they sat and stood (posture).”

“Was very tough on them regarding what extracurricular activities they wanted to do.”

“He had his own ideas of what kids should do, and my son especially wasn’t interested in the sport aspect, and that was not what my ex’s late husband liked to hear.”

“He also didn’t believe kids should be helped with homework beyond kindergarten and did not like how the kids would react to seeing me during exchanges.”

“He believed kids should act ‘civilized at all times,’ and them taking off running and jumping into my arms was something he did not approve of and said it to them.”

“(Though not in front of me after I told him it was what we do).”

The only pre-requisite for grief is, of course, loss.

The trouble is that sometimes the thing you lost wasn’t something you wanted in the first place.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.