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Dad Threatens To Leave Wife Over Her ‘Insane’ New Restrictions On Their Teenage Daughter


Discipline is never easy.

When you’re a parent you want to be firm but wise.

We’re in a generation of people trying to do better than generations before.

Punishment can be necessary, but it doesn’t have to be abuse. But where’s the line?

Case in point…

Redditor footdownytaornta wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for threatening to leave my wife over her taking our daughter’s things?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“When my wife and I got married we had long discussions about our morals, how we wanted to raise kids.”

“I was excited to be an equally involved father and ended up being a S[tay] A[t] H[ome] D[ad] after she went back to work following two years of maternity leave.”

“She had two years S[tay] A[t] H[ome] M[om].”

“I had three as a SAHD and then she went part time when our twins were in preschool and kindergarten.”

“We always agreed we were going to practice authoritative parenting and treat our kids with respect and kindness.”

“We wanted them to feel safe talking to us and regulating their feelings and we didn’t want to teach them that just because someone bigger than you says to do something that you have to.”

“All in all I’m extremely proud of the people our kids (now 16 F[emale] and 16 M[ale]) have grown to be.”

“They are kind, studious, creative, empathetic and all around wonderful people.”

“However like all people they aren’t without flaws and sometimes there is friction.”

“Lately my daughter has been wanting more independence.”

“My wife and I originally agreed that we knew from our upbringings that being extra strict doesn’t always work and if there are things to rebel against, then kids will rebel.”

“This is what we decided would work for us and our family not trying to preach parenting lessons to others, so we’ve tried instead to be collaborative.”

“Well last weekend my daughter wanted to go to a party at a friend’s house, my wife and I said yes.”

“When she got home my wife took her phone from her and started going through her texts and photos to confirm she was actually at her friends.”

“I was livid when I found out as this seemed like a gross invasion of privacy to me.”

“We talked about it and she said it wasn’t a big deal but she wouldn’t do it again.”

“So I thought it was the one off but then yesterday my wife took my daughter’s laptop and threatened to take THE DOOR from her room if she found out she was talking to boys.”

“My daughter has never even been given a rule not to talk to boys so this all seems insane to me.”

“Last night again we discussed why she was doing this, she said she just wanted a bit more discipline in the house as our kids are ‘too relaxed?'”

“But again said she would drop it.”

“Well now today my wife asked me to help take my daughter’s door and I pulled her into our room to have a private conversation and things got heated.”

“I told her I felt she was being extremely irrational and bullying our daughter and implementing insane standards they have never had to or should have to expect.”

“How is our daughter being punished for a rule that never existed?”

“I threatened to leave her and take the kids if she didn’t start reflecting on what she was doing and start respecting them as people again.”

“She burst into tears called me an a**hole and went to stay at her sisters.”

“Her sister has also said I’m an a**hole.”

“What is happening here?”


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

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“There is something going on with your wife, but you are right to protect your children from her newly punitive and capricious behavior. NTA.”

“You might want to be sure both that there’s nothing medically wrong with your wife.”

“And that she hasn’t seen something concerning going on with your daughter that you are simply not aware of.” 

“Well strictly from a non-expert’s opinion, it sounds like something triggered an old trauma of your wife’s.”

“Maybe something bad happened to her around that age.”

“Now I could be entirely off base, here, but therapy in any case sounds like a really good idea – maybe for the two of you together to talk about parenting.” ~ ParsimoniousSalad

“Yeah, I think this is 100% some kind of trauma response from something that happened to your wife around your daughter’s age.”

“One of the strongest pieces of evidence that this isn’t about the kids being”too relaxed” is that your wife isn’t talking about taking away your son’s door or checking his cell phone.”

“This is somehow specifically related to something bad happening to your daughter because of a boy.”  ~ murder_mermaid

OP responded…

“That was the first thing I asked her Saturday, if our daughter had lied or done something but she said no.”

“So I’m just very confused.”

“It might be something with her, but besides the odd behaviour she’s been acting and looks entirely normal.”

“And we haven’t had any big lifestyle changes or anything like that so I’m at a loss.”  ~ footdownytaornta

“Also, why isn’t she giving the son the same treatment? So it’s ok for the son to date but not the daughter?”

“The wife sounds like she’s falling into those sexist stereotypes that I hate so much.”

“NTA, OP. You were right to defend your daughter.”  ~ NightWitch65

“I agree OP was NTA for defending his daughter, but if they have been agreeable about parenting until this age and only with their daughter my first thought would be that something triggered this on the wife’s end.”

“Even if it’s just a fear of her daughter growing up, as girls turning into women are treated WAY differently than boys growing into men.”

“Maybe their son is starting to date or getting involved with girls.”  ~ PuzzledStreet

“NTA. I’m going to once more be ‘that person.'”

“Has your wife had any seemingly mild health problems?”

“There’s usually a few likely reasons for such a huge change in a person.”

“First is the outside influence.”

“Second is a mental health crisis.”

“Third is a physical health crisis.”

“I’m a caregiver to family, and I’ve seen drastic changes and irrational behavior from cancer.”

“And strokes. This is hopefully not the case, but it may not hurt to keep an eye out.”

“I’ve also helped friends battling mental illness, and there are often physical symptoms that accompany them.”

“Basically, it’s another angle to look at this issue from.”

“I’m sorry you’re stuck in such a difficult situation. I hope things get better soon.”  ~ TerraelSylva

“Removing a door from your daughter’s room is abuse. Period.”

“There is absolutely no reason for a teenager to not have a door to their room.”

“If they are so mentally fragile that they cannot be behind a closed door in their own home, then they should probably be in a care facility.”

“I agree with others who are saying your wife is having some sort of mental health crisis.”

“Either something bad happened to her when she was a teenager, or your daughter growing into a young woman is making her jealous.”

“Either way, she needs to provide concrete reasons why she is suddenly and without a reason bringing down the discipline hammer on your daughter but not your son, or you have every right to keep her away from both of them.”  ~ dragon34

“NTA. Seems like something rooted deeper in her own past experiences to make her do that.”

“If she isn’t treating the son the same way then she is definitely the a**hole.”

“Is there something she knows about the daughter that you don’t.”

“Y’all need to have a real conversation.”  ~ runedued

“NTA. Just commenting based on your response about your catholic sister in law.”

“In some catholic families, when their daughters reach a certain age, they immediately start judging them as potential sl@ts and sinners, hold them to a higher and more unfair standard than their brothers.”

“And use any inkling of rebellion as proof of their wanting to be with boys, being ‘unpure.'”

“The comment about the hair could be a clue, since change in appearance is also severely judged as trying to attract male attention.”

“To some catholic moms, there’s nothing scarier than your teenage daughter getting pregnant.”

“I may be reading way too into it, but thought you might want to hear a different take on the situation.”

“Either way, something’s going on with your wife, and you’re doing the right thing protecting your daughter from her irrational behavior.” “~ moonpea

OP could relate to this idea…

“Thank you for this, it definetely gives me somewhere to come from and maybe another direction to try talk to my wife from when she comes home.”

“I was raised with very agnostic parents so I had no idea.”  

“NTA but protect your daughter at all costs.”

“She needs to know she has at least one rational parent to depend on.”  ~ Something_morepoetic

Sounds like OP has a ton of support out there.

Hopefully OP and his wife can discuss this like rational people.

Parents need to be on the same page with parenting or it call all lead to chaos.