Supporting our children comes in many ways. You can emotionally support your kids, financially support them, or all of the above.
Regardless, it’s basically a parent’s only job to support their kids. And one dad found that his wife didn’t love it when he was supportive for his daughter.
This Redditor, whose username has since been deleted, was so baffled by his wife’s reaction to him telling her daughter she was “beautiful” while shopping for clothes, that he had to seek some clarification on what to do.
He went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback on whether or not he was truly doing something wrong:
“AITA For Complimenting My Daughter?”
Our original poster, or OP, set the scene for why his wife got so angry with him.
“My [35M[ale]] daughter [16F[emale] had gotten home from shopping for some new clothes. She was trying on her clothes and showing me a couple new outfits.”
“I told her she made some great picks and that she looks very beautiful. She said thank you and was excited.”
“I have called her beautiful many times before like if she is dressed up for a dance or event or more random times.”
“Whenever she buys some new clothing she shows it off to me. It is sort of a ritual. She has a job and probably gets new clothes every other month or so.”
OOP’s wife doesn’t like this, and OP doesn’t know how to respond to that.
“My wife has seemed upset in the past over her showing off her outfits to me and when I’ve called my daughter beautiful (or pretty, gorgeous, or whatever).”
“She called me out on it heavily this time because she thinks this ritual of her showing her outfits off to me is superficial and that she shouldn’t be demanding my approval.”
“My wife says I shouldn’t be enabling it and complimenting her like that when she tries on new clothes.”
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
Redditors were completely baffled by OP’s wife’s argument.
“I don’t remember my dad ever saying complimentary things about my appearance. I do remember him telling me I looked fat and ugly when I was pregnant though.”
“Last weekend was the 2 year anniversary of me going NC with him. Soooooooo…. keep on being supportive of your daughter.”
“Side note, there are also lots of other compliments you can give your daughter, if the issue your wife has is that you are focusing on the superficial.”
“Is she a thrifty shopper? Does she have a good eye for colours or matching? Did she do well on a test recently, or display creativity? Etc. NTA”-babers1987
“Growing up, if my mom and I went shopping, my dad would be waiting for us to show him what we bought and would then patiently sit while we tried everything on.”
“Definitely NTA, compliments are not a bad thing and this gives you more time to bond. I cherish those memories with my parents and still remember them ten years later.”-ladyonecstacy
“NTA from what’s provided, but other thing I’m wondering is if OP is only complimenting his daughter on her appearance.”
“Like if the wife is reacting like this because he never tells her that she’s smart, or capable, or funny, or whatever other worthwhile thing the daughter might be.”
“If the only time he gives her approval is when she looks nice and the comments/recognition she receives is all appearance-based, I would definitely see a problem with that.”-LuckyMacAndCheese
“NTA. Sounds like your daughter isn’t seeking approval but rather opinions, it’s a lovely thing that she is involving you in her life.”
“I won’t say your wife is an A, but you can try to find the reason why she says that. Was she raised in a ‘the man shouldn’t talk about feminine things like fashion’ household or something like that?”
“This might be a problem of culture rather than enabling.”-itsZero023
People felt that the wife’s jealousy was dangerous.
“It sounds like a bonding ritual between you and your daughter, and it’s sad that your wife thinks you should stop.”
“Teens are buying clothes for aesthetics, so yeah…clothes are primarily superficial. But compliments build confidence, which affect every part of a person’s life, especially when they’re teens.”
“I’d be tempted to start making comments like, ‘Hey, that looks practical!'”
“‘That dress sure shows that you’re an intelligent, kindhearted person.’ ‘Now those are the shorts of an excellent student.’ (But it’s probably best not to.)”-nightforday
“I thought it was a universal experience to come home and have a little ‘fashion show’ for the parent/parents that didn’t go shopping with you.”
“I don’t even like my parents but I’d still show the cute top I got and how it looks with my new jeans and do they think it looks better tucked in or out, and what shoes look best.”
“NTA OP, your daughter is lucky to have such a good relationship with her father and until the time (if ever) comes where she asks you to stop with those specific compliments, do what you do.”-az_allyn
“Absolutely NTA. And yeah, I remember getting back from shopping trips with my mom, aunt, and grandmother.”
“Grandpa would put his book down and say ‘so, what did you get?’ then patiently sit through us showing off our new things, while saying nice things about them.”
“Grandpa didn’t care one bit about fashion, his own or anyone else’s (there was a running joke about how his wardrobe was curated by ‘the nice ladies at [local thrift store]’) but he cared that we cared about it.”-CaliLemonEater
“NTA it’s a really nice ritual, with your wife (is she your daughters mother?) the fact she is having a go about it sounds like there is a jealousy aspect going on.”
“Be it you paying attention to your daughter, your daughter spending money on nice things or just having a much younger almost grown woman in the household.”
“If she is bio mom a younger version of herself, if she is step mom a reminder of another woman you fell in love with.”
“Keep doing what you are doing with your daughter but also find out where this is coming from with your wife and maybe look at therapy.”
“Also doing things that promote good body image and confidence is not superficial especially as she is working, buying her own things about once a month.”
“That’s not an issue but your wife’s attitude to all this is concerning.”-HexStarlight
And that dads complimenting their daughters more readily is a recipe for a lifetime of self esteem.
“NTA – my daughter would do that and I always call her beautiful. Young girls feel vulnerable, I noticed early on that whilst her mother could call out some of her choices.”
“If I even inadvertently indicated disapproval or that she was looking bad, my DD took it really badly far beyond any intention I may have head.”
“In the vein of me saying: ‘You might not want to wear the yellow scarf with that.’ which was interpreted as: ‘Dad thinks I look like a clown.'”-TrustyJules
“NTA. You’re her dad and she wants to show you her new clothes, that has to be one of the most natural things a daughter could want to do.”
“She’s not demanding your approval or anything else like that, she just wants to share something nice about her life with her father. That’s normal and it’s nice that you two have that.”
“Your wife sounds jealous of her daughter I’m afraid, and it sounds like she’s trying to present it as a ‘woman shouldn’t need man’s approval’ angle.”
“Has your wife ever shown you a new outfit? I’d bet she has.”-astoldbyelliot
“Lol at your wife. She is misreading the situation. Do you know what I, and my elderly mid-70s mother and my younger sister, do when we get something new or we are wearing something new that we particularly like the first time we see each other?”
“We show it off to each other and my father.”
“Last week, he picked up a new suit jacket (the size had to be ordered) and the first thing he did was to put it on to show Mum.”
“She, of course, thought it really ‘flattered him, such a good choice of colour, wonderful fit like it has made for you rather than off the shelf.’ To be honest it did.”
“Tell your wife that it’s not about approval. Putting on new clothes makes your daughter happy and feel good about herself.”
“Getting compliments from you (and your wife) adds to that happiness and is harmless.”
“And, if she is like my family, she is also checking that she looks OK with trusted family members who will gently tell her when something is ‘probably not quite the best colour for you’ so she doesn’t go out in public looking ridiculous. And there is nothing wrong with that. NTA”-8kijcj
“For a moment, I thought there was going to be some sort on inappropriate comment that OP needed to be yelled at for.”
“But telling your daughter she’s beautiful…there is something very wrong with your wife.”
“Op, you’re NTA. Please continue to bond with your daughter, especially since it’s something your daughter likes.”
“You and your wife need a serious discussion on why this bothers her. There’s something else happening and it has nothing to do with your daughter showing you her clothes.”-Fire_or_water_kai
Reddit has warned OP, look deeper into his wife’s disapproval and he might find something truly ugly lurking there that needs to be addressed to continue the relationship.
Hopefully whatever happens is for the good of OP, his daughter and his family.