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Dad Livid After Ex-Wife Breaks News To Young Son That His Stepmom And Half-Brother Died In Childbirth

A mom holds her sad son
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/GettyImages

There is no correct way to grieve.

It can be especially difficult for children.

So the path to leading them to an understanding is a fragile one.

Case in point…

Redditor Mountain_Weight_6064 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my son his stepmom and brother died instead of waiting for his dad to tell him?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“His entire family is ripping me to shreds, and I don’t understand.”

“So my ex and I have a son together who is six.”

“We split up when he was one, and things were messy at first but have been peaceful for the past four years or so.”

“We’ve both moved on and entered new relationships.”

“His girlfriend he’s been with since the beginning of 2022 is such a kind woman and always went out of her way to befriend me, which was nice.”

“When they announced their pregnancy, everyone was pleasantly surprised, but it was pretty soon after his latest breakup, so his family didn’t like her which I found odd since that’s not her fault.”

“But I digress.”

“Sadly, she passed away in childbirth, and the baby also passed as well in November of 2022.”

“It was extremely heartbreaking. I cried and grieved her loss as well.”

“My ex understandably had his entire Earth shattered and was going through one of the worst times of his life, so I completely understood him needing time not to be a parent and didn’t have any issues with that.”

“He didn’t reply to any of my messages except to say he didn’t want our son to know as he was excited to have a little brother and wanted to be the one to tell him.”

“And that was in November.”

“He also didn’t want our son to attend the funeral.”

“I completely understood and didn’t tell my son expecting my ex to keep his word.”

“In December, I still heard no word from him regarding our son or co-parenting situation.”

“I completely understood he needed time and waited.”

“In January, still no word.”

“My husband said that even with what happened, he should at least call or FaceTime if he can’t do in-person parenting, and I agree.”

“I reached out to his parents then, and they said that they are willing to ‘parent’ their grandson while their son grieves.”

“My son is six. He’s old enough to understand some things.”

“He’s been asking nonstop about his dad and little brother and when he’s going to meet them.”

“I had told them that they were very busy and daddy would come to see him soon to let him know, but I can only use that excuse for so long.”

“I did tell him at the beginning of February the truth, that his stepmom passed away, and so did the baby.”

“And that they are in heaven and that daddy is sad and needs time to rest and feel better.”

“That actually really helped him understand, and he stopped asking and instead was drawing pictures to cheer his dad up.”

“Yesterday, he messaged me for the first time in months saying he wants to see our son for HIS birthday (my ex not my son’s) which is next weekend, and he wants to explain everything then.”

“I told him since he went ghost on me since November, I told our son earlier in the month since he wouldn’t stop asking and he needed answers.”

“He started cursing at me, saying I’m a b**ch and a**hole and that it wasn’t my place to tell him and that I ‘took that away from him.'”

“He hung up, and now his siblings and parents are posting subs at me online and calling me and texting me saying the same.”

“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 NOT the A**hole.

“You’re NTA.”

“Your son is six and had no idea why he wasn’t getting to see his dad, stepmom, and baby brother.”

“You couldn’t keep making excuses and lying to him.”

“I can only imagine how it would feel to a six-year-old to keep hearing that his father is too busy to see him.”  ~ Dittoheadforever

“I understand the dad/OP’s ex was grieving, but you don’t get to just opt out of parenthood when you’re sad.”

“You don’t get to ghost your kid for four months, then complain about how the parent who was actually parenting all that time chose to explain your abandonment.”

“Grief is not an excuse to abandon your kid.”

“That poor kid spent all that time wondering what happened.”

“It was OP’s right and responsibility as the child’s mother to provide an age-appropriate explanation.”

“It was extremely unfair of OP’s ex to put that restriction on her then ghost for so long.”

“He doesn’t get to be upset now about how she handled the parenting responsibilities he opted out of.”  ~ Kathrynlena

“I feel like almost any kid would assume that dad had a new baby and forgot about them.”

“Who would wish that kind of heartbreak on their own kid?”

“Who would just let your kid feel abandoned and replaced?” ~ Music_withRocks_In

“The father didn’t just “opt-out” of parenting.”

“He demanded that OP be a much worse parent.”

“Giving in to the father’s demand that the child not be told, OP made herself a liar to her child.”

“The child now knows that OP knew that their stepmother and sibling had died, for months, and lied and said that part of the family was ‘busy.'”

“Will the child be able to trust OP after all of this?”

“The next time something strange starts happening, and things don’t make sense, the child is going to wonder what his parents – both of them – aren’t telling him.”

“OP is going to have to work to restore her child’s trust and reestablish herself as a trustworthy person in her child’s life.”

“And this may have ongoing consequences in the child’s behavior and attitude for years, believing he can’t trust his parents to tell the truth.” ~ Jazzlike_Humor3340

“No. No one is TA.”

“He is mad, and he will be mad at her for a long time.”

“You’re not TA, OP.”

“He’s mad, and that’s a stage of grief.”

“There is a thought in his mind that he is responsible for their deaths simply because he got her pregnant.”

“Now he’s lost both of them.”

“He might have scared your son with his grief as he is all he has left now.”

“He’s a man that’s lost almost everything.”

“He’s just mad, and he will get over being mad at you, OP.”

“You did the best you could and still are.”

“Ride out the storm.”

“Grief makes people do crazy things.”

“He shouldn’t have talked to you the way he did.”

“Hug your son because you never know what can happen.”  ~ judyjets

“That’s what disturbs me- I’d have needed to see and hug my surviving child RIGHT away.”

“Dad abandoned him, doesn’t find solace in him, and by the way, the little boy has lost a sibling he was looking forward to and has to learn about death from a parent who thinks he’s starring in a tragic production and OP stepped on his lines.”

“She’s NTA at all and very fortunate to no longer be married to this, if not AH, hot mess.”  ~ Inkkling

“Seriously, my three-year-old would pick up on that.”

“They’re not stupid.”

“Kids are just learning how to be human.”

“It doesn’t mean they don’t notice things are different.”

“I wouldn’t have waited near as long.”

“OP really tried to respect her co-parent, but he literally disappeared for a Quarter of a YEAR!”

“That’s eons for a six-year-old. NTA.” ~ Gothmom85

“NTA. came fully ready to say you were.”

“But the period of time between when it happened and when you told him was enough that it was negatively affecting your son.”

“To be honest, your ex is an AH for depriving your son of his own grieving process and not letting him attend the funeral.”

“He lost someone too, and his father denied him his own experience.”

“Dad needs to learn not everything is about him.”

“You ‘took that away from’ fully implies that how he wanted to tell the son (including waiting so long) was all about his own grieving process and wasn’t centered on the son’s needs even a little bit.”

“Dad wasn’t looking out for your kid’s needs. You were.” ~ Ok-Path-1869

“NTA – I am so sorry that all of you have been going through this.”

“You have gone above and beyond to help your ex cope with his grief, but you have to do what is best for your son.”

“Your child and his well-being need to be your first priority – above that of his father.”

“To put it very bluntly, it’s been three months since your son saw his father in person, which is not okay.”

“I understand that your ex is grieving; however, it’s not fair to your son that he got put aside with no explanation for such a long period of time.”

“3 months is also excessive for not telling your son about the death of his step-mom and baby sibling.”

“He’s 6, so he’s in elementary school and well able to understand what’s happened, even if it’s just on a basic level.”

“It sounds like you did an excellent job of breaking the news.”

“Yes, I get that it wasn’t your news to tell, but to your point, you can’t make an excuse forever.”

“Your son knows the baby was supposed to come three months ago, so where’s the baby?”

“As for your ex’s family, I’d simply tell them that you gave him months to tell your son.”

“He didn’t.”

“He hasn’t even seen your son in person.”

“After two months had passed, you finally told your son the truth.”

“That was a month ago.”

“Maybe instead of attacking you, they should get your ex some help.” ~ DisneyBuckeye

OP, Reddit is with you.

You had to think about your child’s best interests.

This is a very difficult time for all of you after such a loss.

Good luck going forward.