When it comes to parenting, there’s no “one size fits all” parenting manual. That being said, it’s important for parents to come to a consensus so they can consistently raise their children.
It’s shocking the number of red flags start flying when a couple disagrees about how to parent their kids, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
After seeing her daughter doing well in school despite mental health concerns, Redditor throwRAhome434 decided to make a sizeable purchase for her as a reward.
When her husband not only disagreed with the purchase but also did something unthinkable to it, the Original Poster (OP) began to question their situation.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for using my husband’s money to pay for my daughter’s Apple iPhone that he broke?”
The OP worked hard to gift her daughter an iPhone.
“My daughter is 16. She had her old phone for 5 years and always wanted a new phone.”
“I’m the only one working right now since my husband decided to take ‘a break’ from work after he inherited some money from his dad.”
“I saw that she did pretty good at school despite having mental health issues that had gotten in the way of her focus before.”
“I decided to keep her encouraged and reward her by getting her an Apple iPhone that cost a good sum of money (over a thousand dollars where I live).”
“I did my best to save money to buy it, I literally skipped paying for breakfast at work to be able to afford it, and my husband didn’t want to help, so I was on my own.”
“I bought her the iPhone and quite honestly, I haven’t seen her this happy in a while. It was refreshing for me because she really went through some hard times in the past couple of years emotionally and mentally.”
Her husband was angry about the purchase.
“My husband wasn’t happy with this. He said the iPhone will only distract her from school and chores.”
“But that wasn’t true. In fact, it encouraged her to do more.”
“But he still said I shouldn’t have spent that kind of money on an iPhone that she might be irresponsible with and break.”
“My daughter picked up on his attitude towards the iPhone, but I told her to ignore him.”
But his resulting actions were still surprising.
“Days ago, I found out that he broke the iPhone. I asked why, and he said he asked her to get him something from the toolbox in the garage, but she was on the iPhone and ignored him.”
“He used this incident as evidence that the iPhone was a bad influence.”
“I yelled at him and demanded he replace it, and he said he wouldn’t.”
“So I took money out of his account and paid for a new iPhone and gave it to my daughter.”
Her husband was furious.
“He saw what I did and went off on me, calling me vicious and awful, and accused me of stealing his father’s money and demanded the money I took, every single penny, back.”
“I basically told him it won’t happen.”
“He got his mother on me, saying I’m setting a terrible example for my daughter by getting her a phone paid for with money that I stole from her dad.”
“My husband said he won’t speak a word to me until I fix this, but I already said I owe him nothing.”
“ETA (Edited to Add), For those asking: No, he’s her biological father, not stepdad.”
“Finding out that I took a thousand dollars out of his inheritance really got him so furious that he said I was the worst woman he met in his life (he has 2 ex-wives if this is in any way relevant).”
“He took it back later, but then said he still won’t speak to me until he gets the money back.”
“AITA for this?”
The OP agreed in a comment that her husband was looking for a way to get rid of the phone.
“I’m pretty sure he was looking for an excuse to show me that I made a bad decision in terms of getting my daughter the iPhone.”
“I already told him how this has been affecting her mental, and by extension, her physical health, but he kept saying that she’s fine and doesn’t need to be spoiled, even when it’s my money.”
“I say ‘my money,’ because we both don’t share finances, which is his request because of his previous failed relationships and marriages.”
The OP clarified what happened between her husband and daughter in a comment.
“You know from what my daughter told me? She was in the living room when he was in the kitchen fixing the faucet, and he shouted for her to get him something from the toolbox that he keeps in the garage.”
“My daughter wasn’t wearing earphones or anything, so she heard him, but she responded to him, asking for a minute because she was finishing a text to her best friend to ask about homework.”
“But before she could even send it, he snatched the iPhone from her hand and smashed it and started scolding her, and then she went upstairs. He actually used the part where he had to get the item from the toolbox himself in the argument aside from his claim that the iPhone was distracting her.”
“I hate it, I hate everything about this situation and it’s becoming suffocating, to be 100% honest.”
“I’m aware that this conflict at hand indicates bigger issues, and I will be lying if I tell you that I have the tools to deal with this, I don’t have a support system, my family is distant, and money barely gets us by.”
“Our financial situation has never been good either, but I have been considering taking space for a while. He and I have been having issues, and now it’s gotten to my daughter. I’m aware and won’t let it continue.”
In another comment, she explained how her husband involved her mother-in-law.
“His mom lives 15 minutes away from us. He goes to stay with her after every fight, and he gets her involved every single time.”
“His mom has her own problems, and he keeps burdening her with things that are not her concern.”
“She’s even expressed how tiresome having to be put in the middle like that is to her.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The sub was overwhelmed by what they perceived to be the husband’s abusive behavior.
“To purposefully break someone’s belongings because their actions anger you… This is so abusive and controlling and is just a massive red flag.”
“How can OP’s daughter feel safe around a parent who resorts to damaging their property, what’s next, her bedroom door?” – FR_Hendricks
“About the silent treatment, it’s never peaceful and calm silence. It’s an incredibly tense silence, filled with the possibility of awakening rage, and knowing you’re not allowed to speak either so your partner/parent is refusing to be there to meet your needs.” – sarshu
“He quit his job because of receiving an inheritance and makes you work extra to get something for your daughter… OP… RUNNNNN.”
“You are NTA.” – KOKLOLTGIA
“He was just looking for an excuse to break it, too, since he didn’t ‘approve’ her getting the upgrade, even though it didn’t cost him a penny. He’s a controller and manipulator. I hope OP can realize how many red flags this guy is flying.” – Magus_Corgo
“The husband probably: ‘Oh no, my child got something minor that I could’ve gotten myself. I also decided to stop working because I inherited daddy’s money that I won’t share with my daughter or wife, and I’ll make my wife work extra to get our daughter anything that causes her joy and encourages her to do better. I will also break the thing that my mentally drained daughter, who’s doing well at school, enjoys to just make her a ‘harder worker’ just like I am.'”
“Red flags all around.” – milka333222
“A calculated violent act in response to perceived disrespect both the disrespect from his child not being immediately subservient, and the disrespect of his wife not being obedient and going against his authority.”
“His victim was a child with no real way to defend herself against him.”
“The daughter’s ‘crime’ was asking him to wait long enough for her to finish asking a classmate about homework.”
“And his punishment wasn’t to take away the phone for a period of time (the most rational punishment for an irrational crime), and it wasn’t to sell the phone using the excuse that it’s too expensive and they need to save money where they can.”
“It was a vindictive and outright malicious act of violence over something that should have been resolved by a simple, ‘no, I need this part now’ (assuming water was actively pouring into the cabinet because of the husband’s inability to properly fix the sink and prepare the necessary tools ahead of time).”
“OP literally went without food to provide this phone for her daughter, while he let her. He watched his wife save every cent at her own expense while leeching off her income and his inheritance.”
“This man took something that brought his struggling daughter joy and destroyed it in front of her after making it known that he didn’t approve of it.”
“His daughter is almost quite literally saying, ‘I don’t deserve nice things, no matter how hard I work and how well I’m doing. I don’t deserve it.'”
“My blood is boiling right now at the putridity embodied by this man.” – Iocabus
“The fact he’s not working but eating up savings is such a Hill To Die On for me.”
“It’s so irresponsible and not thinking about long-term consequences. Then he breaks her phone instead of just taking it away for the day like a normal person.”
“OP, pack up everything you need, and leave.” – Tough-Internal-3460
“NTA. But there are several things I find concerning.”
“Breaking his daughters ‘toy’ as a form of punishment is crossing many lines.”
“Breaking it and then standing by it rather than realizing he made a rash mistake is so much worse.”
“Personally, my parents never asked me to fetch tools for them while I was doing something else and I worry this represents an overall bad attitude towards your daughter.”
“Unilaterally deciding to stop working and not sharing an inheritance is not really in the spirit of marriage or fatherhood.”
“He shows terrible conflict management by escalating a marital disagreement to his mother and getting her involved to defend his actions.”
“Lastly, I don’t understand his severe objections to her having a new phone when she already had a phone anyway and wonder what’s behind this. Is this another symptom of ongoing controlling behavior?”
“I don’t want to tell someone just to get divorced when I don’t know the whole picture but please re-assess how healthy your marriage really is.” – Mara-wave17
While the OP didn’t turn to the subReddit for divorce advice, the sub adamantly insisted either leaving the marriage behind or at least evaluating how healthy and safe of a situation it was.
Breaking a person’s possession, no matter the expense or the cause behind it, is a concerning behavior, especially when the person doing it is an adult, who is so vehemently sure he did the right thing, that he involves his mother in the dispute.
There’s a lot going on here that increased screentime simply can’t explain.