in , , ,

Grieving Mom Called Out By Ex-Husband’s New Wife For Holding His Hand At Late Son’s Funeral

Couple mourning
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

People process grief in many different ways.

But one constant in navigating loss is that those in mourning need support, which also, of course, is not one size fits all.

It’s been said that one of the most difficult things a person may ever experience is burying your own child, and in that case, parents need all the love and support available to them.

But if the parents are no longer together and have moved on to new relationships, is it okay for them to seek comfort in each other?

A woman on Reddit was told she was being “inappropriate” by her ex-husband’s current wife because she held his hand during their son’s funeral, so she turned to the “Am I The A**hole Here” (AITAH) subReddit to seek feedback from fellow Redditors.

Redditor throwawayyy6178 asked:

“AITA for holding my ex-husband’s hand at our son’s funeral?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Recently, my ex-husband (35/M[ale]) and I (33/F[emale]) experienced the devastating loss of our son.”

“In the midst of our grief, we found comfort in each other’s presence and shared memories.”

“During the funeral service, I reached out and held my ex-husband’s hand for support, which seemed natural given the circumstances.”

“However, his current wife (34F) said that it’s inappropriate to show affection towards an ex-spouse.”

“While I understand her perspective, I felt it was a moment of shared grief.”

“AITA for holding my ex-husband’s hand after losing our son?”

OP also thanked her fellow Redditors for their support.

“Edit: So many wonderful people have reached out to me. It’s helped me feel less alone, so thank you. I appreciate all the kind words.”

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 the OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA. This was your son’s funeral.” – Immediate_Mud_2858


“My daughter died in a mass murder in 2013. She was 24 years young.”

“I am married. My husband was her stepfather.”

“A month later, when we had the memorial service, my ex had made her a hand carved urn with a music box in it (plays “You Are My Sunshine”).”

“My ex, and his girlfriend (along with extended family), drove up from California.”

“He and I got together for lunch and had long conversations.”

“We extended him the same loving hospitality we did to the rest of the family. Lots of hugs.”

“My husband had zero problems with it and was very happy my ex was there for everything.”

“In fact, we gave him some of her ashes and a smaller canvas photo that was a duplicate of what we displayed during the service.”

“After all, my ex still was her father and I love him for giving me two beautiful children (our son is 34 and lives nearby).”

“You and your ex have the connection of having a child together.”

“He reached out to you for support while he was grieving.”

“Losing a child is the worst thing any parent can face.”

“At the end of the day, you and your husband went back to your home, right?”

“For your ex’s current wife to expect you to reject your ex is sad.”

“She seems to be the one with the problem.”

“It isn’t about her. It’s about your son.”

“What would happen if the shoe was on the other foot? Would she reject her ex?”

“Not have anything to do with him during his time of grief???”

“I am truly sorry for your loss.” – LowGiraffe4095

“This wasn’t a show of affection but a show of solidarity and comfort in your shared grief.”

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“NTA” – DaniCapsFan

“NTA – his new wife shows zero emotional intelligence.”

“She sounds like a selfish twit.”

“I am so sorry for your loss. You did nothing wrong.” – BeardManMichael

“NTA – if I were your ex, I’d be telling my current spouse to F**k the hell off because losing a child is a whole different level of grief, and the parents (still together or not) need to be able to comfort / help each other during such a devastating time.”

“I’m so angry and heartbroken for you.”

“I’m so terribly sorry.” – BadGuyBusters2020

“I am so sorry for your loss.”

“Of course there’s nothing wrong with what you did.”

“You were being a human being to the father of your son at the worst moment of both of your lives.”

“The wife is driven by her insecurity and total lack of empathy. NTA” – chica771


“I’m a mom and stepmom, and while I wouldn’t hold my ex’s hand (abuse history), I wouldn’t get mad at my husband if he and his ex held hands for a bit in that horrific a situation.”

“It’s your son’s funeral, ffs.”

“Threatening divorce makes me think she’s been seeing signs of cheating or issues in their marriage.”

“Whatever is going on, it has nothing to do with you.” – Greyeyedqueen7

“NTA. I’m so sorry for y’all’s loss.”

“Just bc you’re divorced doesn’t mean you stopped sharing a child or the great memories as a family you had together.”

“His wife is an a**hole.” – Imaginary-Yak-6487


“First of all I’m so sorry for the loss that both of you have suffered.”

“You are more forgiving than I am, because in no way shape or form do I understand the wife’s perspective.”

“You and your ex have suffered the worse loss imaginable and you are finding comfort in your shared grief.”

“My ex came to stay with us (my husband is very good about that) after having three heart attacks in less than two weeks.”

“Even though he drives me crazy at the best of times, I was very emotional when I saw him knowing how it could have gone the other way.”

“We shared a long, teary embrace.”

“My husband was standing right there and was fully supportive because he knew it wasn’t about romantic love, but about a shared history.”

“The wife is making it about her and her insecurities.”

“I would suggest limiting contact with her as much as possible, because in this time of grief and then healing you will need all the positive support that you can get.”

“Her comments were what was inappropriate.” – KathAlMyPal


“If you were reaching out to hold your ex husband’s hand and I would have been his current wife, I would have been on the other side holding your other hand.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss.” – Tessa_ry

“NTA when my dad passed away (he had 3 kids, one was from a lady he was with before he married my mom, my older half brother) then there’s my younger sister and I’m the middle child.”

“My mom divorced him when I was 13 and then he got remarried but didn’t have any other kids…”

“his wife was a witch, we were pretty sure he was getting emotionally and physically abused (wouldn’t let us help him every time we tried to talk to him, he was disabled so maybe he was scared of her leaving him and being by himself, that wouldn’t have been the case, as adults we would’ve taken him in).”

“My mom and him had a great relationship after the divorce until he got remarried…”

“So the wife was mad that my mom and my brother’s mom showed up to the funeral to support his children, she got visibility angry when my mom and my brother’s mom were hugging.” – kaijubabe

“NTA. His wife is being unreasonable.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss, OP.” – Dels79

“NTA – Your actions were about compassion, not romance.”

“Grieving the unthinkable loss of a child transcends any marital boundaries.”

“His new wife needs to understand that it was a moment of shared humanity, not an act of infidelity.”

“Your need for mutual support with your son’s father is natural and shouldn’t be questioned.”

“Stay strong, and I extend my deepest condolences for your loss.” – Sook_Domenico

“Speaking from the same horrible experience, NTA.”

“I despise my ex, who managed to even make our kids wish she would just disappear.”

“When we lost our boy to cancer we held each other and cried in the ICU, and as we sat next to each other at the memorial service I put my arm around her as she sat stunned.”

“I’m sorry, but losing a child is arguably the worst grief anyone can go through.”

“For that moment, the gloves and all bets are off.”

“The only other person feeling the same level of agony is the other parent.”

“Anyone who wants to put conditions on that consolation can f**k themselves on the next train to hell.” – original_asshole

“Why is she making it about her?”

“NTA if she truly cared for her husband then she would’ve been more understanding.” – GlenBaskervill3

“NTA, and screw her.”

“I have an abundant supply of disdain bordering on hate for my ex wife.”

“But if our daughter were to pass on, I would be holding her hand as well.”

“I am so sorry for your loss. And for the years you have ahead of you.”

“You’ve got enough on your plate right now, ignore that woman.” – Total-Law4620

At a time when OP needed support from someone who knew her pain, her ex’s wife made her feel even worse for attempting to find solace.

Hopefully she finds some comfort in knowing her fellow Redditors stand behind her action and offer their support, as well.

Written by AB Keith

AB Keith is an educator turned roadtripper who is currently teaching virtually while touring the USA. Her dream is to visit all the national parks and create a series of nonfiction children's books about NP adventures through the eyes of her dog, Backpack Benny.