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Woman’s Husband Isn’t Invited To Family X-Mas Because Niece Is Sad About Not Having A Dad

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It’s fair to say that we all enjoy seeing other people happy, whether it’s being successful at work or having a good relationship.

But it’s harder to see other people be happy when things aren’t going well for us, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Ozarkxxx was suspicious of the real reasons behind why husbands were not allowed to attend the family Christmas party.

But when she was called selfish for pushing back on the holiday plans, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being insensitive.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not going to my mom’s Christmas party because my husband isn’t going to be invited?”

The OP was pleased to hear someone else would host the family Christmas party.

“I was talking to my mom on the phone a few days ago about random things.”

“I always hosted Christmas at my house, but she told me she wanted to do it this year at her place.”

“I was completely fine with it and I was happy she let me know in advance.”

But there was a catch. 

“Everything was going well until she told me nobody was allowed to invite their husbands.”

“I got extremely confused and asked her why.”

“My mom said my 10-year-old niece Katie has recently become very depressed because she doesn’t have a father in her life.”

“My mom said she wanted to make Christmas special and inviting fathers will make Katie upset.”

The OP did not agree with the plan.

“I told her I wanted to spend Christmas with my husband and kids.”

“My mom didn’t like this answer and called me selfish.”

“She said I could split the day, but I didn’t want to leave my husband alone on Christmas. His family lives in another country, so he wouldn’t have anybody to keep him company.”

“I called my sister and she said it was both her and my mother’s idea.”

“AITA?”

The OP clarified the father situation in the comments section.

“She didn’t lose her father. My sister doesn’t know who he is, unfortunately… Thankfully she’s seeking therapy.”

The OP also shared in a comment what she discussed with her family.

“I talked to the other women in my family and their husbands/boyfriends aren’t allowed. Only men who are related to us are coming like my uncle.”

“Also, I did talk to my sister and she said it was a good idea.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some urged the OP to absolutely not go to that party. 

“It’s illogical for you NOT to spend the entire day with your husband. You and your children are HIS FAMILY, and he and the children are YOURS.”

“Your sister is depressed and resentful, and your mother is feeding those ugly feelings. Just stay home and be with the family that you created for yourself.”Forward-Ordinary-300

“Also, your kids would miss their father now too. And you would miss your husband.”

“How do people come up with such terrible ideas without instantly noticing how flawed that plan is?”DocSternau

“NTA… If my partner isn’t invited to a family reunion, I might as well not be invited as well.”vampirelord87

“Don’t agree to exclude him.”

“Have Christmas at your place and extend an invite to your sisters/aunts/uncles/cousins with both spouses and kids welcomed. Let them decide which dinner they want to attend.”OneTwoWee000

Others agreed and said it would be detrimental to her niece. 

“No, that’s not a viable option. I would definitely not go. If she and your mom want to organize a separate ‘women’s only’ trip, that sounds wonderful, but they don’t get to hijack Christmas for everyone.”

“Frankly, I think this would be worse for Katie. Hiding the reality of her situation from her isn’t going to help her in the long run.”

“Also, this is literally punishing the rest of the family for… having successful relationships?”

“The fact that sister doesn’t know who her baby daddy is is not your fault or your problem. I almost wonder if she is bitter about it and doesn’t want to see happy couples.”

“Asking all the women in the family to abandon their partners for Christmas is super unreasonable. Stand your ground in a calm way, ‘Oh well, I guess we won’t be attending this year! We’ll send the gifts ahead of time.'”Effulgencey

“I feel bad for the kid without a father, but I don’t think this kid is going to be feeling the spirit of Christmas when the other kids catch on that she’s the reason that the Dads were banished. I think everyone is going to get a lesson in how vicious children can be.”LadySmuag

“My cousin ‘lost’ his father for several years (his dad chose alcohol during that time) and I know that being around all the men in my family was really good for him.”

“They played football and tussled around with him. Gave him an ear to talk to and a shoulder to cry on. It was really helpful for my cousin, especially during his dad’s recovery when he needed help dealing with all the emotions and didn’t want to talk with his mom.”

“I don’t think driving a wedge between your niece and the other men is a good way of handling the situation and I hope they realize that real quick.”Coffee-Historian-11

“I want to jump in here – from two different perspectives. My Dad died when I was a teenager – I was devastated and extremely depressed – but I loved Holidays and the chance to see Mum’s and Dad’s relatives – I really loved seeing my Uncles and we were close all their lives.”

“I was widowed when my children were almost teenagers – and they appreciated every doting Uncle and Aunt.”

“I did find it hard watching couples together – but I knew it was good for my children – and me.”

“I would say that it is your Sister who doesn’t want to see happy couples together and is using her daughter’s depression as an excuse. This is very very wrong.”

“Your mother needs to be told this too. NTA – do not do this to your Husband – it’s really unhealthy.”V-838

Some also pointed out who actually didn’t want couples around.

“So there are men allowed, just not male partners? Sounds like the issue isn’t your niece being sad that she doesn’t have a dad. It’s more like your sister is upset that she doesn’t have a partner.”justchillinghbu87

“I think your sister is full of shit and this is about her not wanting to see what effective marriages look like. She’s using her daughter as a meat shield.”jojozabadu

“It’s also punishing the other children in the family as well.”

“Imagine being a kid and being told your dad isn’t allowed to be with you on Christmas of all days, because your auntie is feeling some way about being single during the holidays.”

“(And auntie is definitely spearheading this and using her child as both shield and manipulation tactic.)”Talisa87

“This is exactly what I think is going on. Sister is jealous, doesn’t want to be reminded she is single at Christmas, invents some BS story to guilt her mother, and now OP’s husband is the collateral damage.”

“OP, tell your sister she is whack! Show her this thread. She needs to parent better.”

“OP is NTA.”Leafburn

Though her mother and sister were upset with her for not wanting to attend without her husband, the subReddit did not agree. It was suspicious that the event was being organized around the “niece,” who would benefit more from the company of her uncles than their absence.

It seems there was a good reason why OP usually did the hosting for the family Christmas dinner.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.