Though it’s 2022, there are still many families that prioritize boys over girls and hope that the new mothers in the family will bear sons.
If the mother doesn’t agree, the situation doesn’t bode well for her and her baby if they turn out to be a girl, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway6779770 was appalled by her husband’s and his family’s behavior after she announced she was having a girl.
When they kept insisting the baby would be a boy, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if her daughter would ever be accepted in the family.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for walking out of the baby shower my in-laws threw for me?”
The OP was comfortable with naming her baby after her deceased father-in-law.
“The situation is kind of a mess.”
“I (27 female) am expecting my first baby with my husband.”
“This is the first grandchild in the family (in-laws) and they said that if the baby’s a boy, then we’ll give him my father-in-law’s name (he’s dead due to cancer). I had no problem with that.”
But she was uncomfortable with other things that happened.
“This happened before we found out the gender of the baby.”
“My husband and his family had me ‘do things’ like attend prayers and do other rituals before the reveal at the doctor’s office.”
“I didn’t like that but went with it to keep the peace.”
The reveal came.
“The doctor’s appointment came, and it turned out to be a girl.”
“My husband cried in the car and then turned his phone off to hide from his family but then finally told them.”
“His mom and the others made their frustration and disappointment clear, which bothered me, because my daughter deserves to be celebrated.”
The family held out hope for a boy.
“They ghosted me for days and then started coming over and visiting, constantly referring to my daughter as my son.”
“They claimed the results were false and basically pretended it was a boy.”
“I had several fights with them after they refused to stop it, and my husband sided with them despite seeing how wrong and unreasonable what they were doing was.”
“We didn’t speak for a while.”
The OP thought things would be better at her baby shower.
“My sister-in-law called to apologize and then informed me she arranged for a baby shower for me.”
“I was so excited and happy. But when I arrived I saw blue balloons, blue cake with my father-in-law’s name, and blue decorations around.”
“I was so confused, I had to sit down.”
“My sister-in-law explained they were ‘still’ hoping the gender results were false and it was a boy.”
“I looked at my husband and he agreed with her.”
“I lost my temper and yelled at them all, calling them delusional and telling them to stop treating my daughter like she’s unwanted and acting like she doesn’t exist by throwing a party for ‘their imaginary grandson.'”
“My mother-in-law broke down crying.”
“I took my bag and walked out immediately.”
Everyone blamed the OP for her outburst.
“They started yelling and my husband followed me outside and started arguing about how I insulted his family and his dad’s memory by acting like that.”
“I told him to wake up and see the insanity in his family’s behavior.”
“He said they needed time to process the fact that it’s a girl, not a boy as they expected, and insisted I play along and ‘they’ll soon get over it.'”
“I said absolutely not and demanded he takes me home.”
“He said no so I called an Uber and left.”
“He was fuming, and he called 15 times, then texted that he won’t be coming home until I ‘get my a**’ over there and apologize for ruining everything THEY’VE DONE FOR ME and accusing them of being mentally unstable.”
“I haven’t responded yet.”
“He’s constantly pressuring me to get right with his family before we even talk about anything else.”
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 leave the situation while the husband refused to come home.
“They can delude themselves all they want but when that baby arrives and they can’t deny she does not, in fact, have a dingle dangle, they are going to treat her like dog s**t.”
“The fact that your husband is supporting them (and also delusional) is a HUGE red flag.”
“Unless you want your daughter raised by a bunch of misogynists, I would seriously consider getting out of there NOW. NTA.” – cbm984
“He’ll problem divorce her for not being able to provide them with a son or force her to conduct a test where they can find out whether it’s a boy or a girl and possibly abort the girl child.”
“Sad but true.”
“RUN.” – browneyedgal1512
“The pretend-it’s-a-boy thing made it abundantly clear OP’s husband’s family will treat her daughter like an unwanted child just because of her biological sex. OP needs to RUN.”
“OP honey… the only way you could be TA is if you stayed with this man.”
“First off, even without knowing the child’s sex, what they’re doing throughout your pregnancy is concerning. They made you do all kinds of weird rituals (that you didn’t like)? They straight up told you what they were going to name the baby? Obviously, you were fine with it, but that doesn’t mean what they did is normal or okay.”
“They gave you absolutely NO say whatsoever to the naming of your own child, which will stick with the kid for at least 18 years. Naming is something that both parents should agree on, and the fact that you were so casual with them giving you no agency and making decisions unilaterally is worrying me. Have ‘incidents’ like this ever happened before?”
“Your daughter is just as worthy of celebration and love as any boy. The fact that they were ‘disappointed’ and didn’t celebrate her the way they would a boy is just plain sexism. But more than that, hoping that the test result is false, and scheduling a whole baby shower around that? Without telling the mother, no less? This is not healthy behavior.”
“Like you mentioned in your post, the grandson they threw a party for doesn’t exist. They’re already making your daughter feel unwanted, because she IS unwanted, before she’s even born. Can you imagine what would happen when she’s born, and their hopes for a grandson get truly, fully shattered?”
“Trust me, I’ve been there. They do not want your daughter, they want a grandson, one to be the little reincarnation of your FIL. They do not want the child you’re carrying, and they will let her know that. They will make her feel like she’s not enough, never will be. Do you know what that does to a person?”
“Your husband is dropping serious red flags by siding with his family. They have done nothing for you but demand you do things you didn’t like, make joint decisions unilaterally, and throw a shower for a nonexistent baby. You had nothing to apologize for when it comes to calling them unstable. You were correct. Anybody who is this obsessed over a fetus’s biological sex is unstable.”
“He’s sleeping over at his mama’s? Let him. He and his family can either get over their ridiculous dreams for a mini-FIL, or he can stay there until you file for divorce. Which should be done as soon as possible.” – GoodGirlsGrace
Others agreed and were concerned about how the OP and her daughter would be treated.
“It astounds me that her husband expects OP to spend her pregnancy, with their first child, which should be a happy and hopeful time… pretending and being made to feel guilty or somehow ‘less than’ by him and his whole family. Like, it’s insane.”
“OP, you must leave. For your daughter’s sake… imagine how she will be treated by them!!” – tinny36
“They wouldn’t want the child she’s carrying even if it were male. You said it yourself, they want a mini-FIL.”
“As soon as kiddo did or looked like something different to FIL, you know they’d lose their minds and probably blame OP.”
“CURLY hair? FIL had gorgeous straight locks. His first word was ‘dog’?? FIL hated dogs. Etc.” – mynameismilton
“The core problem seems to be the family is still grieving their patriarch. It’s their right to grieve but they cannot impose their healing process on others, the inflicted parties being both OP and the baby.”
“Even if the baby was a boy, they’d be imposing upon him the expectations of the patriarch, giving the child no room to develop his own sense of self.” – garryowen47
“To be honest, you need to leave them, but I have a feeling you aren’t even thinking about leaving him and are probably attempting to try and understand why he’s acting like this.”
“There’s no understanding at all, they’re all unstable and need help. You don’t need to bring a child into an environment where they won’t be shown any kind of love.”
“But who knows? You probably won’t listen to any of this since you love to ignore red flags.
“If you have some common sense, you’ll run for the hills and never look back. Especially since it’s clear that none of them want to be around your daughter and are going to keep insisting she’s a boy.”
“Have fun with that.” – peachypeachy345
“NTA. I don’t normally tell people to run from a marriage, but for this I’ll make an exception. How will your daughter be affected by her grandparents, aunts and uncles, even her dad constantly saying things (and you know they will) like ‘Oh, this would be so much nicer/easier etc…, if you were a boy!'”
“I’ll give you a hint: badly. Her self-esteem will be in the toilet!”
“You could remind everyone, especially your husband, that it’s the male of the species that determines the sex of the child. They should be yelling at him, not you.” – Rocket_scientists
“Holy crap, they literally need therapy NOW including your husband. This is terrifying and weird not to mention disrespectful to you and your daughter.”
“I would go no contact with these people including the husband if he doesn’t start supporting you and his future child instead of the collective delusions of his family.”
“Imagine just having given birth and putting up with their abusive commentary, your anxiety and distress will pass to your baby and that’s without even going into when she’s a bit older and can pick up on the dynamics and the fact she’s clearly considered inadequate.”
“Then the pressure on you to have another kid and it be a boy and then if you did have one the favoritism….nip this in the bud ASAP. NTA.” – GratificationNOW
“What the f’k? Are there people who actually act like this in real life?”
“Like they’re making it even harder for themselves to accept by throwing a baby shower for a boy and then they have the audacity to get mad at you for ‘insulting’ your deceased father in law’s memory?”
“NTA at all and I honestly don’t think I would tolerate this behavior, even if it happened once. If your husband doesn’t stand up for you or at the very least stay neutral, I would just cut my losses and leave.”
“They need to process their grief in a healthy way and this is definitely not it, especially at you and your baby’s expense.” – Hairy-Emotion5285
“NTA – I am so sorry you are experiencing this terrible behaviour. Your husband has just revealed his priorities and sadly, it’s not you or your child.”
“Suggest you seek professional guidance here – get your finances in order, see a lawyer and family counsellor. This is for you and your child’s protection.”
“Never leave your child alone with any of them – your baby could be at risk. Don’t expect anything from them, because your child needs to be protected.”
“Can your family help you get away?” – Zanith66
The subReddit agreed with the OP being angry about this situation and even her use of the word “unstable” when speaking of her extended family.
The family was holding out hope, to an unhealthy extent, for something that wasn’t going to happen: a baby boy and someone to fill the void they felt with the OP’s father-in-law’s passing.