Are you morally obligated to care for your ex’s other children?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Fearless-Pipe7307 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for dismissing my ex’s concerns that our son has more than his daughter?”
A rough start.
“My ex and I were together for 9 years and we had a son who was 3 when I learned my ex got another woman pregnant.”
“I filed for divorce right away and he moved in with this other woman.”
“Right after the birth of my ex’s daughter the other woman disappeared off the face of the earth.”
“My ex’s sister told me that the other woman hadn’t wanted a baby and it was suspected she moved back to the UK, where she was originally from, but that none of them knew for sure.”
The custody concern.
“Ex and I have equal parenting time with our son.”
“We are supposed to split the cost of things but I normally pay more because he’s unable to provide everything. The judge ruled no child support because we technically make the same.”
“It’s just he has an extra mouth to feed. Our son is now 8, and ex’s daughter is 5.”
“My ex has expressed concerns a few times about how much more our son has.”
“Our son wanted to do extracurriculars so I pay for those. I also make sure he has all he needs for school. While my ex struggles to provide for his daughter the way our son is provided for.”
“Ex wanted us to ‘work together so both kids can be equally looked after,’ and I told ex it is not my job to ensure his daughter is provided for.”
“I told him he has two kids to provide for while I have one, and that is his fault, not mine.”
“He argued that I should be thinking of the kids, who are innocent when I make this decision, and I said no.”
“Ex raised even more concerns after the kids went back to school.”
“(His daughter going to elementary school for the first time) and his daughter had less school supplies than our son and he said I didn’t send them to his house. Son kept them on him since he was with me the first day of school).”
“He said his daughter noticed her brother had cooler stuff and was upset.”
“He also said his daughter had to dip into some class supplies while our son had more than enough.”
“He mentioned their school bags being way different quality, etc. And he said this is going to make his daughter’s life much harder in the future because she won’t understand why.”
“I didn’t care about his concerns and reminded him again that I am not responsible for his daughter in any way.”
“He went off on me and said I was being a sh*tty person dismissing his concerns, and he said we are meant to work these things out together.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: NTA
Consider the source.
“NTA in the slightest.”
“It is HIS job to explain to his daughter why her brother has different circumstances.”
‘“Meant to work these things out together’ is funny coming from an adulterer.” ~ who_knows2023
“He didn’t think about the ‘innocent kid’ ie your son, when he was cheating.” ~ LifeAsksAITA
‘”I was innocent too, and you had no issue cheating on me, so let’s not pretend you care about who is ‘innocent’ in a situation.'”
‘”Stop using the fact that I’m a better person than you to try to get me to help you raise your kids. It’ll never happen. If you keep this up, I’ll document it and go back to court.”‘ ~ crystallz2000
Think of the kid.
“I feel bad for the girl. She deserves better parents.”
“The money your ex isn’t contributing to your son should be spent on his daughter instead.”
“It sounds like he could afford to provide the same things for his daughter you are providing for your son. He’s just not doing it.”
“Man has one family, f***** around, and now he has two kids and wants his 1st wife to either deprive their son or what?”
“Give his affair baby child support?”
“Hell no.” ~ Sidneyreb
“This is the answer. He thinks he can hold out, and you’ll cave in because that’s what women do when a child’s feelings are at stake. If you take his little girl on financially, he will not step up” ~ Auntie-Mam69
“This is a situation that is going to come up in 1,000 different ways as this little girl grows up.”
“He’s going to have to step up and learn how to have difficult conversations.”
“There is always going to be a situation where her friends or cousins or brother have things that she wants but doesn’t have. Or they get to do things she doesn’t.”
“Sometimes she has things they don’t.”
“I also don’t believe a 5-year-old noticed a difference between book bags unless the dad bought the absolutely cheapest one out there.”
“It sounds like OP doesn’t even ask him to split the cost of her son’s supplies. He just wants to offload the extra labor of shopping for stuff onto her.”
“‘Can’t we work something out’ is really ‘can’t you just do the mom work and buy stuff for both kids so I don’t have to.'”
“Nope.” ~ clharris71
“I have siblings and half-siblings… we all just call each other siblings frankly.”
“And we had different childhoods and different qualities of life…. we all didn’t really notice until we got older and could notice quality difference.”
“However, the difference was more apparent to my older siblings who saw the difference in care that our mother offered us as babies versus that our siblings were offered via their bio mom.”
“My parents did not do a great job of explaining that a lot of the jealousy wasn’t about the stuff we all had (we all grew up together and custody wasn’t ever shared)… but about care and attention….”
“OP can help a lot by talking to her kid as stuff comes up and being willing to have the hard conversations…”
“Similarly the OP doesn’t have to buy into b*llshit ‘a six-year-old noticed the difference in quality between her crayons and her brother’s crayons when they both went to different classes’… cause no… she didn’t…”
“The only way for her to notice anything was in dad making it something she noticed or by virtue of dad pointing it out.”
“Dollar store crayolas are the same product and brand as target crayolas. Elmers glue at the dollar store is the same product and brand as elmers glue at target.” ~ JetItTogether
“It reminds me when a dad brought his son McDonald’s, and the mom recorded him wondering why he didn’t bring all of her 5 kids McDonald’s, and he was like they aren’t mine, and she smashed the food on the ground, so her son can’t have it.” ~ generationYmellenial
“NTA- lots of exes with kids up in this AITA round..”
“But let’s be clear.”
“Your ex has to explain to his child that he can’t afford nicer things whereas someone else is paying for nicer things for that kid’s brother.”
“It isn’t hard or not understandable… kids get it if you explain it.”
“Parents just don’t like explaining they can’t provide something they want to provide.”
“You sent your kid to school with school supplies… your ex provided zero of those school supplies….”
“Your ex has told you that he was going to attempt to take your son’s school supplies to give to his other child, who he can’t afford supplies for.”
“It’s tough when kids have to deal with inequality at a young age.”
“It’s important that you teach your son humility and generosity but also to stand up for himself as well.”
“You’re never gonna be the a**hole for not buying some random kid school supplies… but be careful with your son about the messages your son learns about the difference.” ~ JetItTogether
“He needs to find a good attorney and try to pursue child support through the other parent. Hire a PI to find her if she is still in the US and goes through the courts for child support.”
“If she is not in the US, it would be worth reaching out to her family in the UK with photos and the gift of shame to try to get her (or them) to contribute to the care and wellbeing of the child.” ~ Adventurous-Try1728
The simple answer is, “No, she isn’t responsible,” of course.
The decisions someone else makes will determine their own consequences, and those consequences belong to the decision-maker, not his victims.
Be kind where possible. Perhaps his daughter might make a friend while sharing supplies!