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Mom Sparks Drama After Divulging That She’s Divorcing Her Husband Because He Couldn’t ‘Deal’ With Their Deaf Child

Pichsakul Promrungsee/EyeEm/Getty Images

Some people are really stuck on appearances, especially when they’ve failed at something.

A mother sparked drama, not because of getting a divorce, but because she revealed the true reason behind her divorce: that her husband couldn’t “deal” with the needs of their deaf daughter.

The OP (Original Poster) shared her story on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, wondering if she was in the wrong for revealing the true cause of her relationship’s end.

The OP asked the thread:

“AITA (Am I the A**hole) for telling everyone exactly why I’m getting divorced?”

The OP explained where the issues unfortunately started. 

“My ex and I have one child together. We found out during my pregnancy that our child would be deaf, and wouldn’t qualify for the surgery that some deaf people are able to get due to a combination of problems. While the external issue is a fluke, the internal issue is apparently something that I always had a 25% chance of passing down to a child.” 

But the OP did her best to be proactive and get involved in her daughter’s future community.

“Not to toot my own horn, but once I learned this, I made an effort to start connecting with the Deaf community in my area and learn ASL.”

The OP’s husband was noticeably less involved. 

“He did not, and while he stayed for the birth, he moved in with his brother right after dropping me off at my home. I own the house, and did before I met him, so it’s not part of the divorce. He was nice enough to give me 2 months worth of a cleaning service and a gift card to GrubHub.”

Then the OP’s ex tried to explain the situation away by blaming the OP. 

“He ended up telling everyone that I am the reason he doesn’t see our child, and that I filed for divorce because I overreacted.”

“The truth is that I have sole custody because he cried, in court, that he couldn’t ‘deal’ with the baby and wanted to just pay support.”

“While I did file, it was because he abandoned me and said so many horrible things that I couldn’t get over.”

“I have text messages he sent me which say that he wouldn’t have married me if he knew that we would produce ‘problems’ and that he couldn’t handle raising a [“r****d”] (the only thing wrong with her is hearing). I don’t want my child to grow up in a home where she’s hated.”

The OP then had to speak out after having problems with family members. 

“I was starting to hear all sorts of crap from my family and his, who started to take his side because divorce isn’t really a thing here, so I took action.”

“I made a social media post publishing the text messages so that people would finally see the truth.”

Instead of taking the OP’s side, the family continues to question her answers. 

“I’m now getting calls and messages for ‘making a private issue public’ and ‘parental alienation’.”

“AITA? (Am I the A**hole?)” 

Fellow Redditors commented on the situation anonymously, using the following ratings: 

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

Some Redditors confirmed the OP was not wrong for setting the record straight about the true nature of her divorce.

“NTA. This guy has no businesses smearing you and damaging your reputation. You did what you had to do to set the record straight and nobody can fault you for that.”NUTmeSHELL

“Funny how OP is the only one being criticized for making private things public or parental alienation. It is interesting that this behavior was just fine when OP husband was doing it. It is almost like the the people who are criticizing OP aren’t objective.”UncannyVally

“NTA – although publishing his text messages is a bit over the top, he started the fight with his lies. You just defended yourself with the truth. Good for you.”Ciecie33

“First: a disclaimer that I wholeheartedly believe that OP is not only NTA, but I feel she made the only real choice she was left with in the situation her ex put her in; just wanted to address your question of how else she could’ve approached it.”

“I think a fair number of folks hold the belief that putting someone on blast on social media is not a mature response to any kind of conflict. I think this is why some of the commenters here take issue with OP’s doing so.”

“I generally would be one to agree–I feel that private issues should be worked out privately. OP could have taken the same evidence that she posted on social media to the people who were criticizing her in private conversation instead.”

“That being said, it really sounds like the ex was loud-mouthing to anyone who would listen that OP was the one in the wrong here, even OP’s own family. While technically, she COULD have tried addressing her critics individually, she had no way of knowing just how far his lies had spread. It might’ve taken dozens of conversations to address them all privately.”

“She also could have easily missed out on being able to defend herself against those who heard about the situation from her ex but didn’t take it upon themselves to antagonize her over it.”

“It stopped being a private issue when her ex decided to publicize it. That’s why I fully support her actions. Making the post on her social media wasn’t OP being petty or anything like that–it was just the best way for her to combat his lies with the truth.” – thatirelandkid

A few Redditors were really disgusted with the ex-husband’s reaction to his daughter’s diagnosis. 

“Why do people think being deaf makes them undesirable.”

“Oh [no] you have to actually take the time to communicate properly? We can’t have that. [C]ommunication is the root of all evil.”

“Hope OP does fine raising her little girl away from her disgusting sperm doner.”Milennials_RuinedIt

“I always think parents who think like this wouldn’t be good parents regardless of any disability or health issue because they clearly just want raising a child to be easy and fun.”

“Children are hard. All children are hard. They all require lots of time and energy because you’re raising a little human. If you aren’t willing to put in that effort because it might be harder than you thought it would, you have no business being a parent.”peachesthepup

One Redditor also wanted to applaud the OP for getting involved in the Deaf community.

“I just wanted to take a moment to say HUGE kudos to you for making the effort to connect with the Deaf community in your area and learn ASL for your daughter.”

“I’m a graduate student studying sign language linguistics, and a lot of hearing parents of deaf children don’t understand how vitally important it is for their kids to be exposed to sign language from as young an age as possible.”

“You may already know this, but deaf kids who are exposed to sign language from birth have better outcomes in a huge variety of developmental milestones including literacy in English, math, memory, spatial reasoning – the list goes on and on.”

“Not to mention the huge difference it makes to feel loved and supported by your mom! Thank you for doing what’s best for your daughter, where many parents don’t make the effort to. I know it will mean the world to hear as she grows up.”onsereverra

It seems that any divorce that occurs is going to be messy in its own way. But these Redditors seem to agree, how the ex-husband treated his ex-wife and daughter deserved to be made public.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

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.