Jealousy is a powerful emotion. It can lead even the most rational people to irrational decisions.
In the case of jealousy between lovers—or in this case, former lovers—it can even start to intrude on the lives of the people who love both of them.
Redditor aita54663 found this to be true after a tense exchange with her daughter and ex-husband.
She took to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to ask:
But even her first sentence contradicted her title.
“My daughter has been calling her father every day when she’s with me, sometimes for an hour or more. She’s been doing this since around when the pandemic started.”
“It’s very frustrating to me because she never calls me when she’s with her father, and when I call her she only talks for 5 minutes before saying she has to go.”
So because of jealousy, she asked her ex-husband to limit their calls.
“I asked her father to stop accepting her calls daily, and limit it to a couple times per week. He said that he wouldn’t stop answering calls from his daughter, and he’s not the one calling her, she’s calling him.”
“He wants me to tell her to stop calling if I have a problem with it, but obviously I can’t tell her to stop because that will just make her upset with me.”
She reiterated her point because she knew her daughter would give her flack.
“I told him again that it would be polite to limit his contact to a reasonable amount when she’s with me, because I don’t interfere with his time when she’s with him. He got angry and said he wasn’t going to do that and hung up.”
But instead of talking about her feelings to her daughter, she reiterated that she felt that her ex-husband was at fault.
“I think I’m being very reasonable here, and most 15 year olds don’t talk to their parents voluntarily as much as she talks to him.”
“It’s only fair that when she’s with me she’s actually with me rather than just talking on the phone with him. AITA?”
Redditors came to decide where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Everyone agrees. Our original poster, or OP, is the a**hole.
“YTA. You want to limit your daughter’s interaction with her father because it makes you jealous? That’s petty. And a one way ticket to resentment from her. As someone who co-parents a child, I would never do that or ask for that to be done.”~ReasonableKing
“YTA. You’re obviously doing something wrong if she’d rather talk to her dad on the phone than be present with you, and you’re so lacking in self-awareness that you just see this as ‘unfair, she’s paying more attention to him than me!'”~the6thpath
- “Your title is a straight-up lie. Your ex is not calling your daughter, she’s calling him.”
- “How do you think your daughter will feel if her father declines to talk to her? Good or bad? If the answer is bad, which it is, think about why you want your daughter to feel bad.”
- “Don’t you want her to have a good relationship with her dad? Many 15-year-olds can’t be bothered with their parents – you even say that yourself – and she is actively maintaining a strong relationship with hers. Are you jealous of that? If so, do some reflection on why it’s more important to you to have all of her time than it is for her to have a strong emotional bond with her father.”
- “It’s an hour a day. You have the rest of the entire day with her. Why are you not willing to let her do something that makes her happy for a single hour? Do you monitor the rest of her time, or is it just her relationship with her father you want to limit?”
“I see in a comment that you say you told her the divorce wasn’t your fault whereas he didn’t say anything about whose fault it was, and that she ‘took his side’ despite your ‘best efforts to the contrary’.”
“I think you might consider the idea that trying to make her ‘take sides’ has backfired and was never what was best for her in the first place.”
“And now you’re continuing to try and make her take your side when there aren’t sides for a child in a divorce. You are going to lose her if you keep trying to make her choose.”~jimmyjrdanceparty
“YTA. First: Your daughter is 15 and can call whoever she wants. Just because she wants more contact with him doesn’t mean you get to tell your ex to ruin what sounds like a great relationship.”
“Second: you are so lucky to have someone who is invested in his daughter so much when many single parents (dads and moms) have a hard time getting the other side to commit.”
“Thirdly: maybe you should look at your relationship and see why she wants to call him more; and maybe have a conversation with her about how you can improve your relationship with her on your own end.”~nurse27
Most people feel that OP is controlling.
“YTA. It is very petty to try to limit your child’s interaction with her father, it seems like you pushed your problems with him onto her. (‘my best efforts to the contrary’) Don’t try to manipulate your children.”~ArcherTheBoi
“YTA. I grew up with divorced parents. What you are attempting to do is manipulative behavior and she will resent you for it.”
“If she wants to talk to her father, you let her. If she wants to talk to you, she will.”
“You are jealous that she wants to talk to him more than you and are trying to retaliate. Maybe instead of trying to destroy their relationship, find out ways to improve your relationship with her.”~Shadow5h0t
“YTA from this information alone. Why should he stop talking to her just because you don’t like it? Do you not see how damaging that could be to her if he did that?”
“I understand It can be hurtful to you, but why don’t you speak with your daughter instead? Treat her with some respect and ask her why she doesn’t like talking to you as much.”
“Maybe your attitude here is glaringly obviously to her and that’s why she prefers talking to her father. I personally suggest talking to her and being more understanding if you want to continue to loving and healthy relationship with her.”~xz03yx
“YTA for everything said above. The jealousy, wanting to limit contact with one of her PARENTS, etc but…All I hear here is “me me me!!!”. How come you seem absolutely incapable to think about your daughter?”
“This is probably why she doesn’t talk to you as much. You sound incredibly self centered.”~thathighclassb*tch
And most people agree OP’s desire to keep her daughter from her father points to a deeper, darker feeling of not understanding why her daughter doesn’t want to talk to her.
“As a 32 year old woman who has an incredibly close relationship with my father and has as far back as I can remember, YTA. If my mom had demanded I stopped being as close to my father, I wouldn’t be close to my mother today.”
“I am, though, because she was encouraging. Don’t take the chance of potentially not being close to your daughter later.”~adream_alive
“The fact that you’d consider limiting how often your daughter calls her father is probably exactly why she doesn’t call you when she’s with him.”
“Being controlling is not doing your relationship with her any favours. If he agreed to stop taking her calls, that would just hurt her feelings. Why are you okay with that? That’s not a normal response for a parent.”
“YTA, and A is an understatement.”~SevenLight
“YTA. She gets to decide, at 15, who she wants to talk to. If she is interested in what her father is doing, that shouldn’t be a big deal.”
“I would implore you to check in with yourself and ask, if it was her grandparents, or a friend, that she was calling daily…would you have the same reaction?”
“Your ex and you have history and divorces can be difficult since you do share a kid and have to split time. Honestly, you sound butthurt that she seems to favor her father.”
“In some respect, you know it’s wrong because you won’t ask your daughter to stop calling him yourself, assuredly for fear of seeming like the bad guy and pushing her further toward him.”
“Try giving her a time frame for her to talk to him when you’re not specifically trying to spend time with her. If at 6pm, you’re making dinner, ask her to call him between 4pm and 5:30pm, so she’s done when dinner is ready and she has to get off the phone.”
“If you guys watch movies at 8, tell her she has to be off the phone with her dad by 730 so you can make popcorn, or whatever. Then you’re having some control over it, without being a complete jerk.”~Princesszelda24
“YTA. Trying to sabotage their relationship out of some sort of petty jealousy and make him the bad guy at the same time? Probably wanna work on the reasons why she doesn’t value conversation with you as much.”~nustedbut
There is no question for Redditors that OP is in the wrong here.
Her attempts to keep her child and ex-husband from communicating are, to quote Reddit, “self-centered,” “petty” and “trying to destroy her relationship” with her father.
We hope that OP gains some healthy clarity on how to deal with her feelings.