If going through a divorce is a sad and unpleasant situation for the couple in question, it’s arguably even worse for the children.
As while the couple in question might not plan on remaining in each other’s lives following the divorce, the children, in most cases, still want both of their parents to remain equally present.
As such, custody agreements, planned weekends and vacations, and allotted time has to be worked out.
More often than not, seldom aligning with what the children actually want or need.
Following a rather unpleasant divorce from his wife, Redditor Backupakcount was more or less given full custody of his daughter.
An arrangement that seemed to be just fine with the young girl, as the original poster (OP) would sadly discover that her time with her mother often included very little bonding between them.
As a result, when the OP’s ex-wife asked to have more time with their daughter, he had trouble containing his reaction.
Worried that he might have been insensitive, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for laughing at my Ex and her husband for asking to have our daughter for another month?”
The OP explained why he couldn’t hide his sheer amusement at his wife’s request to spend more time with their daughter.
“For some context I (46 M[ale]) was married to my ex-wife Ida (46 F[emale]) for 21 years before she cheated and remarried to her now d*ck of a husband Dan (48 M).”
“We have 4 kids together. Henry (28 M), Zach (26 M), Cam (25 M) and Rory (15 F).”
“This situation only really involves Rory.”
“Since My boys were teens/young adults when we divorced, they got to choose who they lived with.”
“Rory on the other hand didn’t.”
“I have Rory most of the time I pay for her schooling, medical, extra curriculars, ect.”
“While Ida and Dan get her every other Holiday and don’t really pay for stuff.”
“Well For the 4th of July Rory went over to Ida and Dan’s and then stayed there until about a week before school started.”
“Rory confided in me that the whole time she was there, she couldn’t really do anything fun and was stuck watching her younger siblings while Dan and Ida went out.”
“She told me she felt like a babysitter more than a daughter, which hurt my heart for Rory since she was really excited to see her mother.”
“She also told me she’d like to stick with visits again and not stay for a whole month or 2.”
“Well, about two nights ago, I got a call from Ida.”
“She seemed happy and started talking about Rory and how she liked it there.”
“She continued to ramble a bit before asking for me to ask Rory about staying another month.”
“I laughed, which caused Ida to be mad, and she hung up.”
“Dan texted me calling me an a** for laughing at her, and my brother said it was kind of mean to do.”
“I honestly didn’t mean to laugh. I don’t know why I did.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for laughing at his ex-wife’s request.
Everyone agreed that the OP did nothing wrong by laughing at his ex-wife. Not only because it was his gut reaction, which he had no control over, but also owing to the fact that the OP’s ex seemed to clearly be going behind their daughter’s back — knowing that if she asked her directly, she would likely say no.
“Protect your daughter.”
“If she feels that she doesn’t want to go there anymore or wants to restrict her visits because of her mother’s actions, support her in this.”
“You are doing the right thing by your child, and that is all you need to do.”- Typical-Series-3192
“When someone says something laughably ridiculous, you laugh.”
“It was a natural reaction, and I don’t blame you one bit.”
“If I had to guess, she probably believed that since she and Rory probably don’t get along nor have the same relationship you and Rory have, she assumed Rory didn’t tell you anything about being their babysitter.”
“Looks like your ex hasn’t given up her penchant for lying.”- virtualchoirboy
“Your daughter is 15. She can choose who she wants to live with.”
“Make a request to the judge to change custody and make a request for her mother to pay her share of her daughter’s expenses.”- Ousmousse
“Shes calling you to ask Rory because if she asks Rory herself she knows she will say no.”
“But if it comes from you, maybe she has a chance to get herself a free live-in nanny.”- Virulencer
“Laughing can be an uncontrollable reaction to a horrible lie.”
“Simply tell Dan that if his wife is going to continue to make hilariously bad attempts to lie to get a free, live-in nanny, you will continue to laugh at it.”- haemaker
“She doesn’t want your daughter to stay to spend more time together.”
“She wants her to stay to extend the free babysitting service.”
“Time for your daughter to come home, and for your ex to start paying a babysitter if she wants to go out.”- HyenaShot8896
“Get a lawyer op.”
“If Rory doesn’t want to go back then you can make that happen with one.”
“It’s always refreshing to read about a parent that actually cares about their children.”- Odd-Skirt6679
“You laughed because you KNOW the reason she was calling.”
“Free babysitting, and as far as you’re concerned, they are just a big joke.”
“I’d be laughing all the way to the house to pick up my daughter.”- SatelliteBeach123
“Why is your brother prioritising your ex-wife’s precious feelings over your daughter?”
“Your daughter’s safety and wellbeing is the top priority, always.”
“His response is alarming and not what you want your daughter to be learning when dealing with AH’s.”
“The greatest lesson my parents taught me was that it’s not my job to manage other people’s feelings.”
“It’s certainly not my responsibility to make my life worse to placate others.”
“Don’t let your brother teach your daughter that.”
“You know why she wants her there, and she realized you know and she’s embarrassed that she not only got caught but that you laughed at her and her pathetic behavior.”
“She feels humiliated bc she knows how wrong this is and that your daughter didn’t enjoy it.”-Signal_Historian_456
“I was the built-in babysitter for my younger half-siblings.”
“I love them dearly, but I didn’t like being unpaid labor, and stuck home constantly.”
‘Don’t let them use your daughter in this manner.”
“She is the one that is unhappy, she may even be too scared to tell her mom, so you must advocate on her behalf.”- Glengal
“Now that she’s 15 it maybe time to adjust the custody agreement!”- Katie_Emm
“If you don’t want to be laughed at, don’t act like a clown.”- spiritfiend
“She’s mad she won’t have a free babysitter.”- MonOubliette
“Nope, screw them both.”
“Get your daughter back and forget those two losers. Rory certainly will once she’s 18.”-DragonRage86
“NTA NTA NTA.”
“Best dad ever and once again NTA.”
“F*ck the witch.”
“As a daughter who lost her dad young, your daughter is blessed to have a dad like you.”
“Once again NTA.”- Objective-Creme6734
“She knows your daughter doesn’t want to be there serving as an au pair.”
“She just lives being able to dump everything on someone else.”- HoneyWyne
“Your daughter is not a babysitter, and your ex is still a liar.”- Wash_Me_Down
“I mean, the whole timing of it was pretty funny.”
“I would contact ex-wife and explain that you laughed bcuz of the timing of the whole thing and that just before she called Rory had already expressed her feelings about staying over for extended periods of time and that you won’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do.”- Hiraseid
“I don’t know if it was intentional or not. Sometimes I can’t help but let a laugh out.”
“But it sounds like they really want her there for babysitting purposes, and that isn’t fair to your daughter.”
“I’m sure she feels bad about not having a closer relationship with her, and then this just makes it worse.”- BurritoBowlw_guac
Sometimes, when everything starts to be too much, all you can do is laugh.
With this in mind, when the OP learned that his ex-wife, who hasn’t seemed to put any money towards her daughter or any of her children with the OP, asked the OP to have more time purely to have more free childcare, it’s hard not to join the OP in laughing as well.
True, no one wants to be laughed at.
But in this case, perhaps that is what it will take to give the OP’s ex-wife the wake-up call she needs to improve her relationship with her daughter.