Not everyone is cut out to have children.
Some become well aware of this from a young age, and make no plans to have children, and thus live the happy fulfilling life they always wanted.
Others, however, might not discover this until after having one or multiple children.
Though these parents likely still love their children, they sadly discover that they might not have the mental or emotional capacity to give them the love and attention they need.
A recent Redditor came to this discovery, and wasn’t afraid to admit to it when asked in what he thought was a safe, confidential setting.
Unfortunately, the original poster (OP)’s words came back to haunt him, leading him to fear that his relationship with his family might be permanently damaged.
Worried he made a mistake in giving his honest answer, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for admitting I regret having children.”
The OP shared how his being open with his feelings only seemed to make things worse in his marriage.
“My wife and I are both 42 and in marriage counseling after our marriage basically went to sh*t after having kids (6, and 4 year old twins).”
“A lot of issues and disagreements have come up in our marriage that have driven us apart and I have been working through my resentment that going back for one more baby resulted in twins, including one which we are pretty sure has ADHD and ODD and is a nightmare child.”
“Our counsellor asked me if I would have children if I had to do it all over again and I said ‘honestly, no’.”
“I love my kids and would take a bullet for them, but if I had the chance to go back to 24 when I finished grad school and could do my life over again, I wouldn’t choose fatherhood.”
“It is not the fulfilling experience everyone claims and while I love my children, the sacrifices are not worth it to me.”
“I had a much happier life before having children and have gone from someone who loved life to someone who just, makes it through the day, working a job he hates to provide for the wife and kids while silently wishing this wasn’t my life.”
“My wife is furious and taking it the wrong way and even told our 6 year old ‘daddy wishes you were never born’ which makes me livid.”
“You don’t tell the kid that.”
“Yes, I wish I never had kids, but I do love them, would never hurt them or want to upset them.”
“And I didn’t say it to/in front of my kids and I never ever will. I said it in marriage counseling, what should be a safe space to talk about feelings.”
“It has become a huge fight, our marriage is not going to be saved now, and I know she will try and use this against my in divorce court to try and get sole custody and take everything and lie to the kids who I do love and still want to be a Dad to them.”
“She is incapable of understanding that you can love your kids but also feel that parenthood was the best choice for you.”
“AITA for saying it though?”
“When I say I resent having twins, I am not saying it is my wife’s fault!”
“But 3 children is more than we budgeted/bargained for and I need to pick up a lot overtime I that I would not have had to pick up if we just had 2 kids, and that is what I resent.”
“That and the child with ADHD/ODD.”
“My life is basically work and dealing with my kids.”
“And do you know what ODD is?”
“This child always refuses to do what is asked, gets angry and throws a tantrum when asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, hits and kicks others, deliberately annoys and hurts others, is extremely spiteful, screams and kicks me constantly.”
“ALWAYS. All day. Every day.”
“It’s exhausting and it is hell.”
“I would’t have him again.”
“Most people wouldn’t if they had to raise him.”
“Just because I wouldn’t do this over again doesn’t mean I’m not committed to being a good dad and being present in their lives.”
“I just would not do it over again if I could redo my adult life.”
“My first kid was not born at 24, I just said that because if I could do my whole post-University life differently, I would change some other things too, mainly career, and to be honest, after all this, I regret marrying my wife, which is why I said it that way.”
“Regarding calling the ADHD/ODD twin a nightmare, go google what that means.”
“It is very difficult to manage and he has even been kicked out of three daycare places because they could not handle him and my parents even refuse to babysit him.”
“We never get a break from home and no one can handle time.”
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 – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, most agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for being open with their feelings during a therapy session.
Many felt that it was important for the OP to share his genuine feelings during therapy, and were largely horrified that their wife would try to leverage what should have been confidential information against them.
“NTA you said it in a counseling session where you are supposed to be able to talk through these things and listen to your partner without judgment.”
“Your wife was majorly in the wrong for taking a comment out of the session and telling a child.”
“If she didn’t understand how you meant it, she should have discussed it further IN the session.”-amie71
“Your wife is trying to get to you by emotionally abusing and scarring the children.”
“Also, see a lawyer about this.”
“Where I live, not an English speaking, common law jurisdiction, it is called ‘parental alienation’ and if proven in court, the custody goes to the parent who wasn’t causing the parental alienation.”
“Maybe it is the same for you.”- ChibiSailorMercury
“This is so sad.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“You’re NTA at all.”
“A lot of parents feel exactly this way.”
“You love your kids but you regret having them.”
“That’s pretty normal, and so is the guilt associated with that feeling.”
“You’re doing the right thing by going to marriage counseling, and I suggest going to individual counseling as well.”
“Your wife should not have ever said that to your child.”
“I doubt they’ll ever forget hearing that.”- koeghls
“Your wife wouldn’t have been either if she hadn’t brought the child into this.”
“What you said is obviously going to be upsetting for your wife to hear, and she had the right to feel whatever emotions about it, but she crossed a line big time.”
“OP, you are not an asshole for admitting something that many parents feel, and I just want to tell you that it can and usually does get better.”
“Our middle kid is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD so I really, truly feel for you.”
“Someone who hasn’t dealt with a child like that has no idea.”
“Maybe it’s time to take all of that effort you’re using on your marriage, and use it for yourself instead like individual therapy or dedicating time to a hobby/just chill ‘me time’.”- piximelon
“NTA, your wife is a serious asshole for saying that to a six year old, truly an abusive and psycho thing to put in a child’s head.”
“As a 32 year old in a committed relationship where we do not want kids, I sympathize with how you feel.”
“My gf and I get all sorts of dirty looks and condescending remarks when we say that we do not want children.”
“You sound committed to your children, but truly unhappy.”- daswonderhammer
“The way society claims parenting is the best thing in the world is absolutely deceitful.”
“No one is willing to discuss that being a parent can suck, and for some people the ‘reward’ isn’t worth it.”
“As long as you do not tell your children you regret becoming a father you’re not TA.”
“Your wife however is TA for telling them.”- sadsadsadsad2018
There were others, however, who simply couldn’t accept that the OP did love their children and simultaneously regretted having them, even if they still didn’t defend their wife’s sharing their information.
“I’m sorry but I feel that what you say contradicts each other.”
“If you truly love your kids and is ‘willing to take a bullet for them’, then why do you regret having them?”
“Your wife is also at fault for saying what you said in confidence to your kids.”- babyboo8
Therapy is always meant to be a safe and secure space where one can share how they truly feel, in order to hopefully get better.
It’s hard to imagine how the OP’s wife thought that sharing the things the OP said in confidence would help them improve their marriage.
One can only hope that the OP’s relationship with their children can recover from this.