in , ,

Parent Enrages Son By Not Stepping In When Their Daughter Began Dating His Childhood Bully

Henry King/ Getty Images

Being bullied is a traumatizing experience. So, when your family invites said bully into your home it can create some tension.

Understandably, it would be hurtful and disappointing to have your family defend someone who bullied you.

Redditor throwawayaita90101 encountered this very issue with his wife and children. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

He asked:

“AITA for staying neutral in a situation between my son, my daughter, and my wife?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This all started a couple of years ago and it completely split our family apart.”

“My son, Z (22), has pretty much been estranged from us since he was 18. Adam is the son of good family friends, he and my daughter, P (24), begun dating around when they were 19.”

“The problem is Adam was a bully to my son throughout school, as you can imagine he didn’t take it very well. He was furious, however my daughter refused to budge on this.”

“I tried to stay out of the situation but my wife took my daughter’s side, partially as we’re good friends with Adam’s parents, but also because she thought Z would eventually get over it.”

“Unfortunately that didn’t happen, instead it made a stark difference in my son’s personality, he had become much more aggressive, cold and disrespectful.”

It caused a strain in their relationship.

“He no longer listened to what me or his mother had to say, often using intimidation to get what he wanted, he would also disappear for days at a time without so much as a word.”

“This would more or less carry on until he left for university, after which he probably spent no more than 2 weeks in total back at home, opting to stay with friends or whatever girl he was seeing at the time.”

“He has rejected any olive branch we extend.”

“This has completely destroyed our family and it especially hurts my wife as they were quite close before this happened. The last time we spoke was last year before lockdown, he called me a coward for sitting on the fence.”

“I understand why he feels the way he does, but was I really wrong to stay neutral in this?”

“I didn’t feel like it was my place to control my daughter’s dating life.”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors agreed OP was the a**hole.

“YTA Why did you two not help your son while he was being bullied? why be friends with the bully’s parents?”

“You aren’t neutral. You took the bully’s side.” ~ SantaPachaMama

“Seeing your childhood bully for extended period because your sister thinks it’s totally fine to date him and no one is on your side can alienate you to the point of going no contact.” ~ DarkStar0915

“Yep, YTA.”

“So are your daughter and your wife. Especially your daughter.”

“I would NEVER have dated someone who’d bullied my sibling. That is a betrayal of a huge magnitude, and the fact that your wife supported her horrible actions and you stayed out of it was also a betrayal to him.”

“Your wife made it clear to her son that he is less valuable to her than his sister, so she has no right to feel hurt. You refusing to take part was tantamount to taking her side.”

“You as a family excluded your son and left him with no support.”

“Your son had every right to feel the way he did about this situation. He rejects your ‘olive branches’ because they mean nothing.” ~ Somethingisshadysir

OP also added Adam’s younger brother also had some issues.

“Adam’s younger brother made the mistake of trying to pick on my son, this back fired and my son has more or less bullied him until he went off to university.”

“Typically taking money off him and his friends, of course he completely ignored me when I tried to speak to him.” ~ throwawayaita90101

“YTA, a horrible and cowardly person, I mean seriously, your ‘friends’ don’t like your son because Adam’s brother tried to bully him and your son didn’t let him, but you’re totally fine with Adam who was a horrible bully, and you don’t see the hypocrisy here?

“Your friends might be failures as parents, but at least, AT LEAST, they have their son’s back.”

“And by the way, this speaks VOLUMES about your friend’s family, the older tormented your son mercilessly and the younger tried to follow in his foot-steps, good on your son for defending himself.”

“I’m happy your son got away from your family, hope he has a nice life.” ~ chickenmeh

“The missing reasons are Adam’s parents are their best friends and they (the parents) refused to do anything out of fear of hurting their friendship. Adam’s little brother tried to bully the son, and the son showed him what was up with that.”

“So Adam’s parents don’t like Z because he stood up for himself. They knew their sons were bullies and did nothing to help.” ~ aurumphallus


“So to summarize you are good friends with a family that has raised two bullies who both pick on your son but when one of the bullies retaliated against by your son that’s when you step in to admonish your son.”

“It seems you have no problem stepping in to make your son feel like sh*t but how dare your son stick up for himself!”

“Also, I notice the bully gets a full name but your son is only ‘Z’ which shows how much of an afterthought he really is to you.” ~ WorkRedditHooray

“You’re the a**hole but not as much as your wife. Your son needed your help because the person who was bullying him was making his way into the family and when he needed support the most you all pulled the rug from under him.”

“Basically he has no reason to trust any of you. As a teen my family did things like this to me.”

“If you want him to trust you ever again then you better tell his mom and his sister how sh*tty that was. But also be on his side.”

“I didn’t talk to my family for four years because they did this exact thing so you have to decide what’s more important, your daughter’s boyfriend or your son and stick with him.” ~ Peep_6782

“YTA. Your son was bullied and there is no neutrality in that situation.”

“You’re with the victim or the bully.”

“You chose the bully as did your wife so it’s not surprising that your son backed away from all of you.”

“Y’all brought this on yourself.” ~ Knittingfairy09113

“YTA. You’re the a**hole, your wife is the a**hole and your daughter is the a**hole.”

“Your whole family decided to be ok with the bullying and staying friends with the bully’s parents rather than help your son.”

“The fact that your daughter can see how much hurt this guy caused her brother and still dated him is disgusting.”

“Your whole family is trash and I’m glad he threw you away.” ~ Inevitable-Okra-3229

“YTA and a terrible father. I’m glad your wife is upset about the situation that you two created.”

“I hope she continues to be in pain because that’s the consequence for being such an awful mother.” ~ Cultural_Principle_8

“So let me see if I got this straight. Your son was being bullied by the son of a family friend.”

“The bully then began dating your daughter when she was 19, making your son 17.”

“Your son made it clear he did not support the relationship, and began acting aggressively when he learned that his mother did support the relationship.”

“His father has not said a peep.”

“You and your wife thought your son would ‘get over it’ and you tried extending an olive branch many times.”

“You and your wife… YTA.”

“You are SO clueless. And you’re shocked that he went no contact with you?”

“All three of you made it clear his well being wasn’t as important as his sister’s sad little relationship.”

“But your son will be ok. Family isn’t blood, and he will find people who truly care for him.”

“YTA YTA YTA” ~ deep_shaking

“I think it’s interesting how you use the phrasing ‘THIS has completely destroyed our family’.”

“You are the ones that destroyed your family. Saving face and looking good were your priorities over being there for your son and respecting and valuing your son’s feelings.”

“If it were me, I would be full NC [no contact] with you all at this point. You need to get some therapy in your life, both family therapy and individual therapy.”

“Your son should be in therapy as well. Bless your son’s heart if he ever decides to forgive you for this.”

“I’m 32 and my Mom and I just started therapy together because she dismissed me in favor of others just like you have done to your son.”

“And after many years I finally got sick of pretending like we had any sort of relationship that brought value to either of our lives.”

“So I gave me Mom an ultimatum, go to therapy with me to hash out our differences or I didn’t have any interest continuing any sort of relationship or contact with her. Do not let it get to this point with your son.”

“How could looking good to another family be worth losing any chance you have of a relationship with YOUR SON, your flesh and blood.” ~ Lalalabambi

“YTA, saying nothing does not mean you are neutral and also you did a great job at raising a daughter who dates bullies especially those that bullied her own brother.”

“At this point don’t even try to reconcile and to your wife tell her that she chose ‘close family friends’ over her own son and doesn’t have any right to mourn about it.”

“Please start acting like adults it really feels like both of you prefer to keep a clean nice image in front of society and social circles than have a healthy and loving relationship with your son.”

“I feel sorry for him for getting such an unfortunate and selfish ‘family’.” ~ Dodo_Moon

OP added some more context.

“Well this blew up and I can see where it’s going, I won’t argue with it but I want to clarify somethings a lot of people have been asking about.”

“A lot of people have questioned my wife and son’s relationship. I assure you they were very close, they spent a lot of time together and my wife genuinely looked forward to when they hung out.”

“In fact she’s the reason why I’m even posting, she has completely cut off contact with my daughter and Adam because at this point she only feels resentment towards them.”

“As I’ve mentioned in a reply, we misjudged the situation back then.”

“Regarding Adam’s younger brother, I did not say he made ‘a mistake’, I said he made ‘the mistake’- as in he acted like an idiot and got what he deserved initially.”

“I only intervened because my son escalated the situation to the point the school were getting involved.”

“I didn’t want my son to cut off his nose to spite his face, fortunately he was able to make it through without getting kicked out. And no he didn’t go after anyone that didn’t have a problem with him.”

“My daughter regrets how fragmented her relationship with my son has become, she only realized this however when she was deep into her relationship.”

“Someone asked regarding the influences in my son’s life, he made a group of friends that he constantly was getting into trouble with- fights and marijuana related specifically.”

“My wife’s father kind of took my son under his wing, teaching him how to fight and such.”

“They are close which is surprising given my FIL isn’t an easy man to get along with. When my FIL learned of the situation he ripped into us including my daughter.”

“With Adam’s parents, they just helped us during a difficult time in our lives, especially my wife. But our friendship has also been strained, I slowly distanced myself and my wife no longer talks to them point blank.”

“Me and my wife aren’t under the impression that we are somehow innocent in this, we understand we were wrong and made a misjudgment.”

“Finally, most importantly, rest assured my son is in a very good place right now, at least from the outside.”

“He’s grown into a very handsome young man, seems to have calmed down a great bit and seems to be in a very good place financially- better than any of us at the very least.”

Despite his clarifications, Reddit was pretty clear in their belief this family pushed this son to go no contact through their choices.

OP needs to stand with his son on this one.