Intent is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention these days.
Why we do something is sometimes more important than the thing that we did.
Sure, we talk about motive when discussing broken rules or broken promises, but the subject never seems to come up in relation to joy.
So, would the reason for someone’s behavior change the consequence of that behavior?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) blackcompucase when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“WIBTA if I didn’t let my husband attend the baby shower or birth of our child?”
OP began with the background.
“My husband (29yo) and I (28yo) have a daughter (3yo), he was happy when I told him she was a girl.”
“We’re having another and when I had my ultrasound, I was told it was another girl, again my husband was Happy.”
Then she got to the problem at hand.
“Turns out I was told wrong, and it’s actually a boy we’re having, ny my husband freaked out in excitement.”
“His reaction to us having a boy was nothing like his either of his reactions to having a girl.”
“He was actually jumping around and yelling, he immediately called all his friends and family, he kept hugging and swinging our daughter around telling her she’s getting a brother.”
“I confronted him about not being this excited about having girls, and he said ’cause I wanted a boy.'”
“I got so p*ssed off, I don’t want him at the baby shower (I guess it’s not really a baby shower as we’re not asking for anything, but still) or the birth.”
“He thought I was kidding at first, but once he realized I serious got really upset and started an argument over it.”
OP was left to wonder,
“WIBTA if I didn’t let him attend the baby shower or birth?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some felt OP was going too far.
“Excluding him from those events isn’t going to change anything, other than deteriorating your marriage.”
“He’s still going to be the dad to both of these kids, regardless of how excluded he is.”
“I think you need to communicate with him and tell him why you’re upset, tell him about your fears (presumably that he’ll favor the son etc) and work through it together.” ~ stellabluebear
“Honestly, to exclude him from birth is just so extreme.”
“I feel for the husband and the level of mental abuse he must take for this to be so easily considered.”
“Guarantee she dishes out ultimatums all the time.” ~ karmagettie
“Yeah, super toxic that OP would immediately think about weaponizing the child like that by stopping her husband from attending something as big as the birth of their child.”
“I hope this relationships works out cause those kids are never going to see their dad if there’s a divorce.” ~ mrtrollmaster
There were also personal stories.
“I cried when I found out I was having a girl.”
“I have a shit relationship with my mom and was so scared she wouldn’t love me that I wanted a boy.”
“My daughter is the best human I’ve ever met and I wouldn’t trade her for anything but in the moment, I was upset.”
“By the time I had my son, I wanted another girl.”
“Just because he’s really excited for a boy doesn’t mean he has a problem with girls. If he’s a good dad and husband then you need to let this go.” ~ safarimotormotelinn
“My brother was the opposite! We have a shit relationship with our father (a generational history of the fathers of our family being shit) so he wanted a girl.”
“He was raised by strong women and knew he would be able to raise a strong woman, he was scared about being able to help raise a good man.”
“My nephew is almost 3 and my brother loves him.”
“Sometimes it’s hard cause he knows the only example his son has of a good man is himself.”
“They’re probably done with kids but if they do have another I know he’d love either or, but I think he’d hope for a girl lol.” ~ Few_Yak_5834
“I wanted one of each gender and my wife wanted at least one of each gender but for practical reasons we’re probably stopping at 2 total.”
“We were happy for our first baby no matter the gender but we were disappointed that our second was the same (2 boys).”
“We didn’t make a big fuss about it though and we try our best to treat the kids equally. A lot of couples we talk to want one of each as well.”
“OP is TA for punishing husband for it.” ~ tungsten_22
Not everyone saw this as a one-sided issue.
“The patriarchal societal expectations for having boys over girls is awful and damaging for everyone. I hope your husband doesn’t treat your daughter badly.”
“HOWEVER, you’re going wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy overboard with your reaction to his sh*tty reaction.”
“What you should be doing is sitting down with him and laying out expectations from him about how the two of you are going to raise both kids fairly and equitably.” ~ Spank_Cakes
“He should not have shown this disparity of reaction to your daughter. She’s young, but she’s still old enough to pick up on biases.”
“You need to decide how you wanna move forward with this relationship.”
“Yeah his difference in reaction was shitty, but do you want to tank the entire relationship & marriage as a result?”
“Because excluding him from the birth is the kind of thing that creates a permanent rift in a relationship – you don’t get to take that back or walk back from it.”
“Drawing these boundaries then expecting the relationship to just function normally isn’t reasonable.” ~ thirdtryisthecharm
Some agreed with OP’s proposed actions.
“Miss me with the gender discrimination.”
“Are you prepared for your son to become the golden child and your daughter 2nd class?”
“Both of them are gonna be screwed up if you don’t take this seriously.”
“Your daughter might only be 3, but she’s already learning that her dad doesn’t like her as much as an unborn boy.”
“I wouldn’t be able to come back from this.” ~ faenerysdorkborn
“Ew these comments are weird and disgusting, some lady even admitted to being upset about it having daughters because she wanted boys for her husband.”
“Idk this is very weird and sick. NTA I feel you might want too rethink not letting him at the birth etc but I completely understand why you feel the way you do!” ~ TheAngelzHaveReddIT
“For real. I worry for this kid— sounds like there are gonna be a lot of expectations put on him to be into ‘boy’ things and his dad will be disappointed if he doesn’t, say, want to play baseball.”
“Not to mention if he turns out to be trans, ya never know! Gender has very little bearing on what a kid will turn out to be interested in, and obsessing over it is unlikely to end well.” ~ purgamentum_exit
Though not everyone even saw what OP’s husband did wrong.
“So what if he is anxious for a boy. Plenty of parents, especially the wife, are desperate to have a girl. As long as he is a good parent to both and treats them fairly, then it should not be a problem.”
“You’ve got some serious ovaries on you to think it’s okay to exclude him from the birth.” ~ FSF_VVG
“Regardless of gender, he was happy to have a boy or a girl.”
“It’s not a slight to you and it doesn’t mean he prefers males over females in his gene pool. But to have a son to carry on his last name can be a big deal for men. Don’t punish him for that.” ~ Saraqael_Rising
“What’s wrong with wanting a boy?”
“I really, really, REALLY wanted a girl and not a boy.”
“I would’ve been ok/happy either way (long fertility journey, miscarriages, ivf, the works, so yeah I would’ve been happy with whatever I got) but I was THRILLED when it was a girl!!!!”
“I don’t see the problem with wanting what you want.”
“Unless you are South/East Asian where female children have been historically unwanted, demeaned, discriminated against and even killed.”
“(But I think that has changed a lot with my generation compared to what it was in the past… everyone in my South Asian family & friends want girls now!)”
“Girls give you a lower risk of autism, especially since people are having kids later in life nowadays.”
“I’m old and that was a concern. But it sounds like your husband didn’t misbehave and act like an ass when he thought it was a girl.”
“He was just happier with a boy because he wanted a boy more. I don’t see the problem, and you are being very mean to him IMO.”
“YTA.” ~ terracef
Of course, we can’t ever be sure of someone else’s intentions.
The commenters above range from confused to concerned to condemning – for both sides of the argument.
We can’t know the secrets in someone else’s mind, but communication is always better than silence.