Establishing a relationship with a parent’s new spouse is a challenging one.
After initially having a positive view of her dad’s new wife, Redditor Wild_Dependent1579 – a 22-year-old woman – realized she no longer approves of her father’s new wife.
Over the years, a gradual change in the relationship led her father and his wife to live separately while remaining legally bound.
Despite their new living arrangement, there is one thing his wife remains adamant about.
The Original Poster (OP) strongly objects and visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:
“AITA for trying to stop my dad having a baby with his wife?”
The OP explained:
“My dad (52 M[ale]) and his wife (42 F[emale]) got married around 8 years ago. She was initially very charming and sweet, but behind closed doors she became very manipulative a few years into their marriage.”
“I (still in university) moved in with my dad and his wife when I was 19, and she made it clear she didn’t want me around. I also became increasingly concerned about the way she treated my dad, I witnessed constant gaslighting and I could see him beginning to doubt himself all the time.”
“They were also trying for a baby, and his wife had two miscarriages over this period of time. My dad let me know that he did not really want a baby, however, he wanted to make her happy. At that point, I did not have any problem with them having a child together.”
“However, there was constant tension in the house, and his wife eventually moved out into a flat nearby. She maintained to my dad that they were still in a relationship, and he remained loyal to her, however, she became unavailable to my dad and was constantly out at bars, being cagey with her phone around him etc.”
“Basically, it seemed to me that she was stringing him along while possibly seeing other people.”
“That was 14 months ago, and for the past 6 months or so she has refused to contact my dad in any way other than sending each other letters back and forth.”
“She has also since moved 7 hours away from us, and so her and my dad have not seen each other for around 6 months. About 9 months ago, my dad’s mum (my grandma) died, and she did not answer any of his calls during this time period, although she knew what was going on.”
“Recently, my dad has been really unhappy about how unavailable his wife is; he has been drinking much more, and seems really depressed. So the other day, when I found one of the letters from my dad’s wife to him, I read it (I know this was nosy and invasive, but I did it out of concern for my dad).”
“In the letter, she says that she has, as they have agreed (I didn’t know this), been going to an IVF clinic and was about to start the screening process. However, the clinic have told her they won’t go ahead with screening because her and my dad are no longer ‘together’.”
“She then says to my dad that they could get a solicitor to draft a parental agreement BUT she says this would cost them thousands of pounds, so she suggests that instead they both lie to the IVF clinic and say that they are together.”
“It seems to me as if she’s trying to dissuade my dad from a legal document which would protect him.”
“To an outsider, it seems very clear that she doesn’t want a relationship with my dad (refusing contact, moving 7 hours away, constant ultimatums and game-playing), but that she wants to have a baby with him because he will pay for the IVF and will have to pay child support (she does not work, he earns a good amount).”
“I would like to contact my dad’s wife (she hasn’t spoken to me since my grandma died), if only so she knows someone is onto her.”
“AITA for wanting to step in here?”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors weighed in with their thoughts that favored the OP.
“NTA – She is abusing your father. I would have a frank discussion with him about what, if any, benefits he gets out of the marriage.”
“He needs to get a legal separation at the minimum and a divorce, just to protect himself from whatever he is doing.” – dellaevaine
“NTA. She is horribly abusive. Show your dad this thread. She’s using and abusing him, he should be serving her divorce papers.”
“Having a kid at their age does mean by the time they graduate high school care for elderly parents would become a concern too.”
“And God forbid any child she has is born with a birth defect, but at 42 the odds are sadly against her and any potential child.” – Mera1506
“NTA for wanting to step in but I think there is a huge chance this will blow up in your face given her track record of manipulation that you’ve mentioned.”
“Is it possible to gently broach it with your dad? Either directly or indirectly?” – HumbleMagician
“NTA – hire a PI. Need pics to show her with other men. She’s probably living with another man.”
“Lying to that man and definitely lying to your Dad. She’s trying to extort money out of him. Get your Dad some help. He needs therapy to breakout of whatever delusions he is under.”
“Step Mama is diabolical. She doesn’t want a baby she wants money. She will convince him to deposit money in her account so that she can pay for ‘treatment’. Have your Dad insist that the IVF has to be done in his city. Non negotiable.” – Head_Act_7727
“NTA for worrying about your dad being used and even abused. But tread carefully or you could stir up drama. Don’t contact this wife but rather sit down with your dad, admit and apologize for snooping and gently express that you are worried about this proposed arrangement.”
“He didn’t want a child but she wants him to lie, go into this with no legal protection for either party so he can pay for the treatments then have to pay child support and she might deny him custody etc. and remind him that she moved out, moved away etc.”
“she basically divorced him without doing it legally (does she have access to his bank accounts, is he paying her rent etc)”
“But know that in the end he still might do it and unless you’re planning to try to get him declared mentally unfit to handle his own affairs you can’t stop him.” – Techsupportvictim
The OP confirmed the wife was living off of the OP’s father’s joint bank account and was unemployed.
Many of the comments in the thread suggested for the OP to avoid contacting the wife altogether and instead reach out to the father and provide him with resources to help him get out of the abusive relationship.