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Dad Refuses To Introduce Wife’s Daughter From Previous Relationship As ‘Family Friend’ To Kids

Couple arguing
Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images

Let’s be honest.  There are lots of lies we tell children.

Sometimes it’s for their entertainment… you know, Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy.

On occasion, we lie because it helps us out a little (thank you, Elf on the Shelf and “it’s too spicy”), and other times we fib a bit to protect children from either hurt feelings or because the rational explanation doesn’t quite do it for them.

But where does one draw the line when keeping information from children by way of a blatant lie?

A man on Reddit refuses to lie to his children about the identity of his wife’s estranged daughter despite her request, so he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to seek feedback from fellow Redditors.

Redditor renstimpy86 asked:

“AITA for not wanting my wife’s daughter to be introduced as a family friend?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“A few years ago, my wife and I got a letter from a woman claiming to be my wife’s daughter, Laurel, who wanted to meet with her.”

That was no big surprise.

“She’d told me that she’d given up a child for adoption when she was young, so I was expecting that this might happen.”

But the next part shook OP.

“What I didn’t expect was that the truth was there was never any adoption.”

“She just left the baby with the father and bailed.”

And evidently it wasn’t the first time Laurel reached out.

“The worst thing about this is that when Laurel was 12, she wrote my wife begging for help.”

“Her response was to write her the nastiest reply imaginable (I’ve since had a chance to read it) that basically blamed her for her problems and threatened her against contacting her again and ‘ruining her family'”

OP was in disbelief.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

“Not only has she been lying this whole time, but she actively had contact and chose to abandon her a second time while we were married.”

“This has all been an emotional dumpster fire, but that’s an issue of its own.”

But they’ve been slowly working through it.

“We’ve been in contact and building a relationship for the last few years.”

“So much therapy.”

“So far, we’ve kept this all away from our kids.”

“At this point, it’s been a few years, and there’s interest in having everyone meet.”

They don’t all, however, want the children to know Laurel’s true relationship to the family.

“Thing is, between my wife and Laurel, they’ve come to an ‘agreement’ to tell the kids and everyone else in the family that Laurel is a family friend.”

And OP is not okay with it.

“Absolutely not. I’m sick of the lying.”

“What they call each other is their own deal and I don’t expect that to change, but I’m not lying anymore.”

“I don’t like lying to my kids as a policy, but lying to them about who’s related to them and who isn’t is dangerous.”

“I only want them meeting if we can tell them the truth.”

Now it’s putting a strain on all relationships.

“Now I’m getting into it with my wife, Laurel, and my parents (the only outside people who know).”

“They say I should go along with it not for my wife’s sake but for Laurel’s.”

“I understand why she would want that, but I don’t think I care anymore.”

“The kids need to know.”

OP has offered the following explanation for why he thinks he might be the a**hole:

“I want to go against my wife and her daughter’s wishes to tell my kids something neither of them are comfortable with that would alter both of their relationships with the kids forever.”

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 the OP was not the a**hole.


“The fallout from lying will be far worse than telling the truth upfront if she’s ever found out.”

“And you’ll be just as guilty as her in your kids’ eyes for lying by omission.”

“If she’s that ashamed then she shouldn’t be bringing Laurel round the family.” – RichSignal7022


“So your wife wants to continue this lie forever.”

“Your kids are going to find out eventually. It’s going to happen no matter how hard your wife protects her lie.”

“Just doing a dna test from Ancestry will uncover it. A relative who knows can slip up.”

“Does she want the kids to find out like that? They might hate her forever for it.”

“This lie is going to cause an avalanche of issues and your children deserve to know this person is their sister.”

“Their sister also deserves to know her siblings as siblings, not a generic friend.”

“Hasn’t your wife damaged her enough with the abandonment?”

“I can’t imagine being the daughter who was treated this way.”

“As for you, I don’t think I could stay with a person capable of this. She’s been lying to you and that’s not forgivable to me.”

“There is nothing to stop you from being honest with your own children.You don’t have to keep the secret. “

“What is your wife going to do…divorce you? She would be doing you a favor.”

“She isn’t a good person. She rejected her own daughter twice.”

“She had 30 years to correct this and she didn’t.”

“She wants to keep it going.” – tatersprout

“NTA, I would chew her her a** out for treating her own daughter this way.”

“If it were me, then she would 1. Apologize to the kid and beg her to forgive her for being this horrible 2. Acknowledge her as “our” daughter, much less hers 3. Give her a place to be a normal kid and do the best we can for her, and if she didn’t do all three, then I’d file for divorce and try my best to get full custody of the kids.”

“No one needs someone that toxic in their lives.”  TJ-Marian


“You shouldn’t have to lie to your kids because your wife can’t tell the truth about abandoning her daughter.” – RaineMist


“The only thing I think you should allow is a watering down of the exact circumstances this daughter was abandoned.”

“I think requiring her to stick to truth is a valid hill for you to die on.”

“It’s not just about what happened in the past. It’s also about your wife being able to demonstrate now that she can be a person you’re willing to stay with.”

“Perhaps the story should be limited to ‘here is my daughter, I had her when I was so young, naive, and not at all ready.'”

“If anyone presses her a bit, she could say ‘yeah, I failed her badly but we’re working on things now.'”

“But honestly, anyone (other than your kids) prying deeper is themselves being a nosy a**hole that needs to mind their business.” – pukui7

“NTA your youngest is 17? So all your kids are pretty much adults.”

“You have to tell them the truth, all of it. They deserve to know.”

“I also think the only reason Laurel is going along with it is that she’s so desperate for your wife’s approval that she’ll do anything she says.”

“That’s so manipulative of your wife who’s already proven she’s abusive towards her.”

“I would talk to Laurel alone. Tell her you are telling the kids the truth and assure her she is now a part of your family no matter what your wife thinks.”

“This is your kids’ half sibling they deserve to know that.” – Mommabroyles


“Wont your kids be so happy when they find out eventually!”

“Is she trying to sabotage other relationships because she’s having this relationship forced onto her?”

“I think no relationship is better than a false relationship.”

“Reality can suck but denying reality usually makes things worse (eventually).” – rlrlrlrlrlr


“You really want to stay with a woman like that?”

“It’s not too late you seem like a normal put together man that has morals I’m sure you’ll be okay.” – Alternative-Gur-6208


“I would actually think about leaving her.”

“I am surprised that the daughter still wanted to contact the ‘mother.'”

“She is one of the worst person I am glad I will never meet.” – tokingcircle

“lies lead to bad places.”

“I tend to agree with you. NTA” – corgihuntress

“NTA. Does she even has a little sympathy for the kid?”

“It seems like the wife just bailed out and never wanted the kid again in her life.”

“All those nasty words in the letter just show her real face, no remorse whatsoever.”

“After all those years it’s like now she remembered she has a child somewhere and still wants to cover it up.” – justanormalgal22

“You are a really awesome person, OP.”

“Lying is NEVER the right answer. NTA” – ike7177

“NTA- You should not support your wife’s lies.”

“You should not lie to your children.”

“If your family is not at a point where you can be honest with each other, then the meeting should not go head.” – Forced_Storm

According to his fellow Redditors, OP is right to stand firm on his position.

Hopefully, he and his wife can come to an agreement so the family can move on without having to carry any more lies.

Written by AB Keith

AB Keith is an educator turned roadtripper who is currently teaching virtually while touring the USA. Her dream is to visit all the national parks and create a series of nonfiction children's books about NP adventures through the eyes of her dog, Backpack Benny.