Dad forces daughter to see "authoritarian" grandparents she hates behind wife's back
His daughter has hated her grandparents since she was little.
Trouble with the in-laws is a thing that plagues many couples, made even more complex when grandkids come along.
Most people (we hope) manage to put whatever conflict they have to the side so that children can enjoy a healthy, loving relationship with their grandparents.
But what happens when that relationship isn't so loving – to the point where a kid actually hates their own grandparents and gets upset at the thought of having to see them?
In a post to Reddit's Am I the A**hole forum, one man (OP) described how his 13-year-old daughter cannot stand his parents because of how they treat her.
He wrote his parents are "very traditional," "extremely strict" and can "come off as cold," as well as being "the authoritarian type." Great, sounds exactly like the qualities people hope for in the grandparents of their children.
Not to worry though, because OP assures they are loving, deep down. They just don't show it much.
"My daughter has made it clear from the time she was little that she hates my parents," OP said. "She would cry and refuse to get in the car to go see them so I would have them over.
"They aren't cruel but they will put their foot down when my daughter acts up. They don't let her speak unless she is spoken to first. They often judge what my daughter wears and does."
They aren't cruel but they don't let her speak when she wants to and judge her in her own home? No wonder she's not jumping up and down at the thought of seeing them.
"I know my daughter doesn't like it but I want her to at least be able to see her grandparents and I hope she will be glad she did," he said. Somehow, we have our doubts.
To make matters worse, OP knows his parents don't like his wife, who has "very feminist values," because they "make it very clear."
There seems to be no love lost though, as he suspects his wife would be happy if they never had anything to do with them ever again. So naturally, when he forced his daughter to see his parents by inviting them over, his wife wasn't around.
He scheduled the visits for when she was at work so that she wouldn't "speak up about them like she has in the past." We're taking that as code for won't put up with any bull against herself or her child in her own home, but maybe it's open for interpretation?
"Yesterday my daughter revealed to my wife that for the past few years I have been having my parents over a few times a month," OP continued. "My wife originally thought I was having them over only once a month and wasn't making our daughter have anything to do with them.
"My wife is pissed that I have been lying to her which I understand."
"But now she is saying to completely cut contact with my parents and never bring them around again. Despite their flaws, I deeply respect and love my parents."
Fair enough if you still love and respect the people who raised you, but why force your daughter to continue seeing the people who've disrespected her and made her feel not so great about herself since she was little? Worse still, why make her keep something you were subjecting her to – that she hated – a secret from her mother?
If you want a relationship with your parents, that's your choice – your children's decision should be their own to make.
And eh, it seems this daughter has made hers already. "My daughter chimed in, sobbing and saying that I should put my parents in a nursing home and leave them to die and when they die she will stomp and dance on their grave." Yikes.
OP sought advice from other Reddit users on whether or not he was in the wrong and what he should do. He was met with plenty of criticism from people deeming him "the a**hole" of the situation.
BirthdayCookie wrote: "So your parents are abusive, they hate your wife, your daughter hates them because they don't treat her with any respect...And your response is to declare loyalty to your parents and sneakily force your daughter to see them behind your wife's back? For years? Yeah. YTA."
"Visit them by yourself op but leave your wife and daughter out of it. They don't like your parents and you will lose any relationship with your daughter if you don't respect her feelings," added Slow_Owl.
Ellistrae wrote: "I feel like him saying strict traditional values actually means. Thinks women are only meant to be incubators and are lower than men... YTA op. If your child is scared to the point of crying because your sexist abusive parents hurt her to the point that a 13 year old would say what she did."
"For god's sake, his parents are not letting the daughter speak unless she is spoken to, AND HE THINKS THAT'S OKAY?!" user Piffli said. "And that's only one example, imagine what daughter had to endure during the years from them... I can't even imagine why OP's wife would want to stay with him while he willingly and happily lied to her for years and subjected their daughter to abuse."
OP then updated readers that their feedback has helped him see the error or his ways. While he won't be cutting contact with his parents anytime soon, he claimed he'll set boundaries with them and won't force anyone to see them anymore.
Oh, and that he owes his wife and daughter major apologies.