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Husband Wonders If He’s Wrong To Threaten Leaving His Wife After She Took Their Daughter’s Things

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Mom watches teen on phone angrily

A concerned husband and father took to Reddit yesterday, worrying that he had gone too far in an argument with his wife after she had taken their teenage daughter’s things and invaded her privacy.

Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole,” or “AITA,” is an online community for people to share nagging personal conflicts that they are worrying over and for the users of Reddit to offer up an outside, third-party perspective.

In the end, the commenters also vote on who in each situation they consider to be “the asshole.”

This time, a father asks “AITA” for threatening to leave his wife after she took their daughter’s things.

In a since-deleted Reddit post, this father explained that he and his wife have always tried to be on the same page with their parenting styles, and they agreed to be equally involved in raising and disciplining their children.

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Through the years, he explained, they both spent some time as stay-at-home parents, to make sure there was always someone around to take care of the kids.

He wrote, “We always agreed we were going to practice authoritative parenting and treat our kids with respect and kindness.”

So, the father’s expectation was that they would be leading their children more through example than through punishment, and, from the sound of it, that is exactly what they did for years.

Their kids are now teenagers, and there has been more and more conflict.

The father assured us in his post that, despite growing friction, he is very proud of who their two now-16-year-old children have grown to become.

However, he explained that his daughter in particular has been wanting more and more independence as of late and that his wife seems to have a hard time dealing with it.

The wife was no longer agreeing with the couple's decision to be “collaborative” instead of “extra strict.”

He shared a particular instance; when his daughter wanted to go to a party at her friend’s house, her mother took her phone when she got home and looked through it to make sure she hadn’t been lying about where she’d gone.

Although the father was appalled by the invasion of privacy, telling his wife as such, he thought it was a one-time disagreement after she told him that she wouldn’t do it again.

However, the stuff-snatching continued; less than a week later she took their daughter’s laptop as well and even threatened to take her door off the hinges “if she found out she was talking to boys.”

He was exasperated to hear this, especially because they had never forbade her from talking to boys.

Finally, it escalated into a blowout.

When his wife asked for his help to take their daughter’s door away, he took her aside, and “things got heated.”

He finally shared all of his frustrations with her, writing, “she was being extremely irrational and bullying our daughter and implementing insane standards they have never had to or should have to expect.”

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And finally, the moment came that he later worried over: He “threatened to leave her and take the kids if she didn't start reflecting on what she was doing and start respecting them as people again.”

After this, she burst into tears, calling him an a**hole, and went to stay at her sister’s.

Still reeling from the conflict, the father now turns to Reddit, trying to figure out if she’s right and he was the a**hole all along.

The verdict is: Not the A**hole.

While not all of the comments were in full agreement, most of the comments sided with the concerned father over his wife because they agreed that her parenting style has suddenly become harmful and unfair to the children.

However, while they mostly agreed that he was not the a**hole, that didn’t mean that they all necessarily believed that the mother was being the a**hole, either.

The top comment, while sympathetic to the husband, wondered if something more might be going on that the husband was not aware of, writing, “There is something going on with your wife, but you are right to protect your children from her newly punitive and capricious behavior.”

Another comment, meanwhile, wondered if his wife could possibly have some deep-rooted trauma only coming out now, alleging, “Seems like something rooted deeper in her own past experiences to make her do that. If she isn’t treating the son the same way then she is definitely the a**hole.”

Overall, many of the comments were especially worried about the sexist nature of the mother’s privacy invasions; it all seemed to be issues with their daughter. The husband assured, in his responses, that she hadn’t done anything out of line and that his wife admitted that as well.

But while some of the comments believed that the father was too harsh to threaten to leave her, many found it important that his daughter at least had one parent to defend her, even if he went overboard.

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment and news.