After any sort of separation, be it a completely amicable separation, a messy divorce, or a tragic form of loss, getting back out into the world of dating and finding new love can be tough. Add in dating as a parent, and it gets a whole lot trickier to navigate. This is why one man on Reddit said he felt blessed when he found his second wife after years of being a widower.
However, not everything was all Happily Ever After, as his new wife’s two daughters (ages 13 and 11), along with his wife’s ex, have continually harassed and bullied his own 12-year-old daughter. The stress brought on by the situation led the man to make a difficult decision and file for divorce. After being guilted by his second wife for leaving, the man took to Reddit to see if he was in the right for his decision.
“The girls dad hates my daughter and they (the girls) will spew that hate in our home, and will use it to bully my daughter. A grown ass man called my 10 year old a fat repulsive pig, a w*ore and the reason abortion was invented (to list only a few). The girls have called her dumb, they have mocked her for being shy and introverted,” he explained in a post on the Am I The A**hole subreddit.
“I made it clear that could not continue if we were to stay married and my wife was determined she would get them to stop. I got my daughter therapy and I did as much as I could to keep them separate. But even at night they started to taunt her. So I made the decision to move out with my daughter and I told my wife our marriage could not continue. She begged me to stay. She said she loves us and her girls need me. I said my daughter comes first.”
The man continued to explain that since filing for divorce, his wife and her family have been guilting him for the decision to protect his daughter. “My wife's family have been telling me how much my stepdaughters need me, how badly they need to see a healthy and good father figure in their lives, and that I will destroy them if I leave. How they're important and I need to prioritize them. I told them they are not more important than my daughter. Outrage ensued and I was asked how I could say that.”
The wife’s family continued to lambast him for what they viewed as dismissing two young girls. Fortunately, lots of folks on Reddit agreed with the dad’s decision to walk away in order to protect his daughter from further mental and emotional trauma.
“You did the right thing — the only harsh and cruel thing said in that conversation was them implying that you were somehow harming your stepdaughters by choosing to protect your own child from their bullying,” said one top comment. “The girls may indeed need a healthy father figure in their lives - but if you had stayed in that house and allowed their torment of your daughter to continue, then you no longer would have been the example they needed. I’m baffled by your in-laws’ insistence that you need to prioritize your wife’s daughters, but not your own - and it’s clearly not possible to prioritize all of them.”
Also, many noted that the fact that the dad removed his daughter from a harmful situation was actually a great example of a strong, healthy father figure in itself.
Some who had experienced harassment or abuse at the hands of a stepparent or sibling expressed that they wished their parent had the strength to walk away like this dad did. “I wish I had had a dad like that with my abusive stepmother and step siblings,” said one. “Your daughter has been through a lot already, she doesn’t need abuse from people who are supposed to love her and look out for her.”
Others just offered general support at what seems like an overall sh*tty situation due to a meddling and toxic ex. “You did everything right. I feel sorry for your wife but she has to deal with the toxicity coming from her ex first,” noted one commenter.