Raising teenagers is hard enough without the added stress of balancing delicate family dynamics. Just ask this frustrated Reddit user, who took to the famed /AmITheAsshole Subreddit for some insight into a tense situation involving his ex-wife, their 12-year-old daughter, and his new fiancée.
User @Ok_Masterpiece5138 is a 36-year-old man divorced from his ex-wife, whom he refers to as “Sarah.” They have two kids together, a boy and a girl. Post-divorce, they’ve landed on a 50/50 custody arrangement and “always [do] our best to be good co-parents for our kids.”
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@Ok_Masterpiece5138 is now engaged to his long-term partner, “Emily,” whom his kids adore. “And she absolutely loves them,” he explained. “Sarah and Emily get along pretty well, there has never really been any tension or anything when they are around each other.”
Since everybody is normally capable of being friendly, @Ok_Masterpiece5138 invited Sarah to a recent family party he and Emily were throwing at their house. That was where the trouble began.
“At one point [during the party], Emily was across the room from me, and I saw my daughter go up to her and whisper something in her ear,” the Redditor recounted. “Emily just nodded and led my daughter out of the room. They came back later and that was that. After the party, privately, Emily told me that my daughter had gotten her period for the first time right then. Of course, Sarah and I had already explained everything to her about [how periods work], so she wasn’t freaked out or anything, but she had just asked Emily to come help her take care of everything since it was her first time.“
Sounds like some healthy, compassionate parenting, right? @Ok_Masterpiece5138 certainly thought so — that is, until Sarah heard about what had happened. “She was so offended that our daughter had gone to Emily instead of her,” he explained. “Emily told me (privately) that my daughter said that she went to Emily instead of her mom because she knew that Emily would keep it private and not draw everyone’s attention at the party. My daughter said that she couldn’t be sure that her mom would do the same.”
It’s a valid concern considering many mothers feel the need to proclaim when their daughters “become women” after getting their period for the first time. @Ok_Masterpiece5138 even admitted that his ex-wife “doesn’t always handle things in the best way, and I could totally see her not just quietly slipping out of the room.”
“I told Sarah that I’m sorry that she’s upset, but that Emily was the one my daughter chose to go to, and that Sarah should be happy that there are two women around to support my daughter,” he added. “Was I in the wrong? AITA?”
As many Redditors opined, there are no real assholes in this situation, just a trio of adults trying to do right by a teen they love. And @Ok_Masterpiece5138 certainly isn’t in the wrong.
“NTA,” one Reddit user commented. “I really feel for your daughter. I, like many, had one of those crazy moms who wants to announce to the world when their daughter gets her first period. I would have gone to Emily, too.”
Many commenters were also quick to point out that this occurred at Emily’s house. Logically, it makes sense that the daughter went to her first — she’s the one who would know where the period products are located!
Was Sarah’s reaction overblown? Sure, but that doesn’t make her an asshole, another commenter chimed in: “Your ex is probably feeling hurt that your daughter didn’t go to her and feels like she missed out on a bonding moment. That is understandable and sucks, so I don’t think she is [the asshole] for being hurt, as long as she isn’t taking that hurt out on you, your fiancée, or your daughter.”
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