Sometimes grandparents find it difficult when they have to step aside and let their own children be parents. While there are some really great grandparents out there who know how to respect their children as the heads of their own households, there are other grandparents who give the “grands” a bad name. Overbearing grandparents are definitely a thing and in this Reddit post we’ve found a family where boundaries are being crossed in all different directions, but it seems to start with the grandparents — and the dad’s unwillingness to stand up to his own parents.
The dad, Reddit user randomuser0372, took to the Am I The Asshole forum writing, “I’m at a crossroad right now.” Married to a woman he describes as having “very feminist values,” with whom he has a 13-year-old daughter, he explains he was raised by very traditional parents who are “extremely strict and can come off as cold but deep down they are loving, they don’t show it as much. They are the authoritarian type, just like when I was growing up but I learned to respect my parents even if I was unhappy with them, and I’m a stronger person for it.”
OK. He’s being pretty straightforward here and it continues when he mentions his parents’ feelings about his wife. “I know my parents don’t like my wife and they make it very clear. If she had her way she would cut them off from us and I know how unhappy they make her but they are my parents and I would never abandon them.”
This is where things get complicated. It seems the parents aren’t overly fond of the 13-year-old daughter, either (or at least don’t show it). “They aren’t cruel but they will put their foot down when my daughter acts up,” he says. “They don’t let her speak unless she is spoken to first. They often judge what my daughter wears and does.”
The OP has been inviting his parents to his house while his wife is at work. “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.”
Things hit the fan when the daughter recently told her mom that the grandparents had been visiting a few times a month. “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.”
“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.”
“My wife and daughter are sobbing and pissed at me and want me to abandon my parents, the people who gave me life and shaped me into the man I am today. AITA Reddit?”
Reddit commenter BirthdayCookie responded: “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. Pick who you want to be loyal to; your family or your parents. You can’t have both and your family is going to leave you if you keep trying.”
For his part, the OP later chimed back in — after reading the Reddit comments — saying: “I love my daughter and my wife more than anything and I know I have made some big mistakes. One of which was lying to my wife and not defending her or my daughter. Which going forward I will set boundaries with my parents. I don’t plan on cutting them off but nobody will be made to see them. I owe huge apologies to my wife and daughter.”
Let’s hope the OP sets those boundaries immediately, and prioritize the family that he has created with his wife and daughter.
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