The internet has strongly sided with a woman who said her partner asked her to reduce how much time she spends with her stepdaughter from a previous marriage.
The woman posted her story to Mumsnet’s AIBU (am I being unreasonable) forum page on May 1 and asked for some advice.
She entitled the post: “DH (dear husband) asking me to choose between him and my ‘step daughter’.”
She went on to explain that she is currently pregnant with her new partner’s baby but still regularly sees the daughter of her ex. She also highlighted that she had known the girl and raised her since she was just a year old.
“I met my ex when his DD (dear daughter) was 1, her mum was not in the picture. I helped raise her, and my family is pretty much hers too. My parents and siblings adore her,” the post said.
“When she was 7, my ex and I divorced. She stayed with me every other week. I met my DH, [we have] been together for 4 years and I am pregnant,” she said. “He suddenly changed and started telling me that my daughter stays with us too much. He wouldn’t mind once a month but not 2 weeks a month.”
“I really thought he got along with her very well,” the woman’s post continued. “Never saw them arguing. He said he won’t be around every time she comes and that our baby will pay the price. His mother agrees and says I must love my ex to care so much about her. AIBU to not want to choose?”
Multiple users wrote comments defending the mother and said she should not have to choose between her stepdaughter and her husband.
Some comments even argued she should consider leaving her partner and said this behavior was unacceptable.
Licensed therapist and author Terry Gaspard wrote about the difficulties of a second marriage in a Gottman Institute report.
She noted that according to census data, the divorce rate for second marriages in the United States is over 60 percent compared to around 50 percent for first marriages.
She highlighted one of the issues facing these couples is “blended families”. She said this can cause loyalty issues with stepchildren and rivalries between co-parents as well as other difficulties.
She concluded that a foundation of trust and intimacy is key to overcoming these problems.
Multiple people siding with the OP (original poster) on Mumsnet said this incident would make them feel differently towards the husband.
“So the girl is around 11, you’ve been raising her almost all her life and you’re the only mother she has,” poster WrongSideOfEverything wrote in support. “Your husband knew that but now turned around and he’s trying to get rid of her by emotionally blackmailing you? How despicable. I don’t know if I could ever respect him again.
Another poster, Notanotherwindow, echoed this comment and told the OP to prioritize the child.
“She is your daughter in every way that counts. You raised her, she doesn’t remember any other mum but you,” she wrote.
“This ‘choice’ shouldn’t even be given the briefest consideration. Your child comes first. He knew you had a child when he met you,” the response continued. “Are you going to even dignify this bull***t with an answer? Because I wouldn’t. He’d be history already. How dare he tell you that you can only see your daughter once a month. He’d be out on his f***ing arse and only see his baby once a month then see how he feels about it.”
Another concerned Mumsnet user questioned what kind of father the OP’s husband would be with their soon-to-be-born child.
“That is so cruel of your husband. It would really make me question what sort of father he was going to be that he could have that little empathy for a child. He is nasty,” User310 wrote.
“OP, this child will think of you as her mother, it would irreparable emotional trauma to her if you upped and left. I think you’re doing an amazing thing.”
Last month, users on Mumsnet weighed in on one mother’s decision to raise her baby as a vegan, with opinions split on the matter. Some posters responded by saying it was fine, while others said the child should be allowed to choose for themselves when they get older.
Other recent Mumsnet posts that have garnered a lot of attention recently include a woman who got her grandchildren’s names tattooed on her leg without asking for her daughter-in-law’s permission and a mom-to-be who threw an extravagant three-day baby shower, and expected all the guests to pay for it.