Internet commentators have taken issue with a divorced father who lost his 17-year-old daughter’s trust more than three years after she inadvertently groped the first time.
In a viral Reddit post posted to r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/boomerangkidaita (otherwise known as the original poster, or OP) detailed the custody arrangement that kept him from routinely seeing his daughter “Mary” and revealed how his opportunity for a change that dissipated in an instant.
Entitled, “[Am I the a**hole] for not letting my daughter live with me afterwards [my] ex kicked her out?” the post received nearly 5,500 upvotes and 1,500 comments in the past ten hours.
“My ex-wife and I divorced 3 years ago and have 3 children together,” OP began. “So it was a huge surprise when Mary read a statement at a custody hearing that she felt I was unfit as a parent.”
Continuing to explain that she went to live full time with her ex-wife, the original poster said that after the shocking statement, contact with her daughter became limited and their relationship was reduced to child support. for children and contributions to a university fund.
The original poster also said that, despite being heartbroken, he moved on — and with his girlfriend and three young children — and was as happy as he had been since the divorce.
Then her daughter resurfaced.
“A few weeks ago I received a surprise call,” OP wrote. “She said my ex had kicked her out of the house and she had nowhere to go. I immediately told her that I would help her in any way I could.
“We have agreed to let Mary stay with us for a few days while we sort things out…[but] Turns out Mary struggled with drugs and threw a big party at my ex’s house and trashed the place,” OP continued. “After another conversation with my [girlfriend]we decided we didn’t have the space to house Mary permanently.
“It broke my heart again but I had to tell Mary she couldn’t stay with us,” OP added. “She screamed and screamed and reminded me that I said I was going to help…but she and my ex refuse to talk to me.”
Divorce, while overwhelming for married couples, can be even more devastating for children.
About one in two children in the United States will see their parents separate, according to data published by Legal Jobs.
And with half of the country’s children living in single-parent or blended families, the likelihood of academic and behavioral problems is high, especially for children approaching middle and high school.
In fact, Very Well Family reports that divorced children are 8% less likely to graduate from high school and 16% more likely to experience myriad behavioral issues if their parents separate when they are between 7 and 14 years old.
The girl in the original poster was 14 when her parents divorced, which automatically put her at increased risk for misconduct later in her teens.
Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged the 17-year-old’s acknowledged wrongdoings, but called out the original poster for not intervening in a way that was beneficial to his teenage daughter.
“Your daughter is underage,” Redditor u/panic_bread wrote in the lead comment of the post, which received over 10,000 upvotes. “Your ex, who has full custody of her, can’t legally kick her out.
“But also, man, work on your relationship with your child,” they added.
Redditor u/azula1983, whose comment received more than 3,000 upvotes, offered a more pointed response.
“[You’re the a**hole]”, they wrote. “It was a little weed, better than you knew it was weed and you called it a drug problem.
“Also, when you refused to house her further / kicked her out, you had no idea her mother would bring her back,” they added.
In a separate comment, which received over 1,000 upvotes, Redditor u/greenseraphima questioned the original poster’s behavior towards his daughter and how it fits with his repeated insistence that he has heart. broken since their relationship was torn down.
“I sincerely think [you’re the a**hole]“, they wrote. “Throughout the message you are upset that Mary does not want to live with you and how much you have been hurt … now you have the opportunity to spend time with your daughter and to understand why she said those things.
“But instead of taking this opportunity, you kicked it out,” they added.
Newsweek contacted u/boomerangkidaita for comment.