Members of a popular internet forum were upset after a mother explained how her children’s father has repeatedly made co-parenting as difficult as possible.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/KoolYoBoats (aka Original Poster or OP) detailed the numerous custody conflicts she had with her ex and explained, how a recently requested visit was extended sparked even more tension between the two.
Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] for telling my ex that his stepdaughters’ schedule isn’t important to me?” The post has received over 9,300 upvotes and 880 comments in the last 12 hours.
The original poster wrote that she has two boys, ages 10 and 11, and said she separated from her father seven years ago. He added that he remarried a woman who has two daughters of her own, and also said on the original poster that her ex made multiple attempts to gain full custody of their two children.
“He tried to claim that he was married, a ‘two-parent-sibling household’ meant that our boys were supposed to be with him mostly. “Both were rejected. He declined the offer to separate their names [and] it was very much a relationship destroyer.”
As they discussed their sons’ relationship with their stepmother and stepsisters, the original poster said the children’s paths rarely crossed, but added that her ex recently asked that the boys spend more time with his wife’s daughters spend – much to OP’s dismay.
“He’s asked me to give him extra days for this or that because then the girls will be there, or can I put them in some other extracurricular class [closer] to the ones they like because the girls are doing something in a different place and it would be easier for him,” the OP wrote.
“This time he and his wife are planning a two-week vacation,” OP continued. “He wants me to give up a week with our boys because ‘the girls can be there for two weeks and he wants a family vacation’.”
“I said no… and Ex approached the girls again,” OP added. “I’ve told him that the girls’ schedule with them isn’t important to me and he needs to stop trying to make it an issue for me. I told him he won’t get an extra week with the boys and he has to accept it.”
Despite the commonly used phrase that “50 percent of marriages end in divorce,” current divorce rates in the United States are about 2.3 percent per 1,000 people, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
However, declining divorce rates do not always correlate with an increase in two-parent households, and in 2020 data collected by Statista showed that millions of children in the US are living with a single, divorced parent.
And while many divorced parents are doing their best to achieve effective co-parenting, others are struggling tremendously.
Galbraith Family Law, a Canadian family law firm, reports that in the circumstances described on the original poster — timing — divorced parents often disagree on a handful of common issues, including vacations, parenting techniques, and the like.
The law firm claims that “kids need consistency in their lives,” and recommends that separated parents adhere to custody plans (court-ordered or not) and work together to provide the best experience for their children.
Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors pointed out a lack of cooperation from the co-parents, blaming the original poster’s ex squarely.
In the top comment of the post, which received more than 10,500 votes, Redditor u/BusyDadGaming summed up the awkward situation.
“Absolutely [not the a**hole]. You’re right. His family is his responsibility. He’s unreasonable,” they wrote. “And if he and [his wife] keep trying to start things with the boys, it has to be done in the opposite direction.”
“You can’t force kids to feel anything, let alone affection, for a family that they don’t see as their own,” they added.
Redditor u/tomtomclubthumb, whose comment received almost 3,000 upvotes, offered a similar answer.
“In a healthy co-parenting situation [the] parents would do [accomodations] to help each other and make everyone’s life easier,” they wrote. “He has prevented it from being sane and he is making unreasonable demands. He is also concerned with his own comfort rather than the wants and needs of his children.”
“The ex’s demands are so clearly aimed at making their life as a family less complicated,” added Redditor u/pinkheartnose, receiving almost 1,000 votes. “Nothing to do with the best interests of the boys.”
https://www.newsweek.com/mom-defended-telling-ex-she-doesnt-care-about-his-stepkids-schedule-1711097 Mom defends for telling ex she doesn’t care about his stepkids’ schedule