Not everyone has perfect family relationships, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved. Threatening divorce over a petty issue like exchanging pictures is not only unreasonable, but it could also be a sign of deeper problems in the relationship.
An internet user recently asked, Am I a jerk for forbidding my sister to meet my child and telling my wife to not interfere in the situation? We want you to intervene in the matter.
So OP (28M) has been married to his wife for 4 years, and they have a 2-year-old son together.
OP’s older sister Ariel has 2 kids with her husband. She is his only sibling but they do not speak and haven’t since his wedding 4 years ago.
OP’s wife knew he had no relationship with his sister or mother whenever they got together but now it’s causing an argument.
OP’s Family’s Past
They were a pretty typical family until OP’s mom cheated in his senior year of high school with a coworker.
OP’s dad moved out immediately, and he moved with him. This caused a rift between OP and his sister. His sister believed since his mom was sorry and it was a one-time thing (as she claimed which OP doesn’t for a second believe) and was trying to reconcile through the church that OP and his dad’s refusal to speak with her was somehow wrong.
What Does OP Say?
OP says, “I was 18, and my sister was 20. Long story, but eventually, my sister stopped speaking with my dad. I haven’t seen my mom since 2016, and we have only spoken once since 2019 when she tried to invite herself to my wedding.
She was not invited, but my sister was out of courtesy. My sister didn’t show up, and we have not spoken since. My wife knew when she married me that my only family was my dad and my cousins. She said it was okay, and she didn’t care.”
What Happened A Few Months Ago?
So a few months ago, OP’s wife got a call from his sister’s husband (he’d never met him) and he said that he wanted to start mending the bridge and would like to have OP come to meet their kids. OP said no.
Well then OP’s sister started sending pics of her kids to OP’s wife and his wife sent pictures back.
OP says, “I told her multiple times I did not like this, and she told me she could send pics to whoever she wants. I said that if she keeps testing my boundaries she will be a single parent really soon. That she signed up for me as is.”
What Did The Wife Say
OP’s wife is saying it’s wrong to deprive his son of his family. OP said he doesn’t even have a relationship with his sister or BIL so why should his kid? That doesn’t make him feel comfortable at all and he doesn’t even know these people.
Also, any pic OP’s wife sends could easily be forwarded to his mom and OP thinks she needed to think about that.
What Happened Next
OP’s wife said she doesn’t even understand why his mom can’t meet their kid, and that comment alone frustrated him because he’d explained his family drama for years, and it feels like she just ignored it.
What Does OP’s Dad Say
OP said she really needs to think about who she wants to appease because he’s not gonna stand for disrespect of his boundaries.
OP’s dad agrees with him and is telling him he should start setting aside money now for an exit strategy. Because OP thinks his wife’s behavior is precisely how his mom used to act and he should see the warning signs now.
“Am I a jerk?” Asks OP.
Dad’s Advice Sounds Like The Only Solution
“This was all clearly defined at the beginning of your relationship. Why does she even care? Follow your dad’s advice.”
You Need Therapy
“You need to seek out therapy for your parents’ divorce, and couples counseling for you and your wife.
My utterly uneducated opinion is that it seems like your father weaponized your emotions against your mother – and he’s using those same emotions to drive a wedge between you and your wife. She crossed a line but your father should stay out of it. You’re now issuing relationship-ending ultimatums ~~over a couple of pictures~~. She’s not blameless either, you guys need to seek some help to process this.
Going NC with your mother over her infidelity seems way too harsh. But again, therapy.”
You Are The Real Problem
“Everyone is awful here, but you are the most awful one. “If she keeps testing your boundaries, she’ll be a single woman soon”? Like what? You’re threatening your wife, the lady that carried and gave birth to your kid just a couple of years ago because you have mommy issues?
Your sister didn’t cheat on you too, get over it. She’s petty too. Your dad is a jerk for encouraging you to get divorced and making the comps to your mom when your wife did nothing but accept an olive branch.
You are wrong for depriving your kid of his family unless you think your mom’s cheating makes her unfit as a grandparent. I had a lot of similar trauma with my parents and serial cheating and divorce, etc., and you’ll be happier with yourself and life once you realized that people are nuanced and accept them for who they are, and not who you’d like them to be.
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