Members of the popular internet forum backed one couple who refused to accept two additional children despite the loss of the family.

In a viral Reddit post posted on r / AmITheA ******, Redditor u / Flaky_Sink3268 (otherwise known as the original poster or OP) said her husband received custody of his half-siblings after his father died, but revealed why the couple were not interested in expanding their household.

Entitled, “[Am I the a******] for telling my husband’s aunt that I am not responsible for raising his half-siblings? ” Post as of November 3, it received nearly 11,500 votes in favor and 1,500 comments.

“My husband was informed three months ago that his separated father and his father’s wife had died in the accident,” OP began. “He has been listed as the person who will be the guardian of their two young children.”

Continuing to explain that her husband had never been informed of these custody arrangements, the OP said he did not want to become a guardian, forcing her aunt to accept her father’s children.

The OP also said her husband’s aunt was desperately trying to get the kids into a couple – but to no avail.

“She has reached out countless times to convince him to meet the children and start a relationship [to] see if he could build to want them, ”wrote OP. “He’s not interested in that.

“She told me they were as much my responsibility … as my husband,” OP continued. “I said [his] Auntie, I was not responsible for raising my children [and] that I will not raise them if my husband is not interested.

“I told her that if SHE didn’t want them, she should refuse, but shouldn’t try to force them home where they are unwanted and unloved,” OP added. “I told her it was tragic for the children, but they are not my children.”

Man shocked by the news of his father’s departure. Members of the r / AmITheA ****** forum on Reddit defended one man who refused to accept his half-siblings after their father died.
fizkes / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Despite some clues and the idealistic belief that the family is eternal, even the closest family relationships can deteriorate to the point beyond repair.

Alienation, defined by Psychology today because “when at least one family member begins to distance himself from another because of long-term negativity in their relationship,” it can have a devastating effect on families.

And according to Tina Gilbertsonpsychotherapist i Reconnecting with an adult child away from the world: practical tips and tools for relationship healingalienation is usually the result of repeated or prolonged interruptions in communication.

“It usually comes down to someone who doesn’t feel heard, understood, liked, loved or respected enough to overcome what would otherwise be considered a normal relationship hurdle,” Gilbertson said. Newsweek.

“People tend to feel embarrassed in a relationship for a long time before deciding to leave it,” added Gilbertson. “What might appear to be a sudden explosion probably had a long fuse.”

While siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and other family members can become confused, the erosion of the relationship between parents and adult children is often compounded and can lead to even greater vitriol.

“Parents may understand the need for intellectual independence, but wonder why it must mean a total cutoff,” Gilbertson said. “So they keep reaching out in different ways, making sure that the need for an adult child is not being met.

“One of the most unexpected and usually reckless actions that parents have taken is when an adult child shows up at home or work,” she added. “Catching a stranger by surprise is almost never a good tactic.”

For the OP’s husband, “carelessness” would be an understatement.

Instead of the separated parent, the OP’s husband was introduced to his half-siblings, whom he had never met and had no relationship with.

Throughout the comments section of a viral Reddit post, many Redditors were shocked at the fact that the couple was responsible for a couple of children, and defended OP and her husband for flatly refusing.

“Their dad went crazy naming your husband as a guardian in case something happened,” wrote Redditor u / CrystalQueen3000 in the first comment on a post that received nearly 13,000 votes.

“If you haven’t talked and haven’t talked in years, it follows that they won’t want to take in children they’ve never met,” they added.

Redditor u / thekelsey21, whose commentary received over 3,000 votes in favor, echoed this sentiment.

“It looks like Dad tried the good old emotional manipulation, hoping it would work,” they speculated.

“Or [it] sounds like other relatives have refused and may have suggested the OP’s husband, ”suggested Redditor u / fitey384. “This aunt must be acting like that.”

“It’s heartbreaking for kids, and yes, they’re innocent of it all,” said Redditor u / MillieHillie, receiving over 1,200 votes in favor. “But no one should be forced to accept children for which they are not responsible.”

Newsweek contacted zu / Flaky_Sink3268 for comment. We were unable to verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, please let us know at life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice and your story can be presented on Newsweek.

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