Man Tells New Wife Not To Discipline His Kids After 'Abusive' Punishment

Commenters were angry after a man revealed that his new wife disciplined his 9-year-old daughter behind his back in what many users called an "abusive punishment."

The anonymous man posting to Reddit's popular "Am I The A**hole" forum under the name u/callmedisgruntled received more than 10,300 upvotes and 1,885 comments in less than 13 hours. Many commenters thought the woman was out of line as a new stepparent and sparked a debate on co-parenting.

In the post titled "AITA for telling my wife she has no choice in the discipline of my children?" the man explained that he has two children from a previous marriage, a daughter, 9, and a son, 12.

The man said he and his ex-wife co-parent their children and that they have 50/50 custody. Although they broke up, he said they are incredible friends and that they live close to each other.

"My ex wife and I both agreed on the way we would raise and punish our children should they misbehave," the post read. "That way the structure stays consistent and we don't have one parent favoured over the other."

In the post, the man then explained that he has been dating a woman for the past seven years and that she is amazing with his children.

"Last December we got married and things were fine up until now," the post read. "Last week my daughter stole 2 pockets full of chocolate from a little corner store, where as my ex and I would have marched her into the store, return the chocolate to the owner and apologize, my new wife took my children home, sat my daughter at the table and forced her to eat the entire lot by herself, making her brother watch."

He said his wife made his daughter eat the chocolate even after she complained that she had an upset stomach. When he got home from work his son told him about the situation.

He told his wife that he and his ex have a system for disciplining their kids and that she does not have any choice in that. He also told her that if she needed to discipline the kids that she needed to go by their agreed methods.

"It keeps everything consistent and I didn't appreciate her making my daughter feel sick (she slept all night and skipped dinner because of her stomach)," the post read.

The man said his wife is "extremely upset" and that she told him that he can't "expect her to be married" to him and not have a say in how the children are raised.

"I again repeated that how they are raised is up to me and my ex and she should respect and follow those methods," the post read.

The wife, who has been giving him the silent treatment for a "few days," told him that she "couldn't stand the sight" of him and went to stay with her mom.

"Of course her mother is now calling me an AH and saying that I'm treating her as an unequal parental figure in the house," the post read.

She also said that her daughter should have a say in how the children are raised because she is their stepmom.

"I spoke to my ex about it and she agrees with my stance and thanked me for standing up for our choices and defending our agreement. AITA?" the post concluded.

Jenna Korf, a certified stepfamily coach and owner of StepmomHelp.com, told Parents Magazine that it can take four to seven years for a stepfamily to function as a family unit. Due to this, it is important for stepparents to tackle one issue at a time rather than trying to serve as an additional disciplinarian.

"Unfortunately, this sets the stepparent up for having an adversarial relationship with the kids," Korf said. "Until you and the kids are well bonded, they likely won't see you as an authority figure and will resist any disciplining you attempt. This can make life for a stepparent very difficult."

More than 1,800 users commented on the man's post, with the majority of them calling out the man's wife for her "abusive" punishment and for crossing a parental boundary.

"Generally, a new wife should have some part in raising the children, however what she did was not have 'some part,'" one user commented. "She completely hijacked the system you and your ex-wife already had in place and took complete control of it without any consultation with you first."

"NTA and your wife's discipline methods are abusive as hell," another user wrote.

"For 7 years your now wife understood how things worked and went along with it but now that she's married she thinks she has a say in the discipline of your children?" another user questioned. "It is super weird that she did that and her form of discipline is abusive and just appalling."

"Kudos to you for having a great co-parenting dynamic with your ex," another commenter wrote. "Your wife was borderline abusive. I honestly thought you were going to say she made her sit at the table and write 'I will not steal chocolate' 1000 times or something. What she did was horrific. This is the hill I would die on."

"It was 100% emotional and physical torment, should never have happened," the man replied in the comments.

Newsweek reached out to u/callmedisgruntled but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

Man told wife not to discipline children
A man went viral online after revealing he called out his new wife for disciplining his children without discussing it with him first. Many users commented that they believed the woman's punishment was "abusive." evgenyatamanenko/iStock