Mom Wanting to Read Ex's Letter to Daughter He Abandoned Splits Views

A mom concerned about her ex-husband writing a letter to their teenage daughter has divided opinions on Mumsnet.

In a post to the parenting site's infamous AIBU (Am I Being Unreasonable?) forum, user AJ65 explained that she split from her ex 15 months ago.

Since the marriage disintegrated, he has made no effort to maintain a relationship with their teenage daughter, practically abandoning her.

Concerned woman reading a letter
A file photo of a concerned woman reading a letter at the kitchen table. The poster is concerned by her ex-husband's "strange" request. fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"He hasn't even texted her since November," she wrote. "He didn't send anything for her 16th birthday [and] sent her some cash via my account for Christmas."

However, he wants to write his daughter a letter for her 17th birthday—but only if the poster won't read it.

"He expects her to share whatever he writes with me, that's why he's asking that I refuse if offered," she said.

"Am I being unreasonable to tell him to f*** off!"

Mumsnet users were split on the dilemma. Some called her ex's request "strange" and a "red flag," while others felt the note was none of the poster's business.

'She Should Let Her Daughter Know How She Feels'

Marni Goldman, a life coach and the author of True to Myself, said that parental abandonment can leave a wound that never heals.

"As mama bears, we will do anything to protect our children from any harm (emotional or physical)," she told Newsweek.

"I understand the poster not wanting her daughter to be any more disappointed. However, at 17 years old, it's her call whether to read the letter or not."

Mother having serious conversation with teenage daughter
A file photo of a mother having a serious conversation with her teenage daughter. The poster discussed the situation with her daughter, who is "jokingly" mad at her. Ryan McVay/iStock/Getty Images Plus

In situations such as these, Goldman recommends sharing your concerns with your child and allowing them to do the same.

"She should let her daughter know how she feels, listen to where she's coming from, and have honest, healthy communication," she said.

"If she intervenes, it could possibly cause reprehensible damage. The relationship between father and daughter has to be its own entity."

'I Would Be Suspicious'

AJ65's post divided opinions on the AIBU forum. Grimchmas called her ex-husband's demand "a bouquet of red flags."

"That sounds manipulative of him and what a strange request," agreed yummumto3girls.

"I can understand why you would be upset and would be suspicious of what he would be trying to hide."

Fraaahnces commented: "What an utter psychopath! He ACTUALLY believes he has the power to make you promise that?"

SnarkyBag said: "Sounds like he just wants to f*** with your head."

SandyY2K advised: "Quite frankly, I'd either ignore him altogether or tell him if your daughter wishes to share the contents with you, you won't refuse."

Teenage girl crying on her bed
A file photo of a teenage girl crying on her bed after reading a letter. Mumsnet users told the poster that the letter's contents are "none of her business." AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Others felt that the poster should agree, with stripedsox writing: "It's none of your business."

"Do you routinely open her post?" asked MrsTerryPratchett.

"If someone sends your DD a card or letter due to her age then it is up to her if she wants to show you and share what is in it," said Reugny.

"It's up to your daughter, you don't own her privacy," wrote WandaWonder.

In an update, the poster said she'd replied to her ex-husband.

"I told him it was up to him what he wanted to share with her, and up to her to share what she wants with me," she added.

"I told my daughter about this exchange and now she's (only jokingly) mad at me because she wants to know what he was going to write."

Newsweek wasn't able to verify the details of the case.

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