Bridget, a 30-year-old woman, found herself in a complex situation concerning her six-year-old son and his relationship with her ex and her new partner. The situation was tough because she came out as a lesbian after her divorce, which her ex did not approve of. Let’s take a look at how she navigated this minefield.
From Separation to Self-Discovery
Having been separated and divorced from her son’s father for four years, she came out as a lesbian one year into the separation.
Bridget’s Life Post-separation
She had been dating her partner for nearly two years, and they were planning to get married. They lived together and shared custody of Bridget’s son every other week.
A Unique Approach
Initially, Bridget and her partner had decided not to push her son into calling her partner “mom.” Instead, the boy had been addressing her by her first name.
Bridget’s Son Asks to Call Her Partner “Mommy”
However, a few days ago, something significant happened. Bridget’s son approached her partner and asked if he could call her “mommy.” Her partner responded with kindness, saying he could do so if it felt right and comfortable for him.
A Genuine Bond
This happened naturally, reflecting the genuine bond and affection that had grown between them. Bridget, his biological mom, wholeheartedly accepted this change. For her, it validated her partner’s role in their lives.
Bridget’s Ex-husband’s Conservative Views
However, complications arose when it came to Bridget’s ex-husband, the kid’s father. He held conservative and homophobic views, making it difficult for him to accept Bridget’s new relationship with another woman.
Bridget’s Son’s Special Needs Add to the Challenge
Their son’s autism added another layer of conflict to their relationship, as his father refused to acknowledge and adapt to his special needs.
Bridget’s Son’s Emotional Outburst
The issue came to a head when, during a meltdown, the boy told his dad that no one loved him except for his “two moms.”
His father tried to correct him, insisting that Bridget’s partner was not his mom. In response, the boy called his dad a liar and screamed that her partner was his mom as well.
Concerned, the ex-husband called Bridget to inquire about how long their son had been referring to her partner as “mom.” Bridget tried to explain that it was a recent, natural development, not something forced upon their son.
She emphasized her belief in allowing children to make their own choices and not imposing opinions or feelings on them. For her, guiding her son was more important than trying to control him. Unfortunately, her ex-husband held a different view.
Dad’s Point of View
He believed that as the boys father he should have a say in whether or not he calls someone else mom.
Bridget wanted to know why it was a problem and he explained it was because he doesn’t approve of her dating a woman. He told that if she was with a man he wouldn’t have a problem with their son calling him dad, because that’s a relationship he would agree with.
Guiding, Not Controlling
Bridget’s side was clear: she valued her son’s right to decide for himself and believed that forcing him to address her partner in a particular way would be wrong. She felt her job as a parent was to guide him, not to control him.
In contrast, her ex-husband’s stance was less about what was best for their son and more about his own discomfort and prejudice. He felt that, as the father, he should have a say in this matter, even if it went against their son’s wishes.
Parent of the Year?
She had to get an outsider’s opinion, so she asked Reddit, “Am I a jerk for not consulting with my son’s father on a decision that came naturally to my son?”
Many Expressed Their Disbelief and Disappointment
The Reddit community had plenty to say about Bridget’s situation. Many commenters quickly expressed their disbelief and disappointment in the father’s reaction.
“Parenting of the Year Obviously Not”
One user summed up the sentiment by saying, “An autistic 6yr says that, and instead of reinforcing that “I love you” your ex makes it a priority to correct him about this? Parenting of the year obviously not.”
The Two Mom Dilemma
This sentiment was built upon by another person, who added, “Young as he may be, your son is his own person, and him calling your partner mom wasn’t forced upon him. Instead of reassuring your son that his father, too, loves him, he’s more concerned about your son having two moms.”
Actions Have Consequences…
Another Redditor pointed out the potential consequences of the father’s actions, suggesting to Bridget, “Your ex is going to have a real hard time staying bonded with your son if he’s so narrow-minded.”
Another user supported this thought, “Your son is going to be very upset with your ex if he keeps this stuff up. Kids aren’t dumb, they can see the hate and stupidity.”
A Positive Take on the Situation
One commenter, in a similar situation as Bridget’s ex-husband, shared their positive perspective. They emphasized that the focus should always be on the children’s happiness and well-being, saying, “It isn’t about me or my ego.
It’s about my kids being happy. If a new step-parent contributes to their happiness, why would I be anything less than grateful about that?”
The consensus among Redditors was clear: Bridget was not in the wrong for how she handled her son’s decision to call her new partner “mom.”
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