“AITA For Not Telling My Family That I Have A Child. Blames My Wife Because They Think That She Controls Me”

Source: Reddit

My wife (35F) and I (36M) live across the country from my family and we only visit for weddings, funerals and other big family-related events.

Both my wife and I are deaf. I’ve never been close with anyone in my family: my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, brother and father (single dad), because they never bothered to look past my disability. Growing up they only did the bare minimum: fed me, clothed me, made small talk but they never actually tried to get to know me or do anything beyond that. They didn’t even learn sign language for me. I can talk and read lips but I’m often left out of their conversations.

They never bothered to get to know my wife either. They think that we’re both stupid and incapable of anything just because we can’t hear. We’re in our 30s, and they still treat us like children. We hate it, especially my wife who has purposefully not visited them since 2017.

I have a successful career, and so does my wife, and we’ve been completely on our own since college. We have a healthy bank account, we travel a lot and we’re ready to buy a nice house but we’re waiting for the housing market to cool down. Despite all that, my family thinks that my wife’s family takes care of us, i.e. help out financially, manage our finances and walk us through everyday tasks like buying groceries or paying bills. They just won’t believe that we’re intelligent and perfectly capable people who have done well for ourselves all on our own.

My older brother is not deaf and he’s very close with my whole family. He doesn’t have his life together. He works odd jobs, he has unstable relationships and he regularly mooches off people. Yet my family still reveres him as a smart and capable person. He’s a narcissist who has always treated me poorly and my family enables his bad behavior. That’s another reason I keep them at arm’s length.

I hope I’ve given enough context. So now on to the issue: my wife and I have a 2-year-old daughter. When my wife was pregnant we decided that we didn’t want any of my family in our daughter’s life. It wouldn’t be healthy for her to be around people who constantly disrespect her parents. And if she turned out deaf (she didn’t), they wouldn’t treat her with respect either. No one in my family keeps in touch with me anyway so I didn’t see a reason to volunteer any information to them. So I never told them about my daughter. We keep her off social media and I visited them only once since she was born, but she stayed home with my wife.

My brother somehow found out about my daughter’s existence a few weeks ago. The whole family is very upset. They blamed my wife because they think that she controls me, which is not true at all. They accused me of denying my daughter a family that could’ve helped raise her in many different ways. They may have a point. I’m starting to wonder if my wife and I are selfish for keeping our daughter from a big family full of cousins her age because we have our own hang-ups about them.  

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