'Apologize to your wife': Internet divided as father allows son to refer to his friend as 'daddy'

'Apologize to your wife': Internet divided as father allows son to refer to his friend as 'daddy'
The man claimed that his son Oliver used to call him and his best friend Matt 'dada' but only recently began calling them both 'daddy' (Tatiana Syrikova/Pexels and Reddit)

A father's revelation that he permits his toddler to refer to his best friend as his "daddy" without his wife's consent has caused controversy among netizens. The scenario was discussed by the Original Poster, aka u/imtrying mybest, in Reddit's well-liked "Am I The A**hole" topic, where it garnered more than 12,200 upvotes and 3,400 comments.

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In the Reddit post titled 'AITA for letting my son call my best friend Dad?', the 30-year-old father said that his relationship with his wife Sam, 29, has been "rocky" ever since the birth of his 2-year-old son Oliver. He eventually began to find comfort and sought the support of his best friend Matt in raising his son, and in the course of that, his son began referring to both of them as "daddy" without his wife Sam being aware of it.

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Reddit user wrote about the relationship with his wife after their child was born (Photo by Reddit)
The Reddit user also wrote about the relationship with his wife after their child was born (Reddit)

The father wrote in the post, "She got pregnant just a few months after we got married and things were fine up until Oliver's delivery. I assume it was postpartum depression. Sam never sought out a specific diagnosis, but after he was born it was like she just couldn't care less about our child."

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Even though neither of them had any clear plans to start a family, the father claimed that the worry was "worth it" to him. "Throughout Oliver's life, but especially that first year, I was essentially acting as a single parent," the post continued. "The only help I had (and I don't mean for that to sound diminishing because this man is a godsend) was my best friend, Matt (33M)," he added.

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The father stated that his wife showed "no interest" in nursing Oliver once he was born, contrary to the original plan. The pleasures of bonding with his baby were "sucked out" of him since he was the only one responsible for making Oliver's bottles and changing his diapers, he said, because the "energy" in the home was so "oppressive."

He subsequently claimed to have started taking Oliver to Matt's house rather than staying at the house he and Sam shared. "There have been exactly zero times in life where Matt hasn't shown up for me," the post read. "I've known him since I was 19 and can safely say that even after all that time. But this is the most wonderful thing he's given me. I could sleep soundly knowing my baby would be taken care of." The father claimed that Matt's home was a "place of refuge" and that he was an empathic ear who also looked after Oliver.

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The post read, "Things with my wife have kind of started to look up but recent events have sent us in a huge downwards spiral. Oliver was having some speech delays but he's been really picking things up as his third birthday nears."

The man claimed Oliver used to call him and Matt "dada" but only recently began calling them both "daddy." He claimed that he had no desire to correct Oliver, and Matt expressed his gratitude for "bestowing him with such a title."

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"Sam got to hear this recently when I was on facetime with Matt and she basically went ballistic. As much as I hate to admit it, I did say he was more of a parent than she had been which, while true, is hurtful. I need outside opinions on this," the father concluded the post. More than 3.5K people left comments on the post, some of whom supported the father for not correcting his son and others supported his wife Sam.

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"I had severe postpartum depression. It was the lowest I've ever felt in my entire life," one user on Sam's team wrote. "My ex-husband was not supportive, he didn't even catch it, my mother did. Even with medication, it took me a year to feel like any semblance of myself... the low blow you gave her of the insult physically pained me to read. YTA for that comment."

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"Hot take: A parent is a person who raises a child. Sperm donors, egg donors, and incubators are appreciated, but not parents," another user on the father's team commented. "If she wants credit where credit is due, she has to put in the effort. Not to say postpartum depression is not an issue, and I really hope they sought help."

"I was gonna say N A H till that last line. YTA dude. Especially realizing that your wife is likely dealing with PPD. In my whole social circle, we call Besties Auntie and Uncle, he should be Uncle Matt," another commented, clearly on Sam's team. "Apologize to your wife and try harder to get her into counseling, your comment probably f**ked up 2yrs of progression."

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Another user remarked on understanding both viewpoints after revealing their own experience with depression, "I think you are going to get lambasted for this one. I'm going with NTA for me, however. I have been hospitalized previously for depression and I think it's amazing my now wife stayed. S*** gets rough out there but everyone gets to be happy. That includes you."

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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