Dad Refuses To Let Son See His Addict Mom For His Birthday Gift & Tells Her To Leave After She Shows Up — 'I Couldn't Bring Myself To Tell Him The Truth'

As a parent, you want to do what's best for your kid, but you also don't want to see them hurt.

Image of a dad hugging his son Andrew Lever / Shutterstock

Addiction is a terrible thing to struggle with. But it doesn’t just affect the person with the problem — its effects extend to their family and friends.

To have someone in your life dealing with addiction often means having to make tough choices, and one father took to Reddit’s subreddit r/AITA (Am I The A–-hole) forum to see if he made the right one.

A dad asked if he was in the wrong for refusing to let his intoxicated ex-wife see their son on his birthday.

The Reddit user recently celebrated his youngest son Kevin’s 9th birthday but didn’t know what to tell him when the boy kept asking if his mom, Sarah, would show up to wish him a happy birthday.


“Sarah and I have been divorced for 2 years now,” the man wrote. “I gained full custody of our 3 children (18, 15, and 9). Sarah has been fighting a battle with drugs for a while now.”

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During Kevin’s birthday celebration, the man got a call from his gatekeeper saying that there was “a crazy-looking woman shouting to let her in” at the building, and asking if he should call the cops. When the father went to check on the situation, he wasn’t surprised at what he found.

“I came down and saw what I expected, Sarah with her boyfriend asking to see Kevin,” he said. “But she was reeking of alcohol, she was dressed in what looked like pajamas, and just shouting at me to let her see Kevin.”


While the father wanted to let Kevin see his mom, the state she had shown up in made him “furious.” “I couldn’t risk her saying something that could hurt Kevin. I told her to leave because she was in violation of her court order. Thankfully, my gatekeeper could take care of the situation without escalating,” he wrote.

Unfortunately, Kevin seemed to have picked up on the situation. When his father got back, the child asked “if that was his mommy, and if she’d come to wish him happy birthday.” The father couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth and just told his son that his mom wasn’t feeling well.

RELATED: I Loved Heroin More Than I Loved My Kids

“The look of defeat in his eyes tore me a new one,” he lamented.


dad refused to let son see his mom and cant bring himself to tell him the truth about her addictionPhoto: Reddit

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Although the man’s two older children both validated his decision, he still wondered if he had made the right call. “My daughter says I did the right thing. My eldest son said that he would have called the cops on her just for daring to get so close,” he said. “But I don’t know, he wished to see his mom so badly, surely a glimpse wouldn’t have hurt. AITA?”


Comments on the post asserted that the mom had not been in a safe state to see her son.

The top comment on the post read: “Turning up drunk, screaming and shouting — I think you were just being a good father. Nine-year-olds should not be exposed to that.”

Others pointed out that the fact that the man’s two older children agreed with his choice was a good indication that he had done the right thing. One response said, “Your older kids get it. That should be confirmation enough. You're a good dad!”

dad refused to let son see his mom and cant bring himself to tell him the truth about her addictionPhoto: StockRocket / Getty Images via Canva


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Many people pointed out that if Kevin had seen his mom in such an unstable state, it could have gone horribly wrong. “Of course, NTA. Think of how traumatizing it would have been for him to see her in the state she was in,” one person said.

“You demonstrated protective parenting in that moment. Though I would encourage you (if you haven't already) to get your son linked to therapy. He's going to need help processing his life with a parent that struggles with addiction. If you don't, he's going to start drawing his own conclusions that will most likely include partially blaming you.”


Another person stated, "You did the right thing. Your son didn't need to see his mom like that. I hope that she can get clean and eventually be the mother your kids deserve. In the meantime, you need to help them the best you can to understand their Mom's limitations in age-appropriate ways.”

While this story was heartbreaking, thankfully these kids have a caring father looking out for them with their best interests in mind. In the words of one commenter, “Being a parent can mean making the hard choice for the right reason. You did right by your kid.”

RELATED: 11 Signs You Were Raised By A Bad Mother Or Father (And It's Affecting You Now)

Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.