The internet has sided with a father who went to his ex-wife’s house to check on his daughter after receiving a concerning text message from her.
A father who uses the username u/aitadiag posed the question for readers of Reddit’s “AmITheA**hole” forum, “AITA For showing up to my exes house after our daughter sent me a concerning message?” Since published, the post has received 8,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments.
After divorcing when their daughter was two, the Redditor and his wife shared 50/50 custody. Since then, his ex remarried and they have children together. Her new husband has a 13-year-old son, the same age as the original poster’s (OP) daughter.
There have been over 630,000 divorces in the United States in 2020, according to the CDC.
OP had bought his daughter a phone so she can keep in touch with her parents. He explains that she texts him a lot, especially when she’s staying with her mom, to keep updated on her cats.
“I dropped her off at school on Monday, and her mom picked her up like usual. She texted me on and off through school, and once more when she was picked up, but I didnt hear from her again that day. It was strange, she always messages me before bed – but I brushed it off, she’s growing up. She’ll stop texting me goodnight one day,” he wrote.
The next day, he received no messages from his daughter. He texts his ex-wife for an explanation. After school was over, he received a text from her daughter reading “daddy help” and nothing more.
He tries calling and texting his ex which he got no response, so he heads over to her house. Wondering what was going on, her daughter rushes out along with her stepfather questioning why he was at their house knowing that it’s their week.
After an argument broke out between OP and the stepfather, OP came to realize they were on a “electronics detox” and no one could use their devices.
“My daughter got upset on Monday night and her stepbrother made fun of her, which continued through to the next day at school. She snuck onto her phone when she got home to text me, but got caught and had it locked away further,” he said.
When his ex returned home, she agreed with her new husband that he shouldn’t have come over despite receiving the odd text. OP explained how he owned the phone and his daughter should be able to contact him. He took his daughter home since she didn’t want to be there any longer.
He finished with, “Obviously they arent communicating because they’re still on detox, but my parents have since agreed with her, claiming that she’s the other parent and if anything happened to her I would of been told, I need to trust her judgement.”
The AITA followers were quick to defend the OP for his actions,
“NTA. You litterally received a text that says ‘daddy help’. Checking in person was exactly what a father is supposed to do in this situation imho,” u/Decent_Sky_9880 received the top comment with over 18,000 upvotes.
U/Sk111W wrote, “NTA The only acceptable reaction to receiving a ‘Daddy Help’ text out of the blue is to immediately drop what you’re doing to get to wherever she is, especially when you’ve tried to reach her other parent but got no response.”
“NTA. ‘Daddy help’ – they are lucky you didn’t call the police. They needed to give you a heads up that your daughter would be out of communication for a few days,” u/SatelliteBeach123 exclaimed. “When you’re used to hearing from her daily it would raise a major red flag if she suddenly stopped. That one text you did receive would have sent me flying to their house!”
“NTA – you didn’t overreact. They should have informed you of what they were doing with the ‘detox’, which, to me sound incredibly stupid. Especially for a 13 year old girl,” u/mizfit0416 said.