This father supported his daughter when she said she enjoyed competing in pageants like her mom. But he would never allow something like an unhealthy diet to jeopardize her health!
A Competitive Pageant Girl
OP (Original Poster) and his wife, M, have been together for almost 17 years. He shared that in his wife’s younger years, she was an “extremely competitive pageant girl.”
Their den even had an entire wall dedicated to her trophies and awards, showing how dedicated she was.
Halting Her Dreams
Sadly, OP’s wife was diagnosed with fibromyalgia shortly after they got married. Because of her condition, M could no longer keep up with her exercise routine anymore.
So, after much thinking, she decided to give up the pageant lifestyle.
Of course, it was a heartrending decision for her. However, OP shared, “She was confident that she was ready to give it up.”
Shortly after, OP and M welcomed their daughter, C.
Passing on the Legacy
When C turned four, M started putting her in pageants. C seemed to enjoy it just as well as she was good at it.
Because OP made enough money to support his daughter’s hobby, they let her continue.
She’s a Success!
OP tried to attend every pageant he could. But he said everyone knew that M was the head and coach of their setup.
It’s been 10 years since C started joining pageants; she’s 14 now. OP shared, “She has accumulated dozens of prizes, including a couple of thousand dollars, to set her up for her future.”
Putting Pressure on Her
However, since C has gotten older, his wife became “more obsessive” with their daughter’s appearance. OP shared that she constantly made comments about C’s skin, hair, weight, and “anything else under the sun that isn’t ‘pageant ready.’”
He said that things have gotten so bad. There were even times when C needed to leave the dining table, crying.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
OP didn’t sit idly while all this was happening. He shared that he had tried to talk to C about it, but she would always say that it was okay and that she needed to take things seriously.
Ridiculous and Unhealthy Diet
However, the week before this story was posted, OP discovered that his wife had had C water fasting. She’d been keeping their daughter’s calorie count at 950 a day!
Upon hearing this, OP lost it. He said, “My daughter is only 14; there is no reason to put her body through so much stress.”
An Argument Ensued
This started an argument between OP and his wife. However, his wife tried to get C on her side.
OP shared, “C wouldn’t really say much, aside from that she likes doing pageants, and she doesn’t want us to fight. The look on her face really tore me to shreds, so I put my foot down.”
No More Pageants!
OP had had enough of his daughter suffering. So, he told M that C was no longer allowed to join pageants until she could manage herself and “not have some unattainable bar set above her.”
He added, “I also told my wife that she can’t live through C and that C is her own person and, on top of all that, a growing child who should be doing childlike things instead of dieting herself to no end.”
The last statement struck a nerve as it really upset his wife. M locked herself in their bedroom for the rest of the night.
Additionally, it’s been a few days since their argument, and M still hasn’t spoken to him.
How Does She Feel About Everything?
C still won’t say much about the issue. However, he believed that she wasn’t mad at him since, after the argument, she hugged him and told him that “it was okay.”
OP is adamant that C stopped jeopardizing her health; he believed she shouldn’t be forced to follow an “unhealthy diet regimen,” especially at the age of 14. However, at the same time, he was worried about the future.
He said, “I’m worried that I’m making a decision that might affect my daughter’s future and my relationship with M. I love her dearly, but my kid will always come first.”
The Community’s Suggestions
The community reassured OP that he did the right thing. In fact, people were appalled that his wife put their daughter through something like this.
One said, “Not the a**hole; 950 calories a day for a 14-year-old is outright child abuse. Active teen girls need about 2,200 calories per day when they are 12-13 years old, and that daily need rises to 2,400 calories from ages 14 through 24 years.” Another replied, “Children and teenagers are literally having to satisfy the regular activity needs while growing bones and muscles and nerves. The caloric requirement is pretty hefty, and not meeting it will cause damage to growth, not to mention mental health.”
You Need to Stop Your Wife
Many Redditors claimed that what OP’s wife did was inexcusable!
“I still think it is inexcusable behavior and that preventing it from going any further should be a hill to die on for OP. I’m basically saying OP’s wife needs some intense therapy if she’s going to ever get back to a decent relationship with OP and their daughter because right now, she is abusive and dangerously unable to see reality,” said one woman.
Another Redditor said, “Can’t agree strongly enough—family counseling, individual counseling for all involved. The mom has some mental health issues going on, and the daughter needs her own counseling to help her work through all of this without feeling like she needs to remain Switzerland in order to keep the peace between her parents. This pageant stuff is doing some damage on its own, but the issues between her parents due to it and the guilt or emotion involved for her is its own issue as well. OP could use individual counseling to help him navigate his own emotions, learn how to deal with his wife, and also learn how to healthily handle this with his daughter.”
What do you think OP should do? Any advice?
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This post first appeared as He Saw Red and Yelled at His Wife After He Discovered She Forced His 14-Year-Old Daughter to Water Fast for a Pageant. Now His Wife’s Giving Him the Silent Treatment! on Quote Ambition.