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Lost in Translation: Woman Refuses to Learn Sign Language for Stepdaughter, Relationship Suffers

Getting into a relationship with someone with children from a previous relationship or marriage can be tricky. You often have to take it slow, and it’s sometimes a give/take situation.

You want to connect with the child(ren) and ensure them that you are a person who cares about them and wants to get to know them. But, in some cases, getting to know and caring for them is harder. Recently on Reddit, a man posted how his girlfriend refused to learn sign language for his daughter. She REFUSED to learn the way she communicated. 

The original poster (OP) began by saying he has a daughter who was born mute and can understand words, but the family uses sign language to communicate with her. He then says that while she can use her phone and write to communicate, she prefers signing over all forms of communication. 

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Learning Sign Language

OP says he has been dating his current girlfriend for 9 months, and as of 3 months ago, they introduced each other to their kids and their kids to each other. OP said that neither his girlfriend nor her daughter knows sign language, so communicating with his daughter was initially awkward as she does not like to write or use her phone at home. 

To help the situation out a bit, OP taught both his girlfriend and her daughter some basic signs and has tried to continue teaching both. He said his girlfriend’s daughter has become quite proficient at it, but his girlfriend has decided it’s too hard to learn and refuses to try anymore. 

OP’s girlfriend feels it’s unnecessary since OP’s daughter can understand her and communicate in other ways. He then says his daughter is willing to use other forms of communication with OP’s girlfriend, but he knows she finds it frustrating and doesn’t enjoy it. OP feels that if his daughter is willing to use a form of communication that isn’t her favorite, then his girlfriend should be willing to keep at least trying to learn sign language. 

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The Fight

OP’s girlfriend’s unwillingness to try and learn sign language caused the two to get into a fight. OP’s girlfriend called him an a**hole and said it’s not her fault she’s struggling to learn sign language, so OP said that doesn’t mean she should give up. He added that if she wants to be in his and his daughter’s life, it’s the minimum effort to put in.

OP feels she is just being selfish and unfair about it. OP says he does love his girlfriend and feels that maybe he is being overprotective of his daughter, but he also feels that her learning some communication skills for his daughter is a reasonable request.

The Masses Weigh In

Redditors gave their opinion on this sign language situation.

One Redditor said, “NTA. This should be a dealbreaker for you.”

A second Redditor said, “Learning a language is very hard, especially as an adult. Most people wouldn’t be willing to do so. If this is a dealbreaker, that’s alright, but I don’t think the very new GF deserves to be attacked.”

A third Redditor said, “It sounded from the OP that she’s refusing to keep learning. That’s the AH part for me. Her not being fluent yet is completely fine. Her not trying is a huge red flag.”

Another user commented, “NTA and the relationship should probably end, tbh. If she’s not willing to learn sign for your daughter, it means she has no plans of being a big part of her life. Let’s say y’all get married one day… she’s going to just not communicate with your daughter directly? Is she okay with that? You’re okay with that? What happens if someone isn’t there to translate? What happens if there’s an emergency and it’s just her and your daughter there, and your daughter is trying to explain what she’s feeling through a sign before passing out?”

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Another Redditor said, “Your girlfriend being unwilling to make a minimal effort to communicate with your child in a way that the child is most comfortable with is a bit of an A move, but so is expecting your girlfriend of 9 months to learn an entire language to communicate with a child they aren’t parenting.”

Redditors were quick to take sides and were supportive of the OP, letting him know that he is doing nothing wrong and that this was a big red flag. What is your opinion? Should the girlfriend continue trying to learn sign language?

This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Neon Moon.

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