Families come in all shapes, sizes, and situations, but just like any other relationship we have in our lives, there are some families that simply don’t work.
And there’s always someone who’s going to get more burdened with that truth than others, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Positive-Elk-8110 noticed that the relationship between his new wife and stepdaughters was strained with his biological daughter.
But when they went so far as to tamper with her ability to go on their family trip, the Original Poster (OP) began to realize just how deep the rift went.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for canceling the entire vacation when I found out that my stepdaughters deliberately hid my daughter’s passport to get her to stay home?”
The OP’s stepdaughters took advantage of his daughter for cheap babysitting.
“I’ve been married to my wife Beth for five years. I have a biological daughter named Jessica (she’s 18).”
“And I also have two stepdaughters named Monica and Leah. They’re 25 and 28. Both are single moms and live with us currently.”
“There have been issues about my stepdaughters asking my daughter to babysit the kids. Jessica didn’t have a problem with it at first, since this is what she does to earn money, but since her stepsisters don’t pay her much, she’d just refuse to babysit.”
“We worked this out by having my wife take care of paying for the babysitting.”
The stepsisters were interested in Jessica babysitting instead of going on their trip.
“I planned a family vacation for three days and everyone wanted to go.”
“However, both Monica and Leah suggested that Jessica stay home and watch the kids since Beth doesn’t want her grandkids to come.”
“They said it’s because the kids are used to Jessica and hiring another babysitter would cause issues, and also said that Jessica isn’t too ‘fond’ of our destination.”
“But it was obvious that Jessica wanted to go. They insisted and Beth offered to pay her double and there was just… a lot of back and forth on this until I demanded they stop bringing it up.”
But then the women tampered with the family trip plans.
“We were supposed to go last week, but when everybody had bagged their bags and it was time to go, Jessica found out that she didn’t have her passport on her.”
“We searched her bag and then went home and searched there.”
“Beth and my stepdaughters kept insisting that we go back to the airport or else we’d miss our flight.”
“They insisted that Jessica stays at home with the kids. They even told the new babysitter to go home because she was no longer needed.”
“I refused to go and kept searching for the passport until Monica admitted that she helped Leah hide Jessica’s passport to get her to stay home with the kids.”
“I was livid. I tried to get her to tell me where it was. but she said Leah had it, and Leah denied it, so I threatened to cancel the vacation. That’s when they gave it back.”
The OP had had enough.
“I decided to actually cancel the vacation and blew up at both of them and berated them.”
“They stayed upstairs for a while and Beth refused to speak to me and said that I punished my stepdaughters for worrying about their kids and wanting them to stay with someone they know.”
“I got told I overreacted and ruined the trip for everybody.”
“I’m editing this to mention that kicking my stepdaughters out isn’t possible since my wife co-owns the house that we currently live in, and she won’t allow that.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were mortified and found this to be a modern ‘Cinderella’ story.
“He should divorce his wife. With how on board Beth was to leave his daughter home the second they ‘couldn’t find’ her passport, I don’t believe for a second that she wasn’t in on the plan to hide it.”
“I think it’s disgusting when parents prioritize their new spouse over their existing child, especially when that new spouse has shown their parenting role model is the evil stepmother from ‘Cinderella.'”
“OP is wrong to be with this woman and to let her and her daughters be around his daughter at all. I highly doubt this is the first time they’ve all openly treated his daughter like s**t, and if he’s a good father, this kind of behavior should be a dealbreaker.” – busangcf
“The wife obviously knew what the stepdaughters were up to, and her response proves it. Also… who tells the babysitter to go home? They were counting on OP being more concerned about going on the trip than finding his daughter’s passport.”
“The stepdaughters and wife are trying to treat OP’s daughter like a modern-day ‘Cinderella.’ I’m not saying that he should divorce his wife, but he should seriously reconsider if his marriage, in its current iteration, is a healthy situation to be in, for himself AND Jessica.” – Girlw_noname
“It was absolutely Beth, in my opinion. I just don’t get why OP punished his daughter, too, by canceling the whole trip. He should’ve left the evil stepmother and her two daughters at home and taken Cinder… Er, I mean Jessica, on vacation.”
“Poor Jessica is being punished too now. I’d bet this is nowhere near the first time they’ve treated her like this.” – These-Buy-4898
“Jessica does not even have the benefit of being hired help; hired help still usually gets to quit. OP’s wife pays but doesn’t allow her stepdaughter to refuse to do the work, she uses earlier coerced work as justification for further forced work, and she is on board with making her stepdaughter stay home while the others go have a good time.”
“Cinderella’s father was dead; you’re not dead, OP, so do something to protect your daughter from your wife and stepdaughters who treat her like an indentured servant.” – calling_water
“I’d take the rosy glasses off and reflect on whether this person ever loved you or if you’re just a meal ticket. She, her two almost thirty-year-old daughters, and all of their kids live with you, along with your own barely-adult daughter.”
“They expect free vacations, but also will actively harm your daughter to force her to do their parenting. They’re literally treating her like Cinderella.”
“This isn’t a marriage, it’s indentured servitude. Get the f**k away from the whole rotten bunch of them and enjoy your time with your daughter before she spreads her wings and starts a life of her own. You can’t get this time with her back if they ruin the rest of it, so take them out of the equation.” – trashlikeyourdata
Others agreed and hoped the OP would reevaluate this relationship and family dynamic.
“NTA. To be honest, I would have kicked your wife and lazy no-good stepchildren out right then and there and ended the marriage.”
“If they were 12, I might understand this level of entitlement and immaturity. But in their late 20s?”
“And what the f**k is with your wife??? She should have roasted them for pulling this bulls**t.” – Interesting_Bug_8878
“The OP added, ‘Kicking my stepdaughters out isn’t possible since my wife co-owns the house that we currently live in.’ OP really needs to just move out, then. The house will sort itself out in a divorce, and everyone will likely be moving out.”
“This whole post talks about how Jessica is being taken advantage of, but OP fails to see that his wife and stepdaughters are massively taking advantage of OP, as well. Two women in their mid-20s who seem to feel entitled to do nothing more than make babies is not going to just end with the two small children that are currently in the picture.”
“OP’s going to be supporting them, and supporting them, and supporting them some more until there’s nothing left. The line should have been drawn long ago.”
“Pursuing a divorce is probably the only way to get OP’s wife to see that she’s not the only one who gets a vote on whether or not two baby-making moochers live under the same roof and get to treat other family members badly.”
“Also, isn’t stealing someone’s passport a federal crime? And withholding someone’s passport in order to press them into domestic servitude? Baby Mamas need to do some growing up. NTA.” – Thingamajiggles
“It doesn’t really matter in this case if she was involved because she got mad at OP instead of blowing up at her daughters.”
“His wife is insanity, and we know where her daughters get it from. OP, this is the time to draw the hard red line in the sand.” – LunaMunaLagoona
“Monica, Leah, and, most likely, Beth decided they would steal Beth’s passport so she would be forced to miss her vacation and babysit the children Beth didn’t want on the trip.”
“This isn’t a case of Monica and Leah loving their children too much, as Beth bizarrely claims. Instead, it is a case where OP’s daughter had her passport stolen so she would be forced to miss a ‘family vacation’ and take care of Beth’s grandchildren.”
“NTA.” – AbleRelationship6808
“Ask your daughter how your wife treats her when you’re not around.” – Shoddy_Budget_1533
“Cinderella didn’t have her dad to protect her from the evil stepmother and sisters treating her like garbage. I’m sure this was a slow boil situation OP, but now that you’ve seen clear as day how appropriate they think this behavior is you need to stand up for your daughter.”
“They could easily be treating her worse behind your back, and she’s taking it to avoid rocking the boat because she wants you to be happy.” – HammerheadEaglei-Thr
While the subReddit didn’t think the OP was wrong at all for canceling the trip, they were worried about what would happen to Jessica in the future if the OP did not do something to heal or end the current family relationship.
And they thoroughly encouraged him to book a new family vacation for just him and Jessica to enjoy.