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Dad Refuses To Pay For Stepdaughter’s College Tuition After Years Of Mean Jokes About Him

Teenage girl in graduation cap and gown, holding a diploma
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/GettyImages

Everyone has a breaking point.

Push and push and push a person; eventually, they will push back.

And the result can have lasting consequences.

Case in point…

Redditor EnvironmentalPea5652 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for refusing to pay for my step-daughter’s college?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (48 M[ale]) step-daughter Hannah (18 F[emale]) is going to attend college.”

“I have known her for around 4 years since I married her mother.”

“Though the issue is that we’ve never gotten along well.”

“I have tried, but she always says that she doesn’t like me and wants her ‘real’ Dad.”

“When I try to tell her stuff or scold her for behaving out of order, she’d say ‘You are not my father, you’re just some stranger.'”

“My wife Emily asked her to behave properly as well, but she doesn’t care to listen, and in the end, she stopped telling her as well.”

“I had to pick Hannah up at school once, and when a couple of people who did not know I was her step-dad asked her who I was, she said, ‘Oh, he’s a servant, actually’ in front of my face.”

“I was extremely mad at that, and it even resulted in a huge argument, although she played it off as a ‘joke.'”

“But this was the last straw, and that happened a good few months back.”

“After that, I have always treated her as if she’s invisible and barely had any interactions with her unless absolutely necessary.”

“Well, she talked to me presently and said she’s got to apply to college and wants me to pay her fees now.”

“I refused and asked her to ask her ‘real Dad’ (who refused to pay for it himself).”

“She began to protest and said I am affecting her education and that I cannot do that.”

“But I did not relent and said she’s not my business now.”

“My wife says refusing to pay is wrong and that I overreacted even though she’s not been nice to me.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. Tell her you can’t afford it on your servant’s wages.”

“Seriously, her two birth parents have had 18 years to save up for her college education.”

“You have had four years of putting up with her rudeness, with no backup or support from your wife, her mother, and she has the temerity to speak to you now that she wants your money.”

“Now she can have four years of missing out on her dream college and think over how treating someone as less than human isn’t a good life strategy.” ~ TemptingPenguin369

“I feel the ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ is kind of fitting in this case.”

“It’s plain stupidity to be rude for 4 years and then suddenly expect someone will happily throw money at you.” ~ Dangerous-WinterElf

“So very true. I’ve been a full-time single parent to my kids since they were 2.5 years old.”

“They’re almost 18 now.”

“We’re very close, and there has always been a lot of good-natured teasing and giving each other ridiculous nicknames.”

“We know what lines not to cross and what constitutes sensitive subjects, though, so as to never actually hurt the other person.”

“It’s just a fun, unique way we show that we care.”

“There is a huge difference between affectionate teasing and outright malice, though.”

“This kid sounds awful, and OP owes her nothing considering the abuse he’s tolerated from her. NTA.” ~ coffeethulhu42

“That’s because this sub is full of actual kids.”

“Who has no idea what it’s like to work and have to pay for everything?”

“Or how hard it is to raise kids.”

“And have absolutely no idea what it’s like to work hard and have to support someone who treats you like s**t.”

“Literally giving away hours of your life to pay for someone who thinks so little of you that her friends don’t even know you exist.”

“And then to turn around and expect that same person to spend his entire salary for 1-4 years (don’t know how much he makes) so that she can go to school for free.”

“And for her to feel entitled to OP’s money after the way she’s treated him.”

“Knowing that neither of her actual parents will help is astounding.”

“Like she could have done absolutely nothing and probably would have gone to college still.”

“Instead she took every opportunity to remind him how little he means to her, how little she thinks of him, and how he isn’t her parent and is little more than a stranger.”

“Then to ask for college tuition?”

“And act like OP is the bad guy because she is going to suffer a negative consequence for the first time?”

“Honestly, there should really be a somewhat enforced age restriction for a lot of subs.” ~ Sparky_Zell

“Yes, teenagers could be little sh*ts, but the way they grow up is called the consequences of their actions.”

“Granted, it is a BIG consequence (financially speaking).”

“I appreciate your gracious and thoughtful approach.”

“I just worry he’ll get a fake apology and crocodile tears.”

“Based on the portrait painted, she sounds like an entitled bully and a brat.”

“Anyone who has the brazen ba**s to call step-dad a ‘servant’ in front of her friends is an enabled ahole (keyword: enabled. No one bothered to correct her behavior for four years), and I personally do not negotiate with a**holes.”

“She needs a whole personality change.”

“It can happen, miracles do happen, but she is 18 and allowed to grow up like this… she needs more than a talk.”

“She needs therapy.”

“She likely will play ‘woe is me’ and make a campaign of demolishing StepDad’s reputation of “evil stepdad”, so watch out for that.” ~ SunnyRyter

“Exactly this, those are a mom and dad’s responsibility.”

“Not a Stepdad that is disliked and disrespected.”

“If mom and dad can’t afford the fees, then daughter needs to start looking at alternative financing, not run to the bank of step-dad (who probably can’t afford them on a servant’s salary if his ’employers’ can’t.”

“NTA – OP has a wife problem in that she has enabled her daughter for 4 years to abuse and belittle her husband, and is now trying to push him to finance her daughter’s educational needs.”

“He at the very least needs to seek out couple’s counseling, as this will continue and be a thorn in his life, otherwise.” ~ False-Importance-741

“That and combined with the play stupid games win stupid prizes by playing OP off as a servant.”

“The whole “’ can’t afford it on my servant’s wages’ above is the perfect stupid prize.”

“She wins at life.”

“Not the game she wanted, though. NTA.” ~ tango421

“NTA, but I hate reading these.”

“For the love of God people, do not marry people when the kids don’t like you or vice versa.”

“It’s going to be an absolute misery for all involved until it ends.” ~ No_Cress8843

“Also, don’t marry people if you haven’t met their kids.”

“He makes it seem like their first meeting was once he married her mom which raises a whole lot of other questions/issues.”

“The servant comment was uncalled for but I can’t really fault her for viewing him as a stranger because according to him, that is what he was… a random guy her mom brought home or was brought to the home of as her mom’s husband.”

“He doesn’t have to contribute to her fees or tuition but unless his wife and his finances are completely separate he is going to be impacted regardless except with considerably more resentment coming from his wife.” ~ papadoc19

“NTA – She’s going to refuse to accept you as her parent and degrade and disrespect you 24/7, including in front of other people.”

“Yet, she wants one of the biggest benefits of you technically being her parent.”

“She’s clearly being selfish and manipulative, and I’m not surprised her mother is defending her given how her daughter acts.”

“In the end, it’s your money, and you’re entitled to spend it however you please.”

“And I would also beg of you not to pay jack s**t regarding her college.”

“Like I said, she refuses to treat you like her parent but at the same time expects all the benefits of you being her parent. F**k that.” ~ SpicyQuesadilla123

“It looks like Hannah finally learned a good adult lesson about consequences.”

“At 18, she is not owed money by anyone and if you ruin a relationship then you risk not being helped in times of need.”

“It must have felt good to tell that brat she should fix her own education.”

“Where was your wife in the last 4 years and why is she not backing you up here?”

“Why did she not save money for her daughter’s future?”

“She has known for the last 18 years this was likely coming.”

“NTA and your wife and stepdaughter are AHs.” ~ simulacrum79

“NTA: She has 2 parents who should already have discussed this and had a plan set for this exact moment.”

“And even if you are the sole or main breadwinner, this is a conversation your wife should have had with you before her daughter asked you.” ~ thea**holethrowawa

“Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

“Why on earth should OP pay for her college when she can’t even treat him with minimal respect?!!! NTA.” ~ Gypsyheartwanderer

Well, OP, Reddit is with you here.

You’re entitled to your feelings.

She has spent years mistreating you.

Why would you want to help her?

It sounds like it may be time for a more serious sit-down with your wife.

Good luck.