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Groom Refuses To Dance With Stepmom At His Wedding Even Though Her Son Died Of Cancer

A mother and son embrace at a wedding

Weddings can be a very emotional time.

Everyone has a request.

Everyone wants to be involved.

And the newlyweds may have to make some hard decisions, that will leave some people sad.

Case in point…

Redditor Brief-Dust-9917 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 telling my dad’s wife she’s not going to be getting a mother-son dance with me at my wedding?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My dad is married to Anne.”

“Anne hates my mom.”

“My siblings and I do not regard Anne as our parent because we were 11, 12 and 14 when we met her and when our dad married her.”

“Now, there’s some history to be explored before we get into the specific incident.”

“Dad used the time my siblings and I were with mom to build his relationship with Anne and eventually, her son.”

“They were practically engaged before we met her and we met her son at their engagement party.”

“They moved in the very next day and they were married two months later.”

“We were equal time spent with mom and dad.”

“But because of our ages and them being so new to us we did not get super close to Anne or her son in that time.”

“Anne’s son ended up diagnosed with a form of cancer that was more likely due to a longer term medical condition he was born with.”

“Anne was away a lot with her son to get him treatment and she was with him out of state in one of the big Children’s Hospitals where they specialize in cancers.”

“Mine and my siblings life carried on as normal for the most part.”

“When we were with mom life was totally normal.”

“Anne’s son died while we were on vacation with our mom.”

“We were 17, 15 and 14 at the time.”

“Anne was furious that mom took us.”

“She had wanted us to stay because her son had wanted more time with us but mom had already booked the vacation and we still wanted to go.”

“We were not close to Anne’s son and we didn’t have a familial bond with him.”

“Anne never got over it and was especially bitter because we were not closer to her after and because most of us chose mom’s house over dad’s for staying at when we finished high school and wanted to come home.”

“She was resentful that we weren’t rallying around her and letting her still feel like a parent.”

“Now I’m getting married.”

“Anne despises my mom more than ever and when she heard I was doing a mother-son dance at my wedding, she told me she wanted to do one too and deserved to do one if I was doing something with ‘that woman.'”

“I told her ‘that woman’ is my mom and I wanted to dance with her.”

“I told her we (dad’s wife and I) would not be dancing together.”

“She asked how I could say that to her when she lost her only biological child and we didn’t give her the chance to continue being a parent.”

“I told her it was not my job.”

“She said it was like she was a stranger, like we weren’t family.”

“I told her if she wanted us to be closer she should have made sure dad introduced us all before they were ready to get engaged.”

“But we never built up the relationship before they were married and we were all a little older when they did and not there all the time.”

“She told me I was breaking her heart saying no to her and how could I be so thoughtless after what she’s lost.”


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. It’s very sad that her son died.”

“It is no your job to replace him or to make her feel like a parent.”

“The way she speaks of your mom is incredibly disrespectful and certainly won’t make you feel closer to her.”

“You do not owe her a mother-son dance and she is being incredibly entitled to demand it.”

“She is also delusional if she thinks you have a close enough relationship to warrant it.”  ~ Ill-Conversation5210

“I too am sorry for her son.”

“Anne expected everything to just happen magically without putting in the work and it is mad it didn’t.”

“You were supposed to instantly bond with her child and her, to put her child over your mom and when he died be his replacement.”  ~National-Platypus144

“She seems to expect that the children would support her more and empathize with her?”

“Problem is, they did not ‘know’ her well enough to internalize her grief as their own?”

“They respected her pain – they did not share it.”

“And all this time, it has not occurred to her that people build relationships – a happy family is not a spontaneous organism.”

“Most of us work very hard to create that?”  ~ AndSoItGoes24

“Not only that, these children were supposed to recognize that she lost her child and that she wanted them to pretend to be her children.”

“What kid thinks like that?”

“‘Oh, she’s upset. I hardly know her but, I should now pretend she’s my mom so she’ll feel better. Sorry, mom.'”

“Delusions of grandeur and selfishness. NTA.”  ~ babcock27

“She hates the woman who has what she wanted/wants.”

“She resents the kids because they won’t give her what she wants.”

“Yet she won’t put in the effort or do anything about it because she feels entitled to simply getting it.”

“Losing a child is utterly tragic, but you don’t pick up a replacement just because you want to do things.”  ~ Hoplite68

“My wife once stated a truth that many people not in that position don’t see.”

“There is a difference between being a stepmother and being dad’s wife.”

“OP and his siblings were older when they met dad’s wife, and they were kept apart by the wife’s unfortunate circumstances, pouring all her attention and effort into trying to keep her son alive.”

“It was understandable for her to do that, and right or wrong, it affected dad’s children.”

“While OP would be NTA not giving Anne a mother-son dance, it might be healing if he would dance with her when the other guests are dancing.” ~ fredzout

“OP owes her nothing and she’s trifling for being disrespectful to his mom and expecting him to give her something like a mother son dance.”

“She demanded it.”

“She should be the one trying to heal and also that’s not something you do at a wedding for brownie points.”

“That’s something you put time and effort into when you’re not PR-ing as the stepmom in front of a crowd. NTA.”  ~ New_Cryptographer721

“I agree and would go as far as to say that OP shouldn’t invite her to his wedding – she sounds unstable and could possibly make a scene. NTA OP.”  ~ Tryugru

“I agree with the making a scene part.”

“She seems like the type to do so.”

“Also, if she hasn’t dealt with the grief of losing her son, seeing OP on his wedding day with his mom and not ever seeing her own son on his wedding day may cause her to spiral even further out of control.”

“OP really needs to have an honest discussion with his father about his father’s wife’s behavior and OP’s wedding. NTA, OP.”  ~ whenwillitallend

“NTA. While it’s heartbreaking what happened to her son, as above you’re no replacement.”

“And poisoning you on your own mother doesn’t really help her case.”

“I think she needs professional help.”

“I’d worry about your wedding security in case she tries to pull off something or make a scene.”

“I’d go low contact after if she doesn’t get any help.”  ~ tango421

“Since most don’t hire security, maybe OP can corral his groomsmen to keep an eye on her.”

“And if one of said groomsmen is willing, maybe ‘he’ could dance with her during the mother/son dance and Stepmom can close her eyes and pretend it’s her own son she’s dancing with.”

“Less fraught with emotion that way.”

“This would be way to keep her busy/distracted and supervised during OP’s Mother/Son dance.”


“These things are your decision and you shouldn’t be guilted by anyone (including Redditors) to have a special dance with someone who you don’t feel those feelings for out of pity.”  ~ Blacksmithforge3241

“All of this.”

“NTA, it’s super warped anyway to have expectations of someone else’s kids to take the place of someone they lost just so they could feel like a Mom.”

“I feel for her, but it seems like she needs therapy and not a dance.”  ~ Cassubeans

“NTA-OP. I would have added when you talked to Anne that if she really wanted to have a better relationship with her stepkids, than she needs to treat your mother better and stop all negative comments.”

“Most of the things you mentioned to her are things that happened in the past that she can’t change.”

“Treating your mom respectfully is something she can do NOW.”

“This will put the ball in her court to change her behavior.”

“Plus she won’t be able to complain about how you aren’t treating her ‘right’ if she chooses not to behave better.”  ~ Legitimate-Potato998

Well OP, Reddit is with you.

It’s your wedding, you day.

It’s a sad situation.

Hopefully everyone can come around before it’s too late.

Happy Wedding.