The relationship between stepchildren and stepparents is always a delicate one.
For children, no matter their age, seeing their parents remarry is often a reminder that their parent’s marriage didn’t work out… or of the loss of their parent.
In most cases, though, stepchildren eventually grow to love their stepparents as if they were their biological parents.
Such seemed to be the case for Redditor nuke_euler, who all but raised his wife’s three children from a previous marriage.
However, after his wife passed away, the original poster (OP)’s relationship with his stepchildren became a bit more fraught, particularly after he decided to sell his late wife’s home.
The repercussions even resulted in the OP excluding his stepchildren from his wedding, causing a further rift.
Wondering if he had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for disinviting my late wife’s children from my wedding?”
The OP explained how the sale of his late wife’s house managed to put an end to his relationship with his stepchildren.
“About a year ago, my wife (Anna, 60 F[emale]) of 25 years passed away, 8 months after being diagnosed with cancer.”
“Besides our 25-year-old son (Andrew), she also had 3 other children (Allison 42 F, Barbara 40 F, Caleb 39 M[ale]) from a prior marriage.”
“Their father was never really around, so I (52 M) have raised them as my own basically ever since I married their mom.”
“Anna’s cancer was very difficult for me financially, and I wound up having to downgrade my car to pay for medical bills, and make withdrawals from my 401k, and take on a lot of debt.”
“Shortly after Anna died, I met another woman, Beth (49 F), who I have since married.”
“Given that we’re living together in Beth’s house, selling Anna’s house made a lot of sense.”
“When we were packing up the house, I asked Anna’s kids if they wanted anything, and they said they didn’t.”
“I invested a large amount of money renovating the house and getting it ready to sell, and eventually found a house-flipping company that would take it on.”
“On the day of the closing, I was surprised to find out that Allison had sent an email to the lending company, telling them that she had been reading up on state law and that since Anna’s kids weren’t mine, they were entitled to the portion she would have gotten from the sale.”
“Turns out she was right.”
“I feel like Anna’s children deliberately chose to kneecap me, but they’re insistent that Allison didn’t know what was going on and was just asking questions.”
“I should have been able to take the money Anna and I had saved up and start a new life, but now I’m probably going to have to sell the new motorcycle I just bought and have long wanted, and I’m not going to be able to get myself out of debt.”
“This was supposed to be a fresh start for me, and now I’m stuck with the same old problems I’ve always had.”
“The day of the eventual closing, I was still extremely upset, so when I woke up for work, I texted Allison, Barbara, and Caleb and let them know that I’d also been doing my own reading about our state’s laws, and it turns out I’m not actually their father, and they should work on their relationship with the person who actually is.”
“I also told them they were no longer welcome at my wedding, which was the next weekend.”
“Upon finding out I had said that, Andrew was extremely upset with me.”
“We met for lunch the following day, and I asked him to be my Best Man, but he told me that unless I apologized to his siblings, he didn’t want to attend my wedding.”
“I was hoping he’d get over it, but he hasn’t talked to me since, saying that he’s too old to be a 25-year-old child of divorce and that he was offended that I got married the weekend after the anniversary of his mom’s funeral.”
“To me, that date isn’t particularly meaningful since the date that weighs on my heart is the one that she actually died.”
“Beth thinks I should just swallow my pride and apologize so that Andrew will talk to me again, but I can’t help but feel hard done by here.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously agreed that the OP was indeed the a**hole for excluding his children from his wedding.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s stepchildren were clearly entitled to a share of the profits from their mother’s house and felt the OP was being insensitive to their grief.
“First of all, there is a hiccup if anyone is caught regarding finding out the day of closing vs. still upset on the day of closing.”
“Secondly, you sound very selfish.”
“That is all.”
“So let’s get this straight.”
“These 3 adults have viewed you as a father for 25 years.”
“Their mom died about a year ago.”
“They discover that you were trying to screw them out of their rightful inheritance.”
“You replaced their mom pretty damn fast.”
“You’re more concerned about a motorcycle than your family.”
“Your own son is calling you out for being an AH.”
“You disinvite them from your wedding and basically disown them.”
“You are crowned The KING of AH.”
“I try not to judge, but how do you supposedly love someone for 25 years and end up in a relationship with someone else shortly after they die?”
“I think I’ve mourned my dog for longer than a lot of these people mourn their SO.”
“The fact that your bio son wants nothing to do with you due to your behavior tells you everything you want to know.”
“You went from having 4 children to no children at all.”
“Thank god you have a new wife to replace them.”- zaritza8789
“First, you totally ignored the fact that Anna’s kids would be entitled to an inheritance from their mother.”
“Second, you had a petulant toddler tantrum over having to sell your motorbike, which was an unwise purchase, because you had to know about #1.”
“Third, you retaliated against your stepchildren, for whom you were the sole father figure, by hurting their feelings and basically disowning them because they had the nerve to want the inheritance from their mother, to which they were clearly entitled.”
“I get that you went through a very difficult time, but so did your children–all of them.”
“It’s not just the OP show.”
“No wonder your bio son is angry.”- Specialist-Raise-949
“So let me see if I understand this.”
“You–perhaps inadvertently–were going to cheat your (step)kids out of their legally required inheritance.”
“They discovered this and started asking questions regarding what was legally owed to them.”
“Instead of being grateful that they caught this before you went any further with this and wound up owing them interest and penalties, you got mad at them and cut them off as your children, barely a year after they lost their mother.”
“YTA, and I suppose it’s good that your state made sure they were protected from a vindictive father figure like you.”
“All of this is made worse by the fact that you and your late wife had over two decades of irresponsibility in declining to figure out your finances and wills.”
“You had an obligation to all of your children to figure out the finances of a blended family, particularly since most jurisdictions treat biological children and stepchildren differently.”- DinaFelice
“Do you tried to steal your step children’s inheritance and then disinvited them from your wedding?”
“Yeah, you are a selfish and dishonest a**hole.”- AcceptableEcho0
“Are you kidding me?”
“You basically tried to disinherit your deceased wife’s kids and then want to know if you’re the AH for disinviting them to a wedding and telling the kids that you raised that you aren’t their ‘real father?'”
“But you’re the even bigger AH for trying to disinherit them.”
“Do you actually think that’s what your late wife would have wanted?”
“As a widower for the last 14 years, slow the f*ck down and work on healing.”
“That isn’t going to happen by rushing into a marriage, disowning your children (yes, they’re your kids, AH), or wasting money on a motorcycle while crying about debt.”
“You owe them an apology, and you owe it to yourself to pump the breaks on the absolute lunacy that has become your life.”- BADoVLAD
It’s a sad and unfair situation that the death of the OP’s wife ended up putting him in considerable debt.
However, it’s perplexing, to say the least, that he didn’t even consider that his late wife’s children were entitled to even a small share of the house sale.
Or that them figuring that out warranted their exclusion from his wedding.
One can only hope they’ll be able to patch things up.