It’s always an adjustment for children when their parents remarry, and they get a new step-parent.
Those who are lucky get along with their new step-parents instantly, eventually growing to love them like their own.
In sadder cases though, some children simply never accept their stepparents as part of their family, no matter how hard they might try to create a happy relationship.
Redditor Clear_Sheepherder_63 made every effort to create a strong relationship with his stepdaughter.
Sadly, she flatly refused to ever be on good terms, with the original poster (OP), eventually deciding to cut him out of her life.
That is, until she became engaged, and hoped the OP might be involved in her wedding, which the OP firmly decided against.
Wondering if he was being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to spend my money on my stepdaughter’s wedding?”
The OP explained how he found himself surprised that his stepdaughter wanted him involved in her wedding owing to their fraught relationship.
“My wife passed away when my sons were 8 and 4 respectively.”
“Since then I remarried and my new wife and I have been married for some 11 years now.”
“She herself was married before and had a daughter of her own from her own past marriage.”
“Her ex-husband’s story is its own saga but suffice to say he’s alive but isn’t in their life anymore.”
“When we married, my bio-children were 13 and 9 and my step-daughter was 12.”
“For 11 years I tried to make some bridges, I would get her gifts and try to make sure she always got what she wanted.”
“I did everything I could to make her happy.”
“I would drive her to school, be at her extracurriculars, I paid for the nicest private schools for her I could.”
“Not to mention, I worked day and night so I could give her the lifestyle she deserved (my wife is a house-wife, a choice she made after she voluntarily quit her job in marketing).”
“I tried my best and treated her just like my sons, but she continued to hate me.”
“This came to a head specifically when my step-daughter graduated about 5 years ago.”
‘While my eldest son had invited my wife (his stepmom) to his graduation, my stepdaughter refused to invite me.”
“She had two tickets, but she only invited her mother (her grandparents refused as they live in my wife’s native country).”
“When I asked why? She said ‘You’re not my dad, you didn’t raise me, and I don’t want you in my life’.”
“I was heartbroken, I tried very hard for her to like me but she hated me.”
“Still I paid for her college (I paid for both of my son’s colleges as well).”
“Nevertheless, a few months back, she informed my wife that she will be getting married. “
“I only found out, when my wife told me.’
“What was even more devastating is that she said she would come home to celebrate, and I brought a cake, and balloons and so much more.”
“Then, last minute, she changed plans.”
“She just told my wife that she should come over to her apartment, without my sons and I.”
“I was shattered.”
“When I did eventually called to congratulate her, she just tried to end the conversation as quickly as she could.”
“The last thing I had asked was maybe the honor to have a father-daughter dance with her, which she had shot down.”
“I said nothing, but then came the bill and my wife said she needed some money for her wedding.”
“I considered it long and hard, but clearly as she didn’t consider me as her father, I said I would not be paying for her wedding.”
“I told my wife, that she had money saved up, it was her to choice to use that if she wanted, but I would not be paying for her wedding.”
“She was furious at me, she said she barely had any money saved up and I was being an awful person.”
“I have received calls from all of my wife’s family telling me that I should pay (mainly her immediate family, like my father-in-law and my brother-in-law).”
“The whole thing has become a mess, it has divided our family but I am still holding my ground.”
“I want to be clear, I will absolutely be paying for my son’s wedding when it comes.”
“I want to also clarify that this is going to be far from a minor financial inconvenience.”
“While, I am sufficiently wealthy, it is still not something that will not go easy on my bank-account.”
“My wife’s family is Indian.”
“Her ex-husband was Indian and my step-daughter is Indian.”
“Her wedding is going to have probably around 400-600 people.”
“My wife has been an amazing mother to both our boys and our girl.”
“She is loving and dotting wife, who runs a phenomenal house.”
“She tried to get her daughter close to me as well, to little consequence.”
“I also do not think that I could be where I am without her (and certainly before her, I was nowhere close to where I am in my success).”
“It is also true that my money has always been our-money, and she does most of the accounting for the house anyway.”
“If I do this, I would be doing this for her, not my daughter.”
“Moreover, if she really wanted to, she could do it without my approval.”
“More than half the money is in bank accounts with her name on them (long story, involving bad business decisions early in my life, which gave me bad credit).”
“If she wanted to, she could.”
“She never has, and I do not think she will.”
“If she does, that will be her choice, and even if she told me she was going to, I do not think I will stop her.”
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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for refusing to pay for his stepdaughter’s wedding.
Everyone agreed that since not only did the OP’s stepdaughter only send the OP the bill for the wedding through her mother, but since the OP likely wouldn’t even be invited to the wedding, then he shouldn’t contribute one cent.
“NTA, why on earth would you pay for this?”
“You probably aren’t even on the guest list.”
“She’s used to using your money.”
“That should have stopped longer ago, but now is as good a time as any.”- Dry-Spring5230
“Your step daughter said you are not her dad.”
“You are not obliged to pay for her wedding since you are not her dad, even though you tried and supported her.”
“Ask them to ask for money from her biological dad.”
“That’s the very least they can do.”
“At this age, her daughter will never accept you as a father figure, so you can accept that fact and act accordingly.”- sarpofun
“I noticed right off that step daughter did not contact you to ask you to pay for the wedding.”
“Frankly your wife holds a lot of responsibility as to why your stepdaughter does not respect you.”
“It would appear you’re paying for private school and paying for her college is not a good enough reason for your wife to have some very strong conversations with your daughter about respect and what family actually means.”- adventuresofViolet
“Your wife is being unreasonable. Her daughter shouldn’t expect it.”
“The fact that you paid for her college was more than enough.”- niennabobenna
The OP later returned with an update, sharing what he and his wife ultimately decided to do.
“After reading some of your comments, a lot of thinking, and a long conversation with my wife, my wife and I came to a decision.”
‘Firstly, my wife understands where I am coming from.”
“In the original conversation with my wife, I put my foot-down without properly explaining my reasoning behind that decision.”
“I was just angry, and I should have communicated better.”
“After explaining, however, my wife sympathized with me and said she doesn’t know what the right thing to do here is either, but she said she’ll do whatever I think is right.”
“After some talking and thinking, we came to the following conclusion.”
“For what it’s worth, we will give her $50,000.”
“This is more than plenty for a great wedding.”
“It’s less than a third of the $160,000 she wanted from us (and 1/4 of the estimated $200,000 her wedding was going to cost).”
“Not to mention, her fiancé’s dad is himself giving her around $50,000 (Between 40k-60k).”
“My wife also further informed our daughter that neither of us will be attending the wedding (this was a decision my wife made of her own volition).”
“After informing her on the call, she came to our home to pick-up the check.”
“We told her that this would be the last money we would be giving her.”
“She said that it was better we cut her out of our life anyway, as she didn’t want me to ruin her new life.”
“My wife and I were angry, but everyone held their tongue.”
“She left, and she will no longer be a part of our life.”
It’s sad to see how not only did the OP’s stepdaughter make zero effort to improve their relationship but seemed to actively try and create distance between them.
Even despite the OP making every effort to be as present a father to her as he possibly could.
Some would say that the $50,000 the OP and his wife gave her was far more than she deserved.