Blended families can be a beautiful arrangement, and there are tons of reasons why they come about.
But that unfortunately doesn’t mean that every new family will work, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor thatmomma79 was noticing a pattern with her future mother-in-law (FMIL), who regularly did not include her two daughters in their family gatherings.
But when her FMIL went so far as to lie her way out of including them, the Original Poster (OP) decided to walk away.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for going home right after I found out that my FMIL (future mother-in-law) lied about not bringing kids on this family trip?”
The OP was in a relationship with someone after becoming a widow.
“I (33 Female) am a mother of 2 girls (7 and 5). Their dad passed away from cancer and it was a very devastating loss for both his and my family.”
“I met my now fiance, ‘Jack’ (36 Male), 2 years ago. He’s very sweet and adores both my daughters equally.”
“However, his mom has a bit of a harsh view on single moms, especially with how low my income is compared to his (He’s a doctor).”
“I tried my best to have a good, respectful relationship with her and she has started to respond positively, though I noticed that she’d excluded my girls a number of times on a number of occasions.”
The OP was recently invited on an adults-only trip with Jack’s family.
“My FMIL informed us of a 3-day family trip that is dedicated for adults only.”
“She said it’s because it involved going to the bar and doing activities that aren’t child-friendly.”
“She told me I needed to leave my daughters with someone before Jack and I could come and I immediately had my sister come and stay with them at home.”
“The trip was supposed to be by plane a 3-hour flight. We were late, but Jack said he intended to arrive late, so we wouldn’t have to wait for long.”
But then the OP realized what had actually happened.
“I saw his mom and dad there. We talked as we waited for SIL and BIL.”
“I then saw them coming towards us with their 3 kids behind.”
“I was confused. I looked at FMIL and she avoided eye contact.”
“I immediately asked SIL why she brought her kids and whether she was aware that this wasn’t a child-friendly trip.”
“SIL and her husband looked confused and said there was no such thing, but I told them that what FMIL told me, and I didn’t bring my girls.”
“SIL didn’t say anything, but her husband told me that FMIL must’ve lied and told me this story to prevent me from bringing the girls (BIL adores my girls and he too sees how inappropriate FMIL is behaving).”
“SIL yelled at him, and I lashed out at both Jack and FMIL.”
“I called her horrible and then I walked off.”
“Jack told me to hold on for a minute, but I canceled my ticket and went home.”
This led to a huge argument between the couple.
“The family had to get on the plane and after Jack got home, we had a big fight.”
“He said no one enjoyed the trip because I caused everyone to fight by how I reacted.”
“I told him she excluded my daughters, but he said that his mom is entitled to her feelings and I shouldn’t expect to spring the girls on her all the time when she still doesn’t consider them as close as her other grandchildren.”
“He promised me all that is gonna change and I just have to give time and that I shouldn’t have walked off and canceled my ticket like 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 felt terrible for the OP and her children.
“My husband’s family was super accepting of my kids and mine was too! Neither side has ever excluded the other because they weren’t blood.”
“My dad has always said, ‘They’re your family which makes them mine,’ and my in-laws remember my kids’ birthdays more than their actual grandma (who I don’t really get along with but attempt to for the kids’ sake).”
“My husband would have been right behind me if something like that had happened and so would I! Run OP run as fast as you can for the sake of your girls!!”
“Definitely NTA!!” – Yup_yup-imhappy
“This IS a hill to die on, this is just setting up a lifetime of your daughter’s being excluded from family events. Leave that family, I would say keep contact with BIL since he actually cares about your kids but that might be a bad idea bc of SIL.” – GremlinComandr
“And the SIL got mad at her husband (whom I assume married into the family) for exposing the lie. This family is playing the ”if they’re not blood, they’re not family’ card and that is a hard stopping point to reevaluate the marriage.”
“NTA but I would ask your husband if he considers your kids his own because it sounds like he doesn’t” – opinionswelcomehere
“The kids in question just lost their dad!? Someone has to be really cold-hearted to exclude two grieving children and expect the mom to just accept the deception.” – michefin
“My daughter has 2 children from a previous marriage and her new MIL had a mother who tried this on her 2 new bio granddaughters. My daughter’s MIL put an immediate stop to it and said you have 4 granddaughters or you have none. We are good friends to this day because she stood up for all our granddaughters.” – JustUgg2323
Others were also suspicious that the future husband was in on the exclusion.
“I think he’s more than just complicit. He’s actively helping her get away with her behavior by arriving late with OP. He’s willingly helping her exclude his future stepkids from the family.”
“What does he think, that once they get married his mother will have a close, loving relationship with his stepkids? Marriage is not some magical thing that (instantly) makes people get along.”
“OP, you are NTA and I would highly recommend couples or individual counseling to solve these issues before you are married (and legally bound to a family who does this and a man who tolerates and assists this behavior).” – South-Common7832
“He totally knew. He’s also a complete idiot because, OF COURSE, OP is going to find out when she sees the other kids in attendance, so not only is he a lying AH but he’s also a stupid AH.” – PrschWdow
“I think he knew that’s why he arrived late to avoid the conflict, but yet his strategy failed because the lies still got exposed and now he’s trying to blame his guilt on OP.” – shandynya
“If she ever gets pregnant by this man she will see quickly how much he really ‘cares’ for the girls when he has his bio child.”
“His family will only include one child and they will make sure to tell the girls they aren’t family.”
“This is the preview of the saddest possible life for these kids.” – QuickSilver1964
“Even if he didn’t know, he should have been cashing in his ticket and heading home with OP. If you don’t have the back of your soon-to-be wife and kids, you don’t deserve any of them!”
“NTA.” – faisfancy
“Definitely seems like the type of mama’s boy that will take his mother’s side in every argument, put her up on a pedestal and compare his partner to her, and be there for his mother’s every beck and call, above the needs of his partner. I’ve seen it before.” – LouSputhole94
“My grandmother was not my biological grandmother, my dad’s bio mom passed away from cancer when he was 3 and my grandfather later married the woman who ended up raising my dad. She came into my dad’s life with her own bio child but raised her child, my dad, and my dad’s bio sister, and you would have never known they weren’t blood-related.”
“After my grandparents divorced when my dad was in his 20s, nothing changed. He was still her son, and his children her grandchildren. I didn’t even know my grandmother wasn’t blood-related until I was around 10 years old when my parents thought I was old enough to understand the family backstory.”
“My grandmother’s bio daughter had her own family, and her kids are my cousins, even if we aren’t blood-related. Blood doesn’t make family, the love that we have for one another, that is what makes us family. The irony is I’m closer to my “step” cousins than I am my ‘blood’ ones.”
“The OP’s fiancé is condoning his mother’s behavior by not standing up for his future stepchildren and his fiancée. Saying things will change later means nothing if he’s not doing anything now.”
“The fact that he most likely knew her plan and allowed it to happen says everything you need to know OP, your fiancé either agrees with her stance or doesn’t care. Either way, ‘giving it time’ won’t work if your husband isn’t actively supporting you.” – ieatnoodlesw_sticks
The subReddit was furious on the OP’s behalf, but they were even more concerned for the OP’s daughters, especially given the fact that they had lost their father to cancer.
But they also didn’t see this new family arrangement getting any better, despite what the OP’s future husband promised. Rather, it seemed he was in on it, too, which surely wouldn’t encourage the situation to improve.