Parents have a difficult challenge when it comes to winning the affections of a stepson or stepdaughter.
Redditor Main_Promise1566 is a woman who, at the request of her husband, planned a birthday party for her stepdaughter who is turning 18.
But things went south when an altercation between her husband and the stepdaughter’s mom prompted the Original Poster (OP) to intervene.
The resulting fallout led her to the the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, where she asked:
“AITA for canceling stepdaughter’s birthday party?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“My stepdaughter is in her upper teens (turning 18) and lives mostly with her mom.”
“My husband works a lot and is a very involved dad, but asked me to be in charge of planning her party, and I agreed.”
“I spent several hundred dollars and many hours of my own time making sure I had everything just right.”
“Recently stepdaughter’s mom verbally lashed out at my husband and was screaming and cussing at him.”
“I snapped at her and told her she has no right to speak to my husband in that way and to shut her mouth.”
“Stepdaughter flipped out saying I attacked her mom and now both mom and stepdaughter are scared and traumatized.”
“Stepdaughter also uninvited me from the birthday party, saying she’s too uncomfortable to have me there and wants her mom there. The party I planned and paid for.”
“I ended up canceling the reservation, catering, and decoration rentals and opting to put that money towards what I feel is a better cause and use of my money.”
“AITA for ruining her birthday?”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors began weighing in with their thoughts, mostly in favor of the OP.
“NTA. After OP commented that the daughter and mom got mad because husband could not buy the daughter some expensive things, accused him of not caring and if he was a good dad, he would make it happen. That is manipulation.”
“I’ll get some downvotes for this, but I don’t understand how one screaming match with no physical altercation has traumatized the daughter and bio mom. Are they traumatized because dad said no and stepmom spoke up in his defense?”
“I wouldn’t let my partner’s ex cuss at him and call him a bad father because he couldn’t afford some expensive gifts.”
“I wouldn’t pay for a party I was uninvited to, but that’s just me I guess.” – Malachite_Macchiato
Later in an update, the OP provided a few more details.
“stepdaughter was not present for the argument. She heard from her mom what that I basically told her to shut up later. Bio mom drove to our home and was in our driveway screaming and cussing at the top of her lungs.”
“I went outside and told her to shut her mouth because this is our home and she has no right to speak to my husband in that manner and I will not tolerate it.”
“SD was not a witness to what happened, bio mom told SD later and apparently bio mom was so shaken up and upset that SD can’t handle it, and called me to tell me I’m no longer invited to her party or to be any part of her birthday as my presence would make SD and her mom feel too uncomfortable to enjoy themselves.”
“The argument was over elaborate gifts for SD. Bio mom’s family has money but my husband does not come from a well off background.”
“Bio mom wanted/demanded the husband buy SD over $5k in jewelry and tickets to several different concerts, which husband can not currently afford, we took a hard financial hit over [the virus].”
“He told bio mom he can’t do it and she came over flipping out that he’s a bad dad and if he really loved his daughter he’d find a way to do it, no matter what.”
Redditors continued to weigh in after the OP’s update.
“So now I’m really confused as to how they were traumatized by this?? Can you be traumatized by something you didn’t even witness?” – Malachite_Macchiato
“So basically she’s playing the victim card as hard as possible when she in fact was not in any way?”
“You didn’t ruin her birthday, she did.”
“She decided to take sides based on partial information and bit the hand that fed her, now you get to have a nice chunk of money for yourself and she gets a life lesson.” – thepyrodex
“I’m confused on how you can be traumatized.”
“Ex shows up on OP’s lawn screaming about dad being a deadbeat because he won’t dole out 5k for expensive concerts and jewelry. OP went out and basically said shut up and get off my lawn.”
“And daughter, who wasn’t even there is traumatized to the point of being afraid of OP?”
“What in the actual a**holes did mom tell daughter?” – Ursula2071
“The irony is that the way bio-mom is treating her daughter, coming crying to her telling her how awful her stepmom is and encouraging her to call stepmom and take up the fight, is probably actually traumatizing her.”
“She’s putting a kid in the middle of an adult conflict and making her feel like her dad and stepmom don’t care about her as much if they don’t give in to all of mom’s demands.”
“Bio-mom is definitely the a**hole here and I hope her daughter gets into therapy. OP is NTA.” – blinkingsandbeepings
“NTA. I would’ve actually taken all the cancellation papers and put them together and if anybody asked tell them you were being respectful of the fact that she requested that you be completely uninvited and not present at the party so you took yourself and everything that was connected to you and left so that you wouldn’t traumatize her further.”
“It’s not your fault that everything connected to you was pretty much the entire party.” – SnooSuggestions2288
“NTA- it’s your money and if she chooses to act like this then she doesn’t deserve a birthday party from you and she definitely can’t uninvite you from something that you paid with using your OWN money for that she can get lost and ask her mum to throw a party for her then for acting like that.” – HotAge5962
Overall, Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.
They believed the stepdaughter sabotaged the party the OP had spent time and money planning for her.