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Widower Cancels New Wife’s Birthday Party After She Insults His Son’s ‘Embarrassing’ Handmade Gift

Woman opening gift
Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images

Birthday parties are all fun and games, right?

Unfortunately for Redditor dice267990, the party he was planning for his wife turned sour before it even began.

The series of events drove him to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

The original poster (OP) asked,

“AITA for cancelling the birthday party I planned to throw for my wife after what she did?

He went on to explain.

“I [Male age 36] remarried after my late wife passed away. I have a son [age 15]. My current wife and I have been together for two years.”

“She generally has a good relationship with my son, although they tend to have some disagreements from time to time.”

“My son has a background in arts that involve wood. He used to help his grandfather with his woodworking and learned how to make handmade wooden items and use them as gifts.”

“I planned a dinner party for my wife’s birthday at a prestigious restaurant.”

‘“The day before the party, she was cleaning my son’s room and saw what he got her for her birthday, and that was a wooden tree with mine, hers, and his name on it.”

“She talked with him and told him while she thought it was a sweet gift, she asked that he don’t bring it to the restaurant and give it to her there. Why? No idea.”

“When my son told me this, I just had to call her out on it.”

“She flat out said that she thought the gift looked ridiculous, and she didn’t want it to be seen in that prestigious restaurant and in front of her guests.”

“I lost it on her and told her she should be ashamed of herself for saying this when my son was being sincere and thoughtful.”

“She swore she wasn’t “ashamed” nor “embarrassed” by his work and even said she’ll take the gift, but she “simply” didn’t want it to be seen there.”

“I told her not to worry about it since I decided to cancel the whole thing. She went off on me, calling me unreasonable for outright canceling her birthday over such a trivial thing.”

“I refused to keep arguing, but she threw a fit about how I ruined her birthday and made her lose respect for me and my promises.”

“My son kept the gift since she left the house two days ago, and her mom has been chewing me out for my decision and calling me an a**hole for treating her daughter like this.”

“It could be that it was not a big deal and I overreacted, but my son was feeling hurt by her request.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

“Holy hell. NTA at all. Your wife doesn’t sound like a very kind person at all but incredibly shallow and cruel. This calls for a ‘What the hell is wrong with her?’” – ItsCoolWhenTheyDoIt

“NTA. Thank you for having your son’s back in all this. That means more than you know.” – Foggy_Radish

“Cancel the whole marriage.” – Fit-Vanilla-3405


“She’s old enough to pretend to like it even if she really doesn’t for his feelings. I would be taking that tree table to table to show it off if my kids made me something that thoughtful.” – Fun_Milk_4560

“A 15-year-old hand-made a birthday gift for his stepmother? I don’t know if she can see it’s actually two gifts.”

“One, obviously the tree itself, and two, the thought and work he put into it. NTA she can plan her own party.” – DrRiverSong45

That and the fact that the 15-year-old boy who lost his mother before stepmom came into the picture only two years ago feels strongly enough about her to put all their names on a tree, making it a family tree, saying he sees her as family.”

“She should be crying tears of joy and parading that tree around town, shouting from the rooftops how much it means to her.”

“Instead, she just ruined his trust, affection for her, and possibly any other woman his dad has a relationship with.”

“Op NTA, and you never will be for putting your son first.”

“Edit to add: she likely also just ruined his love of woodworking and has him questioning every piece he’s ever given.”

“Next time he goes to think about making something, it’ll probably no longer bring him the joy it did thinking about his grandfather. Now it’ll be tainted with this incident.” – Mother-Efficiency391


“How long has she hated/resented your son? This was just incredibly cruel, and at a time in his life where he really needs to feel like the adults in his life love, value, and respect him.”

“I hope you take some extra time with him because that’s got to hurt pretty badly.” – Crazyspitz

NTA. She thought it looked ridiculous. That’s terrible! She has no appreciation for the amount of time and effort your son put into that very thoughtful gift!”

“Good for you for standing up for him. He’ll remember that you did that.” – irish_fiona

“NTA. I don’t even have words for how bad her behavior is. She should have seen the sentimental value of the gift your son made her.”

“The gift is basically pointing out that you three are a family, and she just spat all over it.” – Minnapina

“NTA. I’d be rethinking this marriage… yesterday.” – Jolly_Tooth_7274

NTA – your poor son. He literally made her a “family tree” that was made up of you, his stepmom, and himself. Talk about him accepting her as part of his family!!”

“That almost never happens like that. And she was willing to accept it but didn’t want anyone to see it. She doesn’t deserve him as a stepson.”

“You are not the a**hole. You did not overreact. It is a HUGE deal. You are protecting your son and his feelings, and I am so glad that you put him first.” – DisneyBuckeye

Not only is the wife utterly heartless and ungrateful, how can she be that dense?? It would have taken her absolutely NOTHING to accept a kind gift from a kid.”

“Also, why the f*ck was she cleaning the room of a 15-year-old? Betting money she was snooping.”

“NTA.” – BrownSugarBare

“NTA. Your wife was the one that overreacted.”

“Your son made her a handmade gift from his heart, and she worried about how it looked.”

“Most people would be thrilled to get something like that from a stepchild and would show it off with pride.” – SororitySue

“NTA. Your current wife? Says everything and good decision. Anyone who can be so unkind to your child shouldn’t be in his life. He made a really thoughtful gift. She’s awful.” – trishsf

“NTA, you married the wrong woman. Divorce her before she does more damage. Her mom doesn’t want her, so she’s blowing up your phone.” – Thedarksideofrescue

“NTA. Man, I bet a lot of stepparents would kill to receive a thoughtful gift like that from any older step kid 😆 smh” – Own-Whereas-7420

“NTA. I feel so sad for your son. He made her a heartfelt gift, and she responds by saying she doesn’t want it to be seen in public.”

“The hell is wrong with her?? I’d cry tears of joy at an item so obviously symbolic of someone’s acceptance of me into their family unit, and made by hand no less.”

“She has a rock where her heart should be. Not a pretty rock. The other kind.” – WhosMimi

“NTA. Your son made a sweet, thoughtful present, and your wife was an a**hole about it. I would have canceled her stupid party too.” – BetterDay2733

“NTA!!! Your wife just showed her true colors, and you did the right decision by canceling the whole thing. Man, I feel so sorry for your son 🙁 please give him a hug” – RickGrimesSays

My mouth is hanging open”

“I’m gobsmacked at her awfulness. I don’t have the words. He’s still a child. He’s still vulnerable. He still has feelings. He’s still grieving, but he’s trying, and she does that.”

“Sure, I can be overly motherly at times, but my heart hurts for him, and I want to give him a giant squeezy hug.”

“NTA” – FluffMonster789

“nta – your new wife appears to be entitled and rude and hurtful, especially since your son made the gift from his heart and soul.”

“and also could learn a lesson in manners and etiquette, so canceling the restaurant was a good idea since she doesn’t know how to behave.” – iamwendstogram

“NTA She put her feelings of being embarrassed over your son’s feelings.”

“I am sure your son felt that she didn’t like his gift or appreciate the effort he put into making her something he thought she would like.”

“I would be very unhappy if someone treated my child this way. There was no need to hurt his feelings or spoil his surprise gift.” – ContentedRecluse

“NTA Not only would I have brought it to the restaurant, but I’d also probably be bragging about my talented and thoughtful stepson to everyone who asked about it.” – Katana1369

Perhaps next time, she will think about her stepson’s feelings before she speaks.

Or maybe the OP will find someone else who will appreciate the love he shows he son.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)