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Teen Balks After Stepmom Suggests He Tell His Mom Not To Come To Graduation Over Past Drama

teenage boy at his high school graduation
FatCamera/Getty Images

Blending a family after divorce and remarriage can be difficult.

When infidelity is involved, and the new spouse is the affair partner, friendly interactions are highly unlikely.

A son dealing with friction between his mother and stepmother turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

NoiseHot3537 asked:

“AITA for saying ‘just don’t come’ to my stepmom when she and my dad told me she didn’t want to attend my high school graduation with my mom?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My parents divorced when I (18, male) was 3 because my dad was having an affair with my stepmom. My mom and stepmom were work rivals and had a strong dislike for each other even before the affair.”

“There has always been speculation that this is why my stepmom willingly became the other woman, because she disliked my mom. I was aware of this, and not because of my parents, but because of drama that would kick off with my dad’s side of the family.”

“I was present for some of my dad’s relatives’ speculations about this.”

“My parents did not get along after the affair, and tensions were high whenever my mom and stepmom were in the same room. My stepmom had three pregnancies that ended in miscarriage.”

“The first two were I guess typical/normal miscarriages, but the third one caused my stepmom a lot of medical issues and that led to her being infertile. So she and my dad never got to have a surviving child together.”

“After the third miscarriage, my stepmom wanted me around because she wanted to feel like a parent. She wanted to know she would still have me.”

“She and my dad asked my mom if they could extend their time with me. My mom laughed in her face and told her she didn’t care what she had been through and she would not let me be used as a band-aid.”

“My stepmom argued that she deserved compassion for what she was going through and it would be good for me to get that little extra attention and love since I wasn’t going to have siblings ever.”

“My mom told her she’d never have compassion for her and didn’t feel sorry for her at all. She told her she didn’t deserve to be a mom after taking part in the end of my stability within my family.”

“She did blame my dad too, but that has never been focused on as much by my dad and stepmom or his family.”

“After that my mom and stepmom were never in the same place together. They had third parties take care of exchanges of me until I was old enough to hop out of a car and into the home I was returning to.”

“Once they realized I knew details of what happened, my dad and stepmom were vocal about mom being cruel/hurtful to my stepmom and that was why they weren’t ever in the same room together.”

“A few times I picked up on their desire for me to hate my mom for them, but I don’t. I try to stay neutral which my mom encourages, but if I have to pick—like with this—I’m #TeamMom all the way.”

“I’m graduating from high school in a couple of months and my dad and stepmom brought up that my stepmom doesn’t feel like she should be around my mom and does not want to be there with my mom.”

“They told me they feel it would be best if I make it clear to mom that she can’t be there. I told them my mom will be there.”

“Then my stepmom told me she can’t be in the same room as her after what she did. So I said just don’t come.”

“I told her I wasn’t going to beg her to be there. I wanted my mom there and they weren’t going to stop me.”

“They asked me how I could say that knowing how mom treated my stepmom and they asked me to be more compassionate.”


The OP summed up their predicament.

“I told my stepmom to ‘just don’t come’ when she and my dad told me she didn’t want to attend my high school graduation with my mom.”

“Why I might be the a**hole is even though I say I try not to pick sides, I was very flippant I guess with them. And that might be d*ckish.”

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 the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA—Jesus, move away as soon as you can. I’m surprised you haven’t asked to stay with your mum full-time at some point.”

“Where was your stepmom’s compassion when she broke apart your family? I’m #TeamMom too, your mum deserved way better and so did you.” ~ Monsterchic16

“What I don’t get about stepmom and people who support people like stepmom is the continuous justification that ‘she wasn’t the one who was married’ and therefore ‘doesn’t owe OP’s mom anything’.”

“Not even common decency, apparently.”

“Funny enough, stepmom and others who support the other woman/man seem to expect dumped, cheated on exes to somehow reach within themselves to find ‘compassion’ during trying times.”

“Why? I thought you don’t owe anything to someone if you’re not married to them? By stepmom’s metric, the only person who owes her anything is her husband.”

“OP’s mom owes her nothing. I mean, that’s what I heard. I don’t make the rules. NTA by any stretch of the imagination.” ~ Fleurtheleast

“And why can’t she suck it up and be in the same what… auditorium? Gym? Outdoor field? She doesn’t have to be near your mother.”

“And the fact that she expected you to disinvite your mother from your graduation tells me that she and your father are not living on this planet mentally. NTA.” ~ Mistyam

“NTA for saying it, but I think it’s time you stop being neutral. Your stepmom sounds awful.”

“If I were you, and this woman was the cause of my family breaking apart and hurting my mother, I would HATE her. If it were me, I would have said, ‘Where was the compassion for my mother when you had an affair with her husband?’.”

“‘Where was the compassion for me when you broke up my family? The only reason you want anything to do with me is because you can’t have children of your own. I bet if you could, you would’ve tried to push me out of my father’s life’.”

“‘Let me make it very clear to you. You are not my mother; you will never be my mother, and if you keep trying to turn me against my mother, I will go no contact. Just because my father is blind to how toxic you are, doesn’t mean I am’.” ~ Bonnm42

“I would add that you are now an adult, and the court does not dictate your relationship with your father. Your mother will be at all your major adult milestones, whether they like it or not.”

“So they can decide how to behave and accept that or not because the first time they make a scene, they will no longer be invited to any future event. And then leave so they can’t argue with you. NTA.” ~ Ok_Consideration1284

“The cheaters asking you how you can side with the victim they cheated on because said victim fought back. THE AUDACITY. THE ENTITLEMENT. THE VICTIM COMPLEX. Wow. Seriously.”

“Even setting aside all the bad blood between your parents, as long as you have a good relationship with your parents, isn’t it obvious you would prefer and choose them over any stepparent? Like that’s just common sense.”

“NTA, OP. Also they’re adults here. Ask them why then can’t have compassion for the kid being put in the middle who just wants his biological parents there at a major milestone in his life.” ~ Night-Kuwago

“What will happen when you get married, is the stepmom going to demand your mom not go too? Team mom all the way. NTA.” ~ ginalook

“NTA. Your mom owes your stepmom just as much consideration as stepmom gave her when she decided to bang her husband.”

“From your description, your dad and stepmom tried to manipulate you into being ‘their’ kid when they couldn’t have their own. Very likely they would have shoved you aside if they had.”

“No, if stepmom wants to come to your graduation too bad, she can suck it up.” ~ LyraSevonar

“NTA. People like this stepmom don’t want to be made uncomfortable for the wrong things they’ve done.”

“‘Don’t make it awkward for me that I’m going to have to face the woman whose life I destroyed and whose child I tried to steal’ is classic asshole behavior!” ~ IndependenceHot9023

“Your dad cheated on your mum with someone she already disliked and still feels like he has the right to demand anything from her?”

“It’s awful what happened to your stepmum, but your mum had already lost her husband to her and I think she was right to refuse to lose more custody time with you so you could be used as a living therapy doll.”

“No, it was your stepmum’s choice to cheat with a married father. It is neither your or your mum’s fault that he cheated, so he needs to decide what is more important—attending this significant event or indulging in his partners tantrum.”

“NTA. Currently it’s high school graduation your dad is demanding you bar your mum from, but if he did get his own way would it ever stop? Next is your university graduation, your wedding.” ~ Acceptable-Net-154

The OP may not have his father’s support, but he has plenty on Reddit.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.