While there are many negative stereotypes surrounding combined families and evil stepparents, many families that come together after a divorce or tragedy work extremely well.
But the evil stepmother stories had to come from somewhere, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor picklejuice4044 was shocked when he discovered that his future wife had left his daughter at home alone while she took only her biological daughters out for a girls’ evening out.
When she insisted it wasn’t a problem because she’d brought his daughter dinner home, albeit cold, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to think.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for arguing with my fiancée after she left my child at home and took only her kids on an outing?”
The OP was engaged to a woman with daughters from a previous marriage.
“My fiancée and I have been together for about four years.”
“She has two kids (12 Female and 15 Female) with shared custody. It’s an odd arrangement, she has them from January to June.”
“In early September, she moved into our house.”
“My daughter ‘Charlie’ is 10. For the record, up until recently, she has been an amazing mother figure to Charlie.”
The five of them were still learning how to live together.
“Our first issue was back in November as we discussed bedroom arrangements.”
“She felt her eldest should have a room of her own while living here six months out of the year. That would cause Charlie to bunk with her youngest.”
“I, however, did not allow it because that would encroach on Charlie and likely cause her to feel alienated in her own home.”
But there was recently a much bigger issue than that of a shared bedroom.
“Last weekend, I was called in and worked a 12-hour shift. When I arrived home, Charlie was upset because they went out to eat and left her home.”
“She said when they came back, she was handed a bag of takeout, and the food was stone cold.”
“I asked my fiancée to elaborate, to which she confirmed taking only her girls out to an early dinner and then taking them to play mini golf. Hence why the food was cold, it sat in the car as they played.”
“She kept deflecting to the food, saying she didn’t expect her to eat it cold, she could have warned it up herself.”
“I kept insisting it was extremely rude to exclude Charlie from the outing.”
“She came back with, ‘But I brought her food home.'”
“She then asked, ‘Why is it okay for you to go out with just Charlie?'”
“That’s different, in the last 30 days her kids have been here, Charlie and I have only gone grocery shopping or on one occasion taken her cat to the vet. That can’t even be compared to what she did.”
The argument later continued.
“We didn’t come to any sort of agreement. Friday, she was taking her girls to the dentist. On the way out, she made the snarky comment, ‘I hope this doesn’t offend Charlie too.'”
“It p**sed me off that she said that, I called her feral.”
“We both later apologized, but she then started the argument back up.”
“She said it was so rude of me to argue about her taking her kids out. She further said, ‘I don’t see my kids for six months, excuse the he*l out of me for wanting to spend time alone with them.'”
“I understood her point, but I felt like we could periodically plan separate outings on the same day, so no one feels excluded.”
“She kinda threw the bedroom ordeal in my face and said, ‘My kids might feel alienated from their own mother if they can’t enjoy time alone with me.’ She made the pointless remark that her kids have no problem with her doing things with Charlie while they’re living with their father.”
“She further argued that there will be many times when Charlie will be excluded because of the age gap between her and the eldest.”
“I told her if she expects things to work out, she would need to treat Charlie as one of her daughters.”
“She said I was entirely missing her point because I don’t know what it’s like having shared custody. Me scolding her for spending time with them as she said was a ‘b***h-a**’ move.”
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 were appalled that a ten-year-old girl was left home alone for that long.
“She left a child at home alone knowing you were working a 12-hour shift? And then brought her cold takeout? That’s just plain mean. Are you sure you want this woman in your daughter’s life?” – anniearrow
“What she did was child neglect! You can’t leave a ten-year-old home alone period! She can actually go to jail for this!”
“OP, the writing is on the wall! She moved into your house and immediately set about trying to kick your daughter out of her own room! Now, this is her latest stunt that you know of, she’s a terrible stepmother to your daughter and it would only get worse.”
“She can’t even see that she’s in the wrong. You need to do what is right for your daughter and get rid of this woman before she does anything else.” – Apart_Foundation1702
“A few things to note: OP’s 10-year-old stayed home alone for the length of a meal and mini golf. That’s at least three hours left alone.”
“Fiancée is also setting an example for her daughters on how to treat Charlie as well. This won’t be a good relationship if OP doesn’t figure this out quickly.”
“Frankly, it shows her pettiness unfairly directed at Charlie when it was clear that she was upset with OP. She should have discussed any disagreements with OP like an adult rather than be passive-aggressive toward a child. This shows a major red flag.” – Professional_End5908
“The child is 10, pretty sure, in fact pretty certain, that’s not allowed under the law, at least where I’m from.”
“The fiancé sounds like the AH, excluding a child like that? Leaving them home alone like that? Didn’t even arrange for her to go to a friend’s house? A day out playing fun games is not the same as grocery shopping or a vet trip.”
“Good lord, the flag has never been a brighter red.”
“Honestly, she’s more than an a**hole, she’s irresponsible, neglectful, and downright cruel, and apparently, she doesn’t see that. You can’t trust this woman to be fair to your daughter.” – binbaghan
“No no no. Not cold takeout. Takeout that sat in the car while they mini golfed it up.”
“There is a time limit on certain foods to be left out before they’re bad too eat… like, how long did it sit from restaurant to home?”
“That’s just disrespectful and disgusting. I’d never even give my dogs food that’s sat out too long.” – Razzaill
Others thought after four years, the future wife was finally showing her true colors.
“Sounds like OP nabbed himself an Evil Stepmother. Dude, she’s showing you how she treats your kid when you aren’t around. She won’t stop, either. Your kid is less-than in her eyes.” – Creative-Tart7791
“Not to mention, is it even legal where OP lives to leave a 10-year-old home for that amount of time?”
“She sounds like she was only nice to Charlie to get on OP’s good side and because her own daughters weren’t there yet. When they arrived, she didn’t need to fill the void anymore. Plus, it could even be payback for OP not giving the eldest her own room.” – Alwaysaprairiegirl
“Yeah, OP’s daughter is only 10. OP is signing daughter up for at least eight more years of this PLUS the damage it does to their relationship and to daughter personally.” – DigitalDose80
“For four years up until she moved into OP’s house, she treated Little Charlie like ‘an amazing mother figure,’ but as soon as the fiancée moved in and felt like she had OP on lock, the whole dynamics changed.”
“I mean, haven’t we seen or heard people doing this many times before?!” – Puzzleheaded-Desk399
“If your fiancé had good intentions, she would actively try to foster a closer relationship between your daughter and her youngest for exactly that reason. Maybe they become friends and WANT to share a room! She should be including Charlie on fun outings!”
“But she’s not doing that, she’s not interested in blending your families, she’s only interested in making sure her own daughters are holding up under new circumstances.”
“I had a stepmother like this too, and if you value your relationship with your daughter, run. Make it clear to her that you won’t put up with anyone treating her like a second-class citizen in her own home.” – CourtAlert8679
The subReddit was appalled and heartbroken for young Charlie and what she had already experienced at the hands of her “amazing” future stepmother, and they hoped that the behavior was worked through soon.
The OP either needed to talk to his future wife about this until it was fully resolved, or he needed to take other steps to take care of his daughter, including possibly ending the relationship.