Though this isn’t talked about enough, it’s true that some children really struggle with their parents marrying someone new, especially if the divorce was messy or if one of their biological parents passed away.
This struggle can really impact relationships they have with future half-siblings, stepsiblings, and other family members, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Though she loved her older half-sister, Redditor Successful_Detail321 had always felt rejected and hated by her for not being a part of her “real family” after her older half-sister’s father died.
After a lifetime of abuse from her, the Original Poster (OP) was disgusted when her older half-sister demanded that she show up at her wedding to keep up appearances with her future in-laws.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to make my half-sister look better on her wedding day by showing up?”
The OP was never accepted as family by her half-sister.
“My half-sister (26 Female) and I share a mom. She’s nine years older than me (17 Female).”
“Her dad died when she was five, and our mom married my dad when she was eight and got pregnant with me straight away.”
“Until I was 10, I thought she was the best person ever, and I wanted us to have a relationship like my friends had with their siblings.”
“But she has rejected me as ‘not being her real sister’ from day one.”
“She also rejects my dad as anything other than ‘my mother’s f**k buddy,’ and she has called him that to his face and in front of other people.”
“My dad always lets it slide and mom will tell her we’re a family, to which my half-sister will say she’s family but my dad and I are not. My parents are also aware of how she talks to me, and they never did anything about it.”
One of the OP’s core memories involved another sibling.
“When I was six, my brother was stillborn when Mom was about six months pregnant with him.”
“She had our maternal grandma come over to watch my half-sister and me while she was in the hospital, and we were told something happened to our brother.”
“I was really upset because I had been so excited and wanted comfort from my half-sister.”
“She told me to grow the f**k up and stay away from her. She also told me it was a shame the same thing didn’t happen when Mom was expecting me.”
“Grandma was horrified and told her she would regret saying that, but my half-sister told her she wouldn’t regret saying that about someone she didn’t love.”
There was also the Christmas when the OP gave up the hope of having a good relationship.
“The breaking point was that Christmas when I was 10 and she was 19. She decided to stay with a different family member for Christmas but did show up to our grandparents for Christmas Day celebrations.”
“I was excited to see her and thought the fact she showed up meant she might like me now.”
“But after I had tried talking to her, she turned on me and said she didn’t give a f**k about me or my life and did not want me to know anything about hers.”
“She called me pathetic and asked why she would care about someone like me.”
“She told me if she could turn back time, she would have begged for Mom to have an abortion with me because I was disgusting.”
“It was that point where I think I hit the point where I was like you know what, fine.”
The half-sisters went very low contact after that.
“Over the last seven years, I have seen her maybe three times.”
“She avoids being where I will be and she has made it clear to Mom that if Mom wants to see her, Dad and I are not welcome and we are not invited into her life.”
But the half-sister changed her tune when she was getting married.
“But now she’s getting married and she invited me and wanted me there because questions were asked.”
“Mom was so happy when my half-sister told her she really wanted me there. Mom was so eager to tell me. My half-sister even showed up to invite me personally.”
“I think her future husband’s family is aware I exist and might judge her for not inviting me. That’s speculation on my part. It might be another reason related to that.”
“But she has made it very clear, even very recently, that I am not welcome in her life. It was very clear upon seeing her this last time that she still hates me.”
“I told her I would not go. She explained she needed me and why, and I told her I would not make her look better by showing up.”
“I said she wants me dead, she doesn’t want me in her life, I don’t want her in my life, and it’s as simple as that.”
Their mother tried to shift the blame onto the OP.
“Mom cried put that we’re siblings and that I have to be there.”
“I told her I lost my only sibling when my brother was stillborn. I said that he would have been my only sibling because my half-sister sure as s**t wasn’t a sibling for me. She made it clear many times over she did not want to be.”
“My half-sister and mom both feel I’m really in the wrong.”
“The rest of my family supports me because they know how my half-sister feels about me and what she has said.”
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 reassured the OP that it was no wonder why she wouldn’t want to go to this wedding.
“The half-sister already made a bed by wishing YOU and YOUR DAD all the ill intents, and now expects you to go to her wedding party like both of you had close bonds?”
“H**l nah, she can lay on it. What an entitlement wrench she is.” – Ether-Ingenuity-222
“NTA. Your half-sister has been treating you below trash since you existed.”
“You tried to fix the relationship with your sister and nothing changed. Your mom should de-escalate issues and not allow your half-sister to treat you like she treated you. Too late…”
“And your father? That is awful, calling her stepfather f**k buddy?! What is that?!”
“People like your half-sister should be cut off your life. She did not treat you like family and you do not owe her anything.”
“She wants you at the wedding to avoid questions. And so what?! You do not owe her anything. Never act because people might feel you are guilty.”
“OP, NTA.” – BreakingMeows
“NTA. Your mom should’ve obligated your sister to keep seeing you and your dad, and now that your sister needs something, it’s suddenly you who has to be the bigger person?”
“It also doesn’t sound like your sister had a change of heart, she just doesn’t want to seem like the bad person she is. If she genuinely had a change of heart and was making a proper effort, I’d try, but not like this…” – CartographerHot2285
“Your mom expects you to just let that go? Ongoing abuse? Wishes of death on you? Gleeful celebration of your younger brother being stillborn? A vehement hatred of your father? Nah.”
“If you decide to go, your best bet would be to tell it all straight-up, like, ‘Yeah, this half-sister of mine made it her life’s mission to make sure I knew how much she hates me. My father and I were her punching bag all this time, and she really just wanted me here so she could avoid having to face questions about why her half-sister didn’t want to have anything to do with this.'”
“Let her deal with that. It sounds like your mom’s idea of keeping the peace has been and always will be to avoid addressing the provable awfulness of your half-sister, and to not actually do anything to help her process her grief over losing her father. Grief is a powerful emotion, but it’s not an excuse to be the way she has been.”
“Of course, she’ll try to play it that you just suddenly turned on her or something, but you can come away knowing that you dealt with her sh*t for your whole life, and you don’t owe her being a pawn in her attempt to project a perfect image. Those who know you well enough will understand, and those who don’t aren’t worth the trouble.” – Rude-Manufacturer635
“Yeah, nah. My dad died when I was a kid. I was messed up from it and never had therapy. My mum remarried later and I didn’t like her husband. If they’d have had a kid I know 100% I would not have taken my anger out on that kid. If that kid had looked up to me and tried to have a good relationship I’d have eaten that shit up. I’d have been the best big sister I knew how to be.”
“Your sister is just a bad person. Nothing excuses her treatment towards you. Don’t go to her wedding, go have a nice day out and treat yourself instead.”
“I hope it pisses it down with rain wherever she is on the day and I hope she steps in dog sh*t and ruins her wedding shoes.” – raisingwildflowers
But others reminded the OP that her half-sister had gone through some serious trauma, too.
“Might be a bit controversial but NAH. Your half-sister never processed the grief of losing her father. Mom was also grieving during that period, and what can sometimes happen during that period is a lot of trauma gets put onto the child.”
“And so three years later Mom ‘replaces’ her father with a ‘f**k buddy,’ and out of that comes you. That also doesn’t establish how soon after Father’s death that Mom started dating her new husband, or how that transition happened for half-sister.”
“Is it right that she displaced all her big feelings on you? Absolutely not, and for that, she does have to own up and make amends intentionally if she wants to rebuild that relationship. But it’s also understandable that a young child having so many big changes would have resentment towards ‘threats’ posed by other siblings.” – PsychoGrad
“NAH. Your sister has been cruel and horrible to you. You don’t owe her anything. But let’s be honest, she was a child.”
“Your mother completely failed her by not getting her therapy. She lost her father, then got thrown into a new family, and then lost her unborn brother. That level of trauma and grief is huge. She should have been in therapy when her father died.”
“And literally any time after that when she was acting out she was crying for help and was ignored. I am tempted to call your mom the AH here, but she was grieving and trying to move forward. She failed you both, but I can’t bring myself to call her an AH for it.”
“I truly hope that both you and your sister can heal. Even if the paths of your lives remain separated.” – rialtolido
“You’re NTA, but it seems like your sister was extremely traumatized by your father’s death and your mother’s remarriage, and your mother didn’t address it properly when the time was right to manage your family dynamic.”
“I don’t know if your mother tried but your sister, although older, was also a hurt heartbroken child acting in pain and causing you pain and that was your mother and father’s problem to manage and resolve.”
“NTA, but if your sister is actually coming around and not just doing this for appearances, then it might be worth accepting the olive branch as a first step to healing the trauma that you both experienced for so many years. But if it’s just that she wants you there for appearances… Nah, you don’t need to go.” – NonSequitorSquirrel
While the subReddit could understand that the older sister had gone through her own share of trauma, everyone could understand why the OP wouldn’t want to attend this wedding after how she was treated.
Some hoped she would consider, though, that maybe the sister was trying to make up for the relationship she’d ruined now that she was nearly 30.