Being a parent is hard. Being a stepparent is incredibly difficult.
You are constantly balancing between your partner’s wishes and their kids.
You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but parenting is about showing your kids how to stand up for themselves, and support their decisions. Even if they’re not your biological children.
Redditor 303367___ just encountered a similar problem with his wife and newborn grandbaby. So he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if he was in the wrong.
“AITA For not giving my wife her daughter’s address so she could see the newborn?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained his wife had some previous issues with her daughter.
“Hear me out please. I’m a 46 year-old father who lost a daughter (Molly) years ago to Brain Cancer.”
“Molly’s death broke me. She was my only child. I’m no longer who I was before this tragedy.”
“I married my wife when my stepdaughter (Sarah) was 15. Sarah had issues with her mom.”
“Her mom would kick her out over small arguments. She kicked her out for getting a haircut, for failing one class and other reasons.”
“Every time she’d bring her back home and tell her to learn her lesson or she’d be kicked out. One time her mom kicked her out over a diary at 17 and Sarah had enough and didn’t return.”
“She started working. I remained in contact. I just couldn’t let her struggle.”
“I tried to help her financially but she refused. She’s incredibly independent and a hard working person. She reminded me of Molly.”
“I decided to help in other ways. I got her a better job opportunity by calling someone I knew at the time.”
“This way she still had to work to earn money which is something she wanted. And also work a better job that appreciated her more than the previous job.”
“She’s an artist, she wanted to be a graphic designer.”
“I sold my old car to pay for her courses. She started paying me back bit by bit only because she’s independent.”
“She lived with her then boyfriend now husband and paid for other things.”
“My wife didn’t try to mend things. She disowned Sarah the day she got married but I stood firm and told her that I’m free to talk to Sarah and she should respect that.”
“I attend gatherings with Sarah from time to time and she calls me dad in front of other people. In the past it was just my name.”
“This sounds crazy but I believe this all happened just so I could meet Sarah and have a chance at being the best father that I could be.”
Then, things got more complicated with the arrival of a new baby.
“She’s now 22 and just had a baby girl a few weeks ago. I visited several times and we talked.”
“She told me that it was unfortunate that she lost her dad but was glad she has me in her life. I cried although I’m not good at expressing emotions and it got worse after Molly’s death.”
“My wife knew about the baby and demanded I give her the address so she could go see her granddaughter. I refused because Sarah asked me not to tell.”
“And because she’s already dealing with postpartum and will not be able to deal with her mom’s behavior.”
“My wife threw a fit and said that this is her daughter and grandbaby and I shouldn’t try to stop her from seeing her. She called me selfish and cruel.”
“The argument didn’t stop. The family are agreeing with her and telling me to stay out of it.”
“I argued with my wife about it again. And she said I had no right and that I needed to give her the address.”
“She didn’t even seem regretful or wanted to apologize. Everyone is blaming me telling me I’m being cruel and demanding I give her the address.”
Redditors then gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Reddit agreed with OP.
He should not have to give out his stepdaughter’s address.
“NTA in this particular situation. Not sure why he is still married to that monster but, people are easily manipulated when in weak spots, him losing his daughter made him an easy target.”
“People like wife, narcissists are great at manipulation. But of course there are matters that cannot be explained by it.”
“He definitely needs therapy to get out of the fog and evaluate his wrongdoing of the past.”
“He is finally getting a spine in this situation.” ~ moni1100
“‘I refused because Sarah asked me not to tell’. It begins and ends there.”
“You are honoring Sarah’s wishes. You would be a huge a**hole to do otherwise.”
“As it stands, you are the opposite of a huge a**hole. You are a wonderful father.”
“Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. May she be a light in your life that reminds you of your Molly.”
“NTA.” ~ Dszquphsbnt
“Welcome back to being a dad. This is what dad’s do.”
“They protect their child. Sarah made her wishes clear.”
“She wants no contact with her biological parent. She wants a relationship with you and calls you dad. So be her dad.”
“Protect her privacy. Do not tell biological parent (aka your wife) where she can be found.”
“Make sure you are not followed when you go to see her. Reevaluate your life and happiness and prioritize yourself.”
“I know it sounds crazy after losing Molly, but you are allowed to be happy. And it sounds like being a dad and now a granddad makes you happy.”
“It also sounds like you have been one heck of a dad to Sarah and given her the tools to be a strong, independent woman who is now building her own family.”
“I’m not going to immediately jump on the divorce bandwagon. It’s not my circus, not my monkeys, and not my marriage.”
“But I encourage you to evaluate your life, happiness, and priorities. If Sarah is a priority then put the rest of your life in order to reflect that.” ~ MorpheusesMuse
“The only conceivable way you’re an a**hole is for not divorcing someone like this before now. And I want you to understand that that’s where this is headed.”
“You’re going to have to choose whether you want your daughter in your life or her mother because you can’t have both.” ~ blorpoo
The OP cleared up some questions about his marriage.
“I’m leaving the house tomorrow. I couldn’t stand all this pressure.”
“Sarah told me she didn’t want to be the reason her mom and I get separated but at this point I can’t take it anymore.”
At the end of the day, his daughter’s wishes in regards to her and her daughter’s lives—and who’s allowed in—should be respected.
His wife burned her bridges. It’s her responsibility to rebuild them.
We’re happy to see them grow so close when it seems they filled a void they each had.