He Refused to “Minimise” Memories of His Late Mother as a way to Welcome His New Family

A Reddit user asked online if they were in the wrong for standing up to their father after he asked to minimize memories of their mother, who passed away several years ago, in an effort to blend the family dynamics with his new wife and kids.

He Lives With His Grandparents

The Original Poster (OP) currently resides with his grandparents after choosing to leave his father’s house shortly after his 18th birthday. His relationship with his father is strained due to events that occurred when OP was 7 and his brother was 6.

Their mother passed away, and their father quickly moved on, bringing in a stepmother seven months after his mother’s passing. 

Before the stepmother moved in, their father had a conversation with OP and his brother, expressing his desire to create a happy home.

He said having reminders of their mother in the house would make him sad and would make his new wife and her children feel unwelcome.

Hide Their Memories

As a result, he asked the boys to consider giving their mother’s belongings and pictures to their maternal grandparents to help make everyone feel more comfortable.

OP’s brother became emotional and expressed a desire to keep some pictures. However, their father insisted that for the sake of the new family, he wanted all reminders of their mother gone. 

Feeling as though they had no choice, the boys reluctantly agreed to give their mother’s belongings and pictures to their grandparents.

OP’s brother told their father that this decision made him sad, but their father explained that he did not want that but hoped they would eventually come to terms with it.

A “Happy” Family

When their father’s wedding was approaching, he requested that OP and their sibling hold hands with their stepsiblings and present a united front as a family. However, OP refused to comply with the request.

Their father explained that sometimes children have to do things they do not want to do to make others happy. Ultimately, OP and their sibling agreed to hold hands with their stepsiblings during the wedding ceremony.

OP’s father then requested that they stop talking about their mother so much, as his new wife felt that they were trying to make it clear that she was not their new mother.

Additionally, her children felt excluded from conversations that centered around their mother. OP’s father emphasized this request repeatedly.

OP’s father frequently made requests for them to do things or change their behavior, ranging from being willing to babysit to creating family trees that excluded their biological mother but included their stepmother and her children.

When OP and their brother pushed back against these requests, their father would either become firm or attempt to lay on a guilt trip.

They Grew to Resent Their Father

As a result, the boys began to harbor negative feelings towards their father, particularly regarding the expectation to pretend that their stepfamily was a complete nuclear family, without acknowledging their missing biological mother.

OP and his brother were the only ones in the family who did not fully blend. Their stepmother and stepsiblings referred to OP and their sibling as their brothers without ever acknowledging that they were only stepsiblings or half-siblings.

To try and address the issues within the family, they participated in family therapy in an attempt to become a perfect nuclear family, but these efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful.

OP and his brother did not suddenly feel like they were just part of a family, which their father was not happy about.

He Couldn’t Stay There Anymore

When OP moved out of the house, their father was particularly unhappy, especially when his brother expressed a desire to move out with them.

OP’s father wanted them to participate in therapy again, he didn’t want OP to be one of those children who move out of the house right away.

OP, however, did not feel that they needed fixing and told their father that he needed to accept that he cannot always get what he wants.

Their father responded by stating that it is not all about the children and that OP was being selfish for not wanting him to be happy and for the family to have a new dynamic.

What Redditors Said

Reddit users generally believe that OP is not the jerk in this situation. They are sympathetic towards OP and his brother who were not given the opportunity to grieve for their mother, with their father taking away their memories and trying to force a new family on them.

The father is seen as emotionally immature and selfish, using guilt and what’s expected to manipulate his children.

Some users suggest that therapy may be beneficial for OP to talk through the mental abuse they have suffered, but also caution that they need to find the right therapist.

Many users agree that the father needs therapy to come to terms with why he thought it was okay to forget his first wife and force his children to forget her too.

The majority of the comments are supportive of OP’s decision to move out and live with his grandparents, and encourage them to build their own chosen family.

What do you think? What should OP do next?

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Source: Reddit