Recently, this guy asked Reddit whether he was wrong for telling his dad that he doesn’t care about his stepmother and step-siblings. Here’s the whole story.
His Parents Are Divorced
The Original Poster (OP) is a 24-year-old whose parents separated when he was in high school nearly ten years ago.
At the time, there was a genuinely good understanding among his parents.
A few years later, OP’s mom remarried, and his stepdad is great. OP’s dad also met his future wife, Beth.
Things Got Messy
Things turned ugly when Beth persuaded him that OP’s mother was purposefully hiding financial information from him and attempting to defraud him of money.
OP says it wasn’t true, and as a result, his sisters stopped going to see their dad because Beth bad-mouthed their mom, and their dad didn’t care whether they visited or not.
OP says his dad never made an effort to contact him when he was in college, either.
His Dad Suddenly Reaches Out
The story begins when OP’s father abruptly started messaging him again a few months ago, saying he wants to meet.
It took place a day after Beth threatened to sue OP’s mom if she didn’t take OP’s youngest sister, Kate, now 17, to visit their dad and a week after their dad attempted to contact OP’s other sister Claire, aged 21.
Because Beth wouldn’t stop talking about their mother, Claire ended up cussing them out.
He Agreed to Meet Him
Since Kate repeatedly stated that she wanted nothing to do with their father or his wife, OP consented to see him to stop him from calling his sisters.
At first, the meeting went well, but Beth’s negative comments about OP’s mom and uncomfortable comments about OP being gay made him uneasy.
However, because of his father’s poor health, OP was willing to put up with more than he typically would have. His father then stated OP didn’t prioritize family and tried to push him to spend more time with Beth’s children from her previous marriage.
He Prioritizes His Other Family
But OP lashed out and said that he does prioritize his family, but that means his mother, stepfather, and sisters, not his father’s new family.
He admitted that he was open to having a relationship with his father’s stepchildren, but it was not a priority for him. He felt hurt and angry that his father had dropped him so easily and was now trying to guilt him into spending time with his new family.
Then his father got angry and said OP was “replacing” him with his stepdad, and OP responded by telling him that if he had bothered to be in his life, OP wouldn’t have needed to do that. Since then, he has not spoken to OP.
He Hasn’t Responded
Now OP feels bad about what happened and thinks maybe he really wounded his father’s feelings.
OP asked Reddit whether he was wrong, and many sided with him, saying he was not wrong.
One Redditor said that while his father has every right to find a new partner and be happy, he has zero right to blame OP and his family for not prioritizing time with his new partner and step-siblings.
Another Reddit user wrote, “I am so furious on your behalf. He was trying to provoke you into saying something awful so that when you blew up he could walk away feeling justified. What an awful, manipulative way to treat your child.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.