Co-Parenting Is Fine, But Does This Man Owe A Special Tribute To A Stepfather He Never Liked?
by Trisha Leigh
Parenting is hard in the best of times. People who split up but have to remain civil to each other while raising kids get an even rougher version of it, and adding stepparents?
It can be rough.
OP and his kid’s mom split up when their kids were young and the man she chose to re-marry has never been kind to OP nor sought to make his life any easier.
I have two children. Emily (30f) and Hayes (26m) with my ex-wife. She left me a few months after Hayes was born and ended up getting back together with her high school ex Sam. Sam and my ex ended up marrying seven months later. Emily has always adored Sam. I, however, hate the guy.
For years he would work on getting under my skin, saying I wasn’t a good enough dad to my daughter because I wasn’t enough and she considered him her dad too. He’d tell me every single time she had called him Daddy Sam or Dad Sam. When I told him he was being childish he’d tell me in return that he knew it cut me up inside to have to share her affection as dad.
He told me one day he would be walking her down the aisle and maybe she’d even want him to do it alone and would not want me anywhere near them for that.
He’s held it together for a long time, as he knows his daughter, at least, is close to him.
Despite all this Sam was never able to come between me and Emily and we have always been very close. Sam never cared for Hayes as much. I think Hayes being gay has a large part to play in Sam not caring for him as much as he does Emily.
There are times I had to restrain myself from exploding in front of the kids when Sam would taunt me. I knew he’d love a chance to get me out of my kids lives.
Last year Sam was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. He’s now in a wheelchair and has lost his mobility and his speech has suffered greatly.
Now she’s getting married and wants them both to walk her down the aisle. That’s not all, though – she also wants her dad to help pay for a tribute to his tormenter, as he’s now been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Emily is getting married in a few months and wanted us both to bring her down the aisle.
A week ago she came to my house and told me she wanted to pay a special tribute to Sam and she wanted my help to do it (both finance and planning). I told her I would not help her with that.
She was upset. Said Hayes refused to help her as well. She told me Sam means a lot to her and she would have thought I would be glad that she had two amazing father figures.
He told her no, explained his reasoning in vague terms, and also told her fiancee he just can’t do it.
I told her Sam and I did not have a positive relationship and there is no way I would ever spend my money or time doing something nice for the man. I told her he had treated me poorly over the years and I accepted she loved him. But he was not worthy of my money or that effort in my eyes. She asked me if I would do it for her. I told her I could not. She said okay.
Emily’s fiance called me up after this and said whatever petty issues between Sam and I, could I not do something for my daughter when she’s going to lose one of her most special people. He said I was breaking Emily’s heart because she doesn’t want to be caught between us. That it’s clear I am enjoying watching Sam suffer as he is and that’s proven by my actions and I’m not being a good dad to Emily.
Should he suck it up for her? Or is this boundary ok?
Reddit is going to let him know!
The top comment reminds him that his daughter can have whatever relationship she wants with her stepdad, but she can’t control others’ feelings about him.
This person thinks OP has very valid reasons to feel the way that he does.
They say respect can be lost and that’s what’s happened here.
This comment points out that stepdad really isn’t good for the daughter in the first place.
This person thinks they have the stepdad pegged.
I don’t know y’all.
I think I’m on OP’s side here but I feel bad for the kids – which is the way it typically goes.