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'AITA for leaving my husband's kids out of my will?' UPDATED.

'AITA for leaving my husband's kids out of my will?' UPDATED.

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"AITA for leaving my husband's kids out of my will?"

I (52F) married John (58M) 15 years ago. When we met, he had been widowed for about three years and had to children from this previous relationship, Mark (24M) and Lisa (22F) (all fake names). I never met his first wife and as far as I know they were a happy family until an accident took her away and John was devastated for almost a year until he started coming out of his shell.

When I came into the picture he was still heavily involved with his formerly in-laws and had two young children as a young father under his care so he was taking all the help he could from them, and they were his emotional support. I had no problem with that and made it known to him that I would never try to come between him and any relationship that he and his first wife had created.

When things became serious, and I was introduced to the kids they made it known instantly to me that I would never replace their mother and that they weren’t particularly pleased with my presence in their home.

I accepted that and I, in agreement with John, decided that we would let our relationship advance slowly to let the kids adjust and that I would never force myself as a stepmother or anything like that and I didn’t move in until they explicitly said it was ok and we got married with their blessing.

This process took years and family and individual therapy because both me and John wanted to make sure that we were respecting his kids boundaries. The result is that we cohabitated, but I never parented them.

I went to their school functions, cleaned for them, cooked and we talked and had a cordial relationship, but I never disciplined them, never put rules on them, they never came to me to ask permission for anything or tell me their secrets or ask me advice, which was fine by me, that was what they wanted.

In this time I had two children myself Kate (13F) and Laura (11F) and the girls do have a sibling relationship with John’s children. They’ve moved out in this time and, although I assisted some with their college expenses and such, also when they were growing up, I am no longer financially involved with them.

This Holiday season John was talking about his retirement plan, he works in a high stress industry and has been saving up for early retirement and wanted to put his affairs in order to retire in the next couple of years. He still assists his children with a bit of a monthly allowance, and he told them he would be cutting that to put that money towards his own savings and they did not take it well.

They looked at me and asked me if I could continue their allowance since I own my business and it’s doing really well, and I said no. I do well for myself but I’m not rich and when John retires, I’ll be the only income in the household plus I’ll have to save for my daughters college fund plus my own retirement.

As the conversation of my finances followed I just they tried to say that it was my responsibility to take care of them and I was just taken aback by that statement because they explicitly told me many times (including recently not just as children mind you) that I was just their fathers wife not their mother, so I have absolutely no responsibility towards them in that regard.

When she heard that Lisa got angry and brought up the fact that she expected to inherit my business some day because she “grew up with it." I told her in no uncertain terms that she and her brother were entitled to nothing of mine and certainly not my business which I built myself from the ground up since before I met their dad. They both got angry and left.

My husband knew about all this arrangement well before all this but is angry about how it all went down and has been bombarded with messages about what a selfish b*tch I am since the argument by his children and his former in-laws since new years and even my daughters are mad at me now so AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

winterworld561 said:

NTA. They're not your kids and you're not responsible for them. They themselves even made sure you knew this. They are rude and disrespectful yet expect to be handed anything they want on a plate.

You owe them nothing. If your business goes to anyone it's your own daughters. Don't back down from this. They are not, never will be and never have been your responsibility, which is what they wanted.

compassionfever said:

NTA. Did you realize you've somehow become the bad guy because their dad is cutting off their cash flow for his own very reasonable purposes? He's jumping on board with being angry at you because it takes the heat off of him. Lisa and Mark are throwing a tantrum but they don't want to be mad at their dad, ski they turned it around on you, someone who they intentionally never welcomed as family.

CandThonestpartners said:

Personally I'd make a trust to make sure your bio kids can't give their step siblings part of the business and can't brow beat them into giving them the business. If they do they lose the business. The business is your kids and that's it.

Your husband's kids can't change their mind because now they want your money and business. It should rightfully go to your kids. Make sure your will is tight. If your kids give into step siblings then everyone loses.

Then the business goes to charity. NTA. They can't treat you like crap and as there dad's wife and expect to take over you kids inheritance. Not when they are getting there dads, mums and grandparents. Now they want your kids inheritance. They think they are entitled to everything and they are not entitled to anything of yours.

Bonnm42 said:

NTA I would let tempers cool, for now. You did nothing wrong. I would say something to all of them like “I entered into this relationship with an open arms and flexible to the situation. I understood you all suffered a great loss when your Wife/Mother died. I didn’t want to disrespect any boundaries. Despite feeding and taking care of you, I was always reminded that I am not your Mother.

I respected that and have acted as such. Now, that there’s money and benefits involved, suddenly, you want to act like I’m your Mother. I find that extremely hurtful and disrespectful to me. I have gone above and beyond to respect your wishes that I’m only “your Dad’s wife, not your Mother.”

I expect you to now honor my wishes, on a precedent you set. As for you husband, I’m extremely disappointing that in trying to get your kids to stop acting entitled to your money, you caused this situation by putting me in the middle.

Whether your enabling them with your money or, try, to do it with mine, the lesson you were trying to teach will not be learned because you are counteracting it by siding with them on their entitled behavior. I am very disappointed in all of you.”

ImKiliW said:

NTA -- They've made it very clear that you're not their mother -- but they want you to give them $...nope. They decided on the level of relationship they wanted... they're adults now, and should be operating under their own steam anyway.

Flaky_Cod6321 said:

NTA, kids can go sort themselves out. They are nuts if they thought you were going to give them stuff before your own kids especially with how've they've treated you

UPDATE:

Thanks everyone for all your comments and support. I feel sort of vindicated haha I tried to go through all the comments but there were a lot and I read most of them and I got the gist of it so I decided to talk to my husband and put my foot down.

I told him he started all of this with his comment and he should have had my back because he knew exactly what my financial choices were and also that his children were always his responsibility and I certainly had no obligation to pay allowance to two adults who only see me as his wife.

He was angry and tried to spin it on me and say that whatever they might have said I was their stepmother and I should care for them but I was having none of that. To be clear I do love them but not as my children and I do not the obligation of a mother or a step to them and if they wanted me as such in their lives they had fifteen years to open their arms to me to do so and not do it for money.

We went back and forth a little but he ended up agreeing with me and he said he would talk to them. Maybe when he does I'll update. I also want to talk to our girls to explain them why the dynamics of our family are the way they are.

It's just until now there had never been an instance where it felt like it needed to be verbalized and I don't really want their bond with their siblings to be broken but I want them to understand that John's children don't see me as a mom and, honestly, I don't even know if they see me as part of the family. Thank you all again and best wishes for the new year.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one, before and after the update. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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