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Man bans stepmom from his wedding; 'Don't accuse my fiancé of baby trapping me.' AITA? UPDATED 6X

Man bans stepmom from his wedding; 'Don't accuse my fiancé of baby trapping me.' AITA? UPDATED 6X


When this man bans his stepmom from his wedding, he asks the internet:

"I banned my entitled stepmonster from my wedding. AITA?"

My (28M) stepmother (49F) is a wannabe party planner. She has taken it upon herself to plan and host every party and holiday my dad's family has thrown since she married him.

I never loved those occasions growing up (she’s controlling and gets upset if people complain about anything), but humored her for my dad’s sake. According to him, this helps her feel included.

I’m getting married to my fiancée Jane (26F) in July. We got engaged in early 2021, but Jane ended up getting pregnant a couple months after that, and we decided to postpone the wedding to focus on our son for a while. So we’ve had a long engagement.

My stepmother has tried to hijack our wedding plans from day 1 (complaining, contacting our planner, showing up unannounced to Jane’s dress appointments, etc.), and we have repeatedly asked her to stop.

Dad wants us to humor her, but she’s clearly resentful of the fact that she’s not hosting the wedding or being labeled “mother of the groom” in invitations.

Besides our baby boy, we also have Luke (4M), Jane’s paternal half brother. She got custody of him a few months into our relationship, after his parents died. I ended up moving in with them during the pandemic, and have been in Luke’s life since he was a baby.

He doesn’t call me “dad”, and refers to us as “his sister and his OP”, but we love him like a son.

Stepmother, though, hates Luke. She accuses Jane of “baby-trapping her way into the family” (that accusation only got worse after our son was born).

My dad gets along with Jane and adores the kids, but stepmother demands him to refuse babysitting Luke, so we don’t leave the kids with them often. Instead, Jane's brother and SIL usually watch the kids for us, as their children are close to ours in age.

We had a thing last Sunday, and my BIL was out of town with his family. Jane's other siblings live in different cities, as well as my mom and sister. My dad agreed to babysit at our place, and we left.

We came back to find both kids crying, stepmother screaming, and dad weakly trying to calm everyone down. Apparently, Luke had told stepmother that both he and our son were going to be our ring bearers, and she went ballistic.

She screamed that she wasn’t going to allow that because he wasn’t family. She then made me need to include the trigger warning when he started crying. His lip is still split. She'd never gotten to this point before.

We immediately banned her from our house and from our wedding. Dad is fuming and has said he’s not going without her. He’s also convinced half of his side of the family (by severely downplaying what stepmother did) to boycott the wedding as well.

This includes my stepbrother, who fully agrees with his mother no matter how many times I try to tell him the truth.

Me and Jane are refusing to budge, but many of my cousins who aren’t coming anymore are asking us to reconsider. Pretty much all of Jane’s family agrees with us, but one of her aunts has suggested that maybe stepmother is acting out because she doesn’t feel welcomed by my family.

I've honestly had it with my family enabling her behavior. I love my dad, and really want him at my wedding, but I am more than willing to go NC if it means protecting my family.

EDIT: I think I accidentally deleted the paragraph where I mentioned this, but we did press charges. We took Luke to the pediatrician the next day and gathered every piece of evidence we had. Not only did we have pictures of Luke's face, but by some miraculous strike of luck, we also had nanny cam footage.

Some commenters were right to assume that my SM hadn't been invited to our house, but my dad hasn't really gone anywhere without her in years, so we took precautions. We didn't expect her to actually do anything this awful, but we've never trusted her with the kids.

The physical attack happened off camera, but there is some footage of her screaming and Luke crying before and after the event. She now has a child abuse charge on her rap sheet. We wouldn't let her get away with this.

EDIT 2: There is a lot of additional info I want to add. I'll try to respond to at least some of the comments (I DID NOT expect the amount I've gotten so far), but all I'll add for now is that Luke is okay.

The visit to the pediatrician happened the day after. He already had a counselor (Jane was pretty traumatized when her dad and stepmom died, and was worried it would rub off on him) and will continue treatment. We've been hugging and pampering him a little more than usual, too. He's still upset, but is already doing much better.

Update 1 (5 days later):

I want to thank everybody who took the time to read and/or comment on my previous post. It's been a tough week, but it's always great to know that people care. I haven't been able to reply to every comment, but I will try to address some in this update. This might get a little long.

I'll start off by saying that me and Jane are going NC with my dad and SM. We haven't really spoken to either of them since the incident, and I don't plan on being the one to reach out. Any communication between us is being handled by my younger sister. She's completely on our side, but will remain in low contact for the time being.

I've decided to adopt Jane's way of dealing with people she cares about: forgive what's apologized for, but never forget. Basically, if dad or SM ever truly understand what they did wrong and sincerely apologize, we're willing to forgive them, even if begrudgingly so.

But we will never ignore (or let THEM forget) what they did to our family. And for the time being, neither of them will be allowed near Luke, our baby, and any other kids we may have in the future, even if we do forgive them.

As for the rest of my family: I read A LOT of comments suggesting that I post pictures of Luke's face, as well as the nanny cam footage.

I'm not very active on social media, but even if I was, I'm not comfortable exposing my injured preschooler like that, especially given that nothing on the internet ever truly goes away. I also decided not to share the pictures with my family unless truly necessary.

I should probably mention that while my family adores my dad, most of them aren't very fond of SM. She had two failed marriages prior to meeting my father (the first of which resulted in my stepbrother), and he cheated on his then-girlfriend to be with her.

My family loved that girlfriend, and disliked SM right away. Not only has she been controlling and manipulative since the beginning, she's also tried to force her way into the "family matriarch" role by any means possible.

Taking over planning duties for every family event was her favorite way to do it, because of all the attention and compliments that come with it.

The main reason why I hated these parties growing up was because she'd always find a way to make everything about her, including Christmas and mine and my sister's birthdays. The rest of the family felt neutral about it, but they never liked her.

With Luke, it was different. Most of my relatives didn't meet him until COVID restrictions got looser, and by then he was 2 years old. He's a bright and genuinely loveable kid, and there weren't really any other small children in the family, so everyone immediately started cooing over him.

The way I see it, SM got upset that Jane and Luke were accepted by my family so easily compared to her experience, and that's why she resents them both, but I can't confirm that.

She was also mad that, aside from not being the planner, she would have absolutely no involvement in the wedding party.

She tried to pressure us into letting her officiate (one of Jane's best friends was offered that role a year ago), making stepbrother my best man (he wasn't interested, and I'd already gotten my best friend) or asking her sister's daughter to be our flower girl (we'd promised Jane's 3-year-old niece, also her sister's daughter is fifteen and doesn't know us).

She also tried to convince us to let my dad walk Jane down the aisle, since her father's gone, but her eldest brother (the BIL I mentioned in the first post) had already been enlisted.

SM was disappointed that my family wasn't as involved in the wedding as Jane's, and kept making comments about how that "would never happen if we put her in charge".

All of that being said, there is NOTHING that can excuse being that awful to a child, especially if it really is the petty jealousy that I suspect.

Because I haven't spoken with my father, my sister has been keeping me updated on what he's been up to. As I found out through her, the story my dad and SM told the rest of the family completely erases Luke's injury and the abuse charges.

It insinuates that me and Jane banned them because we got annoyed with SM and decided to take it out on my dad as well. Because most people already disliked SM, explaining what actually happened that night wasn't hard, and most of the relatives that I actually wanted at the wedding have apologized and are berating my dad as well.

The people that didn't believe us, as well as those saying we overreacted, have been told they are not welcome in our home anymore. Those are mostly people from my dad's generation, so I can't say I'm surprised.

But the realization that they are so biased they're willing to protect a woman they hate (after she hurt a child) just to make my dad happy has reassured me that I don't need any of them in my life.

Stepbrother is still in denial. He refuses to believe his mother could hurt a child, even with all the evidence we have. I have to admit I understand, I love my mom too, but that doesn't mean I'd excuse his obliviousness.

So he's banned too. It sucks, because we were close growing up, but I don't regret it. Besides, Jane has 3 other siblings besides Luke (the older BIL, a twin brother and a younger sister), and I'm closer to them than I ever was to him.

Speaking of Jane's family, they're all furious over what happened, and have been extremely supportive of us. Jane's maternal family basically adopted Luke after she got custody of him, and have called frequently to make sure he's okay.

We did manage to save some money with everybody we uninvited, and have decided to use it to help Jane's cousin. She lives in a different country, and was previously unable to come to the wedding, so we're paying for her plane ticket.

Luke has gotten much better, and is almost completely back to being the sunny child he's always been. The split lip was shallow. It's healing slowly, but didn't require any stitches. We sat him down a few days ago, and explained that my dad and stepmonster wouldn't be around anymore.

He really liked my dad, but understands that he and SM are attached at the hip. He's clearly scared of her, but we're doing our best to make him feel safe. Me and Jane have reassured him that he IS family, we love him, and no one will ever change that.

I'm not too worried about dad or SM trying to show up at the wedding, but we've alerted the venue and given them pictures just in case they try anything. Better safe than sorry.

Some people brought attention to the fact that SM is a hypocrite for saying Luke isn't family. I agree, for obvious reasons. Her main excuse for pretty much everything she does is that she doesn't feel like my family welcomes her.

Dad has been guilting me to take part in everything she plans by reminding us of that for as long as I can remember. The way he continues to make excuses for her without realizing this is basically a case of the pot calling the kettle black (except Luke actually IS family)

is what has made me accept that, while I will always love my dad, it's not healthy or safe for me and my family to be around him anymore. It hurts to know my son won't have his only remaining bio grandfather in his life, but he has two amazing step grandpas to make up for it.

For now, I'm sad, but satisfied with how things have turned out. I don't like to complain about my life. It's a mess, but a beautiful one. I love my fiancée, I love my kids, and I'm lucky enough to love my job. We're happy. I'm not letting anyone ruin that.

To whoever was annoyed at my censorship: when posting on AITA didn't work out, Jane suggested I make the writing less explicit. I'm not used to Reddit yet, so I might have overdone it a little bit.

I hope this is my last update on this story, but I'll keep you posted. Again, thank you for all your love and support! Best wishes to all of you.

Update 2:

The only reason why I know that this is the first time she's hit him is because this was the first (and last) time she was with the kids unsupervised. Me and Jane were around every previous time she saw Luke.

She didn't want my dad to babysit him, and we'd only asked him to on a few occasions before. My sister was still living with them at the time, and has assured me that Luke was never out of her sight. I know and trust my sister enough to believe her.

First time or not, I will not give her a second chance. She'll never hurt either of my kids again.

We've actually had passwords with the vendors since day one. Some of the earlier ones we met actually recommended us to do it. SM did contact our planner a while back saying she had our approval to talk to our vendors. She didn't let her, and we got a bit more strict with passwords after that.

.So is SM serving any jail time? If she attacked a child then and you guys pressed charges I would imagine she would have to be processed and eventually serve some time for her crime.

OP: We hope so. We're setting up a date for the arraignment. Start a file for SM. Keep any and all texts, voicemails and attempts of her communicating. Do the same with anyone who has taken her side because she could escalate and you may need that info.

Those people are flying monkeys and she’s sent them to not only plead her case, but report back to her the things you may have told them so she can continue to play her victim card.

You were great to have the nanny cam, but should also make sure to notify his daycare or school that she is not to be given info or access to him, get cameras hat have audio just in case she shows up at your house and password protect all of...

your wedding vendors and let them know not to give her any info and to notify you if she tries. Your dad may be harmless, but she’s not.

OP: That 2nd advice is something we've been pretty occupied with, actually. This past week has been mostly about the kids and collecting evidence. But I'll definitely check out the JNMIL sub.

Did you say that if your father and stepmonster apologize that you will allow them at your wedding? I wasn't quite sure what you were saying.

OP: ABSOLUTELY NOT. My father and SM are not welcome at the wedding, no matter the circumstances. They could offer me an island and I'd still refuse to let them come back into our lives right now.

I only plan to forgive anything far off in the future, and only if they apologize sincerely. Even then, they will have no access to the kids for years after that. Knowing SM, I highly doubt she'll ever feel sorry for what she did, so we're not counting on it anyway.

Update 3:

I'll start off by (probably) disappointing a lot of people: we're coming to terms with the fact that it's unlikely SM will get anything more than a slap on the wrist.

Me and Jane are discussing our next move with our lawyer, but we're still not sure how we're going to move forward. It's too early to tell anyway, so we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves anymore than we already have.

However, I'm relieved to announce that we're getting started on the process for a restraining order against SM. We're using the same evidence we gathered the week following the incident (including the nanny cam footage and pictures of Luke), and we'll focus on that for the time being.

I still haven't spoken to my father. My sister is still in LC, but is seriously considering cutting ties with him. Because my sister is the only one on my side that still talks to him, my father keeps trying to ask her about me, and whether I've "calmed down" yet.

According to her, he's annoyed that half of his family refuses to talk to him, but still doesn't seem to accept why. I told my sister that she doesn't need to keep playing messenger pigeon between me and our father (I never asked her to do it, and it's clearly taking a toll on her), but she insists she'll stop when it "feels right".

By the way, there is absolutely no doubt whether SM attacked Luke. Not only did Luke say it the moment we got home, but that was also confirmed by my father in a failed attempt to defend her behavior.

He never tried to hide it from us. That (and the fact that he gave Luke an ice bag) is literally the only positive thing I can say about his actions. And SM was too busy screaming about how much of a "whining brat" Luke was being to deny it.

To those who guessed SM is younger than my dad, you get an invisible cookie! She's also 5 years younger than his previous girlfriend. They got together when I was around 15. Also, stepbrother is only a month older than me (she turns 50 later this year; had him at 21, married his father a year later).

Both our kids are doing mostly okay. Luke's back to running around the house in his Superman costume whenever he doesn't have anything better to do. He did have few nightmares this past week, and has asked to sleep on our bed twice. We don't mention my father around him, and he's still seeing his counselor.

Our 14-month-old son has learned two new words ("hi" and "bye"), and Luke is trying to teach him to say his name. Jane's sister, who moved away for college, is coming over for a couple days to celebrate her 21st birthday later this month.

Luke's excited to see her, and Jane's excited to get drunk with her (can't say I blame her). We're hoping her presence will cheer us all up.

I'm not doing so good, and neither is Jane. She's usually the kind of person who tries to keep her negative emotions to herself, but she cried herself to sleep almost every night the week it happened. It breaks my heart to see her like that, and I can't help but feel like this is my fault.

There's a part of me trying to tell me I had no way of knowing SM would do anything like that, but that doesn't really change anything. I allowed my father near my kids unsupervised, even though I knew she'd probably tag along. This is the guiltiest I've ever felt, and I don't think I'll ever forgive myself.

Jane has been improving lately, and is trying to convince me to see a therapist. I've never really done that before, apart from a psychiatrist when I was younger, but now feels like a good time to give it a try.

I was surprised by a few messages this week from people telling me to forgive my father and SM, as well as re-invite them to the wedding. That's not happening. In fact, I'm not willing to ever forgive SM. My dad has now degraded to a huge maybe, but I will never understand or forget what she did.

Also, though the wedding is the last thing on our minds right now, we're not postponing it. We considered rescheduling, but the date we'd settled on is pretty much the only one that works for our guests.

We have passwords with all our vendors, and gave them all clear instructions not to talk to anyone but us. Jane's family is bigger and closer to each other, which is why they're more involved in the wedding than mine, but I do have family participating: my sister is one of the bridesmaids, two of my cousins are groomsmen, and my mom is walking down the aisle with the wedding party.

Going through all of this with Jane has made me understand even more just how much I love this woman. I couldn't ask for a better partner to start a family with, and I have no idea what I'd do without her. This didn't tear us apart, and I couldn't be more thankful.

I probably won't make any more updates until after the wedding (unless something big happens). In the meantime, as always, best wishes to all of you.

Update 4:

I didn't plan on updating again before the wedding, but something pretty huge happened.

The good news is we got the RO. The bad news is me and Jane had to see both SM and my father at the court hearing.

This was our first time seeing them since we kicked them out of our house over a month ago, and neither of us were looking forward to it. We left the kids with Jane's brother and SIL, so at least Luke didn't have to see them.

The hearing itself went a lot quicker than I expected. I'll give credit where it's due: my father was, at the very least, smart enough to understand there was no way they were winning this.

There was a lot of evidence against them. Not only did we have the nanny cam footage and Luke's pictures and medical record, but my sister had also gathered every text and e-mail SM had sent her and the family about what happened. And SM hates speaking on the phone, so there were A LOT of those. They didn't even bother to get an attorney for the hearing.

The judge granted us a protection order against SM. She's not allowed within 500 feet of us or our property anymore. We're changing all our locks this week, and I'm thinking about changing my phone number as well.

I have to admit, the moment we left the courthouse was the safest I'd felt since this whole ordeal started. Jane was close to tearing up with joy when we got to the car. We picked up the kids and went to McDonald's with BIL and his family to celebrate.

Hours later, my father called me. The order doesn't extend to him, so he can still do that. Jane and the kids were in bed, so I answered. I didn't expect him to change his mind and apologize all of a sudden, but decided to give him one last chance.

He tried to start some awkward small-talk, but I told him to get to the point. He asked me if the order was truly necessary. I stated, very clearly, that SM was never coming near Jane or my children again, and that I was glad I had an RO to formalize that. Every excuse he had for SM was pretty easy to shut down:

"But she only hit him once!" "Yep, and that's enough for me." "The kids need their grandma!" "She's not their grandma, mom is."

"SHE'S MY WIFE. You need to respect her!" "She attacked Luke. She disrespected my family in my own house. I don't owe her anything, least of all my respect."

He then went on a rant about family, how much of a godsend SM was and everything she'd done for me and my sister since she came into our lives.

I replied by listing every time I could remember about her lying, overstepping a boundary or acting unhinged around me, my family or my sister. I brought up both my adult life and my youth.

Examples included her attempts to hijack most of our milestones (recently, our wedding plans, our son's birth, Jane's baby shower and my sister's college graduation), her obsession with the idea of a "perfect family" and her disgusting attitude towards Luke.

I also made sure to mention her habits of going through mine and my sister's stuff when we were younger. It's trivial, compared to everything else, but this behavior went on until my sister moved out of their house, only three months ago.

We're pretty sure she found out about Jane's wedding dress appointments by reading my sister's planner while she wasn't home, for instance.

Some of the memories I mentioned are long and hard to explain, but they did cement the fact that SM means nothing to me.

He tried to go with the whole "she doesn't feel included" excuse again, but I shut him up. I said he'd had the opportunity to protect his grandchildren, but had chosen his monster of a wife instead, and that's enough for me to want nothing to do with him. I hung up without saying goodbye.

My sister told me he called her afterwards, and she told him she was going NC with him as well.

I think we're both starting to accept our father won't change. It sucks, but he's made his priorities clear, and his children and grandkids aren't among them.

For now, that's it. Now that they're fresh in my mind, I'm thinking about sharing some of the stories I reminded my father of, but that's gonna take a while. Until then, as always, best wishes to all of you.

After being engaged for over two years, me and Jane finally got married last Saturday. We're still getting used to calling each other "husband" and "wife", but we'll get there. Hopefully.

The wedding was awesome. The kids had fun, our extended families finally met and we danced so much I could barely stand the next day. Luke took his ring bearer duties seriously, and held my son's hand as they walked down the aisle.

Besides my aunt getting shit-faced and being led out on a wheelchair (which I already thought would happen anyway), everything went according to plan.

It's been 4 months since we got the RO against SM. Things have been mostly quiet, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Except completely quiet, but we can't always get what we want.

I never really worried about SM showing up at the wedding, especially after the RO. It's literally illegal for her to come close to us, and we made it very clear that if she tried, we'd call the cops right away.

My friends still warned me to take safety measures, most of which I did. SM didn't show up, of course, but I'm a strong believer that any money spent on security is well-spent, so no regrets on that end.

My stepbrother and I wished each other happy birthdays, and he also texted Jane on hers back in June. That's the only contact we've had during these months. He knows that the door is still open if he wants to apologize.

My dad has given up on trying to reach me. We haven't spoken since April. He's still trying to talk to my sister, for some reason, but she's ignoring him.

A few days after she went NC with him, they had a huge fight over the phone about SM's treatment of us over the years. Insults were thrown, sore subjects were brought up and, most importantly, my father took SM's side on almost everything. My sister called me crying afterwards. I wanted to call him and yell at him, but she told me not to.

She's doing okay now. She hasn't blocked him, but doesn't take his calls or answer his texts. She's only gotten three: a weak apology, one on my birthday back in May, and a long rant after neither of us wished him a Happy Father's Day. After all, despite our "differences", he's still our father.

He's not wrong. I love my father, and I always will, but I can't be around him anymore. While I've closed that door, I'm not locking it just yet. He knows what he needs to do if he wants his family back.

I don't think he'll do it, but if there's the slightest chance he might, I'll consider opening the door an inch or two. This is my wife's suggestion. I'm a lot less optimistic than she is, but maybe it's important to hold onto that hope.

She hasn't forgiven him, though. Or SM. Jane has always been very protective of Luke, so it was no surprise that this disaster shook her. A part of me was scared she'd blame me, but she called me a dumbass when I told her that.

I've been in therapy for a few months, and it's helped a lot more than I thought it would. I've realized SM's behavior around me growing up was a lot worse than I always thought, and it's great to finally be able to get my feelings off my chest.

Right now, I'm more than happy. I just married the most amazing woman ever, and I have the family I always dreamed of. None of us are perfect, but I never thought life would be this great to me.

I'll stick around, but I can sleep peacefully now, so it's safe to say this will be my last update on this.

Thank you all for the kindness and advices you gave me these months. I could have never expected the support I got from you guys, and I can't begin to describe how helpful it was. Seriously, thank you all.

Update 5:

OK, I updated too soon. I didn't want to write another post, so I'll just add this here:

My stepbrother called me earlier today. Apparently, he and SM had a fight and he wants to meet up. I agreed as long as it was just the two of us. We're meeting up for coffee on Wednesday. I have no idea what to expect, but even if he does apologize, I need to know he understands how and why he let us down.

EDIT 2: I rescheduled the meet up. With me and Jane would leaving for our honeymoon on Friday, I decided that no matter the outcome of my conversation with SB, I didn't want to spend the whole trip thinking about it. He understood, and we're gonna talk when I'm back.

Update 6:

Hey guys. I've been away from Reddit for a few months, due to some stuff at work. But a lot of people have been messaging me about my stepbrother, so I want to give you a small update. I've been busy and tired these days, so I might gloss over some details. Feel free to ask me anything.

I first met my stepbrother for coffee back in August. He'd had a fight with SM and the RO was brought up. She'd lied to him about some details (accusing Luke of picking on my baby, badmouthing Jane, and more), but this time, he managed to force her to tell him the truth.

My stepbrother started to reevaluate his relationship with his mother. After talking to his therapist and his friends about it, as well as the way she'd raised him, he finally accepted I wasn't exaggerating about what she did to Luke. He wanted to talk to me back in June, but didn't want to distract me and Jane from the wedding.

Me and my stepbrother spent the last four months working on rebuilding our relationship. We've been meeting for coffee or lunch and discussing his mother and what she did to our lives and my kids. Jane started joining us in October, and the kids saw him again for the first time two weeks ago.

Things were awkward between us for a while, but we're good now. He's also making amends with my sister. In early November, he completely cut contact with SM.

Jane and the kids are doing amazing. Luke turned 5 in September, and our baby will be two (holy crap) in early February. We're spending the holidays with Jane's family in Brazil, while my stepbrother stays with his girlfriend. Things are great. That's all. I'm signing off for now, I'll let you know if anything happens. Happy holidays, everyone. Best wishes to all of you.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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