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'AITA for completely canceling my stepdaughter's birthday bash and leaving her with nothing after I broke up with her Dad?'

'AITA for completely canceling my stepdaughter's birthday bash and leaving her with nothing after I broke up with her Dad?'

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"AITA for completely canceling my stepdaughter's birthday bash and leaving her with nothing after I broke up with her Dad?"

I ( F43) broke up with my ex ( Charlie M42) last Spring, after finding out that he cheated with his ex, Sandy ( F34). We were together for 3 years, in which I was a very committed stepmother to his kid, Sarah F17.

She and I never acted like mother-daughter, but I was the go-to adult when she had problems or needed anything because she and her mom don't get along and my ex would try to help but his solutions weren't very effective.

1.5 years ago, I completed a very ambitious project for a large company. I started getting paid but bonuses and royalties only came in this year, upon launching. I was so happy and so grateful that I opened accounts for my kids.

I decided to gift Sarah the birthday party that she wanted. Her birthday falls in July, and she wanted a pajama party for 25 people, with a big bash (fancy cake, balloons, a DJ) and to go along with her friends to stay in a hotel out of town. This would be for her 18th birthday.

So I set up a savings account under my main bank account. Charlie ended up asking me to help him fund a business idea but I declined for a variety of reasons: We were not married and I prefer to go solo, his business idea sucked because he was inventing the wheel and I would be finding everything.

We ended up having to close the conversation because he got angry and said he needed a helpful partner by his side and I responded that I was taught not to give men my money. I know I was harsh and I apologized.

I began to feel very insecure when Charlie started to criticize my makeup and personal style. He also praised other women to my face and I felt horrible. Early in the relationship, we had issues because of his communication with Sarah, his ex, which resulted in him promising to cut her off.

Fast forward and I began to notice that Sarah was very active in his family's social media. She gave likes and commented a lot so I asked him if they were still in contact because ii just didn't make sense. He denied it.

I went on a 10 day business trip and our communication was very off. He would only take my calls until early in the night and became very vague about his daily activities. I couldn't reach him at all for two nights on several days apart. He sounded weird when we finally talked, so I lied about having to delay my return date for a few days and arrived one day earlier instead.

I came home to find used condoms in the trash. My world was shattered and I threw up. His face changed when he saw me home. He also claimed to have been to his mother’s house until late. I said I was sick when he asked what was going on and didn't mention anything, but he rushed to take out the trash and to do the laundry.

I got into his phone ( I know it's wrong) and found hundreds of messages from his ex, pictures, voice mails and conversations like they had never broken up. He consulted her about things, told her about his day, etc. Then I found a family chat that made me sick.

He, Sarah and Sandy, spent a whole 2 days at a camping site last year when I went to visit family and there were pictures from last Xmas with his ex at his mother’s house. Obviously, he had a full blown relationship behind my back and his entire family was aware of it.

I directly confronted him and he tried to deny it until I layed one of the voicemails. I couldn’t take the humiliation so I moved out weeks later. I closed the bank account for the birthday bash and kept the money for myself.

I cut everyone off, including his kid. He reached out in the last week of May. He pleaded with me not to take away Sarah’s birthday celebration. I never replied. I know she’s a teenager and that she has no control over her Dad’s actions, but she seems awfully comfortable in her pictures with his ex and I feel extremely betrayed.

Also, there's no way in hell that I’m funding a party that I’m not gonna attend for obvious reasons and I don’t want to contribute to a celebration so that his shitty family could eat and drink on my dime. Sarah’s mom always had separate celebrations for her and her gift was supposed to be a camping trip. My ex’s family cannot afford the celebration unless they saved way in advance.

My best friend says that maybe I can send Sarah a gift if I findnit in myself to forgive her actions, but I don’t feel like it. His sister sent me a voicemail the other day, asking me to please don’t turn my back on her niece. I feel awful, because I know this was Sarah’s dream, but I’m too disgusted to back out from my decision. AITA?

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

PleaseCoffeeMe said:

NTA. Sarah knew what her father was doing. His family knew and actively engaged in hiding this from you. Let them throw a Motel 6 pool party with Dominoes and a boom box. You take care of yourself. It might be healthy for you to cut all ties with this group.

ApartSpray332 said:

NTA they were both using you for money. They were both complacent. He should have the women he was cheating on you with fund his business idea and his daughter party.

KindaNewRoundHere said:

Oh that’s rough. They were totally using you for money! And you’re so sweet and thoughtful. Hard working and they don’t deserve you. What a horrible man and his family, including daughter, is just as horrible with playing happy families while he’s cheating with his cheat partner at family gatherings. So sly. NTA.

Rooster_Fish-II said:

NTA. She wasn’t on your team. Camping trip, Xmas, and who knows what else? They were using you as a cash cow. You may be able to forgive her somewhat because she’s a teenager and it’s hard for a kid to go against their parents. But if she was really on your side she could have tipped you off somehow in all that time.

Medical_Gate_5721 said:

NTA Denying him this is a very good life lesson in not screwing people over. Her father's example is: lie to people, use them, and then reap the rewards. By taking away the reward, you are showing her that this way of being an adult and having a relationship will result in disappointment for the user, not just the victim.

I think maintaining a clear boundary and consequence here is your final act as a step parent to this child.

keesouth said:

NTA. This isn't about your ex cheating as much as it's about your stepdaughter knowing and not telling you about the cheating. She was obviously aware of the affair and participated in activities with the affair partner. She wasn't worried about you when she was hanging out with the ex, so I don't think you need to worry about her now.

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