My parents were young when they had me (both 19). They were together until I was around 1, then they broke up. They didn't get married, so there was no divorce or anything. Also, I have my mom's last name, which becomes relevant later, so I'm mentioning it here.
My dad met his wife, Carol, when I was 5 or 6. I met her at age 6, and she was married to my dad when I was 7. They had four kids in four years, starting a few months after the wedding because Carol is older than my dad and felt her biological clock ticking, apparently. It was all very fast for me.
My relationship with Carol is not very close. She has made a lot of efforts to take on the role of a third parent and second mom, but I always see her as just my dad's wife or as someone who's part of the wider family but not exactly important to me.
I have a few reasons for this. She never lets me call her Carol. She pushed for 'mom' or 'momma' years ago, and we ended up both settling for 'ma'am' since using first names is a no-no. She's also pushy with her religion and has called me disrespectful for not giving her religion a chance and not attending unless I'm forced to.
I don't believe in religion, and I was mostly raised without it. Dad converted for her, but my mom said no to me doing it (and I'm glad she did). Carol also acts like we had years to get to know each other before she became my dad's wife when in reality, it was about a year.
Other issues include her dislike for my mom, which she's not afraid to voice around me. Carol dislikes that I have my mom's last name and not my dad's. She dislikes the first name my mom chose for me and has implied my mom was selfish for giving me a more unique and uncommon name rather than a 'normal' one.
She has called my mom 'white trash,' 'trailer trash,' a 'disgrace as a parent,' etc., because of the name. She also blames my mom for not encouraging me to use my middle name, which my dad chose and is more to Carol's liking.
She also disagreed with my mom not putting me in sports when I was younger. Carol believes boys need to be in sports from a very young age, but my mom never considered it a priority. Carol is so disrespectful about my mom so often.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was at my dad's, Carol and I were alone, and she wanted to know why I never treat her like a parent and what she's done so wrong that I refuse to acknowledge her as any kind of mom to me.
I mentioned all of the above and how much I hate when she gets like that. I told her she can't expect to win me over when she talks badly about my mom all the time and disrespects me by disrespecting my name. I told her I would never love someone who acts that way.
She was hurt, I could tell, but she was also angry, and so was dad when she told him what I said. They accused me of treating Carol with 'so much disrespect and harshness.' AITA?
Here are some of the top comments from the post:
She asked. You told. Carol needs to look inward. And your dad.....he's not supporting you. You'll be an adult and won't have to deal with her soon. Good luck.
He's not and my best guess is he would defend Carol and say she's trying to be a good mom and can see things I don't. But he really shouldn't be okay with it. Then again, he probably agrees with her.
NTA (Not the A%#@ole). First of all, it is for the child to decide whether a parent's new spouse becomes a third parent. Secondly, Carol pushed for you to call her "mum". That was wrong of her. Thirdly, she tried to push her religion on you.
That is disgusting. And no, not giving someone's religion a "chance" is not disrespectful. It is called having made a choice.Fourth, she disrespected and disrespects your mother in front of you. That in itself is a major AH move and enough not to want to have anything to do with her.
As for your name, that is from the beginning a choice made by your parents. Nothing to do with Carol. If your name is to change that would have to be your choice, not hers.As for the sports, your mother was every bit entitled not to have that as a priority.
Now you have the right to make your own list of priorities.Lastly, with your father and her being so keen on creating new children, and such a lot of them, it is a miracle that Carol even has the energy to be so much in your face as she is.I feel Carol has made it so very difficult for you to even like her, not to mention consider her a parent or an authority figure in your life.
Part of me wishes she'd just forgotten about me after she started having kids with my dad. It would have made life at his house so much less annoying.
But there was always something and she was always acting like she knows my mom super personally and that all the disrespectful stuff she says is something she's entitled to say, even around me. Yep. I never liked her enough to even want to consider her a part of my family or a parent figure to me.
NTA I am sorry this has been your reality. The adults failed in their responsibility to give you a loving and supportive home.
If you want to work through things with your Dad, you could consider talking with him and giving him your side of the story. And telling him clearly what Carol has done and how that made you feel. I doubt Carol was honest in her retelling of what happened.
Be prepared. Your Dad may not be open to hearing that he was essentially a jerk who failed to protect you. And that his wife was a total nightmare. So it’s up to you what you want to deal with. Just know you’re not the problem. None of this is your fault. The adults failed and are continuing to fail. Respect is earned not a right.
My dad is aware of the issues I have. He doesn't really care and I honestly feel like he either agrees with Carol or is going to side with her simply because she's his wife.
What do you think? Was OP right to be that honest with his dad's wife?