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Stepfather-to-be declines walking fiancée down the aisle, 'she's not my actual daughter.' AITA?

Stepfather-to-be declines walking fiancée down the aisle, 'she's not my actual daughter.' AITA?


"AITA for not wanting to walk her down the aisle or lie in a speech?"


I (41M) have two kids with my ex wife, (42F) a son John(22) and daughter Sally (20), I'm remarried to my wife (28). I'm very close with my kids, my son is engaged to Abbie, she seems nice but has been a bit pushy trying to create relationships with me and my wife, though she's also awkward with her.

Abbie isn't close to her family, she told us many stories why and while some of her complaints don't seem awful, it's not my place to judge and I didn't live it so I can't know anyway.

We've tried to be welcoming but Abbie has forced her way into some family traditions where she wouldn't have been invited, and some where no one outside of specific family would have.

She has been calling Sally "sis" since they were only dating a few months, has an odd sister/mother-in-law thing she does with my wife, and the one I'm not a fan of, wants me to be like a father to her. Not because we've clicked or anything. We are very different people, not saying that in a bad way, just saying it's not based on how we get along or anything.

My kids and I have a tradition when they come over that we have a private catch-up in my office/study before they leave, which is now even more important to them because while they both get along well with my wife they don't want to have personal conversations around her yet.

Abbie asked if we could talk, and after I explained the tradition John later asked that I do it, saying she'd never had a caring conversation with her dad. We compromised that I didn't include her in the tradition but do join the two of them for coffee and let her talk.

Then she started calling me dad. They weren't even engaged yet, John pulled me aside and begged me to give her that, laid this whole thing on me about me always being the dad she always wanted right in front of her and she just wanted that, told me she cried watching me and Sally together (she still gives me random hugs; I'm a lucky dad).

I didn't like it but I do feel bad so fine I gave her that. She wants me to walk her down the aisle and to do the father/daughter dance. I don't want to walk her down, and I walk with a cane so dancing is hard. At my own wedding I only danced twice. John is begging for me to do one, especially walking her down the aisle.

They came over Sunday. John and I were talking, I thought to address it. Abbie walked in without knocking, asking if he'd told me yet. I asked what. John said she wanted me to say something about having a second daughter now in my speech and to say how I loved her.

I just looked at him. She asked if I'd do the walk and dance for Sally, I said of course. She yelled, "she's my daughter too" and I said it will never be the same, Sally is my actual daughter.

I tried to explain I'd talk about her being a happy addition to the family and I love how happy she makes Jack, which i thought was a good compromise, but she started crying. John apologized and they left, but he called me when they were home nearly begging me to. AITA because I won't lie and say I love her or she's my daughter?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. You have your boundaries. Abbie sounds like she's developed this fantasy involving you and your family. That can't be healthy. And yelling at you? "You WILL tell people you love me! You WILL tell people I'm your second daughter! You WILL have a good time at my wedding!"

The OP responded here:


John told me she really wants to be part of the family, but she started so quickly I wonder how much is us vs the idea of us. I've been told she immediately was obsessed with the relationship my kids and I have. The yelling...I was more concerned for John than upset, honestly. She seemed...not ok, right then.


Yeah, this doesn’t sound like it’s about you or Sally as actual people. It’s about Abby’s fantasy of having a family. It makes me wonder how much she really even knows you or Sally.

There’s nothing wrong with her wanting a family, but she’s going about it wrong. Relationships grow and develop over time, you don’t just claim someone as family and have an instant relationship with them. She could definitely benefit from therapy.

The OP again responded:


She knows Sally a bit now, with me she learns surface level things and approaches me, but when I try to engage she immediately acts like we're so close and switches subjects to something related to how much closer we should be. John says it's nerves but it doesn't seem like it.


NTA - Aby can't force the relationship she missed out on as she was growing up and that's what she is trying to do. Do not cave to her.


You lost me at "my wife (28)." It's a little odd that you are so hung up on these "traditions" and a rigid family dynamic but you married someone who is only six years older than your son.


Nta, there are obviously several red flags w Abbie which John has chosen to ignore. However, it's unfair of him to expect that you and the rest of your family should be required to cater to her irrational whims and behavior.

Abbie is obviously manipulative, likes being the center of attention, and feels entitled to have everything her way. The only way to deal w people like her is to set boundaries and stick to them. Otherwise, Abbie will walk all over you and your family.


NTA. Abbie needs therapy. She is clearly starved for some kind of family, desperate enough to try to infiltrate yours and oblivious of boundaries. I don't feel good about John marrying her. She sounds pretty unstable.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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