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Stepmom livid when stepdaughter runs away from bday party she throws for her; 'WTF! I dropped 10K on this!?' AITA? UPDATED

Stepmom livid when stepdaughter runs away from bday party she throws for her; 'WTF! I dropped 10K on this!?' AITA? UPDATED

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When this woman is furious with her stepdaughter, she asks the internet:

"My stepdaughter ran away from the birthday party I threw for her AITA?"

I (35f) have been married for 7 years to my husband (45m), who is a single father to my stepdaughter, "Lucy" (15f).

Also, I have a son from a previous relationship, "Toby" (10m). In these 7 years, Lucy never recognized us as family and when she introduces us, we are "dad's wife" and "dad's wife's son".

Birthdays are very important to me. Ever since Toby was born, I've thrown giant birthday parties for him. That didn't change after I married my husband and I thought about doing it for Lucy as well, but she refused. She refuses every year, and everything related to her birthday is banned from the house.

Since she is turning 15 this year, I decided to throw her a surprise party. We organized it with Toby: invitations to her classmates, family and close friends; games, karaoke, catering and decorations.

Not even my husband knew. I took the day off from work and Toby skipped school to fix everything. At night, my husband and Lucy arrived (they have dinner alone for her birthday) and we yelled "surprise".

They didn't look happy, but I assumed it was because of the surprise. My husband didn't say anything to me and Lucy disappeared almost immediately (I assumed to go talk to her friends).

The party was amazing, everyone had fun, the games were a hit and overall I had a great time. When bringing the cake to sing happy birthday, I called for Lucy, but she wasn't in the party.

We looked for her around the house, but she wasn't there, and neither was my husband. After half an hour of trying to call them both on their cell phones, the mood got ruined and everyone left.

The two returned after midnight and didn't felt guilty about leaving. I immediately asked them why they left. Lucy didn't say anything and went to her bedroom, and my husband told me to calm down.

He explained that Lucy wasn't feeling well, so they went to the beach. I scolded him for not telling me but he just shrugged and said "you were too busy enjoying the party to notice" and went to sleep.

I don't understand why they both disrespected me like that. I invested a lot of time and money in the party and they haven't even apologized for leaving. It's been three days and the two act as if nothing happened.

When I try to talk about it, Lucy looks at me like I'm crazy and my husband doesn't call her out on it. I'm tired of her indifference. I threatened my husband to take Toby and leave if they didn't open about it, but he (surprise) shrugged and told me to calm down.

I love them both, but this party disaster has made me believe it's not reciprocated and I'm seriously considering getting a divorce.

Before we look at OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

fun8 writes:

Be honest, OP. This wasn't her party. This was YOUR party. You didn't even notice that she left. You say it yourself too, "I had a great time" not the attendees, certainly not your daughter (even if she showed up, which she did not), but YOU. This was all about YOU.

Not to mention that you elaborate in another post that she has anxiety. Obviously you didn't know this, but her whole "I hate parties, stop throwing them for me" thing is a good giveaway she doesn't want a party.

blytheblight writes;

Genuine confusion at just about everything here. OOP is dumb for making that assumption and spending that much on said assumption. Surprises shouldnt incur debt.

At the same time there has to be a lot missing here. There is no familial relationship, it hardly even seems like the parents like each other. OOP has known SD for nearly a decade, yet somehow never knew about the anxiety and supposedly her husband never told her?

She dumb as hell but how did husband think passive aggressive comments would help in a situation that was never explained to her? Doesnt tell OOP about the social anxiety and then gets mad that OOP hosts an event that would cause said anxiety because she didnt know?

Hubby is useless and OOP is trying too hard. I honestly cant tell how they got together. If husband didnt want a new mom for Lucy, why the hell are they in the same house?? What does that make OOP to him?

OOP should abort that baby and leave. No use spending energy on people who don't care, and if you're trying to use grand gestures youre overcompensating for something missing.

yeti'sunicorn writes:

What the wife did was wrong but it seems like it’s coming from a place of feeling unwanted and neglected. She wants to have a role in the family and right now her husband and stepdaughter are treating her like a nuisance more than a family member.

She goes to the husband and asks him to do something to show he cares (like throw her a birthday party) and he just phones it in from her perspective.

She shouldn’t have thrown this over the top party but it sounds like she’s a bit desperate for love and appreciation and just doesn’t know how else to get it. The husband just doesn’t seem to want to do much to make her feel like his family. They need to start communicating!

34stallen writes:

You’re trying too hard. Going by some of your responses, you’ve tried to bond with his daughter and she’s shown you if not out right told you time and time again, that she has no interest in being a family with you.

I think at this point you need to stop and just concentrate on your son and making the space comfortable for her when she wants to visit her dad.

You aren’t going to get the relationship that you want from her. So leave her be.

tastyfun7 writes:

I feel bad for your husband and step daughter. As soon as I read 'not even my husband knew about it''. It wasn't for surprising both. It was because you KNEW he would say don't do this.

You deliberatly chose to go against their will. This ain't something you do in a relationship. You did it for yourself. Being blinded by your own ambitions to prepare parties.

After 7 years honestly I'd be mad as hell seeing that much disrespect and ignorance to myself and my kid's will.and you probably would take your son and leave my home. Apologize to her and be happy if this goes well. I feel this will end within a few months.

icychoke writes:

I don't believe that you genuinely care about your step daughter. I think you only care about feeding your ego and making yourself feel good. You made her birthday all about you.

You clearly don't respect her boundaries and have no regard of her emotions. You don't even respect your own husband. And why on earth would you spend so much money on a birthday party when you don't have the means to pay for it and then cry about it?

You really messed up. And no, the fact that you had "supermarket cake" on your birthday is not a good excuse. You are completely out of touch. Nobody owes you anything.

nolandscape8 writes:

If anything your husband should divorce you, you totally disregarded the fact his daughter didn’t want a birthday party. Like you said “everything related to her birthday is banned from the house” so then why did you still think it was a good idea to throw a party?

They may have their reasons and don’t wanna share with you. The fact you threatened your husband to leave him if he doesn’t open up about it, they don’t have to open up about anything to you it they don’t want to; plus if it has anything to do with his daughter then it’s not his story to tell. Do better.

And now, OP's update:

It's been a very difficult week and I thought I'd update you on it. I appreciate all the comments and they were helpful to me in realizing several things. The first is that the party was never really for Lucy.

You see, this year I asked my husband to throw me a birthday party. I had high expectations and it turned out to be a small gathering with less than 10 people, no decorations and a supermarket cake since my husband started planning 3 days before. This party was a redemption for me and I admit it.

The second thing is how intrusive I've been with Lucy, but I've been in that girl's life for 7 years, I watched her grow up and I love her, so it's not easy for me to see how she ignores me, how she rejects my son and the lack of love that she has for us. I apologized to her and she didn't say anything.

Two days after my first post, a woman called saying that Lucy didn't attend her therapy session that week. I asked my husband about it and he admitted that she has social anxiety, which made her uncomfortable being at a crowded party, so they left.

That broke my heart. I asked my husband why he didn't tell me and he said "she didn't want me to tell you, so I didn't". I couldn't believe it.

Last Friday, I got the bill for the party. It was more expensive than I thought (around 5 figures) and I discussed it with my husband. He couldn't believe that I spent so much and he immediately stipulated that he won't give me a penny since it was my idea and I did it without anyone's permission.

We fought about it since I don't have that much and he was adamant. He told me that with that money we could have renovated the house or had a family trip and it's my problem. Upon insisting, he said something along the lines of "we weren't even at your stupid party, so stop bothering me".

We fought about it. I yelled at him that Lucy will never see us as family or see me as a parent if he acts like that.

He said that he didn't marry me looking for a new mom for Lucy, and that if I keep trying to meddle in her business and doing stupid things (quoting the party) then we're done, because he's sick of my stupidity and that I embarrassed them. That was it for me, so I took my son and we left.

I haven't received a single call from him. I saw on social media that they went out to dinner, Lucy quoted "a good family time" and they both looked happy. It's clear that they don't care about us. Toby is inconsolable over all of this and so am I.

My mom insists that I find a divorce lawyer, but I think I'm pregnant (not confirmed yet) and I don't want to raise another child with an absent father.

So, is OP TA here? What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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