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Teenage son accused of 'ruining' dad's marriage to stepmom; 'What was I supposed to do? NOT tell her the truth?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Teenage son accused of 'ruining' dad's marriage to stepmom; 'What was I supposed to do? NOT tell her the truth?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this teenager accidentally ruins his father's marriage, he asks the internet:

"I 'ruined' my dad and stepmom's marriage by telling her the truth. AITA?"

I am a 17-year-old male, when I was around nine my dad (39M) started seeing a friend of my mom’s (Cheated on my mom) they married, and they now have three kids together.

My dad asked for custody and he was granted to have me on weekends, he seemed happy to have me and always tried to include me in everything but it was kind of weird and frustrating, he even tried to make me call his wife "mom" and went for full custody several times...

since being with his wife and making me accept his new family was more important than spending actual time with me alone I stopped going to his house when I was 14 he tried to fight for full custody after my mom started dating my stepdad (a nice guy) but I told him to stop.

The other reason why I stopped going (I never told my dad this one) is because his wife was so hostile towards me, my dad used to pay attention to me when I was there so I think she didn’t like it that way and one day told me behind my dad’s back that I was an obstacle to my dad’s happiness that I should just stay with my mom full time.

Their anniversary was 5 days ago, I didn’t want to go but he called my mom to threaten that if I didn’t go, He’d go to court. He took his four kids (including me), his wife, his parents, and his parents-in-law to celebrate at a nice restaurant.

Once there he said that he had 6 tickets for vacations, I didn’t say anything but then he looked at me and said one is for you, I said “Thanks, but I’m not going” He seemed angry and said "ok I had enough, why don’t you want to go”, “just because,”

I said but then he asked the same questions five more times so the sixth time I said: “Because I hate your wife” then he started asking “why” over and over again so I ended up telling him the mean things she said to me.

He was seemingly uncomfortable but told us to finish our meal, no one talked for the rest of the night and after we finished I asked my stepdad to pick me up.

I haven’t spoken to my dad since, he just sent me a message asking if I changed my mind about the trip but I said no.

My cousin told me that my dad is staying at my grandparents’ now. His wife texted me yesterday calling me a brat and asking if I was happy for potentially destroying my half-sibling's home life.

But I just ignored her. My cousin says that the kids are hurt and crying because my dad isn’t at home and she says that I should just have said other things or agree and then tell him later that I wasn’t going. AITA?

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

dress654 writes:

NTA. For a 17 yo guy, you have some tact, which is incredibly refreshing and makes me optimistic about the future, so good for you. Yes, you could / should have waited to say you weren’t going in private, but your dad’s behavior after, repeatedly asking the same questions makes me think it wouldn’t have ended there.

So you said no. To your credit, you attempted to not ruin the meal by not answering the following “why” questions you were bombarded with , you tried. He wouldn’t let it go. So you finally just answered. Nothing AH-ish about that.

Now for a grown woman to tell a child - her stepson no less - that the kid is standing in the way of his father’s happiness. Now that’s klassy. If stepmom and dad want to play stupid games they don’t get to whine about stupid prizes.

miss87 writes:

NTA your step is a grown woman. She did said this things to you, she clearly shouldn't. It's her own fault. I honestly can't believe that people are telling you, you should lie on her behalf, you shouldn't.

Your father was persistent, when you said "becouse" he could have guessed that the real reason was not for the occasion, he is grown man, he chose to dig, also not your fault. And all in all, blaming you for her shitty behaviour was a true lame move from your step.

But what truly maks me mad about your situation is that other people try to tell you, that it's your fault somehow. I'd like you to know it's not. You tried not to bring this subject at that time, it's not always possible. Also telling you that you destroyed her children live? Well, that's on her to. She shouldn't be jerk to you to begin with.

intelligentad5 writes:

NTA. I would send another text to him, just saying can you please ask your wife to stop threatening me and harassing me.

And remember she destroyed her own marriage. When you marry someone with kids, you love them because your partner loves them. they are a part of your family. She knew you were a part of his life and if she didn't want that she had an out before she got married, or had kids or whatever.

But the level of unhinged a grown woman would go to a child to bully them to stop seeing their parent, she is not a good or a safe person to be around. If she had a problem with the time he was spending then he should have talked to her own partner, not a child.

And it speaks volumes that you didn't feel safe and comfortable telling your dad what she said.

jovon0 writes:

NTA and pardon my french but screw that manipulative step monster! I am sorry she did that to you. I truly wish your dad had made you feel safe to come to you when she told you that.

Maybe reach out to your Dad to talk to him. Only IF you want and NOT to try to comfort him about this situation. He should have seen the signs and I bet he is kicking himself in the ass now but maybe you two can write a new chapter together. You let him and that step wench deal with their bullshit as none of it is your responsibility.

turbulet5 writes:

NTA and your post hurts me to read. I've lived most of my life with a hostile and cruel step mom and it is so incredibly hurtful.

Your dad did take action and leave when he realized her treatment of you though. This is more than mine ever did. My dad allowed me to be her punching bag and just silently watched it because that made his life easier.

Only time will tell how your dad will deal with the situation long term. I hope he puts you first and holds her accountable. A father should protect his child, even from his wife if necessary.

I strongly advise you to set firm boundaries with the people in your life that intentionally cause you harm. Those who hurt, belittle and exclude you for fun. Don't allow it. Not for your dad. Not for your siblings. Not for anyone. If you don't want to go on this vacation, don't. Do what you must to protect yourself.

Like you I have also been blessed with a wonderful step dad. So invest in the relationships that are good for you.

crowd65 writes:

Nta. People are responsible for their own actions. Your father ruined his marriage by cheating. It sounds like he then used you as a weapon to hurt your mom further.

He didn't stick up for you enough to even NOTICE when your step mother was bullying you. Frankly I wonder if your step mom got pregnant on purpose to force your dad's hand and get him to divorce your mother.

Also don't be worried about court, that was an empty threat You're almost 18. Most any judge worth their salt won't alter a custody arrangement, especially against your will. Not for less than a year.

normalheigh5 writes:

NTA. Tell your cousin that she wasn't there, and she didn't see how insistent your dad was at bullying a full and complete answer out of you.

Also, this situation was never going to be fixed by piling lies on top of the silence. You've been incredibly dignified through the whole thing, but it's not your responsibility to lie for badly-behaved adults. It's not your responsibility to sacrifice your relationship with your dad for the sake of his other children getting exclusive rights to him.

If there's one thing that needs to come out of this, it's you being honest with your dad, up to and including telling him of your hurt that he prioritised fusing his families together over giving you any quality time with him - after all, his other kids got that time just by dint of living with him!

Further - make a commitment to stop covering for your stepmum. Don't reply to her, just...make sure they're saved/get a screenshot of them, and forward them on to your dad with no commentary.

And now, OP's update:

Well since a lot of you guys have been messaging me, asking about my situation and I’m finally done with my finals which means that I have time, here is an UPDATE.

I didn’t show my father the mean messages she sent me (as many of you suggested) because I don’t want this woman going around saying that I destroyed her life and all of her sh*t, so I didn’t really do it and I won’t, that’s on her.

My dad has been so apologetic and after a few days I posted here for the first time, he picked me up to hang out (Just the two of us) he apologised and even cried for not realising before what the issue was, he said it was never his intention to make feel that way.

He promised he’d never let her get between us again, he begged me not to “hate him” (I don’t know where he got that from, I love him) because he doesn’t want me to cut him off...

since he wants to be there for my wedding and also as a grandpa to my kids, and then he got a little emotional saying how much he loves, etc… he basically promised to be a better father.

He asked me if I changed my mind about the trip and I said yes, I’ll go, it’ll be just me, my dad and his kids. It’ll be In August and I know she is furious for being excluded but hasn’t texted me or anything.

So that’s it, my dad and I talk more often, and we also hang out more, I’ve been to his house a couple of times (just for a few hours but his wife and I just ignore each other)

So that’s it I guess, I’m going on the trip with my dad and half-siblings. Someone asked me about the relationship I have with the boys, well we get along, thus we can’t really do a lot of things together since we have different interests (They are 8, 7, 5 all-male) but I love them and I know they love their big brother (they say it lol).

OP's second update:

Since some of you texted me to know how things are going on, here is a little update. My dad thought it was a great idea to ask my girlfriend to come with us instead of his wife...

I was hesitant at first but then my girlfriend said that she wanted to come with us, so it's gonna be my dad, his three kids, me and my gf. It's great, I can finally can have time alone with my dad without her around.

OP's 3rd update:

She lost my trust, I've shown her and only her some messages my dad's wife sent me a couple of months ago, where she was insulting me for "ruining her marriage", I didn't want my dad to see the messages because I didn't want to cause any more drama.

While we were on a trip a couple of weeks ago, my gf unlocked my phone and showed my dad the messages even if I told her I didn't want to. My dad got mad at me for not showing him the messages before but didn't say anything else for the rest of the trip. I got really mad at my gf and had barely spoken to her since.

The thing is that my dad and his wife are not in a good place now, Clara has already moved to her parents' and my siblings stayed with my dad, according to my dad, this is a break "to re-think the whole relationship", but I feel like garbage...

my dad seemed so happy before I told him why I hated his wife and now this has just gotten worse, it seems like I destroyed my dad's happiness and which is worse, my siblings'.

My dad says this isn't my fault and that I'm the one who has to forgive him but that doesn't prevent me from feeling like if I destroyed their happy family life. I don't think I can trust my gf after this.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's updates:

conchaa writes:

I hope OOP gets some therapy to see that stepmom’s actions is why their marriage is falling apart, not him simply informing his dad about the extent.

I don’t know whether to hope he goes easy on the girlfriend or not because on one hand, she also just presented his dad with facts that he deserves to know about his wife, but on the other it wasn’t her place to present him with those facts after being asked specifically not to.

She overstepped, even if her intentions were good, and what if this is her way of showing him she’ll step on his boundaries regardless of what he wants.

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

Sources: Reddit
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