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Stepmom demands her kids be included by deceased mom's family; they say 'no way.'

Stepmom demands her kids be included by deceased mom's family; they say 'no way.'


A teenager came to Reddit after a fight with his father and stepmom, asking if he was wrong for how he feels about his step-siblings. Turns out, the rest of the maternal family feels the exact same way.

'AITA (Am I the a-hole) for telling my dad and his wife they aren't entitled to anything from my maternal grandparents?'

Feeling_Ad8911 writes:

My parents divorced when my brother (15m) and I (17m) were little. My brother and I were always close to mom's family because they were the side who was the most involved in our lives and they were also the kinder ones. My dad's family always made us a little uneasy and were very pushy/demanding.

Mom died when I was 8 and a few days before my brother was 6. Dad was already dating his wife Rachael at that point but we didn't meet her before mom died. Rachael had a son and a daughter who were pretty much babies when she and dad met, they were about 2/3 when my brother and I met them.

After dad and Rachael got engaged, my dad ended up estranged from his side of the family because they told him Rachael's kids would not be welcome to join their family.

And her family life has always been frought.

Rachael has no family. She was a foster kid who ended up separated from her siblings and they didn't want to know each other as adults. Her kids' dad was out of the picture when she met my dad and his family were not interested in the kids either.

My brother and I still had our maternal family though. And we continued to be close to them.

I know on more than one occasion my dad asked them to include Rachael's kids and when he and Rachael had our half siblings, he asked some more about including all of them.

My maternal family and dad were never on great terms and there was no relationship after the divorce, so they weren't exactly enthusiastic about it. But they did ask my brother and me a couple of times if we wanted to include the others.

We said we wanted our time with them to be for just us and that they weren't part of our family with them so didn't want to add them to it. They never told dad, but they always said no.

Rachael let my brother and I know a couple of times that our grandparents had turned down the chance to spend time with her kids. I think she was hoping we would be upset or speak to them in favor of including her kids.

They did try to stop my brother and me from seeing our maternal family. We both kicked up a huge fuss and after a couple of months of being denied any contact, dad gave in and said we'd never have a peaceful home if they kept it up.

The status quo has not changed. But it bothers my dad and Rachael way more than it used to. It especially bothered because they show up to my hockey games or my brother's football games and because we are now making plans with our grandparents without going through dad first.

My stepsister was upset that she didn't have any grandparents for her class's grandparents play, and Rachael and dad were talking shit about my grandparents and how they should be filling that role for them.

That was a bridge too far for OP.

I told them they're not entitled to anything from my maternal grandparents and they need to get their expectations in check after all these years because my grandparents are doing nothing wrong.

Rachael said I should care way more about my siblings than adults who chose to be assholes to kids. She also told me I had no right to speak to her that way. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

Here's what Reddit thought about the whole thing...

It was extremely divided between all options: NTA (not the a-hole), YTA (you're the a-hole), ESH (everyone sucks here) and NAH (no a-holes here). Here are the top comments with OP's responses.

Little-Martha31204 says:

NTA. I don't even really understand this expectation from your dad and Rachel. Those are not your dad or Rachel's parents, why would they be expected to have a relationship with their children? I don't think your grandparents are being AHs at all, I think they are just prioritizing their relatives over strangers.

And your dad and Rachel 100% should NOT ever limit your access to your grandparents. They are your connection to your mother and trying to limit that is incredibly disrespectful to you, your brother, and your mom's memory!

OP elaborates:

In my dad and Rachael's eyes they are the only grandparents still involved and should take all the kids on for the sake of children who are involved, regardless of whether they are family or not.

Little-Martha31204 comments:

I can understand both points of view. But especially your grandparents. They lost their child when your mom died. I can see why they don't want to be reminded that your dad moved on to a new life.

isthishowweadult sees it differently:

YTA, you said it was your decision not the grandparents. You went out of your way to exclude your sibling. You set up the situation and then showed no grace that it hurt others.

OP responds:

I mean, they asked us about it, there's no saying they actually wanted to include them. I never asked. But they're not related to my step or half siblings so I don't see it as a big deal.

Overquoted writes:

YTA. You are incredibly unempathetic towards your step-siblings. You casually mention that your step-sister was upset at not having grandparents for her class event, but seem to brush it off as irrelevant.

Yes, technically, your grandparents are not obligated to do anything for them. But it was you and your brother who requested to exclude them. And given your ages, I imagine it was primarily you making that decision. No?

It sounds like, from the outset, you decided that your step-siblings were not family and should be treated as such. You casually mention that your dad is estranged from his family for refusing to accept his step-children, as if this is a bad thing.

But could you imagine if Rachel's family (assuming she had one) did the same to you? That any time there was a family event, you and your brother had to stay home while the rest of your immediate family went to this event? I can't imagine growing up with step-siblings and acting like you do. If you were my kid and I found out what you did, I'd disown you.

OP explains further:

It wasn't primarily me. My brother was majorly against the idea and did not want them included with us when we were with our maternal family. I had issues with my dad's family unrelated to how they felt about step family so it was no big surprise to me and it wasn't super sad when they were no longer around.

But yeah, I am not very close to my stepsiblings and they are not part of my maternal family. My mom wouldn't have had anything to do with them if she were still alive and I don't think that would have been wrong, just like I don't see it as wrong from my maternal relatives.

Aggravating-Pain9249 says:

NTA (Not the a-hole). The real jerks were your father's family. Why they disconnected due to Rachel's kids is beyond me.


They are big on blood family and stuff and not very accepting of anything else. That's why they're estranged. Still, isn't my maternal family's job to fix that for them.

But panic_bread isn't buying it:

Are you sure? Who told you this and what exactly did they say? These people are your grandparents (and presumably you have aunts and uncles and cousins). I’m sure they’d love to have you and your brother in their lives. They just don’t like your dad.

OP sets the record straight:

We heard them say it with our own ears. They said Rachael's kids would never be family and that they would not be welcome to join in for most grandkid related things. My grandparents wanted my brother and me for a grandkid photo with the cousins and when dad tried to get all four of us ready, they were like no way. Then it was brought up again after they had argued over the inclusion in photos.

PuzzleheadedLime6510 is baffled:

NTA - I see so many stories like that and I keep wondering what is going on in those people’s mind ? At what point do you think your wife and her kids are entitled to you ex wife’s family ? This is so disturbing. Reading from your post I can imagine it’s not really a subject you can communicate freely about at home with them. I’m really sorry for you!


I think you sometimes just believe that because you control the kids somewhat now, they should do whatever to keep you and the rest of your family happy.

Sometimes we just don't get every relationship we want.

It truly sucks for Rachael and her kids that they have no grandparents, but remember: OP and his brother have no mom. Be kind and respect each other's boundaries, everone!

Sources: Reddit
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