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'AITA for contributing to my niece's college fund but not my stepdaughter's?' UPDATED

'AITA for contributing to my niece's college fund but not my stepdaughter's?' UPDATED


"AITA for not wanting to contribute from my income to my stepdaughter's college fund because I want to contribute to my (blood) niece's?"

My fiancee and I have been engaged for 6 months, dating for 2 years. He has an 8 year old daughter with his ex wife (let's call her Sophie). He doesn't want any more children. This suits me fine. I'm OK with being a stepmother, but being pregnant and dealing with a baby/toddler full time has never appealed to me.

I have a 10 year old niece (let's call her Olivia) that I am very involved with. My bother and his wife struggle financially (at lot of it is bad debt and choosing to drop out of school. They are also not the brightest crayons on the box, as nice as they are) while I have a very good job as an attorney, so I maintain a college fund for Olivia.

It won't be a blank cheque to go anywhere she wants, but if I maintain it, it will be enough to pay for 4 years at a state school, and we do have a public Ivy in our state and Olivia is very bright. I also have Olivia listed to inherit my estate at this point and my half of the joint estate after marriage.

He wants me to stop Olivia's college fund and to not leave her money. He thinks I should now be helping him to provide for Sophie. He thinks that money should go into Sophie's college fund as we are getting married. I think Sophie is his financial responsibility.

Of course, I'm not going to bitch about things like about the grocery/restaurant bill being higher to buy food she eats or more gas being used to drive her around while she is here. I'm not going to take myself for a donut after picking her up and not buy her one. But I think major things like her college fund are not my responsibility and are the responsibility of her parents.

I don't think I am being unreasonable because Sophie has two college educated parents with decent jobs to provide for her (her mom is very much in the picture), while Olivia does not. SO said it is not "my problem" my brother and SIL don't have great jobs, but it is also not Olivia's fault. I also think if I am contributing towards a mortgage, I deserve a say in how the estate is divided when we die.

Or.....I am also aware that my SO and I could end up divorced and I'll never see Sophie again and I'll have been putting into a college fund of a kid I have nothing to do with. I do care about Sophie and am fond of her, but I do love Olivia more because she is my niece and I've been in her life all along.

I told him that I am obviously happy for Sophie to be one of the beneficiaries of our estate, but I think I should be able to have one too if he has Sophie. He even gets bitchy when I buy Olivia good presents and spend money on her, like when I took her to see BTS (a band she loves).

If he doesn't back down, I might break off the engagement, but I'm curious if I am being the AH here. I care about my Stepdaughter, but I don't think it is unreasonable to still want to provide for my beloved niece.

What do you think? This is what top commenters had to say:

cynical-mage said:

NTA, and I find it troubling that, rather than you providing for both Olivia and Sophie, he's expecting you to cut off Olivia in favour of Sophie. As you say, she has both parents, and you're happy to share some of that expenditure, so why is he being so entitled on behalf of his kid? To the extent of being jealous of your niece?

SqueaksScreech said:

NTA you're for paying half of the house you should have a say on who recieves your half. It seems like he wants you to put everything into his daughter's name so he doesn't have to pay for everything. I agree break up. If he can't accept your niece being in your life then why the fuck should you have to put up with him?

teresajs said:

NTA. Sophie has two parents who can support her. She doesn't need you. Be cautious about legally tying your finances (marrying, having joint accounts, and/or making large joint purchases) with someone who TELLS you how to spend and invest your money. That's a red flag. Tell your fiance, "I will continue to invest for Olivia's college expenses." Pay attention to his response.

splshstrw said:

NTA- it's disturbing that instead of asking for you to contribute to his child's college fund he wants you to stop funding for your niece.

Magicalyn said:

ESH - He shouldn’t assume that you’ll stop giving your money to your niece, that’s your choice. You refer to your soon to be stepdaughter as “his financial responsibility” and that’s kinda shitty if you’re gonna be her stepmom. She’s going to be both of your responsibility in all aspects.

onethousanddonkeys said:

NTA. I think he's mad cuz he wants OPS to be a third wallet for his daughter. An emotionally mature man who values family (he has a daughter he cares about after all) would be happy his fiancee has such a strong bond with her niece. Instead he gets bitchy about it. This guy's is not that man. 2 years is very fast for someone with a young kid.

And OP is a lawyer who makes good money. I wouldn't be surprised if he proposed sooner than he would have otherwise as a way to speed along the process of getting his kid more funds/ less financial pressure on him. OP is right to be wary.

Revolutionary-Cicada said:

NTA. Marriage involves combining your finances, yes, but Sophie has two parents to provide for her and you are entitled to want your income to provide for your niece. You are not obligated to be Sophie's third source of financial support when it comes to things like college, especially because you'll be a third wallet, but won't be on the same level as them in her eyes because you're not her "real" mom.

It is unfair of your SO to expect you to give give give while getting little back, because Sophie will give the love back to her "real mom".

She later shared this unexpected update:

I am not going to be marrying him and broke off the engagement. I tried to talk to him tonight and it ended in him picking a huge argument with me and the things he said made it very clear he is resentful of Olivia and believes I need to be "replacing" her with Sophie. When I tried to explain to him that Sophie already has a mother she lives with most of the time who does not want me to be replacing her,

she literally said "I am not saying you need to replace her, but you need to be contributing financially because that's what happens and she is my responsibility and you need to help me with my financial responsibilities. So basically, he wants me to have the responsibilities of looking after her, while being suitably detached.

He was also hostile about Olivia and said that marrying means joining a new family and I am joining his so get to leave the "dead weight" behind. I asked if he was calling Olivia "dead weight". He hesitated, and I took the ring off, threw it at him and went and packed a bag and went and got a hotel because it was late. I will deal with it in the coming days, but I will not be marrying him.

Sources: Reddit
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