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Man tells former stepdaughter that she's the reason for his divorce from her mom. 'AITA?'

Man tells former stepdaughter that she's the reason for his divorce from her mom. 'AITA?'


"AITA For telling step-daughter she's the reason for divorce?"

Here's the story:

Yeah, I'm probably a major a**hole here, but let me explain my reasoning. I came into her life 6 years ago when she was 11. Her father is still in her life and visits her frequently (at our house, not a problem though, he's a nice guy).

Her mother is not happy. She hasn't been happy for a long time. Her daughter is one of the worst behaved kids I've ever seen, and it stresses my wife (we're not divorced yet) out every single day.

She's made it no secret she hates me. I remember when she was 13 or 14, I paid for us to go to Disney land as a family vacation (cliche, I know). She refused to go unless it was just her and her mother. I was hurt, but since the trip was solely to make her happy and was largely paid for already, I went along with it and stayed home.

Stuff like that is the norm. She'll demand her mother put her before me (edit: as in excluding me from every family event) and my wife can't put her foot down. She'll treat her mother like a maid and nothing more. It's not my wife's fault, she has emotional issues that make it hard for her.

But it's ruined the marriage, because I've grown to resent coming home to be around my step-daughter. Anything I do to try to bond with her is met with resentment. Though, she's 17 now, so bonding is probably no longer a possibility.

Anyway, my wife and I separated over this. It's just too much for me to bare. But I'm not mad at my wife, I'm sad that she has to put up with her daughters behaviour for the rest of her life. I decided to give my step-daughter a dose of reality and explain in no uncertain terms she is the reason for our divorce.

I didn't do this to spite her, because frankly I'm ready to move on with my life. I did it so that she understands just how bloody selfish she is, and how much emotional pain she puts her poor mother through. I did it so she doesn't ruin her mother's future relationships like she did ours (she isn't moving out any time soon...)

Wife and daughter's father are furious at me for telling their daughter this. Say it's going to emotionally scar her. But quite frankly, I think she needed to be told.


Commenters had mixed reactions. Here's what some people had to say:

For_The_Throne said:

NTA, she's 17. If she goes into the real world acting like she would have gotten the same treatment or worse from someone else. Yes, she may have mental issues going on but that's not the worlds problem. She needs to get help and her parents have failed her.

harbjnger said:

YTA. Your wife’s lack of parenting “isn’t her fault” because of her issues, so it’s the daughter’s fault she didn’t magically parent herself? What the hell, dude. It is not the kid’s fault you’re divorcing and you telling her so isn’t going to help anything. It’s not a “harsh truth” or a “wake-up call,” it’s just a hurtful thing that helped you feel a little better.

I know reddit loves “brutal honesty” and justice boners, but can you really imagine a scenario where an undisciplined teenager hears that her mom’s divorce was her fault and that has a positive effect on her life? That’s just not how people work.

Edit: I put quotes around “isn’t her fault” because that seems to be OP’s rationale for why his wife didn’t deal with her child appropriately. To be clear, I don’t agree with that. The wording confused a few people so I thought I’d clarify.

sady_eyed_lady said:

ESH.... but honestly mostly your wife. You're acting as though she, a grown arse woman, has no agency in this situation. But she's the adult, she's the parent, and she has had ample time to address this issue and get her kid help, and instead she's just...... ignored it and hoped it and what, hoped it would go away?

TroubledJewelry said:

YTA. She didn't ask her parents to have her, split, or for a stranger to come in her life just before being hit by the hell of puberty. Your problems did not start yesterday and you are blaming a child because her mother couldn't handle her or get her the appropriate help. Great parenting!

shadowwolfsl said:

YTA. Your wife allowing that is the problem. An 11 year old is never at fault for divorce.

And nationalhistory1889 said:

NTA, she’s getting to be an adult and should know there are consequences to your actions. That you can’t just think about yourself and only focus on your needs and not expect people around you to suffer. Yeah it may hurt her to hear that she’s responsible for spreading unhappiness but this is the consequence of her actions. Hopefully she will use this as a time to reflect rather than play the victim.

What do you think? Was he an a**hole for blaming a child for his marriage, and then telling her? Or was he justified?

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