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Guy forced to include stepbrother while mourning dad; cuts ties with mom forever. AITA?

Guy forced to include stepbrother while mourning dad; cuts ties with mom forever. AITA?


"AITA for telling my mom she only has one kid?"

My parents divorced when my sister (20f) and I (19m) were 5 and 6 years old. She met her husband three years later. He was a widower with a 7 month old son (I think he was 7 months old when they met). She instantly moved them in and started claiming his son as her own and raising him like us.

She got engaged to him, and a few weeks before the wedding our dad died. By this point my mom had become estranged from her entire extended family. She told my dad's parents that if they wanted to see us again soon, they would need to come to her wedding and watch all three of us (including my stepbrother).

She then told them after the wedding that going forward if they wanted to see us, or spend time with us, they had to include my stepbrother. They hadn't wanted to. They tried to argue for time with just us–offering to pay for it all 100%. But mom said no. She said they needed to come to the house and make an effort with all three of us, and not just take two with them.

My sister and I would argue with mom over one day in particular. My dad's birthday. We celebrated that every year with dad's family after he died, but she wouldn't even let that day be just us and them. Our stepbrother had to be there.

She said they did not get to be just our family, and we shouldn't see him as any less deserving of being present. But we did. He was not our dad's kid, and had never met him. So why was he deserving of being there? I never got that. She called us selfish for the mindset.

Last year I turned 18 and I moved in with my girlfriend. Once I left home, my stepbrother was no longer invited to anything to do with my dad's family. He no longer saw them. My sister and I also stopped spending any time at mom's house. Then we stopped speaking to them at all.

It was quiet for several months and then last week my mom showed up where I work and demanded we talk. She told me how she was tired of one of her kids being left out and how sick was it to discard him that way, and why weren't my sister and I advocating for him.

I told her she only had one kid, her stepson, and that my sister and I were no longer her kids, and my family would no longer be forced to include him . I told her that it was all her fault for forcing it in the first place.

Then I wished her luck, which was kinda sarcastic not gonna lie, and then asked her to leave. She texted me later that night to say she had been a good mom to all three of us and to say she only had one kid was low. AITA?


SuperVillain85 says:

'She texted me later that night to say she had been a good mom.' Question - how do you feel about that OP, do you think she was a good mom?

ToreSoveren OP says:

I don't think she was the worst mom. I don't think she was exactly good either. But nowhere near as bad as mom's or parent's in general can be.

OLAZ3000 says:

YTA seriously. She basically adopted him before he was a year old. He's the only mom he;s ever known -- SAME AS YOU.

Sure, maybe celebrating your dad's birthday with him was a bit much and her insistence on your dad's family including him but... like really not the end of the world. Like, no different than say a cousin from the other side added into the mix. Family is family and no, blood isn't what makes it.

It sounds like perhaps your grandparents or who else really got in your ear about this and making some huge difference btw you. That's really sad.

ToreSoveren OP says:

They didn't get into my ear. I knew the distinction from friends who had stepfamilies. I knew the difference because post-divorce it was clear I had two families. Not one mixed one.

SubstantialAd3751 says:

50/50… YTA for delivering it the way you did. Was your mom perfect? Obviously not, but by your own admission “not the worst mother in the world so might be uncalled for”. Have you ever tried to have a discussion with your mom since you became an adult, about the circumstances and conditions of your visits with paternal family?

Perhaps there’s more to it than you were previously aware of. Also, blended families are not easy. It sounds like your mom was doing what she could to make sure that you were all treated equally across the board, no matter what adults were involved in your lives at any given time. Trust me, that’s no small feat. It’s easy to be angry about something.

It’s another to try to have the hard conversations to understand, process and heal from whatever trauma you may be experiencing… and though this is more for you than for her, you can still do it with a sense of dignity and decorum. Good luck in the future

ToreSoveren says:

I did try to talk to her a couple of times about it before I had moved out. She believes she did the right thing, that my dad's family are evil, that my stepbrother should be considered just as much their grandkid. Part of me believes she took her issues with her family (who she's been estranged from for years now) out on my dad's. But I could be wrong.

Regardless, she believes that we should have wanted him there for everything, that we should have made those events about him being family and she does not like that we would rather talk about our dad than have fun with him.

Jaded-Size-7898 says:

While I agree with you on the not including your step-brother in your dad's 'birthday' memorial the rest seems like childhood jealousy! I know it's hard for kiddos to understand divorce, remarriage, step parents and siblings and half siblings etc. - but at the end of the day you did and are currently treating him like dirt and that makes you the a-hole!

I may seem strange that your mother wanted him to 'hang out' with your dads family, but you became a BLENDED FAMILY and unless there was abuse, FAMILY is FAMILY regardless of how you became a family. I am adopted and it makes me wonder if your mom and stepdad had adopted a child would you be the same way?

ToreSoveren OP responded:

I guess I see it differently because my mom was not their family anymore. They wouldn't really have interacted had my dad not died when he did. She wasn't his widow. She was our mom but in my experience it's not uncommon for kids of divorce to have separate families.

Why would they accept him? He was not their grandchild or their family. They took him along so they could see us but it was always forced on them.

GullibleNerd88 says:

Man your mom was insane. Congrats on not having to deal with her. How’s the kid though? I’m asking cause I don’t see you writing anything bad about him so I’m assuming you guys don’t blame him for your moms craziness.

ToreSoveren OP responded:

We don't blame him. I can't say I feel particularly bonded to him but none of this is on him. It's on my mom.

beingsydneycarton says:

Am I going bananas? OP, you’re NTA and I don’t know why everyone is saying you are one. You tried for years to get your mom to listen to you about being forced to include your stepbrother. She didn’t listen and now you’re no-contact.

If she didn’t want to lose two of her children, she shouldn’t have treated them like their feelings didn’t matter. Should you have said what you said? Probably not, but if you and your sister are both NC…. it’s kinda true and she’ll have decades to rationalize it.

Sorry about the judgements here- this was NOT a mom “just struggling with a Blended family” ~uwu~ like everyone else is saying. This was your mom repeatedly trampling your boundaries and including your step brother in the only day meant to celebrate your dead dad for YEARS. Some people struggle with blending a family, this was just bad parenting.

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