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Teen snaps at mom pressuring her to call stepdad 'dad,' says 'hold him to the same standards.'

Teen snaps at mom pressuring her to call stepdad 'dad,' says 'hold him to the same standards.'


You can't force closeness, even if it seems like the "right" thing to do.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if she was wrong for snapping at her mom after she pressured her to call her stepdad "dad." She wrote:

"AITA for telling my mom she should hold her husband to the same standard she holds me to?"

My dad died a few days after my 7th birthday. He was on his way to work and got into an accident. I loved my dad and have missed him so much since he died. Mom and I both went into grief therapy after his death. She went for about 6 months. I went for almost 3 years. A few months before I stopped attending therapy my mom met "Mark."

I didn't meet him for like a year and a bit after but mom told me she was dating someone and then when they became boyfriend and girlfriend. They got married like 7 months after I met him. I was 12. Even before they got married Mark and my mom would call me their daughter and say I was their kid. He would tell people I was his daughter when he met them.

Whereas I always called him my mom's husband or fiancé before they got married. It bothers my mom and Mark that I don't tell people he's my dad or say "my parents" when I'm talking about both. Over the years they have told me it would mean a lot to Mark if I were to introduce him as my dad.

Or she said I could say bonus dad, but not stepdad, since that sounds far more insignificant in terms of the role he plays in my life. I have never done this. But for a couple of years now my mom has told me I should be better than this, I should think about someone else's feelings above my own.

That it would cost me nothing to let people see him as my parent instead of instantly delegating him to just the dude she's married to. She has gone on and on about thinking about his feelings and not putting my own first the whole time.

Lately, it has been getting to me so when mom said it to me (17f) a couple of weeks ago I told her she should try holding her husband to the same standard she holds me to and ask him to put my feelings on this before his own. My mom told me he already has to do that day after day when I refuse to acknowledge him as a dad in my life.

I told her he had a choice on whether he wanted to marry her and take me on. I never got a choice in his place in my life. But I told her I am taking back that right to choose what he is to me whether she likes it or not. She told me it was petty for me to claim he needs to be held to the same standard when his actions don't hurt me but mine hurt him. AITA?

Redditors had all sorts of things to say.

Jeffrey_Friedl wrote:

NTA. Your feelings might have been different had he filled the fatherly role in a way that made you want to call him "Dad", but even then, your sense of connection to your actual dad may preclude you ever wanting to refer to anyone else that way. They should respect this.

And OP responded:

My connection to my dad and the significance of the name, to me, does mean I don't see myself ever calling another man dad.

Life_Step8838 wrote:

They got married when you were 12, that's only 5 years (ish) that he has been in your life. Why in the world would you call him dad after this long when you had your real father around for 7 years? Mark can be a 'father figure' but there is no need to pressure you to call him anything else apart from his actual name.

tokoloshe62 wrote:

I just don’t get these parents/step-parents who push this kind of thing. My dad is step-dad to my sister. He became part of her life when she was 9 and for all intents-and-purposes raised her. She asked him rather than her bio dad to walk her down the aisle, etc. But she has always called him her step-dad (and by his first name) and that has never meant he means less to her.

Equally, I have a friend who calls his step-dad “dad” and was formally adopted by him, etc. both of these are full and meaningful relationships for the people in them, even if one doesn’t have the “Hallmark movie” traits that people are so attracted to.

__Demyan__ wrote:

NTA, he is not your dad. period. It is wrong of your mother to try to force you to call him dad, and the fact that she can not see your point in this reflects very poorly on her. Your relationship with her will only suffer from this, and it is all on her. It is possible she did not completely mourn for your dad, and really sees Mark as replacement, instead of what he really is, her second husband.

OP is NTA here, her mom is pressuring her in a really inappropriate way.

Sources: Reddit
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