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'AITA for refusing to be a step-mom to my husband's kid who openly dislikes me?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to be a step-mom to my husband's kid who openly dislikes me?' UPDATED

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"AITA For refusing to be a step-mom to my husband's kid?"

Here's the original post:

I know that sounds terrible but hear me out. I've been newly married for around 6 months and my husband has a 15 year old son, Jason. My husband is only 32, so he had him EARLY. it has just been the two of them untill I came into the picture two years ago. His kid never liked me, which I get. I made the duo a trio and he misses just his dad.

That said, my husband really wants to do the whole family thing that his kid didn't get growing up. He has a lot of guilt about his mom, who hasn't been in the picture since like, his birth and wants him to have a stable relationship to look up to like his parents.

Now, Jason and I aren't openly hostile but it's uncomfortable, uncomfortable enough that I decided to sit him down and ask him what he wants from me. Immediate answer, your not my mom, your not my parent, don't act like it. And I said okay. That took him by surprise and I asked if, by any chance, I could at least be his friend.

At the time, he said he wasn't sure and I told him that was fine and to just tell me when he's ready what he wants from our relationship but until then I won't try and parent him. That little talk did wonders. He avoids me less, talks to me more (he actually iniated a conversation with me the other day and I almost cried lol)

and even will watch movies with me (ie I'm watching a movie already and he will sit with me and I'll restart it, not much talk but presence!) My husband noticed and was initally happy untill he asked jason what changed and he didnt like the answer. He confronted me about it and said I should have talked to him about the relationship I was trying to have and that me being a friend is inappropriate,

and I need to be a parent, that's what I signed up for. It put him I a bad position of not being able to use my input for future child care choices and I'm sabotaging being a mom. And here's where the AITA is, I said, I'm never going to be his mom, he doesn't want me too, so I'll do whatever I can to make him at least not hate being around me.

That made him cry, and he said it felt like i already gave up before I tried. (Jason was not present for this fight btw and my husband isnt a yeller, think emotional convo but not mean.) That kid is his life, and I know he just wants the best but I think this is the best. But I may have overstepped here by going over his head and straight to jason. AITA?

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

Embarrassed_Hat_2904 said:

NTA…you did it the right way. Hubby needs to back off and let you two have whatever relationship works best for you right now.

peachpit619 said:

NTA, at this point I’d say you’re on the right track with Jason. He seems to be warming up to you and it’s not forced, which is what you want. At 15, forcing a step parent onto him probably isn’t going to go well. He’ll just resist and go back to avoiding you and not speaking. It takes time to build a relationship like that and get him to trust you and I think you’re doing just fine.

Greeniec123 said:

NTA - by allowing Jason to set his boundaries and coming to you, you’re opening up a relationship that was closed in the beginning. Over time he may come to trust you and respect your input as you have respected him and his boundaries.

It may not be the role your husband envisioned, but it’s a step in the right direction to open communication and maybe one day reach that “motherly” role your husband envisions. Your husband needs to readjust his vision and see the positives of building a relationship over forcing one

Ps. Maybe you should have talked to your spouse first, but you also didn’t know how the conversation was going to go with Jason and your husband was pushing for a motherly role .. what is more motherly than listening to the child and putting their needs over your own wants

BeccasBump said:

Argh, NAH. You are completely right and doing an amazing job as a step-parent. You're being respectful of Jason's needs, appropriate, open, available - I can't praise your response enough.

But I don't have the heart to call your husband TA, because I think he's misunderstood. He thinks his wife and his baby have mutually agreed not to have a close bond. He doesn't understand that you are earning a close bond, which is a much more difficult and ultimately a much more loving thing to do.

Try to help him understand that when Jason is a grown man - in 3 short years - you want him to think of you as "OP, who is an important part of my life, whose advice I value, because she cares for me and respects my needs." Not "OP, who thinks fucking my dad makes her the boss of me."

CrystalQueen3000 said:

NTA. He’s 15, forcing anything on him would’ve been disastrous. I think you handled it well and he responded positively to the conversation. Hubby needs to realise that way too may step parents charge in like a bull and try and enforce their authority and that never ends well.

Zookeeper-007 said:

No you did exactly what every adult SHOULD do with a child. Sit down with them and ask them what they need from you and respect what he told you. NTA

VERDICT: NTA.

She later shared this brief, wholesome update:

I got a pretty great apology after he read through all of these comments! A lot of people recommended therapy, and he really responded to that. For now, it's just going to be him and we left the option open for Jason but he isn't interested, which is fine. He did offer to go with his dad for moral support on occasion though, so maybe something will come of that.

But in terms of household vibes we are all doing good! Thank you all for the opinions and advice, it was VERY helpful!

Sources: Reddit
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