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Dad won't pay for teen stepdaughter's bday dinner because she treats him badly. AITA?

Dad won't pay for teen stepdaughter's bday dinner because she treats him badly. AITA?


Being a stepparent is supremely complicated.

On one hand, you want to give your stepkids the time and space to figure out how they feel about you. You don't want to force yourself as a 'replacement' for their other birth parent, and you don't want to force yourself into a parental authority figure role that doesn't fit.

On the other hand, you still want to enforce clear boundaries around what kinds of treatment you'll receive, and how stepkids are allowed to treat people in the world.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he's wrong for not paying for his stepdaughter's birthday dinner after being mistreated by her.

He wrote:

AITA for not paying for my stepdaughter's birthday dinner?

My wife has three kids (two sons 20m and 19m) and a daughter (16f) from her previous marriage. Their father was an addict but is now clean. He doesn’t have custody of S, but does visit when he can. My stepsons and I aren’t close, but they’ve been respectful to me at least. My stepdaughter, who I’ll call S has not. She genuinely doesn’t like me.

She refuses to talk to me, she doesn’t want me attending her shows, she doesn’t accept any gift I have given her, usually giving them away or tossing it in the trash. She doesn’t listen to me if I am the one enforcing rules when she is grounded, it has to be her mom who puts her foot down. Her birthday was last week, she had testing that day.

My wife wanted her birthday to be extra special, cause she was turning 16, and had good grades. S wanted to go to an expensive restaurant with her family. I was not allowed to come according to her, but she wanted me to give her mom the money to pay for it. I told her I would not pay. She got upset and told me it was the least I could do and how she asks for so little. But I stood my ground.

Her mom took her to a less expensive restaurant. S is upset with me, her granddad is also upset with me telling me I should’ve paid and that it was her 16th birthday that I ruined. My wife is on my side and says there's no winning with her. I know how important becoming 16 is, and I feel bad for not getting her a gift at all. So AITA?

People shared all their hot takes.

shadow-foxe wrote:

NTA- if grandpa wanted her to have an expensive meal he could have paid for it. You shouldn't be paying for meals for entitled teens. She needs an attitude adjustment. You can not like someone and still be polite.

alter_ego624 wrote:

NTA. She wants to disrespect you and openly exclude you from her life while simultaneously expecting you to fund her birthday? She sounds insufferable.

Snappsdraggon wrote:

NTA, but I do think you and many people here are seeing this all in black and white. As a child without my bio father growing up, I know it can be extremely hard to adapt. And sometimes the stepfathers are not helping the situation. You may not be doing something awful, but she might see her family as broken and be harboring pain from her bio father.

You said you were not close to the sons, but they respected you. Do you expect respect from her before anything else? Are you one of those 'You don't have to like me, but you must respect me.' kind of men? Because that can be intimidating and leave children feeling unloved and combative. Children also feel the need to be respected, and she may not respect you until you respect her.

You do not have to pay for things, but I would consider why she does not like you. Are you perhaps not that kind to her in return? Are you cold or distant? Maybe its nothing you are doing at all, but perhaps you might consider building a relationship with her going forward. You might find that you two can have a very healthy relationship once she grows up a little.

Brandie2666 wrote:

NTA. Why the hell would you pay for your wife's spawn to go to a fancy dinner. When you were not invited. No tell that grandfather that if he wants to go celebrate that child then he needs to pay for it and not expect handouts from you.

You are a human being not a damn ATM. You don't owe S nothing. She set the boundaries of that relationship as in she doesn't want one. So respect that. Save your money and don't spend a dime on her.

OP is for sure NTA, his stepdaughter is, and this is an important lesson for her to learn about the consequences of how she treats people.

Sources: Reddit
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