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Woman refuses to give family heirloom ring to stepson, he says she's playing 'favorites.'

Woman refuses to give family heirloom ring to stepson, he says she's playing 'favorites.'

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Navigating the role of stepmom can be deeply complicated.

On one hand, you want to provide a safe space for the kids to come if they choose to view you as a parent figure. On the other hand, you don't want to overstep and make them feel like you're forcing yourself as a 'new mom.'

All of this is even more complex when they treat you badly, and you're left to find the lines between letting it go because they're 'just kids,' and asserting how you deserve to be treated.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for refusing to give her stepson her family heirloom engagement ring because of how he's mistreated her.

She wrote:

AITA for refusing to give my stepson my engagement ring because he never treated me like family?

I (49F) have been with my husband Bill (53M) for the past 20 years. Bill had two children from his previous marriage, Jim (31M), and Paige (27F). We also have one biological child together, Harry (16M). Jim's and Paige's mom passed away they were 9 and 5. I met Bill around 2 years after his former wife had died.

When I started building a relationship with the kids, I made it clear that I was not going to replace their mom and would be a trusted figure whom they could approach if they ever needed me. That being said, I still made an effort to treat them like I would my own child.

I would take them to school, pick them up, take them to doctor's appointments, make their lunches, ask my parents to get them presents for Christmas and birthdays etc. Both kids were somewhat hostile towards me at first, which I understand because they lost their mom. However, Paige eventually warmed up to me and saw me as a trusted confidant and maternal figure.

She didn't ask me nor did I expect her to want me to adopt her, but she still calls me mom which I appreciate. Jim on the other hand continued to be mean and hostile. I have never treated him poorly or antagonized him.

Nevertheless, he would make misogynistic statements like 'it's your job as the woman to clean the dishes' when I would ask him to clean his plate or call me a b**ch when my back was turned. My husband told him many times that the way he was treating me was uncalled for and for us to go to family therapy but he always refused.He eventually moved out after reaching adulthood.

He continues to maintain contact with his father and siblings but it's minimal between him and me and even then he doesn't treat me well. Now I have an engagement ring that is a family heirloom for several generations. It is passed down from the mother to the oldest child. My husband got the ring from my mom to propose to me. I told all 3 children about this heirloom a few years ago.

Anyway, Jim currently has a girlfriend whom he intends to propose to. He called me out of the blue one day and asked if he could have the ring. I told him no. When he asked why, I told him it was because of how he has treated me all these years and how he continues to treat me and I don't want my family heirloom going to someone who sees me as vermin.

When he asked whom it would go to, I told him it would go to Paige when she gets engaged. When he heard this he lost his s**t and accused me of playing favorites. I eventually hung up when he wouldn't stop insulting me and blocked his number. My husband is on my side but his maternal relatives have all been blowing up my phone telling me what an a**hole I am. So AITA?

People flooded the comments with their opinions on the situation.

IntrospectOnIt wrote:

Wait....you're not even his biological mom, why does he need YOUR family heirloom if he hasn't welcomed you into his family? You are giving it to YOUR oldest child I'm assuming. (Meaning the oldest child that has accepted you as family not the oldest biological child)

NTA he's had plenty of time to grow up and treat you like a real person. If his maternal family is so concerned you should ask them where his mother's family ring is.

and_now_we wrote:

NTA. Jim is an entitled a**hole, Paige deserves that ring. Your stepson's maternal relatives shouldn’t have any input on where YOUR family ring goes. I’m glad your husband is supporting your decision.

AffectionateOwl5824 wrote:

'It is passed down from the mother to the oldest child.'.

Jim has made it extremely clear that you aren't his mother and he isn't your child. Period. End of discussion.

McflyThrowaway01 wrote:

NTA. To be honest, he should get HIS MOTHER'S ENGAGEMENT RING, why isn't his mother's family providing a ring? I find it odd that he called you for the ring out of the blue. Did he ask your husband about it? Did your husband tell him to call you? Is he that entitled that he thought you would hand it over?

You're not playing favorites, he chose to verbally abuse you and not have a relationship with you, and then expect you to hang a diamond ring over that is YOUR family heirloom. It's really nice that you would give it to your stepchildren as opposed to your bio son, some wouldn't.

Has his maternal side been fueling his behavior? They were so quick to jump down your throat. I know kids can lie, but since step daughter has a totally different relationship with you, they should know that this isn't a YOU issue.

Woodland-hermit wrote:

NTA. From what it sounds like, you really tried to form a relationship with him and he refused and treated you poorly. You have every right to deny giving him that heirloom even though it’s “technically” supposed to go to him, especially since he doesn’t really see you as his mom, why should he get your family heirloom?

Clearly, OP is NTA, but Jim and his extended family are deeply entitled AHs.

Sources: Reddit
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