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'AITA for saying my stepmom can't take back how she treated me to be in my wedding?' UPDATED

'AITA for saying my stepmom can't take back how she treated me to be in my wedding?' UPDATED


There are few things people hate more than the consequences of their own actions.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woma asked if she's wrong for not allowing her stepmom to have any "mom" duties in her upcoming wedding due to their past. She wrote:

"AITA for saying my stepmom can't take back how she treated me?"

I (24F) have always had a rocky relationship with my stepmom "Cindy" (51F). She came into my life when I was 13, and pretty much as soon as she and my dad were married, she became very pushy about taking up a parental role. She came to all my events and stuff, which I tried to appreciate, but she was also very "it's my house too and I get to make rules" after moving in with dad.

She was the "bad cop" I guess; she was the one who thought I didn't have enough chores, that my grades weren't good enough, that I needed screen time limits, etc, and that lead to a lot of arguments. I hit the last straw at 17. The lawn needed cutting before Sunday; my dad said he'd do it Saturday afternoon, so I made plans to go hang out with friends for the day.

While I was out, Cindy messaged me saying I shouldn't have let dad do the lawn because he'd had a tiring week, and that I would be doing it; her usual MO basically. I said no and stayed out with my friends. when I got home, she was furious and tried to ground me and it turned into this big stupid argument where I pulled the you're not my mom card.

Dad ended up stepping in; I wasn't grounded, but also asked me to try and get along with her. It didn't matter, because she decided she was done. She just kinda stopped acknowledging me; we basically became roommates who hated each other. I wasn't even allowed to eat food she bought (not special stuff; like, when the bread ran out and she was the one to replace it).

It was all just really tense, and I ended up spending a lot more time at my mom's apartment until I went to college. I've never formally blocked her or gone NC but we just haven't spoken since; she never came anytime I met up with Dad etc. Until me and my fiance announced our engagement.

The wedding is over a year away, but Cindy sent me a long text, congratulating me and asking for all the details so she could help plan. She was asking about coming to dress fittings and if we wanted an engagement party and if she could make a speech at the wedding, basically asking about all the mother-of-the-bride stuff and pretending the last 11 years didn't happen.

I didn't reply, until Dad reached out asking why I hadn't. I was honest with him; I'm weirded out by this. I'm happy for Cindy to come as his plus one, but she's not getting any role at the wedding (we're actually not even doing a head table, just because I don't want to share a table with her or separate her from Dad) because she's not my mom and the last time I saw her she was insistent about that.

It's turned into a whole thing; he says she's really hurt and that he's rethinking coming to the wedding(?!) because she doesn't want to go, I say she can't take back what happened, and at the very least she should have apologised before reaching out like this.

Mom and my partner are supportive of me, but I've had messages from several people on dad's side saying I'm an AH for 'punishing' Cindy and it's getting to me, so, AITA?

The interenet had lot to say.

no_thanks_9802 wrote:

The people on your dad's side, do they know the real reason or do they know Cindy's version of the truth where she's the "victim?"

NTA. She made her bed all those years ago (and it seems like your dad enabled her to do so), now she has to lie in it. It's your wedding and she does not deserve a place in it (besides being your dad's +1). If your dad chooses her & doesn't come, then that's on him. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! 🙂

OP responded:

Thanks, from the bottom of my heart <3

I'm not super close to that side of the family; I've never really opened up about my relationship with Cindy to any of them. I don't want to cause more drama, but I guess now could be the time to set the record straight.

lemon_charlie wrote:

What did your dad do about her denying you food? Because withholding food as punishment is abuse.

The petty in me would be to deny her a meal because of that.

OP responded:

I never thought of that as a punishment so much as her just wanting to be completely separate from me; it only happened occasionally, and when it did I had an allowance so most of the time I just bought another loaf or stick of butter or whatever it was.

The times my dad did find out, he told me not to touch her food and went and got a second thing for me, so he wasn't starving me or anything. I think he just wanted us to make up, really, but I don't fully know.

Responsible_Ad_3130 wrote:

I can’t believe your dad did even then nothing to defend you. And still. You are for sure NTA. I wish you a wonderfull wedding.

OP responded:

Thank you <3

Disastrous-Sthe wrote:

I can't stand men like your dad. Like damn, the audacity! I had a horrible step mom and my "father" never protected me from her. I cut them both from my life, and I've never been happier. Your dad needs to choose to either be in your life without her or let her dictate his life and damage your relationship with him.

And everyone who's calling you an AH can kiss your a$$ cause they don't know what you've been through...hate people like that too. Haha.

After receiving lots of comments and questions, OP jumped on with an update.

UPDATE: Sorry for disappearing, I'm just overwhelmed by how many people have responded to this and how supportive you've all been. Me and my partner (who is also a girl, btw, just for those calling her my husband - sorry for not clarifying) have been slowly reading through all your comments and it has really helped.

The things that have really stood out to me are those of you saying what Cindy did was withholding food (I never thought of it that way, but my partner agrees and I do have anxiety around having enough food in the house. I'm now starting to wonder if that's part of the reason.) and people saying what Cindy's doing now is still controlling, which makes almost too much sense.

Just to clarify, because I've seen it brought up, mowing wasn't "my job" at home - it was a job for whoever was available and my dad offered that time. A lot of what Cindy did was like that; Mom and Dad didn't not parent me, I did have chores and a curfew and everything, but Cindy had a very "you need to be doing more, you're not good enough" attitude right from the very start.

It's hard to explain if you haven't experienced it but I hoped the lawn incident would detail it. It's the same for grades; I got encouragement to do better from Mom and Dad (I was a solid B student tbh) but Cindy was pushing for reduced screen time and privileges if I didn't get it up to an A - it was always the stick and never the carrot with her, is the best way I can put it into words.

At this point, I think I'm at peace with my dad choosing her. I've seen people saying he's kinda a doormat and I think that's very accurate tbh. I'm not going to raise a fuss if he doesn't come to the wedding, and anyone else who wants to know why can see this post.

It's hard, and it does hurt, but that's the way things are. I don't want any more drama, but if it keeps coming, at least I know it's not my fault thanks to you; love y'all <3

People were glad to hear more from OP.

DinaFelice wrote:

"I'm not punishing her, and that's a really odd way for you to frame it. The fact is that she isn't a maternal figure to me, she's just my dad's wife. It is kinda like if my 7th grade teacher contacted me out of the blue to make a speech at my wedding.

The answer is no, you don't know me well enough to speak about me and I don't know you well enough to want to include you in dress shopping." NTA. At this point, it doesn't matter who is 'at fault' for your rocky relationship, it is what it is. It makes no sense to pretend it's something that it is not, just because you are getting married.

If she wants to improve her relationship with you, that's great (and I would encourage you to be open to that possibility), but that should be a goal 100% independent of your wedding. But at the moment, her childish behavior is pushing that pathway farther and farther away.

dryadduinath wrote:

NTA. I'm sorry, she refused to let you eat bread if she did the grocery shopping when you were a minor and now she wants a role in your wedding? Absolutely not. She’s not mother of the bride in any case, if it were me she wouldn’t be invited at all.

rak1882 wrote:

NTA This feels like Cindy doesn't want to explain to everyone why she's totally excluded from your wedding, beyond an invitation.

BrookeBaranoff wrote:

NTA; you aren’t punishing her. You aren’t rewarding her. You are maintaining a boundary.

“She wanted to end our relationship 11 years ago; nothing has changed. I am not punishing her, I am maintaining our boundaries.”

As for your dad:

“You choose what you do and what you don’t do. If you want to put this kind of strain on our relationship that is your choice."

"If you continue to make choices that are hurting me the day will come when I don’t give you that option anymore. I am an adult and this is no longer behavior I tolerate in my life. If you want to be in my life you will respect that and stop trying to emotionally bully me into this. Of you two divorced I would still be your daughter- but I might not let you in my life again.”

AffectionateCold6107 wrote:

Can you at least call up your father's relatives and tell them exactly what you wrote here and ask them if they did allow it of it were them? Like have their step moms act nice suddenly on their wedding and wanting to be mother of the bride while their bio mum is still alive???? And see what they have to say. Then shut them up if they don't have anything to say about it. NTA.

OP is clearly NTA at all, she simply has healthy boundaries.

Sources: Reddit
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