Jealousy can ruin the strongest relationships, overshadow the most exciting milestones, and drive a wedge between people who would otherwise be allies. It's a natural human emotion we've all felt at one time or another. But if it rules us, it becomes a destructive force.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for snapping on his sister and telling her that her jealousy is stupid and pointless. He wrote:
I (40M) recently got married to my girlfriend of 3 years Lexi (36F) but I’ve known her for 12 years and this is a second marriage for both of us. We met through work when we worked for the same company but were both very good friends for many years before we got together. So I knew her when she was married to her ex-husband and she knew me when I was with my ex-wife.
She came into the relationship with 2 daughters, Hannah who is now 14, and Daisy who is now 6 and I’ve had the joy of knowing them as the kids of one of my best friends and as my own stepkids. Their father left when Lexi was pregnant with Daisy, and nobody has seen or heard from him in 7 years, so he completely abandoned Lexi and the girls.
My own marriage broke down a year later in 2017 due to my wife cheating. It was a sh#$ty time all round and Lexi and I relied on each other a lot but our friendship didn’t progress romantically until 2020.
I love both Lexi and the girls very much but I have never tried to force myself as a father to them, since I knew Hannah remembered her bio dad real well and has struggled immensely with his abandonment. It happened naturally when Daisy called me Dad one day and hasn’t called me anything else since. Hannah has also started referring to me as her dad but still calls me by my first name.
Anyway, at the wedding reception once all the speeches and stuff were out of the way, my mom grabbed me and told me that Lexi and the girls had a surprise for me. Basically, I was pulled away and Hannah and Daisy asked me to officially adopt them. I never expected this and was so over the moon I cried tears of joy so of course I said yes.
Word quickly got out and ever since my sister Claire has been insanely jealous. She has stepkids of her own and they have a mom very involved in their lives and they do not view Claire as a mom at all. She has tried to push it and it’s caused bitterness between them.
My sister has made some incredibly b#$chy comments saying it’s not fair that she’s been involved with her stepkids a lot longer and she is only viewed as their dad’s wife whereas after just ‘3 short years’ I’m already a dad.
I’m honestly sick of her trying to ruin my happiness so I told her her jealousy was both pointless and pathetic and it’s really not my problem at all that her relationship with her stepkids is different than mine and I made her cry.
She is now saying I’m an insensitive AH as she doesn’t have bio kids and it’s the closest she’ll get even though I don’t have bio kids myself. My mom says she is being childish but some others think I need to show compassion. Personally, I think the reason why I have such a great relationship with my girls is because it happened naturally, I have them time and space and I did things with them in mind.
I didn’t just expect to be viewed the same as their actual mom, whereas Claire did. I’ve always been well aware of the fact that Hannah spent a very long time missing and yearning for her bio dad and I have always kept that in mind as I’ve always had her and Daisy’s best interests at heart.
NTA. Firstly, congratulations. You must be an amazing human for two kids to actively want you as their official parent. Your sister needs to grow up. Her step kids have a mother. She is not it. She needs to accept this, difficult as it may be for her.
And OP responded:
I don’t think I’m that amazing. I’ve known both girls since they were very little and I saw firsthand the impact of Lexi’s first husband leaving them. It was really rough watching my then friend have her whole world collapse and it was horrible watching a 7-year-old not know why her dad left. I know s#$t like that can affect a person for the rest of their life and I never wanted to cause any undue duress.
NTA. You sound like a great guy who your sister is projecting onto. My mom's first step-mom was the pushy "I want to be Mom and your BFF!" type (while my mom LIVED WITH HER ACTUAL MOM!), and second step-mom was much more chill and actually understood that she wasn't any sort of replacement.
Guess which one my mom liked more. Congratulations to you and your family and may you have many happy years to come.
And OP responded:
She’s been married for 12 years and in their lives for around 15 years and has been desperate to have the whole mom experience. She’s 50 now and my BIL is 55. The stepkids are 27, 25 and 22. They were all old enough to not need a second mom and my sister has always resented that as they weren’t really really young when she came around.
No NTA one bit and THANK YOU for actually listening to the opinions of your daughters. It’s too bad that your sisters pushiness drove her step children away but thats her problem, not yours. I really don’t understand her. Does she feel that since SHE’s miserable, you should be too…?
And OP responded:
I just don’t get this whole jealousy thing. It’s actually been bringing me down cos my wedding was already amazing but it really became the best day of my life when the girls asked me to adopt them. I’m not really an emotional person but it made me burst into tears because I was so happy. I feel like I haven’t even been able to fully enjoy it cos my sister is wrecking this precious moment for me.
Some stepparents just don't mesh with their stepchildren, that is a hard pill to swallow for some and it looks like Claire is next to take her medicine.
ETA: Claire is 50 and my BIL is 55. My step-nieces/nephews are 27, 25 and 22. She’s been with my BIL for 15 years and married for 12 so it’s not like the kids were very little when she came into their lives so I don’t get why she’s so pissed off they don’t consider her as a mom. She wanted the mom experience as soon as she was involved with them but they were too old for that I suppose.
She was also never really interested in kids until she met my BIL but was more concerned with raising his kids equally as hers rather than try for a bio one with him.
OP is absolutely NTA here, his sister is doing some major projecting.