Being a step-parent involves a complicated balance of keeping yourself open to a relationship with your step-kids, while respecting the fact that they might never view you as family.
In the early years, particularly when they're young, it makes sense to prioritize the comfort of the kids even if it means swallowing your pride and breathing through some less-than-lovely dynamics.
But once they're adults, it's more than fair to assert your own needs and boundaries when the dynamics feel exploitive or unsustainable.
AITA for paying for my bio daughter's wedding but not my step-daughters because of how she acts and treats me?
For context: I (56M) have been married to my wife Lisa (57F) for 25 years. We have a daughter together April (24F) and Lisa has a daughter Carly (33F) with her ex-husband Doug (60ish M).