Family dynamics are extremely complicated.
And those dynamics can get even more complicated when stepkids and stepparents are involved.
Check out this story that a teenager shared on Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole?” page and we hope to hear from you in the comments.
AITA for telling the stepfather who raised me that he’s not my dad when he didn’t treat me like his son?
“My mom married my step father when I was only 1. He had a 1 year old son, and then they had a daughter a year later together. My step brother and I are 16 now and our half sister is 14. Step father is the only father figure I know and I’ve always called him dad, my actual dad is not in my life.
Growing up I always noticed that he treated me differently, he never mistreated me but he was always more interested his own children than me, in fact he always showed very little interest in me. I’ve always felt like a second class family member, my mom treats my step brother exactly like me but step father doesn’t do the same for me.
Anyway, this last couple of years have been difficult because step father started doing stuff with my siblings, like going on trips, going fishing or hiking, father-children bonding moments as he calls it and he’s never taken me with them despite me asking to go, initially he always said maybe next time until I called him out last week and he took me aside and explained that this is for him and his children, I’m not his child like they are, he said he loves me but it’s different.
he can’t dilute the experience by bringing me as well but he said my mom can spend some mother-child moments with me and my sister if she wants to as well, and that it would be good for us to have that only for us. This conversation happened on Friday before they went off for a weekend trip.
My mom told me that this is how he feels, she can’t change it but she’s made sure I’m always treated equally when it comes to money (which is true) but she can’t change the way he feels so I need to accept it.
I’ve been thinking all weekend and it was clear to me that when he doesn’t see me as his son, it’s wrong of me to see him as my dad. So I decided that if I’m the step child he tolerates because of my mom, I’m not going to pretend like we’re anything more. I decided to stop calling him dad and go by his first name. So on Sunday night after they returned I said Hi Tom.
He was surprised but didn’t say anything. At dinner he asked me what was that about and I explained that I don’t want to dilute the experience he has with his real children by calling him dad when clearly I’m not his son. It’s something that should be kept for his actual children. I was told to go to my room by my mom. Later she came to me and said this has hurt him and I should apologize, I said I’m just following his lead and treating him exactly like how he wants to be treated by his actions, and if he’s hurt then he should look in the mirror because that’s his actions.
My mom told me in the end that this is the man who has raised me all my life and I need to apologize and show remorse. She says he’s 95% of the way for being a dad to me, I shouldn’t ignore all of that and focus on the missing 5% and reject him entirely.
I declined, said he’s the one who needs to apologize if he wants things to change between us.
Am I being the a**hole in this situation?”
And here’s how Reddit users reacted.
This reader said he’s NTA and that he did a good job by sticking up for himself.
And this Reddit user said his stepdad AND his mom are a**holes.
Another individual said his stepdad sounds awful.
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!