When she was just 10, a now 29-year-old woman had her childhood turned upside down when her mother married her stepfather. She was treated unfairly by her stepfather and stepsisters, and this would prove to come back to them many years later.
When she was 10, the woman had a 15-year-old brother, Luke, but her mother’s remarriage left her with two new stepsisters, 12-year-old Amy and 11-year-old Ada. Financially, the parental figures were divided, with each parent agreeing to contribute equally to the household expenses and separately taking care of their own children with any extra income.
However, this agreement didn’t prove to be fair. “My mom earned minimum wage and my dad was absent, whilst our stepfather had a high income,” the woman explained. “This meant my mom never had anything for us, yet he was spending big on his kids.”
It Got Worse
Unfortunately, the unfair treatment only got more severe. “Luke and I shared the guest room whilst Amy and Ada had their own rooms because my stepfather insisted that he was paying more towards the house,” the woman continued.
To add insult to injury, Amy and Ada would also tease the woman and her brother about their financial situation. Despite this, the woman’s mother consistently reminded them to be grateful for their comfortable home, thanks to the stepfather’s contributions.
Striving for Independence
Thankfully, the woman and her brother became self-sufficient as adults. Over the years, they both achieved success in their careers and financial stability, moving into their own homes and limiting their interactions with their step-family.
A Request for Financial Assistance
However, during a recent visit to their mother’s home, the stepfather mentioned that Amy, now pregnant, wished to buy a £500,000 house. He asked the woman and Luke to contribute £50,000 for Amy’s deposit, proposing to pay them back as part of their eventual inheritance.
A Resolute Refusal
Unsurprisingly, the woman declined the request. The stepfather argued that her financial stability and home ownership made her capable of helping family members in need. However, the woman held her ground, asserting that just because she was frugal did not mean she could throw money around like that.
A Painful Reminder
However, the woman’s stepfather continued to pressure and guilt-trip her, so she reminded him of the unequal treatment that she and her brother experienced during their childhood. The room fell silent as the past weighed heavily on the conversation. The stepfather conceded that he would have done things differently if he could turn back time.
Her Mother’s Perspective
However, the woman’s mother did not approve of her guilt-tripping. Whilst she understood her daughter’s perspective, she ultimately suggested that her refusal could have been more polite, without bringing up painful memories from the past.
Reflecting on Her Decision
Initially, the woman had felt proud of her decision to stick up for herself and to point out the poignant irony of her stepfather’s request. However, her mother made her realize that her comment had been spiteful and that she could have rejected his request without getting nasty.
Confessing Her Guilt
The woman signed up to an internet forum, confessing her feelings of guilt whilst still defending her decision. Thankfully, the online community came to offer her empathy. “You shouldn’t feel guilty,” one reader comforted. “You initially DID turn your stepfather down without bringing up your childhood, but he kept pressuring you, so you snapped – that’s fair.”
Understanding His Mistakes
Everyone agreed that the stepfather was getting what was coming to him. “He needs to know how badly he messed up,” another reader stated. “He didn’t do anything to try and make up for it, and now he wants YOUR money for HIS kid that bullied you. Don’t give him a cent… unless you offer a loan for a ridiculous amount of interest.”
Playing By His Rules
Other commenters pointed out that the woman was simply playing by her stepfather’s own rules. “He made the rules, he has no right to complain about you living by them,” one person pointed out. “He has insane double standards and you should stick by your decision. Make sure Luke does too.”
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