If being a parent is hard, being a step parent is twice as complicated. Even if the child is relatable and becomes as much his child as his own. For her Redditor @wellintentionedsmom recently, a scenario involving a “bonus” daughter created tension between her and her stepdaughter’s father. Her OP’s stepdaughter secretly asked her father (her OP’s husband) to take her to the doctor.
OP loves her “bonus” daughter “Mary”. Especially since she doesn’t have any children of hers biologically, she is very close and has a deep friendship with the girl she’s been with since she was 5 and now 17.
When Mary approached the OP about a doctor’s appointment, her stepmother thought she might want to get birth control since she had been dating a boy for about eight months. /Wanted to get tested for ovarian cancer. OP reveals that Mary’s mother died of the same cancer when she was “barely a year old.”
The OP also states that Mary’s mother did not choose to be treated for cancer. Because when they discovered the cancer, she was already well advanced in her pregnancy and neither parent wanted to risk losing their baby to chemotherapy. By the time Mary was born, doctors could only buy time for her mother.
Understanding Mary’s desire to be examined, she readily agreed to accompany him. The OP admits that she didn’t want Mary to tell her father about her appointment because she didn’t want to “provoke negative feelings” in her or cause him.
With this in mind, the OP agreed to keep it a secret and did not inform her husband of the appointment.
By the time Mary finished seeing her doctor, her mother had died of cervical cancer and was advised to see a geneticist. When she got home, she had a long talk with her father and gave her stepmother a big hug.
OP set her on fire for not telling him about her daughter’s doctor’s appointment after her husband asked her to speak privately. He is a child, and all appointments must be carried out in advance by him.
When the OP tried to explain that he was honoring his daughter’s request, he said that wasn’t a good enough excuse and that he “had no idea what else your girl was hiding.”
Now OP wants to know if it was wrong for not telling her husband about her daughter’s doctor’s appointment right away.
some discretion please
@GoneGirlHome believes daughters are entitled to a little discretion and will soon be able to say nothing to anyone, including their father.
“What is your husband going to do because she’ll be old enough when she turns 18? She doesn’t have to tell him anything and can make her own plans.” is her biological father, but there are many things that mothers and daughters keep secret, even if their parents are biological fathers (not to mention the important ones here).
User @myhairsOnfire2 thinks the OP is definitely not a TA and her husband should be appreciative rather than critical.
“NTA. Your husband needs more counseling. He needs to thank Mary for having you.”
She would have waited as well. She knew that with you around, she could become a reasonably loving adult and help ease her fears without worrying about your mental health in the process.
This is something your husband should appreciate – don’t get mad…”
@Stiffy_w thinks there might be a dad ego problem here.
“You did the right thing.
she trusted you You kept that trust in her and gave her space to approach her father on her own. I suspect his ego is getting in the way.
in the end
Walking the fine line between relationships can be difficult, especially when dealing with stepchildren. Knowing what’s right takes on a whole new meaning when dealing with children who aren’t as much your own as your spouse. Do you stand out as a friend or parent?
Do you think the stepmother was wrong in this case? Would she have dashed Mary’s confidence by telling her dad?
a thread inspired this article.
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