A Bride’s ‘Unhealthy’ Expectation for Her Stepdaughter’s Role in Her Wedding Has Reddit Saying She Broke the ‘Cardinal Rule of Parenting'

Blended family weddings can be tough for a lot of reasons. It can be hard for a kid to see their parent marry someone new. It can be hard for in-laws who still have feelings about the divorce. And it, of course, tends to have all the outrageous and unnecessary drama of any wedding. Sidebar: If anyone has the secret to a drama-free wedding, please let us know! Asking for a friend … and for the entirety of Reddit.

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A teen joined the “Am I The A-hole? (AITA)” subreddit to vent about her dad’s fiancé, Ruth. The wedding is in January, and Ruth has decided she wants the teen who originally posted (the “OP”) and her 5-year-old daughter Laci.

When Ruth and Laci moved in with OP and her Dad, the two kids were “forced to share a room” in the 2-bedroom house. “Laci has become obsessed with me,” OP said. “She thinks I’m the coolest person and she always wants to be around me.”

Which is really sweet and all! Except for that Ruth wants to take the relationship between her daughter and soon-to-be stepdaughter to a whole new unfair, unrealistic, and unhealthy level. And so, OP wants to know, is she an a-hole for refusing to take part in “sibling moments” during her dad’s wedding?

  • The Big Idea

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    Ruth came up with this grand plan of how the day would play out for OP and Laci. She thought there could be these “sibling moments” where the two “embrace each other as true sisters for the first time.”

    “She mentioned it to Laci before either her or my dad mentioned it to me. So Laci was really excited and happy.”

  • Ummm

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    OP said she’s “not comfortable” with Ruth’s plan. “I don’t want to hold her [while] a family unity ceremony is performed, I don’t want to do a special sister dance where the spotlight is on us, and I don’t want to make promises that I’m not sure I would keep.”

  • The Promises

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    Ruth already wrote out the list of promises (because of course she did).

    “It’s basically that I will always answer her calls, always call her my sister from that day forward, that I will be there for her and chase away the bullies and show her how to do things.”

  • But…

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    To be clear, OP said this isn’t about not wanting to be closer to Laci. She’s not opposed to that.

    “But I won’t be going out of my way to come home from college just to be there more with Laci. I might not even stay at my dad’s when I do because I don’t want to share with Laci. I already hate doing it now.”

  • No Thanks

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    OP told Ruth she doesn’t want to make these sister vows and have other sibling moments during the wedding. As you probably already guessed, Ruth was “furious.” Meanwhile, OP’s dad tried to convince OP to reconsider.

    “My dad was like, ‘It would be so sweet and would be super cute to look back on when watching the wedding videos.’”

  • Laci’s [Potential] Reaction

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    Ruth took a not-so-sweet route, trying to guilt OP into changing her mind. “She was saying how excited Laci now is and how I would crush her heart and soul and stomp on them if I refused to do it. She even claimed Laci was saying how excited she was to have me as a sister forever and that she wants me to be her protector.”

    “Not sure I buy a 4-year-old saying all that.” Our thoughts exactly, OP.

  • The Reality

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    OP is still “under a lot of pressure” to agree to these sibling rituals. Ruth has gone so far as to accuse OP of “rejecting” Laci and “refusing to have anything to do with her.

    “That’s not what this is but I don’t love Laci right now and I don’t know that I will be playing the big sister role,” OP said. “It might be more like cousins because honestly, I will be moving out as soon as I’m 18 to get a little more space. But this whole thing is starting to get to me.”

  • Reddit’s Reaction

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    OP’s post has gotten 5.9K upvotes and more than 800 commenters agree that she is not the AH here: Ruth is.

    “1. Laci should not have been told about this unless OP had previously agreed to it. 2. Forcing a relationship is a bad idea. 3. Making a public spectacle of a forced relationship is an even worse idea. 4. Ruth needs to stop weaponizing Laci to try to convince OP to go along,” said the top comment with 8.7K upvotes. “Ruth needs to back off and let any relationship develop naturally … I’m guessing Ruth wants the vows she wrote for OP said at the wedding cuz it will likely be videotaped and then she can throw it in OP’s face when Ruth thinks that OP isn’t ‘honoring her vows to Laci.’ Yuck!”

    “‘Hey, why don’t you lie to a child and make promises you won’t keep, just for the sake of us having a cute moment on our wedding day? You can’t say no, we already told your sister you would do it and we don’t want to have to do some parenting!’”

    “Dad is an even bigger AH for letting Ruth get away with it and not standing up for his daughter.”

    “You aren’t rejecting Laci. You are rejecting the contrived performance piece that Ruth is scripting. What Ruth is doing isn’t cute; it’s bizarre and creepy. If you aren’t comfortable, then stand your ground on this. No means No; the anger, weaponizing of Laci’s feelings, and bully tactics are just wrong, and I would call them both out for this toxic drama.”

    “Ruth is a massive AH, and honestly, it’s heartbreaking because her disingenuous nonsense and the imaginary idealized but entirely false picture she’s created in her head and tried to force on you and Laci is not only weird and more about herself than about either of the kids actually involved in the ‘sibling’ relationship at hand … it’s also ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY …Those weird vows that Ruth wrote don’t reflect any kind of real, meaningful, naturally-developing relationship. They’re some sort of imaginary fairytale ideal, and they aren’t healthy … She’s made you uncomfortable and actually created a wedge in the REAL, THOUGHTFUL, HEARTFELT relationship that you have been creating with her child … all in favor of some made-up nonsense in her head. Not to mention that she started this whole thing by breaking the cardinal rule of parenting: you don’t get a small child’s hopes up or tell them things well in advance when they might not happen or haven’t been agreed to. It only leads to heartbreak and disaster.”

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